There is a popular notion that Google is the founder and the developer of the Android mobile operating system. However, on the contrary, Android was an independent project that was initially meant to be the operating system for digital cameras. However, with the market for digital camera systems not being lucrative enough, the project was redirected towards the development of a mobile operating system. The promising results of the project prompted Google to take over the Android operating system, and invest on its development. However, Google went ahead and formed a consortium named "Open Handset Alliance" with organizations like Samsung, HTC, AT&T, Motorola and others to collaborate and share their resources and assets for the development of Android ecosystem.
As Android is an open-source software platform, every mobile manufacturer is free to customize the core system and add their own applications to it. In fact, handset makers like Samsung and HTC provide their customized user interface and default applications like dialer, messaging app, email client and music player. However, the control of Google over the entire system can hardly be questioned, mainly due to the way the phone's mechanism has been set up.
The first thing to notice about any Android phone is that it requires a Google account to be set up. In case the mobile user does not have a Google account, the phone prompts the user to create one. This is because the app store for Android is maintained by Google, and one needs to have an account to access the "Play Store".
Secondly, most manufacturers are strongly recommended to pre-install certain Google Apps. Apart from Google Play app, most handsets also provide the Chrome browser, Google+ social networking app, YouTube video app, Google Now and Gmail. The idea behind having these apps pre-installed is that the system does not allow the user to uninstall it from the phone, thereby increasing the chances of being used.
However, with the intention to gain more control over the system, Google made two major changes in its latest version of Android, Kit Kat 4.4. The default dialer now integrates with the Google+ social platform and queries numbers from the local area. From the user perspective, it provides them with a global directory that provides them with contextual results. On the other hand, the SMS support for Google Hangouts have made other messaging apps redundant, as Hangouts can now support SMS, internet text, calls and video conferencing – making it the one-stop solution for all messaging requirements.