Bad skins hurting Android's reputation?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Fernandez21, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    Jun 16, 2010
    #1
    I thought this was interesting, as I have now come across this with 3 different people. In this case all 3 are are average people, not into tech at all like we are. 2 are coming from a galaxy s3 and have been asking me about when the next iPhone is coming out because they want to upgrade but don't want another android phone because of their experience with the s3.

    The other is my wife whose expierence with android was an older HTC device with sense 4 and my old galaxy note 3. This week I got her a new phone to use until the next iPhone comes out, and she refused any android phone and went with the BB Z10, even though I explained to her that the moto x (my choice for her) was a much better version of android than what she used before and even showing her my HTC One m8 GPE wasn't enough to convince her as she stated she just didn't like android that much after using her note.

    Has anyone else come across this with "normal" people having a bad taste in their mouth using a crappy android skin and thinking all android devices are like this? I think apple is going to have a field day as all those gs3 owners are up for upgrades this year. And to be frank touchwiz IMO has been horrible, especially on older devices like the gs3, though I do hope they don't think all android phones are like that. Stock android, moto x, and Sense 6 are fantastic IMO, on par if not better than current iOS.

    On the opposite spectrum I did have a friend get his first smartphone ever, a Moto X, and he loves it. Still trying to adjust to the touchscreen, but he really isn't into tech at all and has actually enjoyed getting into his new phone.
     
  2. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

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    #2
    No, because you have so many options with Android. Don't like Touchwiz? Try HTC, Sony, Huawei, Motorola or LG? Don't like any? Choose one of the many of the available launchers available and throw in a load of widgets while you're at it, all without rooting.
     
  3. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #3
    Except when you go into just about any carrier store (at least in he US), he most prominent advertising is either for Apple or Samsung. I realized this example is purely anecdotal but a friend runs a local AT&T store and says sales of anything not Apple or Samsung are minuscule by comparison. Most average consumer just look at you funny if you ask them if they use a launcher.

    I certainly don't think we're going to see a mass migration from Android to iOS, same as we haven't seem the reverse happen over the past couple of years. That being said, I've also had a handful of current Android users inquire about the upcoming iPhone (knowing I follow tech news a bit more than most ;)), more so than ever in the past. In most cases these people left iOS to try a larger screened device but now that Apple is almost certainly going to be offering larger devices, they're ready to try an iPhone again.

    I won't be surprised at all if we see a couple percentage point swing in market share back towards iOS after the 4th quarter this year.
     
  4. Cnasty macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    #4
    Yup.

    Touchwiz/KitKat destroyed my Note 3 experience. Great hardware but over Android after this last experience.

    I gave them another try after an average experience on my S3 but that started to lag bad towards the end of life so I gave the Note 3 a shot.

    Everything was great until KitKat and then there was random restarts, terrible battery life, and just varying issues.

    I came to Android from iOS and enjoyed the customizable ability but I can't stand the inconsistencies of the operating system that come out of nowhere.

    Yes, I can root or whatever or buy a non-Samsung device as I have heard stock Android is a totally different experience but I am leaving for a bit. I may be back though down the road with a non-Samsung device.
     
  5. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #5
    If I know someone is not technical inclined, I always recommend an iPhone. It was built and designed for the most technologically ignorant people on the planet. (This is not knocking the iPhone. The phone is simply designed to take care of the user by handling most tasks behind the scenes, which usually means a better experience, since the user is mostly taken out of the equation.)
     
  6. digi999 macrumors member

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    Jul 3, 2014
    #6
    Except stock Android is hideous and bland and, if it wasn't for skins like Sense or Samsung, Android wouldn't be popular at all.
     
  7. aneftp macrumors 601

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    Jul 28, 2007
    #7
    I use all types of phones.

    But you are correct. IPhone is recommended for average consumer.

    I like to call it the 80/20 rule. The IPhone makes it very simple to do 80% of daily tasks by average consumer. And Apple does it so much easier than android.

    Most people don't care for customization.
     
  8. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #8
    Agree. I used to be all in favor of customizing, either via Cydia and jailbreaking or rooting on Android. Got tired of dealing with tweaking and prefer to use stock software. If I can customize the look of the lock and homescreen, like on WP or Android, I'm happy. I just prefer a nice and smooth UI now, whether that be WP, IOS or Vanilla Android.

    ----------

    Damn harsh. Hate to see what you think about IOS. Yikes.
     
