Bits And Bytes (week of 11/6)



  • mobilegeezermobilegeezer Chattanooga, Tennessee AreaPosts: 1,204 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Cleaner is the big appeal to me. Quicker updates is a big deal also.

  • Quicker and longer-term updates are essential for security, and the simple interface results in fewer bugs and battery usage, but the actual most useful feature of near-vanilla android for me and the friends whom I help with their phones relates to borderless community support.

    UIs limited to one manufacturer or one device lock those users out from support of most of the rest of the world. My Japanese friends who have problems with their Sharp phones, for one example, are usually out of luck when it comes to support forums as only other Japanese users with a Sharp phone can help them. If a Japanese or Chinese or Indian or Mexican or any other user has a problem with a Nexus phone, however, pretty much any other Nexus user in the world can help them -- and has probably already asked the same question in a forum somewhere.

    All you have to do with a software/OS problem with a Nexus, at most, is usually find the other language's word for the menu items in question. An Argentinian Nexus aficionado user can easily help a Japanese technophobe fix an OS issue using simple English. Even changing the language of the whole OS back and fourth is easy. Pretty much all other android devices are locked out of this. Even Samsung's widespread Touchwiz UI, because of there being so many non-updated versions being out there, can't compete here.

    Simplicity conquers a world of problems.

  • Better overall performance, which comes as a result of cleaner UI, less bloatware and quicker updates.

    Honestly I don't mind one or two actually useful additional features (e.g. Motorola gestures), but I'm not interested in a bunch of features I don't want, and can't get rid of - Samsung I'm looking at you.

  • Just make the axon 7 near stock android, one version for the entire world. Easier for updates. And add an rgb notifcation led, backlit capacitive buttons or on screen buttons. And maybe an IR blaster. Make this, and i`ll buy it.

  • The best way to optimise a UI is to keep it clean and unified with google. I know why all of the OEMs making gimmick UI's, just for the Avarage Joe. Avg Joe thinks that the more a UI knows the better. But the 80% of the features are just not used by him. I would pick an OS like OnePlus's Hydrogen or Motorola's stockish UI with only a few important changes any time over a full edited, sluggish, ton of unwanted featured. The way android is now just does not make sense at all. The custom UI's like yours just does not pass to the Google designed Android. I would stick close to google's example and add a very few must have features. I guess with that, you could just spare a lot of resources, more sells and more satisfied users. I would say that not only stockish UI is important, but good optimisation too. Of course I would like to have a phone with 3-4 years software support, but that's not a real desire in 2016, where every1 has a job, because of buying everything in a regular basis, whether it's good or not. So optimise that stockish UI and everything is settled. Make less things, but those things very good, this is the way to go.

  • Android's monthly security updates are a godsend in today's world. I kept my Nexus 5 going for longer than I should have for this reason. I feel ZTE is doing a great job with keeping the Axon 7 up-to-date, however, stock Android would mean quicker security updates.

  • msieger2018msieger2018 United StatesPosts: 104 ✭✭✭✭

    Near stock so that people can't argue oneplus 3 is better.  I chose between the two and the reason most people choose obeplus is that it has almost as good specs as axon 7 but has close to stock Android. I guess it's better for publicity but please keep the loneliest of settings. There aren't enough customization options in stock so please keep it while adding ui tuner. So my vote is for cleaner uito get more supporters (option to keep miFavor ui) while keeping many settings since most people who hear of this phone (like me)  are tech geeks. Also please also add "always-on display"

  • I picked cleaner interface although every other choice, except maybe 'less defects', is appropriate. I own an Axon 7, Pixel XL, HTC 10 and a Motorola 2015 Play Edition (among many older phones). I usually root to get as close to stock as possible, but have held off on the Axon 7 at this point. I loved my GPE HTC 7 and 8, and have always hoped that new GPE Editions, or something similar, would come to market. While I liked the Nexus brand, I didn't like the small storage available. With the Pixel, I have 128gb, along with unlimited Photos storage, so that should work. I am still using the Axon 7 more than the Pixel because the audio is so much better, but the Pixel interface is so much nicer. Wish ZTE would offer a stock version along with their traditional versions. I assume the cost for R&D for a stock ROM would be minimal, and probably offset by increased sales.

  • Cleaner interface and skin. This means I can search the web for generic tutorials and solutions to problems and don't have to translate them to different skins depending on the device. This is especially important given that I'm the family tech support and have to help several people, often remotely. If I can see the same thing they're seeing it makes all the difference. Timely security updates are important too, though.

  • jcadduonojcadduono Thunder Bay, ONPosts: 24 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't think a vanilla Android release device is the right approach.

