08-26-2011 11:48 AM
47 12
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  1. arisenfury's Avatar
    While I agree with much that is said here I have to disagree on the topic of people contradicting themselves by adding a new launcher on top of AOSP. A new launcher isn't quite the same as skinning, the same way you can add ADW on top of Sense to make it look like AOSP but everything is still Sense, including all its running processes. Adding ADW in an AOSP ROM simply adds a new launcher, everything else is still the same, no added processes unless you put them there (i.e. special widgets, etc.)

    I guess I am one of the few who love AOSP and the stock launcher, I've bought all the paid versions of most of the 3rd party launchers but I love going back to stock Launcher2. Not as much functionality in terms of customization but it just works and it's almost "nostalgic" Android for me when I look at it. Plus no 3d app drawers on the 3rd partys come close to the performance of the stock one.

    All in all I think like everyone else has touched base on, it's all personal preference. And I think until the OEMs make their stuff open as well, we'll all be jonesing for something someone else has. Look at all the people with skinned GB ROMs out there complaining about no CRT or the end of page glow. Same reason there are quite a few things in skinned ROMs that people with AOSP would like to have. In the end, do you.
    08-23-2011 07:52 AM
  2. The_Engine's Avatar
    I've used Motoblur on the Droid X, I've used custom AOSP roms on the Droid X.
    I've used Sense on the Thunderbolt, I've used custom AOSP roms on the Thunderbolt.

    I think I can comfortably say, based on my experience, that custom UI and UX added by the manufactures slow the phone down. The Nexus S is faster than any Android phone I have owned or used. That will of course change over time but I think it proves that if speed, stability and responsiveness are important to you then the Nexus line is the best option.

    I do agree though that in an effort to add some of the features provided by many of the manufacture's tweaks, you can end up with a very fragmented Android experience. To some, that may be a downside but to me, I prefer to only add in the features I wish to use through 3rd party apps.
    When you talk speed do you meam the responsiveness of the ui, or the speed of getting things done. I don't doubt that the tweaks by the manufacturers slow down the ui, but i think that they increase productivity by allowing you to perform certain tasks more efficiently. For example, look at the Sense Lockscreen. It lets me get right into email or messages or the camera directly instead of having to unlock the device, then find the application and launch it.
    08-23-2011 08:47 AM
  3. movielover76's Avatar
    As a previous owner of a Samsung Android phone touchwiz and the current owner of a thunderbolt
    Sense, I can without a doubt say that skins tend to slow the phone down, Sense seems heavier than touchwiz though.
    I didn't hate either UI, but it bothers me that I can't get rid of either, without a custom ROM of course.

    I've recently started using the AOSP roms for the thunderbolt and I have to say I like them a lot more,
    but I wouldn't recommend a pure AOSP phone for someone who just wants to use a smart phone and not tinker a little with apps to find what they like, the stock email, sms/mms and contacts programs leave something to be desired.

    My preference is Go launcher, with Go SMS Pro and Go contacts, with those you can really make a UI that feels consistent, with better features than touchwiz or Sense, and still retain the speed and lightness of AOSP, and it's not hypocritical to say you don't like a manufacturer skins and then load a new launcher and replacement apps, the thing that makes most AOSP lovers go to AOSP is the fact that they can customize the phone with other launchers etc, without having to deal with certain elements of the manufacturer skin that simply can't be removed. any third party launcher you install can be 100% removed.

    Second would be touchwiz, I have a few non technical friends who have samsung phones and love the user interface, also it's not as heavy or intrusive as Sense, you really just can't replace a lot of sense elements.
    But many people love sense and wouldn't want to change it, so it's personal preference.

    If verizon ever gets a Google experience phone personally I'd probably buy one as my next phone, but everyone is different.
    Best advice to probably to go to different stores and try each UI out, see which feel better for you.
    08-23-2011 09:04 AM
  4. Androidninja's Avatar
    From my humble opinion, I have found that with Stock Android or Vanilla Android:
    1. Processor works faster
    2. Battery lasts longer (think how much better the Thunderbolt would be)
    3. Some UIs add steps for the basic functionality of the phone
    4. No bloatware
    5. Fewer crashes
    6. Quicker updates

