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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    Cigar-Junkie's Avatar

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    Default What's in a skin?

    With all of the talk of ICS and a pure android experience I started wondering if I will miss anything by not having a skin. Example, during my brief time with the bionic I had a text message while driving and the bionic ask if I would like it to read it. I thought it was great but was it the OS, skin on the OS or an app? I ask this here because I am getting my Galaxy Nexus this weekend, yeah I know someone who is related to someone who supplies Verizon with post-it notes.

    Sentiments from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
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    hyperdude's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cigar_Junkie View Post
    With all of the talk of ICS and a pure android experience I started wondering if I will miss anything by not having a skin. Example, during my brief time with the bionic I had a text message while driving and the bionic ask if I would like it to read it. I thought it was great but was it the OS, skin on the OS or an app? I ask this here because I am getting my Galaxy Nexus this weekend, yeah I know someone who is related to someone who supplies Verizon with post-it notes.

    Sentiments from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
    Something like that (the phone asking if you wanted it to read you a text) would be from an app (which in that case is part of the skin). Honestly what a skin over Android (at least in the sense of stuff like Touchwiz, Blur and Sense, not modded Android like on the Nook tablets or the Kindle Fire) is customized apps for everything from the launcher to the settings apps, along with a tweaked theme for everything (default images, colors, styles, etc. being changed) and different functionality being included (such as your Bionic asking if you wanted your text read out loud) - plus device-specific changes.

    I guess what I'm getting at there is that in many ways the skin is all about the apps - except for the system-wide changes like style tweaks and added software functionality. What will you miss by not having a skin? All depends on what exactly you enjoy about what the OEM skin provides. A different lockscreen style? Unified inbox (which I don't see the hype for but many people apparently like)? The overall look and feel of the OS? Almost all of my experience with Android devices has been with un-skinned (i.e. "Google Experience") devices, so I couldn't necessarily answer that for you.

    tl;dr What are you worried you'll miss about skinned Android?
    PS. Many things you could miss from skins like Blur can be implemented with different apps, or in broad cases with custom ROMs like CyanogenMod or independent devs.

    --------------
    And wait, surely you can't be serious about getting a GN this weekend - unless you're jumping ship from Verizon?
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    Cigar-Junkie's Avatar

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    Mostly just curious because I went from blackberries to a DROIDX to bionic to DROIDX and am waiting like the rest of us for the galaxy to drop. Thanks for the reply

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
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    Mr. Poppalopolis's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    I haven't watched all of this, but it should give you an idea of the added features in Blur:

    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acnvfDjlT6c[/YT]

    Also, skins usually just change the theme and the core apps such as email and messaging, as well as add other apps such as Blockbuster (Sense has Blockbuster among other third party apps).
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  
    Cigar-Junkie's Avatar

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    I have always used K-9 or kayten for email so I wouldn't really now how email is handled by the skin. I always see where people say I can't stand _________ skin, but I have only had Moto so I really don't have anything to compare to.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  6. #6  

    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    The only thing I will really miss is HTC's clock widget and weather widget/app.

    I have beautiful widgets, but I dont really think that there are any skins that look as sharp as HTC's stock.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    I think ICS has enough new features to minimize you missing your skinned OS. Some of my favorites: ability to disable system apps (like freezing in Titanium Backup), swipe to remove notifications and ability to view groups in the people (contacts) app.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    I never realized all the cool stuff blur offered until watching that video. Yeah stock Android doesn't really do any of that, no swype, no toggle widgets, no battery optimizer, basically everything in that video.

    However there are a lot of apps you can buy that will give you that functionality....
  9. #9  
    Mr. Poppalopolis's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    I do like Blur and TouchWiz out of the skins I've seen, although I haven't used either. All I know is that Sense is really slow and has pretty much strictly social networking features which I don't ever use anyways. Only good thing about Sense IMO is their clock widget.
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    Heath276's Avatar

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    I know I will miss having the pull down menu in touchwiz. I love being able to do WiFi and GPS and data all by pulling down the notification bar.

    Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk
  11. #11  

    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    I just wanted to say, i'm so pleasantly surprised nobody trolled this post with their hatred of skins and talking about how inferior they are too vanilla android. Some of us actually like the functionality these skins bring. It's almost like having a whole 'nother OS sometimes. It shouldn't need to be said, but props to you all.

    When i first came to realization of what the skin was, i had no idea how far things like sense or blur went into the UI. Even small things you don't think about like the dialer, contacts, status bar and notification area to extra apps that may be useful to you like any of htc's 80 widgets or lockscreens. These manufacturers put millions of dollars into making the experience different from each other and it really just depends on your preference. I can't imagine a phone without sense. But i'll probably end up getting my girlfriend a galaxy nexus because it's something different and sense has gotten stale for her.
  12. #12  
    Mr. Poppalopolis's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    Quote Originally Posted by tysdad08 View Post
    I know I will miss having the pull down menu in touchwiz. I love being able to do WiFi and GPS and data all by pulling down the notification bar.

    Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk
    That's probably the biggest reason I run Cyanogenmod. I have tried other AOSP roms and Sense roms, but most don't have that feature. I'm not familiar with the other toggles in TouchWiz but CM can have almost anything, including the flashlight and media controls.
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    Cigar-Junkie's Avatar

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    OK if some like skins and some don't would it be likely that somebody creates a "custom" skin for galaxy nexus? I think it would be cool to choose what I like instead of someone else doing it for me.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
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    jamesbrown33's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    Skins wouldn't be so bad if manufacturers were willing to have them exist at the application level, it is the fact that they insist on mucking about with deeper parts of the system that slows updates down. If skins were just a collection of applications, and were removable, you would not see the hatred for them in the community.
    Defconrock likes this.
  15. #15  
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    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    Quote Originally Posted by i_****_splinters View Post
    I just wanted to say, i'm so pleasantly surprised nobody trolled this post with their hatred of skins and talking about how inferior they are too vanilla android. Some of us actually like the functionality these skins bring. It's almost like having a whole 'nother OS sometimes. It shouldn't need to be said, but props to you all.

    When i first came to realization of what the skin was, i had no idea how far things like sense or blur went into the UI. Even small things you don't think about like the dialer, contacts, status bar and notification area to extra apps that may be useful to you like any of htc's 80 widgets or lockscreens. These manufacturers put millions of dollars into making the experience different from each other and it really just depends on your preference. I can't imagine a phone without sense. But i'll probably end up getting my girlfriend a galaxy nexus because it's something different and sense has gotten stale for her.
    GRRRRR Skins suck!! Down with skins!!!! Stock android FTW!!! You people dumb skin lovers arggrlghlrlhglrlghlgrlg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    But in all seriousness skins offer some really good functionality. If only they didn't cause problems by slowing down updates and in sense's case, just slowing down everything from what I've seen.
  16. #16  
    Mr. Poppalopolis's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in a skin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cigar_Junkie View Post
    OK if some like skins and some don't would it be likely that somebody creates a "custom" skin for galaxy nexus? I think it would be cool to choose what I like instead of someone else doing it for me.
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. Different roms have different themes. There might be some TouchWiz or Blur roms ported to the Nexus, but not until Samsung or Motorola actually make ICS compatible versions of their skins. CM7 supports the T-Mobile theme engine which is a very flexible method to change the look of Android, and it offers a lot of extra features but still goes for that stock Android look. MIUI though is totally unique in the Android world. I'm sure the Nexus will get both CM9 and MIUI.

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