    I think the better option would be for ZTE to stick with its styling, but have two different channels for users to choose from.

    ZTE could simply release fastboot flash packs for their style, and another for vanilla Android. (it could be called Developer version, for example)

    Users would have the option to switch between them at any time by flashing their tgz that they prefer.

    The developer version should have source trees available on GitHub for users to build if they so choose. (this would bring much of XDA running to ZTE)

    This way everybody gets what they want. (and ZTE would receive high praise from a lot of sites, wink wink again)

    All being said, I chose Greater dev support for custom ROMs.

    I'll certainly be keeping track of what happens here, as I'll be forced to return my Note 7 and choose a new device soon.

    Camera quality, water resistance (Note 7) & developer friendliness, removable battery (no one?) is what's keeping me from the Axon 7 at the moment.

    I see Axon 7 is priced very well, but perhaps that leaves ZTE room to go above and beyond, with an extreme flagship in a higher price bracket?

    - jcadduono

  • Not being a developer I admit to some degree of ignorance, but I still believe quicker updates are the most important reason to stick with stock Android for a variety of reasons. Primarily quicker updates should make the phone secure. Updates will correct issues with previous builds that put the user's information at risk. Quicker updates would also seem to be a result of requiring less man hours to bring updates to the device. This would seem to indicate that the device manufacturer could justify longer support for the device due to the decreased cost to keep it updated. This will also increase the resale value of the device. Quicker updates also point to the fact that there is less potential for errors being made when trying to bake non-stock features into the device. This should lead to an overall more user friendly experience. Faster updates will also appeal to the power user and Android enthusiast who want the latest and greatest. Faster updates will keep the device running smoothly and by keeping with stock Android should make the device more developer friendly since there will be nothing unexpected when working on custom ROMs. Keeping with stock Android is important for fast updates but fast updates are just one of the many things made possible by and connected to sticking with stock Android.

  • For me I chose quicker updates but also i would choose all of the above from better performance, cleaner UI, less bugs, and yes yes yes LONGER OEM SUPPORT! This is something that even sadly Motorola has been slipping up these days with only the very recent and higher end phones getting updates but not phones that are lower end or that came out towards the start of the year. I dont care about custom UI's or bloatware of any kind. I just want a phone that is very affordable while having basically stock android so that it will get updates for a longer period of time. If the Pixel phone had been cheaper like the nexus phones used to be then I would be rocking a pixel phone right now. But since Google just wants to go after the high end market, then many people who just care about quicker updates and cleaner UI's are left out in the cold. This is why if ZTE were to start making phones that were supported for 2  years or more, with stock or near stock android, with a more affordable price, I would definitely leave Motorola and go with only ZTE phones going forward. Please please ZTE give us stock/pure android phones!!!!!!!!

  • I voted cleaner interface. I've been using the Nexus 7 tablet since 2013, and it's currently running Marshmallow (so the longer support and updates is relevant here too). I also currently use a Samsung Galaxy phone, and have used HTC and iPhones in the past.

    Out of all the Android interfaces I find stock Android the fastest to run, and also the most straightforward to use - it's been carefully thought through. There is definitely a trend for some manufacturers (HTC, Samsung) to put on a skin which is more similar to stock, so that in itself says something. It's a pity they can't quite let their proprietary skins go.

    Whilst Google tends to load all their apps on to Android, at least you don't get near identical apps from Samsung etc, filling up your phone storage. Plus the default Google apps can be disabled (if not uninstalled) and restored later if needed.

    I do believe that phone manufacturers could actually sell more of their phones if they used stock Android, rather than their own skins (which are not always very well designed).

  • My favorite features of the Nexus phones where length of support and monthly security updates. It was nice to be able to buy a resonably priced phone that would receive two new versions of Android and monthly security updates for three years from the release date. With the end of the Nexus line there is no phone in this price range that receives any monthly security updates at all. This is irresponsible and dangerous for customers. It is not fair that people who cannot afford a flagship phone, or do not want to pay for one, are forced to sacrifice security. Security should be a top priority. Phones should not be dropped by OEMs after a year. People spend lots of money on phones and OEMs should keep their products updated as long as possible with security and Android updates.

  • Stock is how android should be! Not bloated with anything, and open to customization so that the user can make it their own.

  • Considering how vulnerable Android is and how Google releases monthly patches for all the bugs, I had initially thought of buying Nexus. But now that Nexus line is dead and there are no other OEM which gives monthly updates, I'm looking for a Nexus substitute.