    Those are my reasons. Everyone is different. I pray that Motorola (now owned by Google) will produce stock Android devices for each carrier.
    08-23-2011 09:26 AM
  5. MowDownJoe's Avatar
    I'm not sure I buy the "I prefer the true Android experience the way Google intended it" argument. The reality is that Google fully intended the manufacturers to differentiate their devices through the use of custom UI's, so the argument doesn't seem to make much sense right from the start.
    If that was the case, then why have they been working hard improving the stock launcher? If they expected it to be replaced by a skin, surely they wouldn't have added more home screens, a 3D app drawer, and a way to jump around the 5 home screens to the stock launcher. Surely they wouldn't have shortcuts to the browser and the dialer to the stock launcher if they expected those to get replaced. Surely they wouldn't have added a menu item that lets you jump to Manage Applications to the stock launcher. I mean, why improve the stock experience if its just going to be replaced?
    Also, so many people start with vanilla Android and then add Launcher Pro, ADW or any number of other launchers, which themselves are more or less skins just like Sense, Blur, et al.
    Not really. Real skins go deeper than the launcher. Notification bar tweeks, how certain apps behave (one person here already pointed out how Sense screws with anything trying to make an API call to the calendar), the user experience in general gets changed around.
    The stock vanilla launcher is honestly pretty dull. It's fine for a strictly minimalist mindset, which I can appreciate on some level, but why buy a high-performance device to run such a featureless interface?
    I just want my device to work. I really couldn't give a damn if it looks pretty. After all, after a while with something, you stop caring how it looks. But as long as it still does what you remember it did, then it was worth it.
    08-23-2011 09:44 AM
  6. wryun's Avatar
    My wife got an EVO4G about 4 months after I did. I had mine rooted and loaded with Desk's GingerBread Rom (Vanilla/AOSP). I told her about the better performance, better battery life, and features over Sense. She wanted me to root hers and load up the ROM when she got hers, until she saw the way it looked. She played with her new EVO with Sense and then looked at mine with Vanilla GB. She wanted to keep Sense on hers because it looked "Prettier" and mine looked more like a guy phone. LOL
    I then smiled and handed over my car charger and said "You're gonna need this. BTW, download, Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, and Bejeweled 2." :-)

    To some, the overall performance improvements don't matter as much as looks. I like plain/minimalist and functional over flashy and mediocre.

    08-23-2011 09:59 AM
  7. nfkraemer's Avatar
    If you purchase a phone with Ice Cream Sandwich you wish you had a Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich for the first few updates. Nathan N1
    08-23-2011 11:25 AM
  8. wryun's Avatar
    If you purchase a phone with Ice Cream Sandwich you wish you had a Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich for the first few updates. Nathan N1
    ???
    08-23-2011 11:26 AM
  9. STC09's Avatar
    To some, the overall performance improvements don't matter as much as looks. I like plain/minimalist and functional over flashy and mediocre.
    This.
    wryun likes this.
    08-23-2011 01:29 PM
  10. experiment 626's Avatar
    I like plain/minimalist and functional over flashy and mediocre.
    +2 Being on Verizon there is no Nexus option currently available but I would suggest looking at the SE Xperia Play. I've looked at all of VZW's other Android devices and the Play's OS is as fast or faster than other Droids with better specs.Sort of reminds me of the Windows XP vs Windows 7 debate.
    08-23-2011 03:52 PM
  11. mrmoe110's Avatar
    It really depends on what you want out of your phone. If you're in to modding your phone-rooting, romming, etc-then a Nexus device will be good for that. However, if you're looking at the GS2, it won't be very long before you are able to do those things as well, which negates that advantage. Yes, the Nexus device gets updates first, but updates for rooted devices usually come pretty quickly from the development community.
    As far as a "vanilla android experience" that is incredibly overrated. People will talk about how they love it, but if you follow it, you'll see that the reason that people love it is because of how easy it is to add whatever skins they want to it, thus making it no longer a vanilla android.
    And as much as people say they love the Nexus and are excited about a nexus device, the previous nexus devices have been very poor sellers. Meaning people talk about them but don't buy them that often. Yes, there are a few that want their phone as vanilla as possible, but most just like how they can change it.
    To be honest, the only people that really benefit from a pure android device are the developers themselves. They are the ones who have to make their skins work and it is easier for them if they start with a vanilla device.
    My advice-check out the GS2. If you like it, and think it is worth it, then get it. Don't worry about what device will be out soon. I can guarantee that any customizing you will want to(including changing/removing the skin if you don't like it) will be just as easy for you on the GS2 as it will be on the Nexus. Either way you will likely have to wait for the developers to get you the tools you need, but it will happen.
    I agree with what you posted. I see people always praising "vanilla android" everyone uses either LP+, ADW Ex, or another home replacement. I don't think I've seen anyone use the stock Gingerbread launcher. To me, that's technically not "vanilla android."
    08-23-2011 07:03 PM
  12. petebaldwin's Avatar
    Well, simple and sophisticated says it all, with no bloat
    But it is a question of personal preference, and I certainly have one for vanille andriod
    08-23-2011 09:25 PM
  13. Dark Wizard Matoya's Avatar
    It really depends on what you want out of your phone. If you're in to modding your phone-rooting, romming, etc-then a Nexus device will be good for that. However, if you're looking at the GS2, it won't be very long before you are able to do those things as well, which negates that advantage. Yes, the Nexus device gets updates first, but updates for rooted devices usually come pretty quickly from the development community.
    As far as a "vanilla android experience" that is incredibly overrated. People will talk about how they love it, but if you follow it, you'll see that the reason that people love it is because of how easy it is to add whatever skins they want to it, thus making it no longer a vanilla android.
    And as much as people say they love the Nexus and are excited about a nexus device, the previous nexus devices have been very poor sellers. Meaning people talk about them but don't buy them that often. Yes, there are a few that want their phone as vanilla as possible, but most just like how they can change it.
    To be honest, the only people that really benefit from a pure android device are the developers themselves. They are the ones who have to make their skins work and it is easier for them if they start with a vanilla device.
    My advice-check out the GS2. If you like it, and think it is worth it, then get it. Don't worry about what device will be out soon. I can guarantee that any customizing you will want to(including changing/removing the skin if you don't like it) will be just as easy for you on the GS2 as it will be on the Nexus. Either way you will likely have to wait for the developers to get you the tools you need, but it will happen.

