Android and Custom Skins

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Sense UI Android Skin

Whether its TouchWiz, Sense, Motoblur or HTC’s own Optimus, custom skins seem to have come to stay on Android smartphones. Almost every manufacturer of Android phones puts a custom skin or user interface on it.

Personally, I am not a big fan of skins unless they add significant functionality to the OS. They generally appear to me to spoil things – and in many cases affect the performance of the devices. If I had to pick my best custom skin, it would be HTC’s Sense UI. While not perfect, it seems to me that it makes more sense to Samsung’s TouchWiz. That’s my preference, but I am sure that there will be those who disagree.

I wish there was an option on each device to allow end-users disable the custom skin and enjoy the pure Android experience, especially with OS 4.0 (ICS) and above. Can Google make this a mandatory feature?

Android users, do you prefer the pure Android experience or very much prefer custom skins. If the latter, which skin is your preference?

  1. I guess by making it mandatory to have the option of disabling the skin, Google will go against the open source philosophy of Android. Remember that this is only a skin, some other hardware manufacturers like Amazon actually modify the software to their own taste. If you want the pure Android experience, you’ll have to buy a Nexus phone or tablet.

  2. There is nothing like pure Android, it just feels light and uncluttered.

    I strongly support that any thing manufacturers want to add should come as an app.

    Samsung should give me pure easily upgradable android and have special apps that only Samsung users can download. Finish.

    Look at Apple, iOS is so pure, and you can download Apple apps from the app store if you like, this makes the iOS so clean and organized.

  3. I have an earlier version of the Android OS on an HTC device and hated Sense UI – I literally changed everything about it.

    Having played around with a One X I agree, Sense UI on an ICS device is significantly nicer. Within the next year I will be getting devices with both Touch Wiz and Jelly Bean. Definitely looking forward to trying Jelly Bean and comparing.

    Having said that I wish there was a way, other than owning a Google Nexus device, for a “pure Android” experience.

  4. Of all the skins on android, sense is my best. The touch whiz is not interesting. That is why I rather use pure android (cm9) on my s2.

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