Google requires stock android theme on all 4.0 Devices with Android Market

0000757

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Google is rightfully proud of its native theme in Ice Cream Sandwich. Dubbed Holo, it's intuitive, functional and -- dare we say it -- downright sexy. Now, in an effort to provide all users with a consistent interface, the company is making the theme essential for all Android 4.0 devices that come bundled with the Android Market. That's right, the stock, undiluted experience. Don't be alarmed, though, because manufacturer customizations aren't going anywhere, and the changes aren't terribly drastic. In fact, for users of Sense, TouchWiz and the like, Google is issuing architectural mandates that will make it dead simple for independent developers to create apps that fit nicely into these customized environments, complete with the proper widgets and colors. In other words, app designers may effortlessly choose between Holo or the manufacturer's default theme when considering the software's interface -- although, we'd really love to see this decision extended to end-users.
Quote comes from this Engadget story, and you can also learn more on the Android Dev Blog

Quote from the Android Dev Blog:
In Android 4.0, Holo is different. We’ve made the inclusion of the unmodified Holo theme family a compatibility requirement for devices running Android 4.0 and forward. If the device has Android Market it will have the Holo themes as they were originally designed.

This standardization goes for all of the public Holo widget styles as well. The Widget.Holo styles will be stable from device to device, safe for use as parent styles for incremental customizations within your app.
So, now all the Android users don't have to look at Samsung's terrible TouchWiz UI or Sony Ericsson's....whatever that garbage is, and you have to admit, like Android or not, the new UI has some really good visual styles that maybe iOS 6 could learn from.
 
Last edited:

boss.king

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Apr 8, 2009
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Quote comes from this Engadget story, and you can also learn more on the Android Dev Blog

So, now all the Android users don't have to look at Samsung's terrible Sense UI or Sony Ericsson's....whatever that garbage is! :D
Samsung Sense? Surely you mean HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz.

I am glad that they've stopped the custom skins though.
 

pjo

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Feb 20, 2006
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not sure this is the right forum for this thread, but doesn't that mean that once droids start updating to ICS there won't be a real reason to get a nexus prime?
 

KnightWRX

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None of you are understanding the story. This is not about the UI. People will still get HTC's Sense or Samsung's TouchWiz.

This is about widget theming in apps. Before, Samsung, HTC, Sony, Motorola could remove Google's theme and replace it with their own and all applications would use the color/design of the vendor's theme. Now, they'll have to option on a per app basis to use Holo, Google's theme.

In other words, an app will look the same running on every device if the app developer picks Holo. 1 set of screenshot on the market will look the same on your phone.

This says nothing of the actual "desktop" UI, which would still be a skin (TouchWiz, Sense, Blur, whatever).
 

0000757

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Dec 16, 2011
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None of you are understanding the story. This is not about the UI. People will still get HTC's Sense or Samsung's TouchWiz.

This is about widget theming in apps. Before, Samsung, HTC, Sony, Motorola could remove Google's theme and replace it with their own and all applications would use the color/design of the vendor's theme. Now, they'll have to option on a per app basis to use Holo, Google's theme.

In other words, an app will look the same running on every device if the app developer picks Holo. 1 set of screenshot on the market will look the same on your phone.

This says nothing of the actual "desktop" UI, which would still be a skin (TouchWiz, Sense, Blur, whatever).
But they can't replace Holo and use their own theme. Sony can't replace the stock android scheme and put their own horrid...whatever it's called UI Skin. It may not be stock, but it won't be demented like TouchWiz or Sense.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
But they can't replace Holo and use their own theme. Sony can't replace the stock android scheme and put their own horrid...whatever it's called UI Skin. It may not be stock, but it won't be demented like TouchWiz or Sense.
Manufacturers can still replace the Default Theme as usual. Most widgets / apps will probably continue to use that, so they look native on any device.

All this is doing is adding a standard theme (Holo) for developers to use if they wish their widget or app to look the same everywhere.

Btw, I think some people get confused about themes vs. homescreen launchers. The latter are easy to change.

Personally, I love HTC's Sense UI (colors, launcher, widgets), and so do a lot of other people. On the HTC Flyer, it's terrific and so are their full screen widgets.
 

0000757

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Dec 16, 2011
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Manufacturers can still replace the Default Theme as usual. Most widgets / apps will probably continue to use that, so they look native on any device.

All this is doing is adding a standard theme (Holo) for developers to use if they wish their widget or app to look the same everywhere.

Btw, I think some people get confused about themes vs. homescreen launchers. The latter are easy to change.

Personally, I love HTC's Sense UI (colors, launcher, widgets), and so do a lot of other people. On the HTC Flyer, it's terrific and so are their full screen widgets.
Sense isn't bad on their higher-end phones (Evo 4G, Rezound), but it's their designed-for-lowerend phones (Merge for example) that suffer and run bad with it.
 

KnightWRX

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But they can't replace Holo and use their own theme. Sony can't replace the stock android scheme and put their own horrid...whatever it's called UI Skin. It may not be stock, but it won't be demented like TouchWiz or Sense.
Yes, they can still replace the default UI and use whatever they want. Again, read the story and understand this is not about TouchWiz, MotoBlur, Sense or Rachael, it's about the widget set used by Applications.

