How does Android actually work?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by lewismayell, May 13, 2013.

  1. lewismayell macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Ok, so I hope this is the right place. But I'm just curious, it sounds like a stupid question but what I mean is, why does each phone/company running android on their phones have a different look, for example i think the GS4 and HTC one both run the same version of android but have quite a lot of difference aesthetically. Also the nexus 4 has a different look. So, sorry that was a bit long winded, but why is this?
     
  2. viskon macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2012
    #2
    The different looks are a way for the different manufacturers to differentiate themselves. While the base of the software is Android, manufacturers add their own unique skins, bells and whistles to give their products their unique identity.
    The Nexus devices are pure Android, the way Google meant Android to be.
     
  3. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #3
    Android is modular by design. Everything runs as a separate activity. You can design a launcher and your own app "activities" and replace the google made activities by yours. Hence the reason it is also so customizable.
     
  4. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #4
    Android is open source, so anyone can take it and swap out their own versions of apps before they ship it on a device. It's like Linux on PCs - Ubuntu and Mint are both based on Debian and they're essentially the same OS, but they use different window environments, different apps, etc for a different user experience.
     
  5. lewismayell thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Ohhh, thanks guys, it seems obvious now haha, it was bugging me.
     
  6. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

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  7. b166er macrumors 68020

    b166er

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    #7
    That's one of my big gripes with Android, or more so, the people who hate it. Saying you use Android is like saying you drive an automobile. They come in many shapes and sizes, and so does Android. Some good, some great, some terrible.

    Use a Kindle Fire VS a Nexus 7 and they share literally no resemblance. But the Fire is technically running Android.

    iOS and WP8 are more or less universal regardless of the device you're using. Android is so highly tinkered with by third parties that you can be using it and not even realize it.
     
  8. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

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    #8
    I think that when most people talk about Android devices, they mean devices that are approved by Google and has access to the Play Store. This excludes Amazon devices. Although the Kindle Fire does run Android, it does not have access to the Play Store. At least that is what I mean most of the time when I refer to Android.
     
  9. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    #9
    Actually when most people say they have android they really have no idea what they mean. They just know they don't have an iPhone. I'm not even joking... Speaking about the general public. If I said touchwiz to my friends I would get weird looks.
     
  10. b166er macrumors 68020

    b166er

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    #10
    Yeah even Touchwiz VS a Nexus. They don't look that much alike, but they are both Android, and Samsung makes it abundantly clear that they use Android for their Galaxy line up. But when I first got my S4 the other day I had never used touchwiz before. So even though I'm familiar with Android, there was still a learning curve for the S4.

    For the most part I like Touchwiz, some of it is not so great though. I had to put Nova Launcher on it, I feel that greatly improves the experience. For me anyway.
     
  11. hexonxonx macrumors 601

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    #11
    I have an two year old Samsung that uses an older version of Touchwiz. It was unusable when texting and trying to type out anything else on the phone. Once in a while on my Nexus 4 which is pure Android, I'll realize that I have typed gibberish and have to go back and redo it but this old Samsung was just plain bad. I'm sure they improved it greatly over the last two years.
     
  12. KentuckyHouse macrumors 68020

    KentuckyHouse

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    #12
    Agreed. The thing that drives me crazy is when someone says they have a "Droid", but they've actually got a S3, One X, Note 2, etc. They don't understand that "Droid" is a line of phones, not a general term for Android.
     
  13. bmac4 macrumors 68040

    bmac4

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    #13
    I could not agree more. All people know is if they have an iPhone or not. Try asking them what version of android they are using. One time I ask a friend at work about what version of android their phone was running. He said he had no idea, and he said he guessed he was running android. People just don't care. As long as it does what they need they could careless. Nor do people even have know how to use half the features.
     
  14. hexonxonx macrumors 601

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    #14
    After six years of owning iPhones, there were features I never knew how to use or even cared to know. Is that a bad thing?

    There are features on my Nexus 4 that I have no idea what they do because I don't need to know. It does everything I need it to do like my 4S.
     
  15. bmac4 macrumors 68040

    bmac4

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    #15
    No not a bad thing I don't guess. Just funny that companies like Samsung go crazy with all these features that people never care about or use. HTC does the same thing. At least you can use your nexus 4. You find people that unless things are put right in front of them. They would never know how to use anything other than an iphone.
     
  16. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

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    #16
    Smartphones are so complex and full of features that most people use and are only aware of a small fraction of the capabilities of their phone.
     

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