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# 252851 14-Jul-2019 08:55
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I've seen many reviews on the new Samsung One UI. I have it and use it on my S10+.

However...I have no idea which bits are Android and which bits are One. How do you tell?





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  # 2276169 14-Jul-2019 08:58
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What bits exactly are you referring to? the operational aspect or the ability aspect or something else?

 

Essentially One UI is a skin over the Android system, you "should" be able to still do anything that any other Android user can do but it will either be hidden or renamed.

 

 


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  # 2276223 14-Jul-2019 10:39
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One UI is just that, the user interface which is essentially a skin over Android. Stock android on Pixel phones is a representation of just the barebones of Android.

Most OEMs skin Android for a point of difference.

If you want a stock Android experience (aesthetically) try Nova launcher and if you’re feeling adventurous create your own home screen with KWGT.

 
 
 
 




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  # 2276258 14-Jul-2019 11:35
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lNomNoml:

What bits exactly are you referring to? the operational aspect or the ability aspect or something else?


Essentially One UI is a skin over the Android system, you "should" be able to still do anything that any other Android user can do but it will either be hidden or renamed.


 



I've no idea what I'm referring to. That was more it less my question.

Surely then, since you can't buy a Pixel here easily, 99% of Android users in NZ will never know what stock Android is? Which makes reviews comparing (say) One UI with stock somewhat pointless?





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  # 2276308 14-Jul-2019 13:34
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Geektastic: Surely then, since you can't buy a Pixel here easily, 99% of Android users in NZ will never know what stock Android is? Which makes reviews comparing (say) One UI with stock somewhat pointless?

 

 

 

Android One phones come with a stock standard android UI (with Nokia probably the most prominent in the NZ market).
Pretty sneaky of samsung to call their ui One when android one is already well established.


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  # 2276424 14-Jul-2019 16:56
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You’ll be surprised how many Android users in NZ know and prefer vanilla android over a skinned version, 99% is a stretch.

Nexus devices were very popular in NZ and sold locally too. I prefer vanilla over anything else for the timely updates. Samsung are notoriously slow for updates.

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  # 2276523 14-Jul-2019 20:46
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Dial111: You’ll be surprised how many Android users in NZ know and prefer vanilla android over a skinned version, 99% is a stretch.

Nexus devices were very popular in NZ and sold locally too. I prefer vanilla over anything else for the timely updates. Samsung are notoriously slow for updates.


I second this.

I had a Nexus 4 then a Nexus 5x. I much prefer vanilla android and would have got a Pixel but they don't share the value of the Nexus phones. So, I ended up with a OnePlus 6t, its OxygenOS is very close to vanilla and I am rather impressed with it.




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  # 2276553 14-Jul-2019 22:00
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I'm still slightly confused.

 

Since you can't get many phones with vanilla Android in NZ, what's better about it and if it's so good, why would handset makers mess about with it?






 
 
 
 


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  # 2276570 14-Jul-2019 22:51
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I've been a long time android user now, and am familiar with One UI, having previously used Touchwiz as it was named then. It is a very nuanced skin over android. When I have used raw android on the likes of nexus phones previously and when I have flashed it in various forms (cyanogenmod or lineage etc) onto my devices I've found the unskinned android to be rather lacking. It's just a personal thing.

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  # 2276580 14-Jul-2019 23:53
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Geektastic:

I'm still slightly confused.


Since you can't get many phones with vanilla Android in NZ, what's better about it and if it's so good, why would handset makers mess about with it?



OEM’s need a point of difference to sell phones, they basically all run the same or very similar hardware so to differentiate they need to have a selling point, be it the cameras, UX and features and design.

Saying one is better is really a matter of opinion, I prefer vanilla for the prompt updates the general speed (buttery smooth) as it’s not slowed down by layered UI and bloatware, which in the past didn’t require flagship hardware to run smoothly.

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  # 2276595 15-Jul-2019 01:36
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Having a customised android interface also has the effect of making "other" brands phones seem different and strange.

 

I imagine the manufacturers hope you might find it easier to stick with an interface you have got used to.

 

Personally I like what I have seen of vanilla android (mostly via lineage - well maybe not strictly vanilla - but closer than Samsung's ui).

 

Have found it quite annoying to try and tell someone how to do something with(say) a Huawei phone, only to find none of the settings seem even close to a Samsung for example.

 

 





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler



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  # 2276717 15-Jul-2019 09:06
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1eStar: I've been a long time android user now, and am familiar with One UI, having previously used Touchwiz as it was named then. It is a very nuanced skin over android. When I have used raw android on the likes of nexus phones previously and when I have flashed it in various forms (cyanogenmod or lineage etc) onto my devices I've found the unskinned android to be rather lacking. It's just a personal thing.


I completely agree it's better than Touchwiz by a country mile!





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  # 2276846 15-Jul-2019 12:29
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It's hard to draw a line as to exactly where one ends and the other begins.