App developers can now either force Holo or use the "current selected theme". That's it. Your HTC phone would still be have a Sense UI. Your Samsung phone would still have a TouchWiz UI. Your Sony phone would still have Rachael.

A widget theme is not a UI. I think the best example, though this may fly straight over people's head, is GTK+ themes vs the Gnome or XFCE desktops. Both Gnome or XFCE desktop environnements use GTK+. You can theme GTK+ (Ubuntu uses Human as their default theme). What this article is saying is that Google would force everyone to ship their "GTK+" theme known as Holo, but everyone could still either choose to run XFCE or Gnome as the UI.

XFCE/Gnome = Sense, TouchWiz, MotoBlur, Rachael
GTK+ = Holo
 

*LTD*

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Feb 5, 2009
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Yes, they can still replace the default UI and use whatever they want. Again, read the story and understand this is not about TouchWiz, MotoBlur, Sense or Rachael, it's about the widget set used by Applications.

App developers can now either force Holo or use the "current selected theme". That's it. Your HTC phone would still be have a Sense UI. Your Samsung phone would still have a TouchWiz UI. Your Sony phone would still have Rachael.

A widget theme is not a UI. I think the best example, though this may fly straight over people's head, is GTK+ themes vs the Gnome or XFCE desktops. Both Gnome or XFCE desktop environnements use GTK+. You can theme GTK+ (Ubuntu uses Human as their default theme). What this article is saying is that Google would force everyone to ship their "GTK+" theme known as Holo, but everyone could still either choose to run XFCE or Gnome as the UI.

XFCE/Gnome = Sense, TouchWiz, MotoBlur, Rachael
GTK+ = Holo
Sounds like a complete mess.
 

*LTD*

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Stay away from the mess with a Nexus device.
Which one is the most "faithful" to how Android should be? I have only used an SGS2 and while I wasn't blown away, it did seem better in comparison to at least a couple of the HTCs I've used.
 

roadbloc

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Aug 24, 2009
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Which one is the most "faithful" to how Android should be? I have only used an SGS2 and while I wasn't blown away, it did seem better in comparison to at least a couple of the HTCs I've used.
Your opinion is anecdotal.
 

ChazUK

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*LTD* said:
Stay away from the mess with a Nexus device.
Which one is the most "faithful" to how Android should be? I have only used an SGS2 and while I wasn't blown away, it did seem better in comparison to at least a couple of the HTCs I've used.
The only two pure Android devices that are currently supported are the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus.

Whilst the SGSII is one of the better examples of an Android handset, I'm not a fan of the iOS-ification of Android with their TouchWiz layer.
 

*LTD*

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The only two pure Android devices that are currently supported are the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus.

Whilst the SGSII is one of the better examples of an Android handset, I'm not a fan of the iOS-ification of Android with their TouchWiz layer.
I see what you're talking about. It looks like this is what Google officially puts their name to:

http://www.google.com/nexus/

It's probably as close to vertical integration as Google gets (assuming they don't just haphazardly put their name to it for basic marketing purposes.) I think I'll spend some time with it and get a feel for what Google intends Android to be.

At first blush, if I were a Google/Android fan I'd probably confine myself to this particular Android device.
 

ChazUK

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Feb 3, 2008
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I see what you're talking about. It looks like this is what Google officially puts their name to:

http://www.google.com/nexus/

It's probably as close to vertical integration as Google gets (assuming they don't just haphazardly put their name to it for basic marketing purposes.) I think I'll spend some time with it and get a feel for what Google intends Android to be.

At first blush, if I were a Google/Android fan I'd probably confine myself to this particular Android device.
Going from Nexus One to Nexus S then Galaxy Nexus hasn't been bad at all and probably why my Android experience has been more positive than other experiences.

I've been lucky enough not to deal with Motorola's locked bootloaders, borked updates or Samsungs sloooooow update releases (my SGSII is still on Android 2.3.4 I should say).

I got burned hard by an Orange UK branded HTC Hero which sat on Android 1.5 for months and was eventually updated to 1.6 at around the time Eclair (2.0) was released. Not only did HTC Sense slow down the release of the firmware, Orange UK sat on it for months to add their "optimisations" when it was eventually released. During this time the Nexus One was launched and I imported one in from Google as soon as it was released.

EDIT: Not entirely sure why you're being downvoted for that comment either as it makes sense from my experience! :)
 

*LTD*

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Going from Nexus One to Nexus S then Galaxy Nexus hasn't been bad at all and probably why my Android experience has been more positive than other experiences.

I've been lucky enough not to deal with Motorola's locked bootloaders, borked updates or Samsungs sloooooow update releases (my SGSII is still on Android 2.3.4 I should say).

I got burned hard by an Orange UK branded HTC Hero which sat on Android 1.5 for months and was eventually updated to 1.6 at around the time Eclair (2.0) was released. Not only did HTC Sense slow down the release of the firmware, Orange UK sat on it for months to add their "optimisations" when it was eventually released. During this time the Nexus One was launched and I imported one in from Google as soon as it was released.

EDIT: Not entirely sure why you're being downvoted for that comment either as it makes sense from my experience! :)
There's this small group of towering intellects on MR that down-vote everything I say, no matter what it is.