10 awesome features custom skins have that stock Android does not (but should!)

10 awesome features custom skins have that stock Android does not (but should!)
We tend to like stock Android much more than custom skins. It usually works better, it’s more fluid, makes more sense. But while that is the general case, there are plenty of things we like in custom skins as well.

Actually some of them seem like such obvious things that we can only point a finger at Google and wonder why the company has not yet included them to the stock Android. Some of them are no-brainers, others are just brilliant ideas, and yet others would boost productivity a great deal.

What are those features we sorely miss in stock Android? Here are 10 awesome ideas from Samsung’s TouchWiz, HTC Sense, the LG Optimus UI and Sony’s Timescape UI, we wish Google would incorporate in Android faster. Check them out below and don’t hesitate to let us know which are your favorites in the comments!



1. Cyan3boN

Posts: 446; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

oooh that kitty looks cute

31. DigitalMD

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 17, 2010

ANdroid needs a more unified kernel and driver set with less vendor and proprietary items needed to build a updated ROM. That's still the biggest downside to Android. It takes 6 to 12 months to get a OS update pushed out to most phones and tablets . Many never see an update at all, so all the new features go to waste

46. aikonix

Posts: 60; Member since: Apr 08, 2012

Thats not true... Google releases updates like crazy, manufacture gets the update, tweaks and adds stuff, then sends it to the carrier, then the carrier adds bloatware and other features, then the carrier THEN thinks about marketing, where they want the newer phones to get the updates before older phones. If older phones got the updates too, why upgrade the phone then? Only then enthusiasts who want the latest and greatest then will upgrade and others will only ugprade when they find means too... Thats why you dont receive your updates sooner, and if you want your updates sooner? then go to XDA and update it yourself and stop complaining

2. OHaZZaR

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 19, 2011

I have battery percentage displayed on my GNote's touchwiz. Honestly, I thought most of these were already available on vanilla android.

15. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Same here. I know that landscape mode has been on Symbian for a while, I'm surprised only LG has it for non-tablets. The VideoPic thing would be great on an 808 PureView (if it isn't already) with its lossless zoom. WindowsPhonehas battery percentage, so +1 for that

27. SleepingOz unregistered

Vanilla Android is popular 'coz it's simple and good looking but what you get is only the basics.

32. Asasindude26

Posts: 33; Member since: Mar 25, 2012

Only 8 of these things are plausable...

43. SGSatlantis

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

Wait till you learn that you can't create folders in the app drawer, you know because we totally hate options.

3. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Nexus 4 HAS the ability to shoot photos while recording a video.

12. s.mrabet

Posts: 147; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Gs3 had that since launch on may.

19. JonBjSig

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

The Galaxy Nexus came out in October 2011 when no phone had this feature, the S3 came out in May 2012, the Nexus line is just catching up in this case.

23. drodro

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Galaxy Nexus had that since launch on Oct 2011.

29. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

True, but the camera on the GNex is very meh.

4. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Yes TW has the battery percentage too. What about mini apps from timescape? Anyway, great article.. proves what I've been saying lately. OEM android builds are a good thing. They enrich the platform

8. loken

Posts: 462; Member since: May 09, 2012

SMALL APPS! also take picture from lock screen in les than 2 sec

5. fistigons

Posts: 368; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

It'd be nice to have all of these features on a stock android device. I have a question though. Is it possible to put touchwiz and all the features of the S3/note 2 on a Nexus device? I like the gesture features on the S3 and the multiwindow mode on the Note 2, but I like the price of the Nexus 4. The same goes for all the listed features are there roms for all of these? Can I have it all?

6. loken

Posts: 462; Member since: May 09, 2012

Sony also has that nfc feature.. also sony has facebook inside it lol!!

7. dsDoan

Posts: 235; Member since: Dec 28, 2011

It's silly that 7 and 9 haven't been added to stock, yet. 10 is more of a DLNA feature, which would be nice, as well.

9. flexile

Posts: 78; Member since: Jun 03, 2012

Honestly, the only features I would care about is lockscreen wallpaper and the ability to take pictures while recording. I don't find myself ever using the rest of the features (especially the bigger icons thing, or the SMS map attachment).

10. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Umm..... If you root you would have those features already EXCEPT MultiWindow mode. I am running Eclipse 2.1 Build 4 which is an Android 4.1.2 AOSP ROM on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I have all those features mentioned PLUS the Android 4.2 keyboard, camera & gallery. Plus with the proper Kernel you can get GREAT battery life also. Better than STOCK Android. The root community is already WAY ahead of this article. lol

11. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Nice to know that. This comment made me wanna learn the art of rooting ( I'm a noob in geeky stuffs though I'm a born gamer ). And since SONY f**ked up JB on their 2011 devices I'll probaly just intall custom ROMs later on.

16. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Rooting is really not that hard. If you can read clearly, follow steps & show some sort of common sense you should be able to root your phone just fine. My only advice is to read the steps needed & then REread the same steps so you are familiar with the WHOLE process before you actually attempt these steps on your phone. There is nothing worse than having something totally unexpected happen because you rushed too quickly. There are MANY tutorials on how to use ADB to push ROMs , APKs & all sort of other stuff. It may seem like there is a lot to learn but if you take it STEP by STEP it really isn't too complicated. Remember EVERYONE who roots was a noob at first so PLEASE just take your time learn the terminology look at tutorials, follow steps & you will be underway to TRUE freedom to whatever Android device you choose to root. +1 for you. Once you root your world will change & you will finally see Android’s TRUE potential. www.xda-developers.com & www.rootzwiki.com are GREAT places to start your root adventure.

17. fins71

Posts: 17; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Read the root instructions and then zip on over to YouTube and watch videos step by step on how to do it also. It really is as easy as baking a cake. Also if you had a rooted Note 2 like myself you would have everything including multi Window. I rooted it day after I bought it. Awesome device.

25. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

lol That is GREAT. I already know how to root the HTC Droid DNA & the phone is STILL not out YET. Tomorrow when I pick up the HTC Droid DNA, I will unbox it, make sure it's charged 100% & then I will root that BEAST. In less than 4 hours after the HTC DROID DNA gets released to the masses, I will have a rooted 1080p SLCD 3 display, quad-core Krait S4 Pro with Adreno 320, & 2GB of glorious RAM all wrapped up in a SEXY HTC build quality that has become world renowned. Man I CAN’T WAIT for the AOSP ROMs to start baking! lol +1 to you my fellow root user.

24. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Thank you for the insight. I'll probably learn this one step by step and in a slow manner. I actually had experience flashing firmwares before, and based if guides they're almost kinda thesame if I'm not mistaken. Anyways I plan to root my current phone only after I've replace it with whatever 2013 phone that intrigues me the most.

26. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Hey that sounds like a GREAT plan to me. You are definitely on you way. Good for you! +1

30. Deadeye37

Posts: 292; Member since: Jan 25, 2011

Just beware that rooting your phone voids the warranty. I waited until my phone was out of warranty before I rooted it.

37. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

I know, thanks. My warranty is already long due. ;-)

38. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

The problem is, you shouldn't always have to ROOT your phone in order to fix a problem. It seems like whenever their is a criticism on Android, most users will always resort to root. While we phone geeks could easily do it, not most normal consumers care to root.

45. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

You have Slo-Mo video recording?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.