I spent some significant portion of the day at Verizon today, picking up my new Samsung Note 7 replacement unit, and, like Samsung has said, I checked for the black square at the bottom of the box to the right of the barcode to ensure the box was new (and hope the device was, too). Then, upon turning on the new Samsung Note 7, I also noticed that there was a new update, straight away, just as Samsung said. I installed the new update and, sure enough, the white battery icon changed to green in no time at all.
We said yesterday that the new Samsung Note 7 battery icon would be in three places (Always On Display, top right of the main desktop, and on the Restart/Power Down Menu). Well, sure enough, the update worked as intended. And yet, for those who have received the new Samsung Note 7 replacement unit, what few may know is that Google had to approve the new battery icon before Samsung could change it.
The source of this claim is Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer, who, in response to ArsTechnica’s very own Ron Amadeo, says that Google supported and approved Samsung’s new green battery icon: “@RonAmadeo @arstechnica we worked with Samsung on this given extraordinary circumstances. White border around icon to ensure compatibility,” Lockheimer tweeted to Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo just two days ago.
Within the Android Compatibility Definition Document (or CDD), Google specifies that the icons must be white to maintain uniformity within the OS: Android supports a variant theme with translucent system bars…to enable a consistent developer experience in this configuration, it is important the status bar icon style is maintained across different device implementations. Therefore, Android device implementations MUST use white for system status icons (such as signal strength and battery level) and notifications issued by the system, unless the icon is indicating a problematic status or an app requests a light status bar…
The battery level must be white, Google’s document says. So, what allows Samsung to make it green? The answer is Google, as Lockheimer says. Google did allow the battery level icon to have a white border though the icon itself is green.
What few remember is that Samsung’s GALAXY devices run Google’s Android, so Samsung has to bow to Google’s wishes when it comes to compatibility requirements. Android OEMs that refuse to obey Google aren’t allowed to have access to the Google Play Store as well as Google apps and services — and, as a result, their consumers often suffer as well. So, any Android OEM wanting to sell its devices to the large consumer public will want to have Google’s approval for icons, status bars, and so on.
Well, new Samsung Note 7 users should be thankful to Google for the new green battery icon. The search engine giant doesn’t usually make exceptions, but emergency situations happen and can’t be helped. New Samsung Note 7 owners probably like Google for this small measure of respect to owners who, through no fault of their own, have been forced to pick up a replacement unit.