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 colour 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 colour schemes, themes, features etc. This is despite the fact that 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 puts 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
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 flavours 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 smooth and fast.
Other UIs do contain a good amount of add-ons, bloatware and features and so are “heavy”. This makes them to 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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