ex-"iOS fans" -- what is your favorite Android skin?

booyahbooyah

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2011
128
9
My 1.5 year old "iPad 3" crashes constantly while browsing the internet with Chrome. I don't want to use Safari for various reasons. I only want to use Chrome. I have decided to switch to Android.

I know there are quite a few of you who are researching Android alternatives.

Different companies have their own versions of Android (i.e. their own take on the user-facing UI).

Which skin do you like the most? Why?

Which skin would you tell others to avoid? Why?
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
My 1.5 year old "iPad 3" crashes constantly while browsing the internet with Chrome. I don't want to use Safari for various reasons. I only want to use Chrome. I have decided to switch to Android.

I know there are quite a few of you who are researching Android alternatives.

Different companies have their own versions of Android (i.e. their own take on the user-facing UI).

Which skin do you like the most? Why?

Which skin would you tell others to avoid? Why?
You might have better luck here:

http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=157
 

stockscalper

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2003
916
231
Area 51
Get a launcher like Apex or Nova and you can customize your tablet til the cows come home. You can change the icons en mass by installing a theme pack or you can download icons in png from the internets and just change the ones you want. Transition animation on the home screens and app drawer too. Buy Beautiful Widgets and you'll be able to add custom clocks and weather that's animated. I could go on and on, but once you dump that iPad and see what you've been missing you'll never go back.
 

jrswizzle

macrumors 603
Aug 23, 2012
6,109
128
McKinney, TX
Get a launcher like Apex or Nova and you can customize your tablet til the cows come home. You can change the icons en mass by installing a theme pack or you can download icons in png from the internets and just change the ones you want. Transition animation on the home screens and app drawer too. Buy Beautiful Widgets and you'll be able to add custom clocks and weather that's animated. I could go on and on, but once you dump that iPad and see what you've been missing you'll never go back.
Or you'll realize tweaking the look gets old and you just want a device that works consistently, efficiently and smoothly :p

Nova is the best. My favorite icons are the Stark icons. Other than that, its just up to what you wanna do.
 

SlCKB0Y

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2012
3,126
197
Sydney, Australia
Which skin do you like the most? Why?
I far prefer the stock Android found on Nexus devices - it is minimal, fast and gets updates faster. I also prefer how it looks.

Which skin would you tell others to avoid? Why?
In my opinion - all of them. They are bloated, slow the phones down, increase lead time for updates and generally don't appeal to me aesthetically.. Most of the extra features provided which I consider useful can be added using apps or widgets from the play store.
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2009
6,488
3,418
IMO, the best skin is no skin at all. I generally prefer the slimmed down simplicity of stock Android as you don't have to deal with any OEM apps or bloat ware--sort of like having a near blank canvas to work with. That being said, there can certainly be value found in some OEM skins, such as the functionality Moto added to the Moto X and some features of HTC's Sense (camera/photo/video features and BlinkFeed, though liking this feature probably puts me in the minority ;)).

I didn't mind Sense on my HTC One but from what I've seen, if I had to pick one to use, it would be Motorola's very light skinning of their X.
 

SlCKB0Y

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2012
3,126
197
Sydney, Australia
if I had to pick one to use, it would be Motorola's very light skinning of their X.
Me too. Though I don't really consider it to be a skin at all. The features added by moto have a basis in hardware and actually add useful features which cannot be achieved on other phones through software alone.

They are also almost completely stock which means speed and lack of bloat and they have been providing updates nearly as fast as Nexus devices have.

The Moto X and the Moto G have totally changed my opinion of Motorola for the better and I will be closely monitoring their future releases.
 

xchampx13

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2012
128
0
I like TW(yeah :p) and stock very much. I kinda go back and forth from TW and aosp ROMs every so often depending on what I want to use at the time.
 

Fanaticalism

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2013
908
156
I prefer stock when it comes to the core apps (dialer, music player etc) and homescreen interface but do like the notification center on touchwiz (aside from the hideous green).

If I could have air command with the core spen apps and stock droid, that would be my perfect combination. Right now I use the Google Experience Launcher with kitKat Dialer/Contacts that I got from the play store. Closest I'll get for now.

I would love vanilla through other areas if I could keep air command but instability that comes from roms is just not option for me (wish CM 11 was flawless, although I would need an answer to the locked boot loader on my ATT Note 3.)
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,312
8,706
Other
I'm enjoying Sense on my HTC One.
Yep SENSE 5/5.5 is my favourite skin on Android. Above even stock android.

It has the benefits of stock android in the sense it is extremely well optimised and doesn't act like a memory hog, but also provides all the extras that most of us want like customisable app drawer etc, all of which isn't in stock android.

