Android and the Custom UI Problem a.k.a. why the Google Pixel is a success

Do not get me wrong: I love Android and I am a big fan of it. But Android has a problem. And if you ask me, the problem is the customization of the Android interface by hardware manufacturer such as Samsung, HTC and Sony. And also that’s why the Google Pixel will be a huge success.

A while ago I decided, that my old Nexus phone needs a replacement. It’s old, used and has not enough space anymore. However, I was looking for a new Android phone and excessively reviewing the existing Android flagship phones. There are some good phones out there. HTC, Samsung, Sony, even OnePlus, whatever. But in my sense not a single complete great phone, from software, to camera and built-quality, which is horrible for the market and the competition with Apple. I found not a single great phone on the market.

The UI customization looks good on the first hand, because the phone gets even “better”, more unique, blabla, but if you take a second close look it is just a big lie:

  • Customizations are often not consequent on the complete interface. Here and there you see the original Android. This is just ugly.
  • Security lacks, because with new updates, new customizations need to be done or at least the older ones checked if they still work. Updates will be delayed.
  • Often bloatware (Samsung as an example) will poison the OS.
  • In the end it is still a question if it solves more problems than it creates.

I know, I know. They want to be unique, give a great user experience, want to be even better etc. etc. But I think it is time to question this.

Why do PCs have an untouched OS and Smartphones do not? I never got it, I still don’t. It costs so much money to customize it and it blurres the focus of the company. If a company does not create the OS, why even bother with customizing it? Use the resources to create a great device, a great piece of hardware and just put the blank Android on it. No more bothering with updates or security, no more bothering with the UI at all and normally: Better hardware!

So much resources are spent on something the company is not specialized in doing so: OS UI modification.

Thats why the Google Pixel will be a success. A hardware specialized phone manufacturer (HTC) focused on creating a great piece of hardware and Google just put a blank unmodified OS on it, another department and company created. As simple as that. And I hope other companies will realize it – or Google continues in doing so.