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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Android upgrades and manufacturer skins... why?

    Looking at the comments posted here at AC and elsewhere whenever there is news about an Android upgrade be it a promise, release or the countless delays, I get the impression that many people prefer stock Android over manufacturer customised UIs. So with all the problems and delays that these skins cause the manufacturers, carriers and the preference for stock by a large section of the Android community, why aren't there more stock Android phones?

    The only ones I am aware of are the Google Nexus phones and the few prepaid ones like the Motorola Triumph sold by Virgin Mobile USA.

    For example, I would like a stock ICS phone with a 4 - 4.3 inch 720p display with a qwerty keyboard.

    I don't quite buy the whole manufacturer differentiation story entirely, especially now that we have there is ICS. Manufacturers can implement their innovations (e.g. deeper social network integration) without putting a heavy (or any) skin on top.

    Maybe Google wants as much as possible to keep stock Android exclusive for its Nexus phones?
    Maybe it's the carriers, but they don't seem to mind when it comes to Windows phones?

    WHY???
  2. #2  
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    Default Re: Android upgrades and manufacturer skins... why?

    Quote Originally Posted by twalkbox View Post
    Looking at the comments posted here at AC and elsewhere whenever there is news about an Android upgrade be it a promise, release or the countless delays, I get the impression that many people prefer stock Android over manufacturer customised UIs. So with all the problems and delays that these skins cause the manufacturers, carriers and the preference for stock by a large section of the Android community, why aren't there more stock Android phones?
    The online Android Community is a small percentage of the total number of consumers using Android devices. I don't know what the percentage is, nor have I seen a reliable study, but you have to keep in mind that most people purchasing Android devices are average consumers who probably don't know what an AOSP phone is like. OEMs sell eye candy and put together deep social integration to set their device apart from others.

    I don't quite buy the whole manufacturer differentiation story entirely, especially now that we have there is ICS. Manufacturers can implement their innovations (e.g. deeper social network integration) without putting a heavy (or any) skin on top.

    Maybe Google wants as much as possible to keep stock Android exclusive for its Nexus phones?
    Maybe it's the carriers, but they don't seem to mind when it comes to Windows phones?

    WHY???
    I do believe Google would love to have some sort of consistency across the board for updating purposes. However, I also believe that Google probably likes the current system since it offers choices and shows how versatile the Android OS truly is. Any OEM can take the Open Source OS and do what they want with it. Windows phones don't see this type of UI enhancement because the OS is licensed (from what I understand). Microsoft creates the OS and allows OEMs to install it on devices as is, or few modifications to the licensed OS.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Android upgrades and manufacturer skins... why?

    I totally get the open source nature of the Android OS and the benefits that brings - the main one being allowing third parties to innovate on the platform.

    But I just thought it was strange that given that openess why such an obvious opportunity - to create a stock Android phone in different sizes / form factors compared to the Nexus phones - has been largely missed.

    I guess that might be all about the change somewhat though with Google's recent announcement about now making it mandatory for all devices with Android market access to keep the Holo theme from ICS intact.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/unmodi...comment-357802
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Android upgrades and manufacturer skins... why?

    I think manufacturers like applying their own skins and UIs simply because they want their phones to appear "different" from other Android phones. Which, I guess makes sense; I mean, if all Android phones were stock, then software-wise, they'd basically all look identical, and for most people, it would just come down to what physical design they like more, and that seems kinda silly. So, they skin their UIs to differentiate their phones from the others.

    I'd imagine Google probably doesn't care much one way or another. As has been said, if nothing else, it shows the "open" nature of Android.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: Android upgrades and manufacturer skins... why?

    Yeah that would seem kinda silly... but yet there is Windows Phone - okay they're not really selling right now so bad example.

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