    Indian brands like Micromax, Lava etc don't even release a single update for any model. Not a single update! Pathetic, I must say.

    That's why I'm looking forward to a OEM, all over the world, which provides quick updates. If not immediate major updates, at least timely security updates for a good 2½-3 years.

  • I voted for ROM support. Why? Because given adequate resources for devs, the community can help fix the other problems. Please PLEASE, allow bootloader unlock without voiding warranty.

  • kidnovakidnova Posts: 435 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    So, any word on how this feedback was taken by the developers?  I think ZTE would benefit greatly from delivering a near-stock experience with the rollout of Nougat.  Install all of the proprietary apps you want (within reason of course) as long as users have the option to disable or uninstall them.  This will greatly lessen the burden on the development team for future updates, especially as their focus inevitably shifts to the A8 and other devices. 

  • If ZTE go stock, they'll become the new Nexus for enthusiasts - stock at a reasonable price, with a well-made phone. Then with a bit of promotion, they'll go beyond what Nexus achieved, as far as sales are concerned (because Nexus phones were never advertised like the flagship brands).

  • thebigguythebigguy Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I voted for the dev support. This phone checks all the boxes for me. I'd like to keep it for a long time, and community ROMs are important for extending a devices lifespan.

  • dr3am_rdr3am_r Posts: 15 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think all (in the poll) are good reasons to go to stock / near stock UI. Coming from a long line of Google Nexus devices and GPE, I think the stock UI is the best looking design (material design) with feature additions to the stock UI like dolby atmos or display calibration, but remaining on stock UI (and lockscreen).

    This would mean faster upgrades and less bloatware (staying with google apps - messaging, phone, browser, calendar, clock.

    Hoping that the Nougat update would bring stock Nougat UI (as seen in leaked chinese forum screenshots).

    One reason I am waiting for CyanogenMod ROM is the stock UI and also the features CM brings.

  • The actual Device pricing of the Axon 7 Fam. and the given superb Hardware is a Chance to replace the Nexus Series with the right Support! I would love to get my Fingers on a Axon 7 Gold with 6Gb RAM and Forcetouch to develop on it ROM and Tweaks.

    IF... The Sources are there and the Bootloader has to be unlockable! Use the Chance ZTE! Be the new ,better Nexus!!! I will Switch from a Nexus 6 after a bad Trip with another Snapdragon 820 Phone to ZTE with the Hope to get the same or even better expierence from my beloved Nexus 6...

    ZTE has won my Love! Keep it, and I will be a great Consumer for You in the Future!

  • greenigreeni South of FrancePosts: 4

    I voted "Quicker updates" - as I would prefer latest version of Android soon after Google releases them.

    By habit (whether on Stock Android or a manufacturer's modified version) I usually use a third party launcher, messenger,  wallpaper and keyboard and some customisable widgets for the screens, then my usual plethora of apps. Once this is done there is not too much left of the manufacturers UI to see (except things like Settings which I can live with)....

  • While I selected longer support, these are all reasons I would like a stock, or near stock, experience on my Axon 7. If I could rank them, or vote for my top 2 or 3, this would have been a much better exercise.

  • cyruscyrus Posts: 7 ✭✭✭✭

    I voted for Custom ROM support as that's mandatory for me along with rooting.

    The almost entire lack of a ROM scene and no safe/easy way to root the Axon 7 even at this point is enough that I'm not buying another ZTE product again. It wasn't until recently that even a factory (USA) image was provided, and the one provided is old. And if that wasn't enough, rooting voids warranty?! That wouldn't hold up in North America if anyone actually challenged ZTE on it. Not having root is infuriating, there's no proper way to customize everything without it, and that includes no proper way to block video ads.

  • I've been a Nexus user for many years, but this year the Pixel priced me out of buying another.  I voted for cleaner UI and skin.  Some may say that stock Android is boring, but the more you use it you realize it is really well thought out from a user interface and execution perspective.  Skins on top of Android from my experience are never as well thought out as the base underlying operating system.  For example, I just purchased an Axon 7 and the first thing I plan to do is change the launcher to get rid of the large icons and other skin "improvements" that ZTE implemented.

  • Although I could have selected 4 or 5 of the options, I felt quicker updates was the best reason to not have a heavily modified OS.  This way the newest version of Android can power our awesome Axon 7 hopefully not too long behind the pixel devices. 

    Dev support for custom roms is a great benefit of this as well. If ZTE releases updates more often and gives support, that will spur Devs to be more active with the device.

    A closer to stock Rom is going to have less bugs and run more efficiently as there isn't much bloat running in the background.

    Focus on quick updates and improving camera performance!

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