Report: Google taking tighter control of Android

Android is open source software, but if you want to run Google's version of it, there are rules. Now it sounds as if those rules are getting a bit more stringent, as Google aims to tighten their grip on the platform just a bit. A new report details just how much more Google your Android handset might be.

When an Android OEM signs on to produce an Android handset that runs google services, there are certain rules they must follow. The search bar must be on the home screen toward the top, and Google's apps must have upfront placement on the home screen. That's why, when you get a new handset, there is typically that "Google" folder of apps on the home screen.

There are about 9 apps in that folder now, but soon there could be 20. The Information claims to have viewed documentation outlining these changes, which seem to be for all OEMs across the board.

The other change noted was a more prominently placed Search, though it's not exactly clear what that means. It's not known if that means a stagnant Search bar up top, or one on every screen. It could also detail a pop-up screen detailing how to use Search when you fire up a new device.

More Google-y apps and a featured Search — sounds like Google is ready to take the reigns of their open source offering and run. The only problem we'd have is if these 20 apps can't be removed. Currently, Google makes it next to impossible to take their apps off a device, and some — like Google+ — just go unused for most Android users.

Source: The Information