  9. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #9
    I owned the S3 back in 2012 and it was my last Android device. I had a series of devices from HTC before that and was mostly happy with each in the short term until updates started slowing everything down. I was over the moon with the S3 when I first had it although I felt it was a little big or that was the perception I had even though the iPhone isn't much smaller. I pre-ordered the iPhone 5 as my wife had been trying to get me to convert for a couple of years. For me the iPhone was a massive upgrade to the S3 and I have been very happy with it for nearly 2 years now.

    My experience with Android was good and I enjoyed using it from its early days, but I enjoy iOS more I think. It might be basic and for some restrictive, but its reliable and easy to use which I like. I haven't found it restrictive at all. I found what worked for me and its different for everybody. I say try different platforms and find what you like. :)
     
  10. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #10
    I wouldn't say today's pure Android is Android is hideous and bland, but it sure was before Jelly Bean.

    I agree that skins like TouchWiz and Sense made Android more popular than what it would have been. Although Android would have been popular regardless due to wide device range.
     
  11. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #11
    Put it this way - you can tell precisely why Google wants to control Android far more tightly now.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #12
    I think early on that argument held more water, now not so much. I think those skins bring a lot of flexibility and options to the users, and a minimal cost. I still would prefer a stock device from google over a manufacturer though.

    Not because of the skins but the speed of updates, I'd rather get it straight from google.
     
  13. Eddie Bombay macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2011
    #13
    Can't change my TV with an iPhone so no thanks.
     
  14. Dontazemebro macrumors 68020

    Dontazemebro

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    #14
    I used to be a stock Android loyalist but I prefer the skins now, if for no other reason than the feature set. Sure, stock Android is more cohesive and not as eye gougingly gaudy but as a whole, it can be skinned by the user so it defeats the purpose. For me, stock Android lacks too many features that I've become accustomed to using. No IR blaster, no smart features like Air gesture, no multi window, limited launcher options. Just limited period.

    One thing I do detest about stock are the abnormally large icons. Don't know why Google went with the icons by playskool look.
     
  15. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #15
    Hahahaha!!
    You can't make a cup of tea with it either lol... Seriously speaking though I can change the channel on my TV with my iPhone if I so wish and can alter the volume. I downloaded the official app for my setup and it works but is a bit of a novelty.
     
  16. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

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    #16
    Absolutely. In fact it's the only reason I picked a Moto X (I would've gone Nexus 5 instead but I'm stuck on Verizon and I don't have the means to pay for my own network right now).

    I will say that while TouchWiz on the Galaxy S5 and LG's UI on the G3 are definitely HUGE improvements over the previous versions, it's still something that I feel Google should stop, especially with Android L coming out. It causes each device to be inconsistent. Your computer, tablet, phone, and watch are ALL going to look different. The general public is going to basically relearn each new phone and each new device because each OEM decides to throw something different in. Not to mention a lot of what they add is useless/frivolous.

    That's one reason why I like iOS and Windows's approach - a consistent UI across ALL devices that mirrors on your computers as well (iOS & Yosemite/WP8.1 & W8.1 & X1).

    While I do like these other devices, unless I can unlock the bootloader and install AOSP/get a Google Play edition, it'll be Moto/Nexus devices for me.
     
  17. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

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    #17
    My experience is the complete opposite. Back in the Android 2.x days, things like Sense brought a lot of features to phones which were not available in AOSP and might not have been available as apps due to the limited app store at the time.

    The amount of features gained since Jelly Bean has made these skins redundant and they only serve to slow down what are otherwise very fast phones.

    ----------

    The GPE version of the GS4 and HTC One beg to differ.
     
  18. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #18
    IR blaster has nothing to do with Android??? It's a hardware feature. And what do you mean by limited launcher options? You can load any launcher you want, regardless if it is a phone running Sense, Touchwiz, etc...

    Air gestures and multi-window are Touchwiz based options, so I have to assume you are referencing Samsung phones and therefore you should list Sense and Sony's UI's as being just as 'limited' as stock Android. Or simply say that you think that Touchwiz is the best, and the rest are crap.

    Or maybe I'm just having difficulty understanding your post altogether?
     
  19. mrex, Jul 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014

    mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #19
    I must say that I didnt understand your post at all. Are you talking about Android or devices like Samsung vs. other? You are talking about hw, then Touchwiz properties and finally claiming lack of launchers that are so many as you can possible ever think.

    I personally dont see difference using stock android (like nexus) or Samsung Touchwiz. Or maybe im notnusing some nice features TW has. Dont know, both works the same way for me...