    The ability to theme vanilla Android is one of the reasons I love it. I don't want a ROM, be it a custom ROM or the ROM that cones with my phone, that is customized to someone else's liking. I want a blank slate that I can customize to my own liking. That is what vanilla Android allows me to do. Putting a custom UI on top of Android takes away a lot of my customization options.

    The other reason I prefer vanilla Android is that I , as the owner of an HTC device, despise Sense, mostly because of it's visual style. I know that might be completely shallow of me, but it's true. Sense has a rounded look to everything that I really just can't stand. And Sense is so deeply engrained into the phone that you'll never get rid of it completely no matter what you do. CM7 was a breath of fresh air when I installed it on my Incredible. The only part of Sense I miss is the camera, but the CM7 camera had made some real improvements lately.
    08-23-2011 09:56 PM
  14. Rominucka's Avatar
    I love modifying and themeing and whatnot, and all my Samsung phones have been able to be rooted and rommed, so I'm not at all concerned about the unlocked aspect of Vanilla Android.

    The AOSP theme and UI is maybe the most boring thing I've seen, and it defeats the purpose of having a SAMOLED screen. It's basically bleak and colorless. The dockbar sucks, vertical app drawer scrolling is annoying, overall I enjoyed my Charge less when I had the AOSP rom on it. The inner workings of it was fantastic and was even smoother than the Nexus S (which it looked just like), but it wasn't as much fun.

    As gaudy as TW3 is, it really makes the screen come alive. The downfall is that it's laggy and stuttery.
    Now TW4 has been a dream, and when I get my GSII, I can guarantee that I will have no reason to root it.

    For my themeing pleasure I will use my mighty beast called the Samsung Droid Charge on Verizon's Super-Silly-Fast 4G LTE network, otherwise I'm sticking to plain old Vanilla Samsung!!!
    08-23-2011 10:20 PM
  15. The_Engine's Avatar
    Interesting that so many say vanilla Android is more functional. I found exactly the opposite. I find the tweaks in Sense 3 to the email client, messaging app, app drawer, and most notably the lock screen to add considerable functionality and efficiency to the use of the device.

    Also for those of you talking about modding and themeing, i am not so sure that's vanilla Android anymore. I mean how different is installing themes, mods, and replacement Apps for the mail, message, calendar, and launchers than running Sense, Touch Wiz, or Blur? You are essentially doing the same thing.

