One of the best things about Android is the deep integration with Google’s apps. If you’re a Gmail, Google Docs or Google Calendar user, there’s no doubt that Android is the way to go. Well, the geniuses at AT&T decided that Android is way too Googley for their taste. They decided to take the Google out of Google Android. Thus, AT&T’s first Android phone -the Backflip- is deprived of a lot of that Google integration.
The Backflip will be the first Android phone to have Yahoo as the default search engine. Everywhere you’ll go to do a web search that giant violet logo will be waiting for you. Engadget was as shocked as us:
“Yahoo has replaced Google as the default search provider throughout the phone. It’s crazy: the home screen widget, the browser, everything’s been programmed to use Yahoo. We love us some irony, but golly, we’d prefer Google searches most of the time.”
There’s a good and bad side to this story: On the good side, this is what Android is all about, anybody is free to anything they want to it. I don’t think there’s much Google can do to fight this, these issues come with the freedom of the OS. On the bad side, AT&T is making the choice for us by making Yahoo the default search engine. Also, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to switch over to Google as the search engine. To make matters worse, they filled the phone with AT&T branded crapware:
- AllSport GPS
- AT&T Maps
- AT&T Music
- AT&T Navigator
- AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots
- Mobile Banking
The motives for AT&T doing this are still unclear. We’re not even completely sure that it was AT&T’s decision to replace Google and not Motorola’s. But seeing as all other MotoBlur devices have Google included, we’re going to go ahead and blame this on AT&T. It’s not like they don’t have a million reasons to do this. AT&T and Google are not exactly best buddies; maybe they’re trying not to get caught in the crossfire between Apple and Google. The Backflip itself is not a bad phone; you can watch our hands on here. However, we recommend you wait and see what else AT&T has coming down the pike.