Android OS in Different Smart Phone Manufacturers
When we see smart phones from different manufacturers, we notice them having different features and interfaces but containing the same specification of Android as common OS. The reason for difference in the interface is, Google Android is an open source software comprising not only operating system but also middle-ware and key applications. So, manufacturers like Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, Motorola etc use this source code and develop UI for their own devices. Nearly, all manufacturers add extra software in order to improve the productivity of usage and hence the devices are unique in their look and interface.
Let us have a brief understanding on each Android interface.
Stock Android UI
Stock Android is the unaltered version which is released by Google. It is also called as ‘Pure Android’ and ‘Vanilla Android’. UI in stock Android is named as Material Design for Android Kit Kat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and in the older versions UI is called as HOLO UI. Stock Android does not have much customization, but it has widgets which shows weather and important notifications. Stock Android is mainly seen in Nexus devices and in some new models of Motorola.
Features of Stock Android UI:
- Design of the UI is very simple and easy to understand
- It limits or removes bloatware. Many manufacturers include third party apps in their devices which cannot be removed. Bloatware consumes lot of space, for example a 16 GB internal storage device without stock android will have space of around 9 GB. In case of stock Android, the space available is around 11 GB. Bloatware is one of the reason for lag in the device.
- Stock Android devices will receive updates and upgrades at a faster rate than other manufacturers.
- As said earlier, limited bloatware in devices enable smooth operation in daily usage.
- Color inversion is latest feature in Stock Android, which inverts all the colors to provide high level contrast with reduced display brightness. (This is still in developing stage and can reduce the performance of the device if used for long period.)
TouchWiz UI is the interface developed by Samsung by using Stock Android. It is seen in almost all Samsung devices except in Samsung Nexus. As Samsung is the largest Android phone manufacturer many think that it is the real Android.
Samsung interface has many features like:
- Easy customization of options with increased productivity while using phone.
- The interface allows multi-window, where one can do two tasks in the same screen. This option is available in all high-end devices.
- The icons are big and bold in size for clear visibility.
- Samsung provides a set of pre-installed apps and an app store apart from Google Play.
- The camera app in the stock Android is very basic and does not have different modes of pictures, but Samsung provides some extra modes in camera. (This is seen in all other manufacturer UI except Motorola and Nexus devices)
Sense UI is seen in the HTC devices, and is famous for its dark colors. The navigation is made easy as the main home screen of the device has features like animated widgets, that display much useful information.
Some of the benefits are:
- Sense has a feature which can show feeds from social networking sites.
- Widget similar feature on the home screen shows weather report, email notification and news feeds. This allows easy access for navigation.
- Sense has a unique way of representing its app drawer, while all other manufacturers have similarity with stock Android.
- It also supports motions to quickly launch the screen by swiping and tapping.
Like remaining other manufacturers, LG does not have a name for its interface. The icons in the LG interface have shadows, that gives the feel of 3D effect, but will not have a realistic look.
Some of the features of the LG UI are as follows:
- It provides a number of themes and has many customization options.
- Similar to Samsung UI, it has a multi windows which only supports two windows at a time.
- It also has a separate app store for downloading apps.
- The Qslide app that floats on the screen supports functionality of two apps at a time both utilizing the entire display. So, you can perform both texting and browsing of internet simultaneously.
Motorola previously had a UI by the name MotoBlur, but in recent years Motorola is using Stock Android in all its devices. Its features are same as that of a Nexus device, apart from some hardware limitations.
Most highlighted features of Motorola UI are:
- Motorola in its newer devices added many motion activities like shake for torch, rotate for camera.
- Moto display is one of the added benefits of this interface. It uses various sensors and displays lock screen when we hold it or when we move closer to it.
- It also has an Assist feature which mutes the mobile while in sleep or in a meeting. You can also change the settings which can make sound while in sleep by changing priority.
Sony Xperia home
Sony Xperia home is present since 2012 and has not changed much, but it includes some apps which are similar to apps in Viao.
Some of the features of Xperia Home are as follows:
- UI in the Sony is very light, so it makes less lag in operation than the other UI’s
- It includes many themes with simple and easy customization. The themes that are included in the interface are famous for its colors.
- Sony UI also has a similar feature like Qslide that is existing in LG UI.
CyanogenMod is a complete OS which is developed by a community. It uses stock Android with some extra added features for enhanced performance. Unlike other UI’s CM is not company specific, and is found in multiple devices like Yu, One Plus, etc. If the manufacturer of the device allows rooting, then CM can be installed in it. (Rooting a device will result in loss of warranty).
Essential features of CyanogenMod are:
- The UI is almost similar to stock Android and performs well in day to day usage.
- CM also provides customization and a variety of theme installation options.
- Just like stock android, CM also release updates at a faster rate.
- The features added to stock Android increases the performance of hardware.
- It has many gesture controls like, drawing ‘V’ activates or deactivates flash, drawing a circle on screen enables camera etc.