Android Skins

According to Wikipedia, Android Skins refers to the general look and feel of a mobile phone’s user interface (UI). A UI is the space (physical or virtual) where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective control and operation of the machine from the human end.

Android Skins or UIs include color schemes for menus, highlights, background images, icons for apps, themes, folders, features, etc.

Read: What is AOSP?

If you have noticed, Samsung, Xiaomi, and Tecno phones do not look or feel the same. They have different color schemes, themes, features, etc., and yet, they are all Android phones. How is this possible?

Just as the skin covers our bodies and gives us our different looks and complexions, so do different manufacturers put different UIs on top of Android to give them different looks and feels.

It is important to note that these Android skins/UI are more than just cosmetic additions or tweaks. Android Skins or UI are fully modified versions of AOSP. These different Android skins could have different device drivers, firmware, features, codes, and of course UIs.

Read: The History of Android

Android Skins

The UIs of course are how we can tell these different variants of Android apart. This is because it is the most recognizable feature of the different flavors of Android.

The main variant of Android is the one made by Google which is known as Stock Android. It is very light and does not have a lot of add-on software. It runs very smoothly and fast.

Other UIs do contain a good amount of add-ons, bloatware, and features and so are “heavy”. This makes them run slower than Stock Android. Some of the best Android Skins or UIs include: Oxygen OS, Android One/Go, One UI (formerly Touchwiz), MIUI/Poco UI, Color OS, Realme UI, EMUI, etc.

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