It's stock apps are beautifully designed and simple things like swipe gestures to switch tabs in dialer & contacts all work beautifully.

It's stock messaging app is clean and smart and modern. Even it's stock keyboard aesthetically is great.

.........


Touchwiz actual launcher part isn't too bad but everything that goes with it is a total unadulterated abortion of graphical design and GUI structures.

Its bloated beyond belief, every element of stock apps are a legacy of design from 2007 and it shows. Dialer is cartoonish, contacts is ugly, SMS is just plain disgusting by modern standards.

Newer apps are better designed, S-Health, S-Note, S-Planner are all reasonable in themselves buy have NO coherence with anything else.

ChatOn is near useless but at least looks better than the stock SMS app.



It's a testament to the Note 3 that I'm willing to put up with an ugly GUI for a decent device...

It's also sad that HTC made me leave behind my favorite skin because of their camera.
 

Fanaticalism

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2013
908
156
.........

Touchwiz actual launcher part isn't too bad but everything that goes with it is a total unadulterated abortion of graphical design and GUI structures.

Its bloated beyond belief, every element of stock apps are a legacy of design from 2007 and it shows. Dialer is cartoonish, contacts is ugly, SMS is just plain disgusting by modern standards.

Newer apps are better designed, S-Health, S-Note, S-Planner are all reasonable in themselves buy have NO coherence with anything else.

ChatOn is near useless but at least looks better than the stock SMS app.



It's a testament to the Note 3 that I'm willing to put up with an ugly GUI for a decent device...

It's also sad that HTC made me leave behind my favorite skin because of their camera.
I've done everything I could aside from flashing roms (which I can't due to the boot loader) to create some consistency throughout the core apps primarily through using Googles core apps like Hangouts for SMS even though the stock SMS app is much more functional, kitkat dialer and contacts from the playstore etc(although it still transitions to TW inside of the call) and the GEL.

If you haven't tried the KK dialer, it really is at home on a large screen like the N3.
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,312
8,706
Other
I dunno just works OK for me. I use Alot of the s pen features and certain stuff on launchers doesn't work
Yeah I know what you mean - that's why I said the actual 'launcher' part itself of touchwiz I have no real problem with other than the app drawer icon being non positional. I'd prefer it in the middle or allow me to swap it to the left for my leftiness.

But yeah I do like the app drawer and how it's customisable, how the pen shows you a sneak preview of a folders contents and all that.

Even the Note 3 keyboard is great for me.

It's why despite using Nova and others - I actually just stick to using Touchwiz as Nova changes the parts that I don't have any problem with - it doesn't change the parts I do.

My issue with touchwiz lays primarily in the 'older' legacy stock apps that feel for me they are from a bygone day where design language has changed over the last number of years and been refined - they have not.

Likewise some apps work on the note 3 such as S-Planner where the bigger screen real estate allows you to make out all the info in the month view - whereas on for example the Galaxy S4 - S-planner can look like a cluttered mess.
 

Savor

Suspended
Jun 18, 2010
3,742
905
Sense 5

Got used to drawer being vertical since I tend to scroll up and down with BlinkFeed. And I really do like the default icons HTC used. I only have two homescreens but one page of icons. It matches well with the light blue from Holo and my wallpaper. The RAM is about 600 MB / 1.5 GB or 40% consumed. HTC did a good job revamping it.

I hope Samsung and LG do the same of revamping their's. Sony and Huawei have pretty nice skins as well. Sony is very minimalistic. Huawei's Emotion UI is very iOS but they have some very nice themes.
 

jrswizzle

macrumors 603
Aug 23, 2012
6,109
128
McKinney, TX
Sense 5

Got used to drawer being vertical since I tend to scroll up and down with BlinkFeed. And I really do like the default icons HTC used. I only have two homescreens but one page of icons. It matches well with the light blue from Holo and my wallpaper. The RAM is about 600 MB / 1.5 GB or 40% consumed. HTC did a good job revamping it.

I hope Samsung and LG do the same of revamping their's. Sony and Huawei have pretty nice skins as well. Sony is very minimalistic. Huawei's Emotion UI is very iOS but they have some very nice themes.
If the OEM skins is what we're talking about (I originally though we were discussing themes/launchers), this is my thought:

(1) Motorola's "stock" Android
(2) Sense







(999) TouchWiz
 

JH-

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2009
390
0
If the OEM skins is what we're talking about (I originally though we were discussing themes/launchers), this is my thought:

(1) Motorola's "stock" Android
(2) Sense







(£¢€¥Π°™=׶=℅®^Π™™¢¢]{∆∆) TouchWiz
Fixed