    I think its plain to see by the response here how personal this topic is. AOSP vs OEM is like Android vs iPhone or Blackberry. Its really all yoir preference.
    08-24-2011 06:27 AM
  16. Rominucka's Avatar
    What they're saying is that the OEM's skin could prevent certain modifications from working where AOSP has no obstacles.
    08-24-2011 12:13 PM
  17. YourMobileGuru's Avatar
    Most people who want an vanilla device want it because of the misconception that vanilla devices get update faster. This is really only true in Nexus series devices since Google pushes those updates.

    In theory the vanilla devices are easier for OEMs to update (and common sense tells you that they should be) but this does not always pan out in practice. For example the Evo 4G (HTC Sense UI) got Froyo before the Motorola Droid (vanilla Android) and the HTC Incredible (also HTC Sense UI) was only like two or three weeks after The Moto Droid. I use these year old examples because there aren't really and newer vanilla devices that are actually getting Gingerbread except of course the Nexus phones.

    Vanilla devices also typically have little or no bloatware and less carrier branding than other devices.

    I personally have no interest in a vanilla device except the Nexus Prime. The various skins (especially Sense) have added functionality that you have to download additional widgets and launchers (often at a cost) to duplicate (and even then they are not as nice), and even Motoblur is getting pretty good in the newest incarnations. Overall Touchwiz blows but it does have a couple nice features that I wish would be added to the others (e.g. the power management icons in the notification bar instead of wasting home screen space on them).
    08-25-2011 12:11 AM
  18. sndplace's Avatar
    If you think about it and people have posted it herein the first couple of pages... When companies put there skins on the phones, that have tested it on lots of people and if Sammy sold 10 million GS phones and 1 million of those people hate touchwiz. I don't feel that 10% of its customer base is a big # . the 90% either loves it or at least likes it. on the other hand most people change there skins anyway anyway , Even those with the beloved Sense... I myself have tried LP and AWD . i run Go Ex on my Coby tab.

    As VZWRocks said Its more for the Nexus name then the Vanilla part that I would get a V phone... If not a Nexus , then i will just stick to Sammy for now...
    08-25-2011 05:29 AM
  19. zackmack7's Avatar
    what exactly IS "vanilla Android"? I own an HTC Sensation, and by what everyone is saying, it runs the very opposite of vanilla android, because it uses HTC Sense. But cans someone explain to me what it is?
    08-25-2011 05:37 PM
  20. yankdez's Avatar
    what exactly IS "vanilla Android"? I own an HTC Sensation, and by what everyone is saying, it runs the very opposite of vanilla android, because it uses HTC Sense. But cans someone explain to me what it is?
    Manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc.) skin their phones to add/modify widgets, lockscreens, etc. From reading this thread, you can see some users like this, and other users dislike this. Some say it adds functionality, others say it slows the phone down and the skin looks like crap. Vanilla android is a non-skinned phone straight from google. All nexus phones run vanilla (aka stock) android. Search youtube for nexus vs sensation, and you'll understand.
    rickhamilton620 and zackmack7 like this.
    08-25-2011 06:04 PM
  21. rickhamilton620's Avatar
    Manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc.) skin their phones to add/modify widgets, lockscreens, etc. From reading this thread, you can see some users like this, and other users dislike this. Some say it adds functionality, others say it slows the phone down and the skin looks like crap. Vanilla android is a non-skinned phone straight from google. All nexus phones run vanilla (aka stock) android. Search youtube for nexus vs sensation, and you'll understand.
    Yep, the Motorola Droid 1 was also vanilla, with only the Amazon MP3 store preloaded. Quick question, do people consider the Xperia Play vanilla? It does have some Playstation software but that's because it's obviously a Playstation phone.
    08-25-2011 06:27 PM
  22. experiment 626's Avatar
    Yep, the Motorola Droid 1 was also vanilla, with only the Amazon MP3 store preloaded. Quick question, do people consider the Xperia Play vanilla? It does have some Playstation software but that's because it's obviously a Playstation phone.
    I always thought the Verizon Xperia Play was considered a Vanilla Android device since it doesn't come with SE's TimeScape or MediaScape programs like other SE Androids do. BTW, what exactly is the difference between a Nexus device and an Android device running plain Vanilla Android as it's OS?
    08-26-2011 11:48 AM
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