All manufacturers who make Android-powered devices must comply with the Android Compatibility Definition Document which aside from hardware and security also covers interface design. The Themes section of this document lays down the law: “Android device implementations MUST use white for system status icons (such as signal strength and battery level) and notifications issued by the system.”
Previously leaked documents have suggested that Google tests all OEM software updates to ensure compatibility with the document before they’re allowed to be released so one would think that Google would shoot down Samsung’s green battery icon for violating the compatibility requirements. That’s not the case, though. Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome OS and Google Play Hiroshi Lockheimer has confirmed via Twitter that “given extraordinary circumstances” Samsung has been granted a special exception and that they have ensured compatibility with the document by applying a white border around the green battery icon in the new Galaxy Note 7.
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