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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:40 PM   #1
Timzer
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Vanilla Android Not as desirable these days..

I love Android, but now that the OEMs have had time to mature their launchers, I feel vanilla Android no longer is as desirable to me. Now of course the average consumers doesn't really know all the different skins/launchers that come on Android phones. To them, it's just an Android phone. It's only when they change android devices that they realize something is different. I had a few co-workers that moved from a nexus s to the SGS3 and felt the GS3 ui "looked" and "worked" so much easier. I have to say it's Samsung in particular that has really improved on the Android experience. The old "Toucwiz Sucks" mantra just doesn't hold water with me anymore. Touchwiz on the GS1 is not the same Touchwiz on the GS3. The improvements are HUGE. Don't get me wrong, I can see how stock Android is completely desirable for many still, But here's a perfect video of what I mean in terms of improving stock Android. Start at 4:21 for the UI comparisons. How do you feel regarding Vanilla Android?


Last edited by Timzer; Feb 1, 2013 at 12:47 PM.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:56 PM   #2
onthecouchagain
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I find stock Android less and less necessary myself. It was a bigger deal back when OEM skins sucked terribly. Now that Samsung has demonstrated that it can actually put not only a good skin over it, but that it can do so with adding genuinely new and useful features, stock Android actually feels like it's missing out.

Also, it's gotten to a point where OEMs are mostly shipping with Android versions that have become so stable and feature-rich in themselves that immediate updates just aren't that important anymore. I mean, Key Lime Pie will certainly give us some new things, and they'll be desirable even, but while we wait for that update from Samsung/carriers, Jelly Bean will do more than just fine.

And, you have to give props to Samsung for not just updating their lines to the latest Android then calling it a day. They're actually updating it with new features. The S3 got the multi-window feature in an update pack full of new things recently. In fact, the update had to be rolled out in two parts cause there was so much. It may have come well after JB was available for Nexus, but it came relatively soon (better than years' past) and came with more features than even JB offers itself. Kudos to them.

The price of having stock Android and direct updates from Google is also quite heavy. No LTE (which would be okay if we actually got the promised battery life), no larger storage size options than 16GB (makes no sense), and usually have limited choice of manufacturing (aka whoever Google chooses). There are other tradeoffs too, like, you're really the test-audience for Google's latest OS. Updates usually come bug-filled. 4.2 is still a mess with no update in sight. Also, due to the lack of popularity of the Nexus brand, you don't get as many accessories, peripherals, etc.

Each passing day with my Nexus 4, I grow less and less attached to stock Android and the Nexus program as a whole.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:59 PM   #3
Technarchy
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The enticing thing about stock android is access to easy updates...in theory.

But in terms of functionality and visual appeal, Touchwiz is better to me.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 01:01 PM   #4
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Used to like it purely because it was a lot faster than HTC Sense on the HTC Desire and Touchwiz on the Galaxy S2, but on the S3, Touchwiz is really fast.

I prefer the look of stock Android but like the extra features added by Touchwiz.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:13 PM   #5
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What about tablets? I am looking for a tablet and considering getting Android because the iPad is rather expensive. With respect to Android, I have very little experience and frankly I am not even sure if tablets get 'skinned' like smart phones....
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by VulchR View Post
What about tablets? I am looking for a tablet and considering getting Android because the iPad is rather expensive. With respect to Android, I have very little experience and frankly I am not even sure if tablets get 'skinned' like smart phones....
They do get skinned.

I've only ever used one Android tablet and that's the Nexus7, which is pretty laggy. Being stock Android hasn't done much good
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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I've only used touchwiz so I can't really compare the two but I do love the features Samsung has provided. However, I like the visual/look of stock android so I installed Nova Launcher and feels its a nice blend of the two without losing all the touchwiz features.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VulchR View Post
What about tablets? I am looking for a tablet and considering getting Android because the iPad is rather expensive. With respect to Android, I have very little experience and frankly I am not even sure if tablets get 'skinned' like smart phones....
They do - My Samsung Galaxy Tab has Touchwiz on it. I find that some of the elements of Touchwiz I like, while some of them are plain annoying. It's a shame there's no way to get rid of some of the stuff without rooting.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 04:51 PM   #9
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I do like the new versions of touchwiz. The two biggest thing I don't like that Google has done is release 4.2 clearly before its ready and make chrome the default on the nexus 4, 7, and 10. The stock android browser is much faster and smoother.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 05:12 PM   #10
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Even LG is getting the skin thing right.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 05:18 PM   #11
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I quite like vanilla Android on my Nexus 7 but I did get bored of CyanogenMod 9 on my HTC, although the alternative of the ****** RUU HTC ROM didn't exactly entice me away from it either.

I've not used the new version of TouchWiz extensively but it does seem to be a reasonable improvement on the crappy old versions and it's very visually pleasing too.

However, there's still something to be said for vanilla Android, and I do like it on my tablet like I said. But I am becoming more open to skinned Android too now that OEMs are actually putting effort into making them good.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 05:29 PM   #12
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Vanilla android is barebones, less cluttered and minimalistic. As a long time apple user that is how I prefer my operating systems and products in general. And you can always add features to it and customize it the way you want it. Although I know that that is probably a hassle for most people.

And correct me if I am wrong but its generally less buggy too compared to skinned OEM versions.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 06:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post

The price of having stock Android and direct updates from Google is also quite heavy. No LTE
Not really an issue for those on T-Mobile ( I regularly pull between 15-30 megs). For those on AT&T, I can understand it being more of an issue since their HSPA+ speeds are a lot slower.

Quote:
(which would be okay if we actually got the promised battery life),
Battery life currently is nothing more than average, but that will be changing.