 

Apps are an easy start. If it's a Google app, it'll be the same across vendors and Android flavours. This has come to include more and more of the core OS via Google Play Services, so you'll get the same levels of base functionality for apps no matter what device you pick up, and of course includes the Play Store as well.

 

Samsung of course have their own suite of apps, including camera, calendar, calculator, browser, gallery, dialer, keyboard and so forth. This extends to the main elements of the interface you'll interact with, including the lockscreen, the settings menu, the drop-down notification shade, the soft keys/gesture navigation system, and the home screen/launcher. The settings menu for example will encompass the settings that are included in vanilla Android, but will often be reorganised, renamed, redesigned, and relocated.

 

There is a lot more customisation that goes on under the hood, beyond what's visible and accessible to end users. This will include everything from the kernel and the logic in the CPU frequency scheduler to the partition structure, drivers, bootloader, recovery modes, extra APIs, and much more. No element goes completely untouched by a top-tier vendor like Samsung unless it's against Google policies to do so, like the Play Store, Google's APIs, and bundled Google apps.

 

Android needs to be adapted to run on a wider range of hardware than any other operating system, with different sources and vendors for every single hardware component. Some devices will omit certain sensors entirely to cut costs, others will use vastly different memory/screen resolutions/System on a Chip vendors/charging protocols and every other permutation under the sun. There is a level at which all Android devices must be certified by Google in order to be licensed for the Play Store and services like Play Protect, called the CTS or Compatibility Test Suite. Having passed this is what results in "certified" at the bottom of the Play Store settings, and grants access to heavily DRM-laden/security focused apps like Netflix and banking.

 

As noted in this thread there are many reasons why vendors modify so much. Vanilla Android is fairly barebones, and while it has cribbed many useful features from vendors over the years, it is absolutely not for everyone. Despite the hardcore enthusiasts, average users who are accustomed to a full-featured suite of apps out of the box ala Samsung and Apple can and do find vanilla Android frustrating - consider Google Photos as the only photo gallery. Great service, terrible gallery app, much like Spotify is a great service and a pretty shoddy music player. Sure, there are alternatives for every app that can be downloaded from the Play Store, but the Play Store is a minefield of spammy ad-filled awfulness and users should not have to learn to navigate it to get basic functionality. Malware in torch apps for crying out loud. If every single Android device ran vanilla, we'd have Windows Phone, and hardware differentiation alone + 100% reliance on another company to define user experience is not a good call, nor does it address every user's needs - especially when it comes to localisation. Vanilla is absolutely not for everyone and Google's idea of what makes a great smartphone doesn't encompass all use-cases.

 

Creating a sticky and familiar experience is important, although I will point toward needless change for change's sake and dark patterns as reasons to prefer one skin over another. There is a lot of value that's added and vendor-customised versions of Android are where most of the innovation has occurred in the last few years.

 

I used Samsung devices through Galaxy S/S II/S III/Note II/Note III and then jumped ship to iOS because the software had not improved (and Apple had made a device large enough for my needs). Turned out the grass was not greener, but that's another story. Samsung have come a long way and to my mind unquestionably take the crown for "most improved," as their uncontested position as number one in the NZ market shows. I haven't used a Samsung device as a daily driver since the Note 5, although I am intimately familiar with the products and software and have an S10+ test unit on hand. They're good products and the software adds a lot of value. It's a far cry from the TouchWiz of years past.

 

I'm glad Android is a diverse and thriving ecosystem, more choice and competition are great for everyone.





Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones




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  # 2276908 15-Jul-2019 12:45
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Thanks @NikT - that shines some light into the dark corners for me!

 

 

 

And to everyone else too for their thoughts.

 

 

 

Personally I used iOS up to the 6+ then jumped ship to Samsung and (briefly) Sony. Not until the S10+ have I felt that Samsung has a product that competes from user perspective for the 'average' person who might rate 0 or +1 on a tech savvy scale where +5 is IT pro. The current Samsung phones are generally excellent I think. I did spit a bit this morning because I was looking back through Google Photos for something and my thumb kept hitting the hidden slider on screen right that jumps you months in moments. Grrrr! Would be easier for RH people if that slider was on the left I think.






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  # 2276940 15-Jul-2019 13:23
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*Super* interesting post, thanks @NikT.

I haven't been anywhere near Samsung in ages - I've been one of those puritan stuck firmly in the (near) stock Android camp. Now I'll need to give it another look, but would be keen for any thoughts on how they stack up on the non-removable factory apps/bloatware nowadays? This has always frustrated me something chronic; even Xperias (which I otherwise really like) have some rubbish that I wish I could remove instead of just disabling.

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  # 2276955 15-Jul-2019 13:40
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Geektastic:

 

I'm still slightly confused.

 

Since you can't get many phones with vanilla Android in NZ, what's better about it and if it's so good, why would handset makers mess about with it?

 

 

they can get paid to bundle 3rd party apps , sometimes in a way that those app's cant be uninstalled (cough cough Samsung & Facebook app)
They can also add their own apps & thier own app stores , in the hope they make some more $ out of that .

 

 


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