How to get a stock-like UI on any Android smartphone, no root required

How to get a stock-like UI on any Android smartphone, no root required
Ask any Nexus smartphone user, and he'll tell you that vanilla Android is one of the main drivers behind his purchase. If you're not a part of the Nexus club, you may arrive to the point where you feel that the custom user interface that your smartphone's manufacturer has overlaid on top of Android isn't the most inspired. Unfortunately, there's no way that you can get true stock Android on your device, and although you could emulate the experience by flashing a custom ROM, not everyone wants to through the more complicated process of rooting an Android phone.

If you don't want to root but still want to get a taste of the stock Android UI, you'll be glad to know that not all hope is lost. There are few apps that you can install which will make your Android phone look a lot more like a Nexus smartphone. Before proceeding, bear in mind that this will only provide an additional overlay on top of the custom UI of your phone. In other words, your device will only look and feel more like stock Android, but will still run a custom implementation of the OS.

Step 1. The first thing that you see when you pick up your smartphone is the lockscreen. To emulate the Lollipop lockscreen on your Android device, even if it's running older Android versions, download Lollipop Lockscreen Android L. Just install it and use the on-screen instructions to activate it. The app will bring Lollipop-like notifications to the lockscreen.

Step 2. Now that we've got the lockscreen covered, the next thing you're going to see is the launcher. The Play Store is once again our friend. As its name suggests, the Google Now Launcher is Google's own launcher, one that comes with full support for Google Now. This launcher looks exactly like the one you can expect to find on Nexus smartphones. 

Step 3. All Nexus smartphones, as well as many others come with the default Google Keyboard. If yours doesn't have it, download Googl Keyboard from the Play Store. Once you install the app, it will teach you how the Google Keyboard can be activated. Do note that Google's keyboard app is not as advanced as other offerings such as SwiftKey, Swype, and Flesky.

Step 4. The last step you can take is to stop using the custom camera app that comes pre-installed on your smartphone and use the Google Camera app instead. It's simple to use, but it still offers sufficient controls to keep you interested and maneuvring the software.

There you go! Now the user interface of your smartphone will look highly similar to that of one running stock Android. 




Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

You could just...I don't a Nexus?

4. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Is that cheaper than downloading free apps?


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Vs buying a 800 dollar phone and having a crappy UI over Android? Also even if you do all of this, its still not the same and the UI will still be there. Unless you root and flash a rom or buy a Nexus, you are only kidding yourself.

8. trustory

Posts: 132; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

You realize some people still have really old phones right? Mine is a optimus f3 that's only on android 4.1.2. I don't have enough money for a new one and no one wants to hire me.

9. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

1. Buy a Nexus 2. Buy Nova/Google now launcher 3. Custom ROMS baby

11. janis

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

i am runnng galaxy 6s edge with nova launcher etc, looks like stock android, 0 lags.

2. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Flash a plethora of custom roms is the best way imo.

3. Panino

Posts: 62; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

it says no root required.

6. yourmom

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 21, 2015


7. Sdiq572

Posts: 36; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

But, how to make the home, back and other button like nexus on my samsung note5 or ironman s6 edge Sent from Rose Gold iPhone 6s Plus

10. valneja

Posts: 32; Member since: Dec 21, 2014

Google camera app is horrible! I own LG G3 and stock camera app does much better photos. Also google now launcher is not as good as nova launcher. If you want stock then buy nexus or root your phone... Saddly there is no other way.

12. Bustami

Posts: 12; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Flash CyanogenMod, and you get stock android experience with great cyanogenmod features, like theming.

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 or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.