This week’s edition is all about the skins that go on top of your Android device. If you missed last week’s article about Android versions, you can check it out by clicking here. Let’s first start by explaining what a skin is.
A skin is an overlay which runs on top of your Android device. Each manufacturer makes its own respective skin which adds features, or changes the appearance of your Android device. The reason manufacturers do this is to differentiate themselves from other device makers, and also to put their own services and apps, in addition to the regular Google apps.
Today we’ll be explaining the main features of the most popular skins. These include the two latest versions of TouchWiz, which are made by Samsung, the two latest versions of Sense, which are made by HTC, LG’s Optimus UI, Sony’s Xperia UI, and Huawei’s Emotion UI. We’ll also look at stock Android, just so we know what we compare to.
First seen on the Samsung Galaxy S3 in 2012, this skin is designed to mimic nature. From the wallpaper, to the lock screen and even to the notification sounds, the whole UI is centered around nature. In fact the tagline for the Galaxy S3 is “Designed for humans, inspired by nature”.
TouchWiz is known for its feature rich and colorful user interface, but is sometimes criticised for its software slowing down the system and the fact that some features do not work as well as advertised. It also adds several Samsung apps like Music Hub, Samsung Apps, S Voice, S Memo and S Planner (See gallery below for the full list).
Some of the features that come with TouchWiz Nature UX are:
Popular devices that run TouchWiz Nature UX 1.0: Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S3 mini, Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 continues upon the basis laid by TouchWiz Nature UX 1.0, and was first seen on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Most of the design remained the same, however the lock screen and settings app were slightly tweaked, as well as well as some new features being added (see gallery below).
This version of TouchWiz was considered a refinement over previous versions, however it was still criticized for slowing down the system.
Some features that come with TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 are:
Popular devices that run TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0: Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8, Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.
HTC’s Sense UI is very different to Samsung’s approach at skins. While Samsung tries to add as many features as possible HTC attempts to create a great user experience without adding many features. It’s a different approach, but if you wouldn’t use any of the features on TouchWiz anyways then there is nothing to worry about.
The unlocking ring from yesteryear is still there, and the famous HTC Sense clock remains, but the whole design overall was simplified to become more attractive, and the over the top 3D animations which plagued older versions were reduced.
Overall the newer version provided a lighter, snappier experience, however some people criticized it for the way it strayed from stock Android, especially in multitasking.
Popular devices running HTC Sense 4: HTC One X, HTC One X+, HTC Droid DNA, HTC One S, HTC Desire X.
Like this post? Share it!
Stock FTW! :D :D :D
I provide a list of launchers in the market in “some app-finding app” which tells me: LOADS of people must use launchers on top of their default UI since there are soo freaking many different launchers + so many look-alikes.
I personally go for stock-android + Launcher since i love to decide whatever i want on my phone without the bloatware. Nearly every software provided by companies which they say is an “extra” to their UI can be found in the play store. So it’s an easy choice: pick whatever phone you like -> get rid of all bloatware (root) -> make it look like YOU want it -> happiness
Skin was needed back in Froyo days because admit it, Android was ugly! Now it’s not so needed anymore because Android has grown to a beautiful Os, but it’s still a nice way of making your phone stand out UNLESS it’s over bloated like that Emotion UI. TW could also loose some of its features (read: pointless gimmicky poop :D)
Does anyone know how to uninstall McAfee AntiVirus?
Settings—>Apps…Search for McAfee and select it—–> Uninstall App
I still think touchwiz is an amazing skin scoring well beyond the rest.. with true multitask like property that I use almost all the time.. I guess the person who wrote this article hates samsung but I personally feel touchwiz nature is one main reason why samsung phones are irresistible. .. and if ur phone has enough power for it then I dont think its a crime to have touch wiz..
I don’t hate Samsung, in fact all of those screenshots are from my very own Galaxy S3. A lot of skins have multitasking now, and it is a known fact that TouchWiz isn’t the fastest skin in the world. No doubt the features are good if you use them, but if you don’t then there is no use of them. Case in point the GS4 has half of its storage taken up by TouchWiz features.
So skin is different from launchers? But launchers can change the “looks” and “feel” of your phone right? Sorry for asking this noob question…
There are a few differences. Technically both change the look and feel of your device as they all start with stock Android.
The difference here is that a launcher is an app usually found in the Play Store, which can change the look and functionality of your device. However, it simply runs on top of your skin or even stock Android and doesn’t remove it.
A skin is something that comes pre-installed on your device which can not be easily removed (it’s possible through a root and custom ROM approach).
In short if you buy, say, a TouchWiz phone and don’t like the look of the skin, then you can chuck on a launcher and change the look, however TouchWiz is still there and the apps Samsung puts on it are still there.
Hope this helped.
I want my Galaxy S3 to run the stock android interface but I don’t wanna lose some of the features that Touchwiz brought. (eg. Camera Features.) Can I do that? Touchwiz seems so laggy.
There are ways, for example you could use a launcher and that won’t get rid of the features, but will make it look like Stock Android. Otherwise you could root your device and put a custom ROM on it, however you will lose the TouchWiz features.
If you’d like to learn how to make your device appear like stock Android, but don’t want to root your device, check out this article:
Hope this helped!