Android gained its popularity due to its being a free and open source project. Phone manufacturers who were looking for a way to compete with iPhone and iOS took to Android like a duck takes to water. They put their software teams to work with the result being their version of Android. What then happens is consumers wind up not knowing what version of Android they use, and that there’s a stock version of Android available.
Stock Android OS is simpler and neater when compared to some of the versions that OEM (original equipment manufacturers) put onto their product. Users who root their phone to the latest stock Android build find that their phones run better and are easier to navigate. Following are three reasons to consider using stock Android OS on your phone and why.
Cleans up the User Interface
Many an OEM adds a learning curve to the phone that users may not appreciate. As an example, Samsung’s TouchWiz and HTC’s Sense both overlay onto Android and put proprietary apps and widgets onto their phones. The idea behind these overlays is to get consumers to use them and get so used to them that they’ll only buy that brand of phone going forward. But overlays come with their own layouts and sometimes block certain features of Android that the user might want, such as the native Flashlight app. Also, the OEM overlays sometimes push advertising to the user along with dictating how the user interacts with the phone.
Stock Android eliminates the custom programs, won’t push ads, and lets users put their preferred launcher, apps and widgets onto the phone. It’s fully customizable so users get what they want and nothing extra.
Speeds Up Phone Response
What’s the point of all of the latest advances in phone processor technology if the UI bogs the phone down? A user should not feel pressured to keep updating their phone because their current one runs slow. Sometimes the phone is slow right out of the box, sometimes it’s slowed down by an update. In either situation, the phone becomes aggravating to use as apps open slowly and run slow. This is due to the overlay consuming processing power because of poor software optimization on the part of the OEM.
Again, stock Android doesn’t suffer from this as it doesn’t have an overlay. The user gets the straight Android experience of speed and responsiveness even on older processors.
Gets the Latest Version of Android Upon Release
When Android releases a new OI, all stock Android phones get updated as long as they’re within the upgrade cycle. OEM phones require their programmers to tweak the overlay to run on the newest version, something that takes time. Consumers are left without the latest version and miss out on features because the OEM is taking its time and not prioritizing the release. OEMs are also notorious for abandoning phones sooner than later, leaving customers out in the cold.
It’s true that the best way to get a stock Android phone is to either buy a Nexus phone or root an OEM phone. Those who love their OEM phone, but hate the overlay, rooting is straightforward and gives the user complete control of their phone.
Michele Goudie is a lover of all things Android and feels everyone needs the stock Android experience in their lives.
Image via Flickr by Ash Kyd