    How about turning the tv on or control other devices (cable/hifi/players...)?
     
  20. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #20
    I've so far converted two different handsets to GPE devices, my old HTC One M7 and my current Motorola Moto-G. I love the GPE program and the clever people that make it possible to convert retail handsets to GPE ones, especially as they aren't available worldwide.

    I hope that the GPE program remains.

    ----------

    I remember having pinch to zoom on my old Cupcake based HTC Hero thanks to Sense UI. Sense was also phenomenal over stock on the Cupcake and Eclair days. :)

    Custom modifications did serve their purpose in the early days.
     
  21. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #21
    We used to have 'Youview' and that has an app that lets you control the TV too. I use the 'Freesat' app now as that is what service I have and the app is very good. I tend to use the remote control though as its laying around the lounge and is less fuss. You don't have to unlock it and scroll for the app as the remote has all the buttons you want right there lol.

    I also have Sony wireless speakers and use an app called 'Whale'. You can turn on the devices, adjust volume, and build playlists and queue music from your phone. Its good for parties and is of course a lot like Airplay. So to answer your question yes you can do those things on the phone :)
     
  22. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #22
    Sorry, my misstake. I ment devices without a wireless option as most of us still have at home.

    But anyway, can you really turn on e.g. tv when it is in sleeping mode? I have thought that they turn off wireless card when sleeping. I dont have a wireless tv, so I cant try that.
     
  23. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #23
    I doubt you can turn the TV off standby mode. I operate the receiver box from the app and that changes the channel, alters volume etc. It doesn't beam straight to the TV but the box that it is connected to. I'm sure the latest smart televisions let you do this though, but I couldn't be certain :)
     
  24. Tig Bitties macrumors 68030

    Tig Bitties

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    #24
    It's funny you started this thread, I was just thinking of this last night after going to my local ATT store, to discuss some billing issues.

    FYI, I have the HTC One M8, rooted, and running the GPE ROM.

    I am a phone nerd, and love checking out the newest phones, and I left there happiest still with my awesome M8 GPE, nothing there, even remotely made me want to upgrade or switch phones.

    - LG G3 size wise was really good, is cool LG could fit that 5.5" screen in such a small form factor, but other than that, not impressed at all with the G3, it lagged, and the UI was a mix of Touchwiz and Sense, and just looked generic with no identity, and the screen for being 1440p, didn't impress for some reason, it looked good, but not blow my socks off awesome good.

    - Galaxy S5 = yuck :rolleyes: I hate Touchwiz, my last Samsung phone was the terrible S4, which lagged all the time, and poor build quality. Yes the S5 is a major improvement over the S4, but still I have zero reason to like this phone, nothing about it impresses me at all. I guess the waterproof part is great.

    - iPhone 5S = LOL, uh NO. Not even worth commenting on that outdated tiny Fischer Price toy phone.

    - Note 3 = Not bad, that seems much nicer than the S5, it felt smoother than the S5 ins tore, but Touchwiz still sucks.


    But leaving the store with my M8 GPE, with stock vanilla Android, it just looks so minimalistic and nice, is super smooth, and not cluttered up like all the other UI's, and just feels and looks more comfortable. I am shocked that the Nexus or stock Android phones are the #1 biggest sellers for Android, they just blow away Samsung, LG, and HTC's offerings.
     
  25. gotluck, Jul 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014

    gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #25
    I am a GPE Fanboy :p
    as said IR blaster works on gpe (Even watchon sideloaded - which i use, or other IR apps work too)
    no multiwindow / airview though, I'll take the fast updates and performance over them though

    GPE S4 4.4.4 running strong, ready for L (no preview :( )

    regarding the low sales, I believe the only stock android device available widely in carrier stores is the moto x

    Nexus 5 is only actually sold at sprint stores, carrier stores i mean, right? not sure about worldwide

    IMO, people dont know what skins are. It is just android. Even though samsung, lg, htc are all quite different. People try samsung, dont like it, and claim they just dont like 'android'. It's too much for most to wrap their head around.

    IMO Google would do well to reign it in a bit, but that's quite contrary to the 'you can do whatever you want' attitude that comes with android.

    Everytime I see a feature I am jealous of in a skin (that cannot be replicated by other apps, which are few and far between) that jealousy is gone when the next android update comes out and that respective phone takes 6 months to get it. not to mention security updates.. I would rather have android features than skin features. If you buy new phones all the time, it doesnt really matter .. but I am one to hold on to my phone for a while.
     

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