Ever since the dawn of Android, phone and tablet manufacturers have been adding their own ingredients to Google’s open-source OS. Though custom UIs like Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense started out as little more than skins, they now offer significantly more functionality than stock Android, which has remained pretty much the same for more than a year now.
Many of my fellow geeks are willing to pay extra for “pure” Android phones like the $649 Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Edition. Unfortunately, they’re paying more for less as Google’s unmodified operating system falls further and further behind. Here are seven ways that custom Android skins beat the pixels out of pure Android.
As Android moves onto larger, more powerful devices, the need to view more than one app at a time only increases. It’s no wonder, then, that Samsung has added a Multi Window mode that lets users split the screen between two programs at once and LG has a series of QSlide apps that appear as floating windows on top of your desktop.
Want to do two things at once in stock Android? Third-party floating apps such as BSPlayer and Floating Browser will run as windows, but just don’t offer the full-fledged experience that you get from Samsung and LG.