Explaining the “with Google” on the back of your phone

Linux is the core of the Google Android mobile operating system.  This is a fact that most people know and understand and, myself, having worked with Linux for a long time I know all too well the vast amount of fragmentation that that various OS have caused.  Thus we know that at some point the same thing will happen with Android, it really is only a matter of time and it is not something that can be helped.

It was these facts that led me to presume that having “with Google” on the back of my Droid meant that my phone ran a “sanctioned” version of Android, or rather a version that is directly backed and approved by Google.  This is partially true.  Google does in fact define a set of compatibility standards that device OEMs must follow in order to run the Android OS as well as how they must implement the public APIs the framework exposes.

So what exactly does the “with Google” mean on the back of your phone. Well basically, that Google has approved the device and initial installation and that certify that it produces the intended “Android Experience”.  This is not to say a phone is does not have the label cannot produce the “Android Experience”, the label simply means that the OEM has taken the time to go through Google to verify that that hardware is acceptable.


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