Bits And Bytes (week of 9/25)

petershihpetershih ZTE FanaticUnited StatesPosts: 378 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
<body><p>Welcome to our weekly <a _jive_internal="true" href="">Bits And Bytes</a> poll and discussion! Give your honest opinion, debate ferociously, and respect each other at all times...</p><p></p><p><strong>Question</strong>: Do you prefer a completely stock Android OS experience, slightly modified by the OEM, or moderately modified by the OEM?</p><p></p><p><strong>Context</strong>: Besides Nexus (soon to be Pixel) devices, most Android phones have varying degrees of OS customizations on top of the stock Android OS. From TouchWhiz to Sense, manufacturers attempt to enhance the user experience, ranging from specific app UI/UX differentiation to a completely modified OS experience. Assuming that you've experienced the whole gamut of OS variations, which degree of OS customization do you prefer most (note: by the OEM, as opposed to other open source OS)?</p><p></p><p><strong>Action</strong>: 1. Select one of the options below and 2. reply to justify your reasoning. Although there is no correct answer, please provide sound reasoning to support your selection. After a week or so, your Mod Squad will soon identify and reward those with the most thoughtful responses!</p></body>

Bits And Bytes (week of 9/25) 193 votes

Stock Android or nothing!
35% 69 votes
Slightly modified is acceptable
59% 114 votes
Moderately modified is fine
5% 10 votes


  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted slightly modified is alright. Here are some bullet points:

    - don't duplicate apps that Google can already provide

    - make sure the slight modifications work 100%

    - make sure the modifications provide features that make the device stand out

    - for those that don't want anything but stock, get them a legit way to unlock the bootloader and provide the factory image

    I know there is more, but the rest of the Z-Community will have to help out, as i know they will.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I voted slightly modified is fine as long as the modifications work well. I agree with everyrhing said above. I dont think you can go wrong with complete 100% stock either.  Simpler for the manufacturer as well.  Simply provide amazing hardware &  design and use 100% stock android.  People can customize as they see fit.  

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Agreed, ​, I wouldn't be disappointed with all stock either

  • maulgandhimaulgandhi United StatesPosts: 519 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have used ZTE, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and LG devices at some point in the past and present. If you ask me, what OEM UX I prefer the most, then you will probably hear from me Stock Vanilla Android. Even though I prefer Stock Android, but I like to run custom ROM with few modifications/additions. Paranoid Android, Xenon HD, and CM their modifications/additions to custom ROM are great and which is what attracts people to install these ROMs.

    Certain OEMs takes a step too far such as Samsung, LG, and HTC with the UX; while ZTE and Motorola takes a slightly different approach, which can be good and bad at the same time. I have mixed feelings about Slightly Modified ROM on the ZTE devices. I would be much happy with ZTE ROM if it had the customization of Paranoid Android, Xenon HD, CM ROM (anyone of the ROM) and look of vanilla Android. Some of the features Paranoid Android does very well and my go to ROM for Nexus devices.

    Paranoid Android Features:

    Floating mode

    Immersive mode

    On-the-spot controls


  • coldheat06coldheat06 United StatesPosts: 1,795 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Slightly  modified is the way to go!!!    I am not a fan of an over saturated, slow launcher.

    What I am a fan of a launcher with:

    1. Adjustable DPI (able to change the size of the screen.... not only the icon grid size)

    2. Adjustable  icon grid sizing

    3. Fast screen transition

    4. Split screen Multi-tasking (able tof split the screen in half to do 2 things at once)

    5. Adjustable  screen quality  ( the ability to change from 2K to 1080p to 720P)

    These are a few things that I belive would made a great stock browser.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Great points ​.

  • timmyjimotimmyjimo Seattle, WAPosts: 15 ✭✭✭✭

    There are great features that have been added to stock Android that have even been adopted by later OS releases (Motorola Active Display for one). I am absolutely open to modifications, but the biggest thing I want is choice. The ability to turn non stock Android features on and off would go a long way to keeping people happy. Even if they are on by default out of the box, have the option to disable the feature if the user doesn't like it.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    Great additions! 

  • ddrakeddrake Alpharetta, GAPosts: 318 ✭✭✭

    While I prefer stock, I believe a little modification is acceptable.  I am a firm believer in keeping things as close to stock as possible and would really love to see Google only allow manufacturers have a stock ROM and then any UI customizations would all be a theme from the play store. 

  • dabehrsdabehrs Dripping Springs, TexasPosts: 446 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I did not vote simply because I do not see a choice that would represent how i feel about this topic.

    Like many above i also typically Root and ROM my devices and have used a variety of custom ROM's. To me, the more important question is not how much modification am I open to because the answer to that, since I use custom ROMs, is tons... The more important question to ask yourself as a developer of software for your community of users is how valuable is this addition or modification from the base to your users. I don't buy my phones for your software, I buy them for the hardware. I say that because as long as i can root the phone and as long as someone is developing for it I will find software that I like.

