One of the most important features of the Samsung Galaxy NotePro that was announced at CES early this month was the Magazine UX, a user interface that Samsung had developed for this tablet that bore no resemblance to the one created for the Android operating system, even though it ran Google’s OS.
This sent Google into a tizzy, according to an unconfirmed report from re/code, and a series of negotiations began on how to bring Samsung back into the Android fold.
And it’s not just the Magazine UX — for many months, the Korean device maker has been shipping tablets and phones with its own music and video services that were designed to compete head-to-head with Google’s.
A behind-the-scenes agreement between the two has allegedly been hammered out that will see Samsung putting more emphasis on Google’s apps and services and less on its own, as well as redesign the user interface for future tablets so it’s more in-line with the “stock” Android look.
Two Major Sources of Friction Removed?
A significant piece of this agreement may have been announced today: Google is selling Motorola to Lenovo. The fact that Google owned a phone/tablet maker, putting it into direct competition with Samsung, has been a bone of contention between the two.
Ever since the Motorola acquisition in 2012, Samsung has been preparing for the day when it might have to give up using Android, on the assumption that Google could someday throw its full weight behind its own phone maker. This included develing its own mobile operating system, Tizen.
In addition, a recent unconfirmed report indicated that Google is going to stop making Nexus tablets and phones, another move that could greatly reduce competition with Samsung.
If Google’s and Samsung’s business relationship can become more cooperative, then some of the measures Samsung took to distance itself from Android might no longer be necessary.