Every Android OEM has to follow a set of guidelines and rules to get Google Play and other suites of apps and services from Google on their Android device. Google has updated those guidelines to remove a few mandatory apps that used to come pre-installed earlier on all Android devices.
Up until now, every Android device shipped with Google+, Maps, Newsstand, Play Movies, Play Music, and various other apps from Google. Out of them, most Android users ended up using only a few handful of them, while the others sat there simply occupying space because they were installed directly in the system partition and could not be uninstalled as per Google’s guidelines.
The updated guidelines, however, remove the restriction from an OEM to ship its devices with Google+, Google Play Books, Play Games, and Newsstand pre-installed. Instead, users who want these apps on their device can always head over to Google Play and install them manually. Since OEMs will not have to pre-install these apps on their devices from now on, future devices will likely end up having slightly more free space in their system partition, which is always a good thing. Alternatively, this also means that OEMs and carrier will now have more free space in system partition of future Android devices to pre-load more bloatware on to it.
While it is great to see Google remove these four apps, the company should have also made other apps like Play Movies and maybe even Play Music optional for OEMs to include in their devices. Google already offers all its apps through Google Play, so they are only a few taps away on any new Android device for anyone who uses them.[Via Android Central]