Don’t be shy, Android skins. Flaunt your best features.


Luke Pollack /

Pop quiz, hotshot: What distinctive options come along with your telephone’s pores and skin? Are you able to title a dozen of them? How about 10? Good enough, are you able to title three? I’d bet the vast majority of folks studying this couldn’t do it. Even though they are able to title a host of cool methods their telephone can do, they most likely don’t know if the ones methods are or aren’t constructed at once into Android and thus now not a novel characteristic of the outside.

If producers are going to position all this effort into crafting distinctive tool studies, why don’t they allow you to in finding the ones distinctive studies?

Some makes an attempt had been made


There are two notable makes an attempt to make distinctive tool options simply available to Android customers. They’re Motorola’s Moto app and Google’s Pixel Pointers app. Each come pre-installed on (*9*)Motorola and Google telephones, respectively, and each are in fact beautiful useful.

The issue with those two apps, then again, is their incompleteness and loss of group. Every one mixes options distinctive to its pores and skin with different options which are merely a part of Android. For instance, each apps let you know how to make a choice customized backgrounds and fonts — an possibility to be had in all different Android skins. In addition they let you know about quite a lot of gesture shortcuts — some lifted from inventory Android and a few distinctive to the outside — with out differentiating between the two. Each apps additionally pass over descriptions for some notable options.

Apps exist to lend a hand sing their own praises those distinctive options, however they don’t seem to be very helpful.

Each apps additionally lack an integral instrument: a seek bar. With no manner for customers to deliberately seek out a characteristic they would like, working out tips on how to do one thing turns into a slog. This turns into particularly difficult when issues aren’t arranged intuitively. In relation to the Pixel Pointers app, Google places the review gesture (swipe up from the ground and grasp) within the Navigation phase. In the meantime, the short app-switching gesture (swiping horizontally at the navigation bar) is within the Professional Pointers phase. This isn’t well-organized, and the loss of a seek bar approach any individual taking a look particularly for app switching gestures would possibly now not in finding what they would like.

We do want to give Motorola and Google credit score, although, since Samsung, OnePlus, and lots of different OEMs don’t also have one thing as fundamental as those apps. A minimum of makes an attempt had been made.

Android skins want to do higher


Robert Triggs /


With only some exceptions, maximum Android telephones available on the market at the moment are constructed the usage of off-the-shelf portions. For this reason {hardware} from one smartphone OEM bears a placing resemblance to {hardware} from some other. The main manner OEMs can differentiate their product is thru tool, which is one of the explanation why firms spend such a lot money and time on it.

See additionally: (*11*)The most productive Android telephones you’ll get at this time


What’s so hilarious, although, is that there isn’t a unmarried corporate available in the market that does a pitch-perfect activity of unveiling customers simply how nice its tool is. (*10*)Samsung — which has one of essentially the most bloated Android skins available on the market — doesn’t also have an app very similar to Pixel Pointers or Moto. As a substitute, it will depend on pop-up tips which are now and again helpful however oftentimes merely tense. Even if they’re to hand, they don’t duvet the whole thing. Inevitably, there’s no manner a consumer would know each and every unmarried characteristic of One UI since there’s such a lot to plow through.

Why would Samsung spend such a lot money and time crafting distinctive tool methods however skip telling you about them?

Why would Samsung (or some other OEM) spend such a lot time crafting terrific and distinctive tool methods however go on working out a solution to let customers know the methods are there? With such a lot {hardware} sameness available on the market, why wouldn’t proprietary tool take middle level all the time? It doesn’t make any sense.

In the end, Android smartphone producers want to determine this out. The answer is so evident, too.

A hyperlink in Settings and a well-curated app


Joe Hindy /

Google and Motorola each have touched at the approach to this dilemma, however neither went all of the manner. The Moto and Pixel Pointers apps are indubitably helpful, and the vast majority of different OEMs available in the market don’t have anything that compares.

On the other hand, even Google and Motorola lack complete and well-organized apps. Moreover, some customers would possibly now not utterly perceive what those apps do. The obliquely-named Moto app may well be anything else, for instance. Is it an app-based model of the Moto retailer? Does it provide you with details about Motorola as an organization? Who is aware of, proper? The Pixel Pointers app has a greater and extra suitable title, but it surely nonetheless doesn’t adequately advertise its usefulness to customers.

Each pores and skin wishes a well-curated app to sing their own praises its options, and it must be evident the place the app is and what it does.

Truly, what’s wanted here’s a hyperlink in Android settings. Proper on the best, there will have to be a distinguished hyperlink that merely says, “In finding out what your telephone can do.” Customers may just faucet that and it might merely open the OEM’s pre-installed app. In the end, when just about any Android consumer is searching for one thing, the primary position they’re going to move is the Settings panel.


Clearly, Samsung, OnePlus, and different Android OEMs would want to broaden apps very similar to Moto and Pixel Pointers. This must occur regardless. However developing the app is equal to developing the options themselves; it must be simple and evident to search out what you wish to have. So far as I’m involved, all Android OEMs are shedding the ball right here, and it’s about time they began to form up.

Proceed studying: (*8*)The most productive customization apps on Android