Google Updates its Apps for Android

Google Branded Launch Screen
Image © Google.

June 29, 2015

Google has now not only changed some of its app design guidelines, but it has also updated its apps for Android with some fine tweaks. Starting now, the giant has adopted splash screens as part of Android design. The company is making this move, obviously as a fitting answer to other rival cloud providers, especially, Microsoft.

The company will be rolling out the changes across its entire platform, via automatic app updates issues through the Play store.

Google had previously never encouraged the use of splash screens on Android apps – quite on the contrary, it had held the view that the quicker apps opened up on screen, the better it would be for developers. Now, there seemed to be no logical reason as to why it would want to come back to the practice.

Of course, splash screens can be useful as they could serve as a reminder for users about the functionality and other details of the app. Also, a large icon, having the same style as that in the app launcher acts as a confirmation to users that they have opened the app. Google’s new splash screen will have very few other elements apart from the company name.

The search giant already stipulates enough conditions to app developers regarding the appearance of Android handsets; the position and prominence of Android branding each time the device is booted; the general look and feel of apps on the device; the placement of the Google search box; the location of apps and widgets and so on.

By creating the above-mentioned changes, the team is evidently trying to remind users, yet again, about brand Android. The Material Design guidelines talk about the usage of branded launch screens.

Why Google May be Feeling Threatened

Clearly, Google is not threatened about its market share coming down – at the moment, Apple is its only rival in the market.

In any case, it has a vast customer base spread all over the world. Hence, the search giant has no reason to feel particularly insecure on that front.

However, the company obviously does recognize the impact that the well-established cloud storage companies are having on the consumer. These companies are rapidly booming, several also extending extra services such as data backup. It seems like they are the ones that are giving Google a feeling of being on edge.

Microsoft has now shifted its focus on the cloud. Its recent introduction of cloud software services for Android and iOS; plus the release of Office for Android smartphones; has further added to the pressure of competition. The recent changes the company is making to its Android branding may well be a direct reaction to that competition.