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Google reportedly confronted Samsung over its approach to smartwatches

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 19, 2014
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The strained relationship between Google and Samsung over Android customization has been apparent for a while, and it now looks like this discontent has spread to the wearable world. The Information claims that Google CEO Larry Page confronted Samsung last week over its decision to invest more in its Gear 2 and Gear Fit smartwatches than the Android Wear-packing Gear Live. While the details of Page's discussions aren't available, it's clear that Google wants its biggest hardware partner to devote more attention to its Android-based platform. Reportedly, Google had even wanted Samsung to avoid dipping into wrist-worn technology until Android Wear was ready. As we know now, the Korean company didn't exactly honor that request -- instead, it released the Galaxy Gear (initially using a heavily customized Android) and quickly threw most of its energy into peripherals running Tizen and other platforms.

Neither firm has commented on the disagreement. However, a scrap over wearables isn't completely shocking. Google is trying to rein manufacturers in by requiring that they use its stock interface on Android Wear equipment; that's not going to please Samsung, which has spent a lot of time customizing Android in an attempt to stand out. The Gear Live's very existence suggests that Samsung is being somewhat accommodating. If the leak is accurate, though, Google may not be truly happy unless that device takes center stage in Samsung's lineup.

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