Quote:
Updates usually come bug-filled. 4.2 is still a mess with no update in sight.
It may not be in your sight, but that doesn't mean it isn't coming.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 07:27 PM   #14
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I made a decision a year or so ago to never purchase a non-Nexus device.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 07:49 PM   #15
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I find one of many Android advantages to be the wonderful array of choices when it comes to how the OS can be tailored if one so chooses. My Nexus 4 allows an unlimited amount of customizing.

Or conversely, it's fast smooth & fun just the way it came out of the box. Updates are pushed out & install easily & without user intervention just as smoothly as iOS updates do.

Android's matured quite significantly as of late. Versions 4.0.x or higher are stable, full featured & well debugged.

That said, I'm also using my iPhone 5, iPad mini, & iPad 4 with great enjoyment. Unlike many I don't find iOS 6.1 boring, or dull or even stale for that matter.

When I have two mobile platforms as well sorted & enjoyable as these two, I simply use & enjoy them. Perfect their not, yet if they were I'd be terribly bored.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 08:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by The iGentleman View Post
Not really an issue for those on T-Mobile ( I regularly pull between 15-30 megs). For those on AT&T, I can understand it being more of an issue since their HSPA+ speeds are a lot slower.


Battery life currently is nothing more than average, but that will be changing.


It may not be in your sight, but that doesn't mean it isn't coming.

Do you have more info regarding 4.2.2? I would love to know.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 09:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post
Do you have more info regarding 4.2.2? I would love to know.
lol
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post
Do you have more info regarding 4.2.2? I would love to know.
Regarding battery life, what would you consider good battery life?
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:52 PM   #19
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To ME, OEM skins are sometimes dripping with skeuomorphism. Which is really the current issue with iOS UI. Look at many touchwiz apps (e.g. calendar) and boy, you can see where samsung is getting the inspiration from.

Look at google apps on iOS and the letterpress game, and see how nice the flat lines and UI elements look. That is the "modern UI" design google is pushing in stock android. Clean, minimalist, to the point, not using stupid gradients and faux real world elements.


That is what metro in Windows 8/WP8 is, however IMO MS overdid it a bit.

That is why BB10 looks nicer.

I also hated on vanilla android for a while, but now i know that is the only true futuristic option. If there ever was a decent nexus with 2 days battery life like the GS3 and note, great camera, i would have kept myself on android despite lack of some niche apps i enjoy on iOS.

Thank goodness the new JB is almost out for iOS6.1 so i am not going to switch again. However i have a close look at BB10. It looks far interesting to ME than android skins.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 03:02 AM   #20
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I am absolutely with you Timzer!
Since the Touchwiz iteration on the S3/Note2 I prefer Touchwiz by far over Vanilla Android.
When I got my S2, I installed a custom launcher the second day I got it.
Touchwiz has improved really well between the S2 and S3, cant wait to see, what the next version of Touchwiz willbe like on the S4.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:01 AM   #21
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I always liked TouchWiz, Samsung adds so much functionality into it.

HTC's Sense though is bloated and slow, although still much more functional than stock.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:17 AM   #22
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Touchwiz is currently easily the best version of android adding in features the nexus doesn't have and can't have.

. The galaxy Note II is easily the best phone CURRENTLY on the market with the galaxy S III being the 2nd best then the dna then the nexus 4, then the iphone 5.


Samsung has it right
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:53 AM   #23
onthecouchagain
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Originally Posted by The iGentleman View Post
Regarding battery life, what would you consider good battery life?
What I was pulling down with my old Galaxy Nexus.

I do almost the same exact things with my Nexus 4 through a typical day that I used to do with my Galaxy Nexus, and at the end of the day, the battery meter is significantly lower than what I'd come home with with the GN.

It's not scientific, of course, but in the morning when I get into work, I would usually be at ~92% with the GN constantly playing music, browsing Flipboard, some websites, some texts. Doing almost the same exact thing with my Nexus 4, I get into work with ~86%.

Just little things like that tell me the battery is just not up to snuff. And my Nexus 4 brightness setting is ridiculously low (I think the screen is gorgeously too bright).

Anyway, I was able to dig up some old photos of my GN battery life:

Thumb resize. Thumb resize.

This one is even more amazing:

Thumb resize. Thumb resize.



Here's are recent Nexus 4 photos:

Thumb resize. Thumb resize.


Again, not a 1 to 1 comparison, but you can already tell one does better than the other.

4.2.2 needs to come. :T
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:55 AM   #24
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Could not agree more with the post in this thread. Getting pure android now is just selling yourself short b.c lack of built in features. I am waiting to see what iOS 7 brings to the table and if it is not a "radicle" change then the s4 will be bought
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:58 AM   #25
matttye
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Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post
What I was pulling down with my old Galaxy Nexus.

I do almost the same exact things with my Nexus 4 through a typical day that I used to do with my Galaxy Nexus, and at the end of the day, the battery meter is significantly lower than what I'd come home with with the GN.

It's not scientific, of course, but in the morning when I get into work, I would usually be at ~92% with the GN constantly playing music, browsing Flipboard, some websites, some texts. Doing almost the same exact thing with my Nexus 4, I get into work with ~86%.

Just little things like that tell me the battery is just not up to snuff. And my Nexus 4 brightness setting is ridiculously low (I think the screen is gorgeously too bright).

Anyway, I was able to dig up some old photos of my GN battery life:

Thumb resize. Thumb resize.

This one is even more amazing:

Thumb resize. Thumb resize.



Here's are recent Nexus 4 photos:

Thumb resize. Thumb resize.


Again, not a 1 to 1 comparison, but you can already tell one does better than the other.

4.2.2 needs to come. :T
Couldnt this be because the Galaxy Nexus had a Super AMOLED screen and the Nexus 4 has IPS? Android is a very dark OS, so the benefits of using AMOLED are great.
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