August 21, 2015 Last Updated 4:52 pm

Google will no longer force OEMs to pre-load their own media apps

The website Android Central said earlier this week that Google has altered its OEM guidelines, no longer requiring device makers using the platform to pre-load several of Google apps including Google Play Books and Google Newsstand.

GPB-adThe website said that the complete list of apps now joining Google Earth and Google Keep as not required are Google Play Games, Google Play Books, Google+ and Google Newsstand.

That’s good news for Android users who often complain about the number of apps that come pre-installed onto Android driven mobile devices. But let’s be fair, Apple preloads a lot of junk these days, too. My own Apple-almost-never-use folder includes 15 apps, most of which are in the folder to keep them out of the way. A couple come in handy every once in a while, like Apple Store and Compass, but the weather and stocks app… really?

But publishers really have to be concerned. Google’s decision to consider Google Play Books and Google Newsstand as not essential to the Android platform is calling into question their commitment to digital publishing. As I have never heard of even on publisher who believes sales of their digital editions on Android devices critical to their success, I suppose Google is merely reflecting reality. But I would prefer them moving in the other direction, more towards making Android an essential platform of digital publishers, not a mere after thought.

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