Since the beginning of time Google’s play store and apple’s app store have always been two inversely parallel sources for cell phone apps. They have diametrically opposed positions when it comes to policing the content allowed into their respective online marketplaces. Whereas Apple, in natural fashion, reviews every single app submitted, Google has historically taken a more lax position, creating an open digital playground of sorts and opting to address issues after they arise as opposed to before.
So what’s the issue? Google is suddenly Pro-Splash screens. Meaning, An animated Splash screen concept for the Google Play Store Icon — each color represents a section of the Store updated with the Material Design color palette. The splash screen is the image that is displayed on your screen when you turn on the phone before the boot animation begins to play. The display will be as such; Opening the latest updates to its apps will result in a white screen and an oversized icon to be shown, along with the familiar Google corporate logo. . The changes are rolling out across the platform now through the automatic app updates through the Play Store, with the productivity apps of Google Docs and Google Sheets some of the earliest apps to show the Google emblazoned splash screen.
Previous outlook of android has respectively discouraged this practice and it makes absolutely no sense why it will be trending from now onwards. So why bring them in now, and especially why bring them in to Google’s own apps? I think the answer is branding and mind share. Mountain View is taking a defensive posture around the impact of a resurgent Microsoft.
Google already exerts a significant amount of control over the look and feel of Android handsets that sign up for Google Play certification, such as the placement of a Google search box, where applications and widgets can be found, and visible Android branding when handsets are booted. Apparently the teams at Mountain View want a few more opportunities to remind users that the handset they have is focused around Google, and are sneaking this one through the system via an app update rather than something lower down the software stack in the firmware.
Microsoft’s renewed focus on the cloud has led to it releasing software on Android and iOS that makes use of its own cloud services. Last week’s release of Office for Android smartphones increased the pressure from Microsoft on the competition. A reminder that Google is behind many of the popular acts on an Android smartphone builds affinity and association between the user and Mountain View. That the apps involved are in direct competition with Microsoft’s Office and Outlook based applications is not an accident.