    Thanks for your time,


  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Slightly modified is acceptable to me. Although in the past, I haven't used a stock Android phone (Nexus) before as I mostly used Samsung for Android, I did read up and watch videos on how most are saying how great and fluid stock Android is; which is why I would prefer having a phone with slightly modified to enhance certain features that Google might have left out. Stock Android seems to have one of the cleanest and simple looking UI/UX and the way Google intended people to use it. I do hope more manufacturer go with the stock UI/UX with some enhance features to make it stand out, similar to what Moto do with their phones (near stock, with some Moto Assist) and Sony does a decent job also, though the icon changes, but still simple and elegant. I guess having an UI/UX that is simple and similar to stock would be great.

  • taotao Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't mind a slightly modified version, but the current ZTE software seems not as good as stock.  It would be nice to have the option to choose between pure stock Android, and the ZTE software. 

  • I prefer the zte skin on my axon pro to vanilla.

    BTW please put out a big 6.4 with axon pro specs (but 821 etc) and a *replaceable battery*. I am using my LG v10 more now just because I need to replace my battery once or twice a day. (I work exclusively by phone all day instead of PC/Mac.) I prefer my axon pro but I can't swap in new batteries so. Please. Pretty please — replaceable battery pro phones. I can't consider my next phone without replaceable batteries.

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,363 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    i think light skin that really adds feature and functionality of the phone is fine. While stock google is nice, I sometimes feel that it can be slightly cumbersome at doing some simple tasks that some OEM skin launcher brings. Also, stock google sometimes can be a bit too ugly:).

    Ultimately, I think as long at the skin does not hinder the perforamnce and does not make it harder to do simple stuff that the stock launcher brings, then it is fine. For example, Motorola is somewhat close to stock so it performs well and the moto's addition helps to integrated its functionality.Still, Moto's UI can be too close to stock and sometimes just not as intuitive to use. I personally prefer how HTC has done that adds functionality, visual appeal, and without hurting the performance.

  • jasonejasone United StatesPosts: 2,118 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I chose slightly modified and here's what I mean by that. Android's UI and style has come a long way, it no longer needs much help in that department. Also by trying to change the style you often either break functionality or introduce bugs.

    What I like to see is the stock style, UI, and features retained. Then add on features that you cannot get with a Nexus/Pixel. Features like double tap to wake, manual camera and controls, microSD card slots, IR blasters, front facing flash for the camera, one handed mode, color temperature and saturation controls, fingerprint scanner gestures, shutdown menu with restart added, night/blue filter mode, etc.

    All of these changes are extra features without changing the UI and look of Android. Simply adding value without ruining the aesthetics.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Was I the only one who expected this poll to be completely different?  I expected Stock or nothing to win by a landslide?

  • jonathan3579jonathan3579 Houston, TXPosts: 427 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted slightly modified. My issue with modifications though is removing things from core Android that I enjoy such as:

    -System UI tuner (I prefer my battery % in the battery icon)

    -Ambient display (I prefer having quick glance notifications)

    -Camera shortcuts (Double tapping the power button has become second nature)

    Those are just the omissions I noticed right off the bat with the Axon 7. Things I sorely miss from my Nexus 6P.

  • gaurab43gaurab43 Maryland, U.SPosts: 113

    I say stock experience because it unifies Android.  Right now every manufacture are making their own version.  This creates duplicate of apps and performance issues.  Look at iPhone the reason their os  is so efficient is because they have to create it for 1 device.  If Android do the same we can have better, more sable and efficient system.  This also allows faster updates. Look at Motorola before Lenovo bought them. They were ahead of another manufacture to release the new version of Android after google released. However,  slightly tweaked UI is acceptable bit give option to switch between 2 UI. 

  • jonathan3579jonathan3579 Houston, TXPosts: 427 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The DPI on the Axon 7 is disgusting and one of my least favorite things about it.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Inherently that's also their issue...they only have to create it for one device. There is no other choice. It's good and it's bad.

  • Slightly modified.

    Experience with Android has shown that moderately modified Android ROMs tend to be difficult to maintain and keep up to date with Android's updates.

    So a slightly modified Android would be easier to maintain and keep up to date.

    I would take that a step farther and propose that ZTE should maintain its extra features as separate and independent Android apps, in order to have an even cleaner base ROM, and also giving theusers the choice of using or uninstalling them at will. First app that comes in mind is the home launcher, since a lot of power users already use third party launchers, so it would be really nice if one could simply uninstall the mnaufacturer launcher.

  • My vote is for stock. "It's stock Android or nothing" is obviously hyperbole (I bought the Axon 7), but stock is what I wish manufacturers went with. I want updates as close to Google's release as possible. Even slightly modified hinders that goal and also makes it less likely that new full versions of Android will be supported on a device as it gets older.

    I also just don't buy that OEM modifications are done ​for​ the consumer. Ultimately I see manufacturers wanting to force their "enhancements" on their customers as an attempt to lock them in to their devices. I want my devices to be my devices--regardless of who manufactured them.

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