Is a stock Android experience a requirement for you anymore?


Back when I was an avid fan of customizing every piece of software that I could on my rooted Android phone, I loved trying out the crazy combinations that creators put together. Mixing elements of HTC’s Sense UI and Samsung’s TouchWiz, or brand new creations made just for those proprietary pieces of software, capitalizing on what Samsung or HTC had already made, but boosting them in all the right ways.

Eventually that turned into just getting stock Android on as many skinned devices as I could.

The debate between a stock version of Android and what other companies offer on their devices has, as far as I can tell, quieted down quite a bit over the years. Part of that is probably the fact that skinned software has gotten better. Even Samsung’s. But the other part is probably just the fact that getting a stock Android experience is just not as easy as getting a skinned option from LG, or Samsung, or HTC.

Motorola makes it the easiest of the bunch, but unless you’re a Verizon customer or prefer buying unlocked devices, it’s still not the easiest. Android phones with proprietary software built into them is the stock experience for most people. And for those who don’t like to root their phone and experiment in that way, it’s probably the only option more often than not.

Earlier today HTC unveiled its next flagship phone, the U 11, and it is running a lot of great features on it, including Edge Sense. That allows future owners to squeeze the phone to launch apps, like the camera. It’s also running HTC’s proprietary software on board, as is usual, which got me wondering about stock Android “versus” a skinned alternative.

Would the HTC U 11 be a more attractive device to you, a potential option, if it were running a stock version of Android. Or, a stock version of Android with very few moderations (like Motorola)? Or does the inclusion of proprietary software on a smartphone not matter to you?

For me, I don’t think it matters anymore. As long as the phone works out of the box, and continues to work until I decide to upgrade to another phone, I’m probably going to be happy with what’s put in front of me. Unless it’s just awful software, of course, which we’ve seen plenty of times in the past. But I don’t really think that’s a big issue anymore. Companies have learned, either from their own mistakes or what others have done through the years, and it’s an overall better experience for everyone.

Do you still prefer the stock experience, and go out of your way to get it? Or is this something you don’t think about anymore? Let me know!

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