Originally Posted by cyvros
Kind of off-topic, but I thought worth mentioning.
Not off-topic at all but rather it goes to the heart of the matter: vendors are not obliged to use Google's Apps or interface. They can swap components in and out at will. Most vendors are too lazy or too poor to do so but Amazon is neither. And as they are showing by example, replacements exist for everything Google-proprietary in the "standard" Android distro.
One can argue that Amazon is just setting Android free of Google just as LibreOffice set OpenOffice free of Oracle.