Custom launchers and tweaked Android experiences tend to either be love or hate for many consumers, but Acer has declared that it stands firmly on the side of the default Android experience.
The Taiwanese manufacturer spoke with TechRadar recently to explain some of its reasons for choosing to keep Android as pure as possible, rather than developing its own UIs for its products. Probably the biggest reason is the time and monetary investments in keeping the UI up to date as Android moves forward. S T Liew, the President of Acer’s global smartphone division, explained:
We found from our previous experiences of creating Android UIs that they are very difficult to maintain, especially keeping track with Google's migrations,
Allen Burnes, Acer’s VP of Smartphones for EMEA, echoed a similar sentiment:
We don't have to rewrite Android, the overhead we put into that is relatively low, but the consumer benefit is very high.
It’s certainly true that handsets using custom interfaces, like Samsung’s Touchwiz, take a lot of time, effort, and cost to update once a new version of Android comes out, so it’s certainly a lot easier to let Google do all the hard work for you. However, Acer doesn’t have a problem with providing little tweaks to the UI, or making adjustments to camera apps or other important features if it suits its products.
There’s also the added benefit of being able to attract customers from other manufacturers based on the build quality, specs, and price, rather than worrying about whether or not they’ll be put off by your customised interface.
Android actually does a great job at serving up the right user experience and it allows people to migrate from one Android phone to another with relative ease.
That’s certainly a fair point, but I suppose that works both ways. Customers can easily switch between brands using vanilla Android experiences, whereas consumers who become accustomed to overlays like TouchWiz or Sense are likely to stick with the same brand once they become familiar with a specific look and feel.
Of course all of this isn’t to say that custom overlays don’t have their place, they can certainly bring some great new features to the Android experience. But Acer’s point is a fair one; Google puts a lot of hard work into providing a complete operating system which works perfectly as is; so why fix what isn’t broken.