Acer says Android is great as it is, won’t try to “fix” it

by: Robert TriggsJune 14, 2013


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:

[quote qtext=”We found from our previous experiences of creating Android UIs that they are very difficult to maintain, especially keeping track with Google’s migrations,” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Allen Burnes, Acer’s VP of Smartphones for EMEA, echoed a similar sentiment:

[quote qtext=”We don’t have to rewrite Android, the overhead we put into that is relatively low, but the consumer benefit is very high.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

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.

[quote qtext=”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.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

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.

  • RarestName

    You hear that, Samsung? I flashed the SuperNexus ROM and it fixed every single lag, crash, battery drain and every other crap that TouchWiz gave on the GT-N7000.

    • Luka Mlinar

      Same goes for just about every xperia phone out there.

      • RarestName

        My friend recently switched to a mid-range Xperia phone, and it didn’t feel like the GT-N7000. In fact, it was the complete opposite. Fast, responsive and fluid.

        • Luka Mlinar

          If he wants to exchange it with my Xperia U i will be more then happy since it takes 10 seconds to answer my phone.

  • Tim

    I have no brand loyalty; I’ve done HTC (Hero then Desire HD) then I switched to the Samsung Galaxy Note about 15 months ago. Of course I noticed all the Samsung fluff on top, which seems to be the primary thrust of their advertising. But I’m wary about committing my data to proprietary silos: I thought, maybe I’ll find their apps so useful as to want to continue using them for real, but from the outset I was aware that in 2 years’ time the next best phone for me might not be a Samsung which deterred me from bothering so I’m stuck with an increasingly sluggish lump of junk with factory-installed bloat I don’t need or want.
    And this week the battery’s died completely, kinda proving the point.

    If in doubt, centralize the functionality in Android, either as an app in Play or even in the OS itself if really necessary.

  • MasterMuffin

    I don’t care if my phone has skin or not, I just choose what has the best hardware and CUSTOM ROOOOM :)

    • Anonymousfella

      Way to go,really! :)

      • MasterMuffin

        Don’t know why people are disliking my comment, just said my opinion/what I do o.O

  • 윌 스튜어트

    I actually really like some of the features Samsung & Co have added to Android over the years. The world would be really depressing if every Android phone ran stock.

  • Mike

    Good, may they’ll spend more time and money on designing hardware and their tablets stop dropping like flies.