Google has reportedly stopped manufacturers from putting their own custom skins on top of its latest version of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. The revelation comes from an LG spokesperson who explained at the Droidcon conference in Berlin that the Korean firm has been given the red light by Google to make adjustments to the Android 3.0 interface for the time being.
The news provides a reasonable explanation as to why HTC’s Flyer tablet (apparently due out next month), has Android 2.3 Gingerbread rather than the tablet-optimised version of Google’s hugely popular OS. The same could also be said for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which has been slimmed down from the original version announced at Mobile World Congress. While its thicker counterpart is pure Honeycomb, the 8.6mm model of the upcoming tablet will come with Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI.
While the pieces of this particular puzzle seem to fit together nicely, Google is apparently readying a version of Honeycomb that will allow custom UI’s, however, there’s no word on a release date at the moment. Funny that, because Samsung has kept quiet on when exactly the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the newly-revised Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be coming out too.
Apple is bound to be pleased about Google holding back the release of several big name tablets, especially now the iPad 2 is out of the door. Up until now, Android has been renowned as being the easy going platform but with Google tightening the reins on what manufacturers can and can’t do to the UI, will it end up being a costly mistake for Apple’s biggest operating system rival?