Top 5 Android manufacturer software features

Top 5 Android manufacturer software features
Android is a vibrant and diverse ecosystem, because the platform itself is designed to be malleable and easily customized. Recently, the outcry against manufacturer customization, and support for stock Android has been growing, but there is still a lot of good to be found in the software additions that manufacturers are putting on their Android devices.

We're keeping this specific discussion focused on the software features that you'll find directly from Android manufacturers. This means that right now, we're just going to be talking about Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, and Sony, and features that you'll find in TouchWiz, Sense, etc. We'll also be working on a top 5 features for Android custom ROMs that should be up soon. 

Additionally, we would like to note that we are not including any camera apps in this list, because it can be hard to separate the software from the hardware. HTC's camera software is great, but the UltraPixel camera leaves a lot to be desired, whereas the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a solid cameras, but software that crosses over into bloat mess.  

So, without further ado, let's take a look at what we think are the 5 best software features from Android manufacturers.

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27 Comments

1. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Android open source give manufacturers room to customize and grow.

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Yea but it's not like anyone actually cares about whatever features the manufacturers put in the phones these days. The majority of idiots buying high end phones have bought them based on marketing points and cult membership.

19. Scott93274

Posts: 6031; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Actually, the features of the Moto X is what prompted me to go with that device over the competition. That and the near stock OS.

6. Kishin

Posts: 706; Member since: May 30, 2013

Android itself should be #1

2. flexile

Posts: 78; Member since: Jun 03, 2012

I think Active Display from Motorola is a pretty cool addition as well. Personally, I haven't find myself using Moto Assist on my Moto X. The Xperia theme engine was pretty cool on my old Xperia SP. I think they're all cool choices.

3. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

"Samsung's TouchWiz software is the epitome of bloat..." Please dont state the obvious.

14. MEeee

Posts: 412; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Others are now taking those bloat one by one.

26. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

While some may agrees with you, there are people that still like TouchWiz, I am one of them, I miss their S-Pen and Multi Windows when I switch to my XiaoMi RedMi Note. I did find a replacement software for their Smart Stay with Smart Stay Ex from Play Store however. TouchWiz give their User a great experience and make use of its powerful hardware in Galaxy S4,S5 and their Note series.

4. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Is the ability to customize the launch phrase going to be available on the 2013 Moto X? Didn't they say they would update the 2013 Moto X with all of the new features of the new Moto X, providing it was supported by the hardware?

8. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

They did, the Moto X 2013 should get the custom launch phrase and all the other software features of the new Moto X soon.

11. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Great!

21. Scott93274

Posts: 6031; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I read the same thing you did. That alone would make the phone all the more awesome. And the recent update to Moto Voice according to the Play store, stated that future updates for the Moto X (2013) will be coming soon. Though I'm not sure if that feature is intended to make it in that update. We shall see.

7. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

Answer the phone by lifting to your ears introduce by the galaxy s4 not the one m8..

10. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Answer the phone by lifting to your ears is so 1980s. S4 did not introduced it.

15. MEeee

Posts: 412; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Another feature taking from Samsung bloat.

9. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

Sony's theme engine is poor compared to xiaomi's MIUI. Check facts PA.

12. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Quite cool features. Are they all available in one phone or any apps to get them?

13. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Motion launch is the best out of the 5, it's very convenient to unlock the phone with just a swipe

16. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Oppo's on and offscren draw gestures are the best.

17. techsavvy.jaz

Posts: 163; Member since: Feb 07, 2012

Except multi window, all these are kernel level, I just hope there is some great dev making note of these features and making an awesome kernel implementing all these!

18. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I understand it might have been annoying for Motorola to further dominate this list, but Active Display has been fantastic on the Moto X too. The ability to check the time just by nudging the phone, sweeping your hand over the proximity/IR sensors, or pulling it out of your pocket, followed by the ability to immediately preview the latest (3) notification(s) and then swipe to unlock directly into that notification and/or into the phone is ridiculously convenient. In the few times I've had to handle phones without the feature since, it's become a frustration to have to search for the power button on those other phones.

20. Scott93274

Posts: 6031; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

You know... everyone loves Active Display, but not me. I'll have my phone sitting on my desk at work and every little nudge or bump of the desk will prompt the time to flash on the screen. It gets a bit distracting after a while. Though I do like it when there is a notification to actually report. It sure beats a little LED light.

22. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

If Motorola is so good with their features. Why aren't them in Samsung's position right now?

23. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Marketing and distribution. Also Motorola's really good features didn't start showing up until this time last year.

25. Scott93274

Posts: 6031; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Brand recognition. Motorola had several years of mediocre phones. Then the Moto X came out last year and everyone who reviewed the device raved about how awesome it was. Unfortunately it also didn't match the other smartphones of the time in size and processor speed and people dismissed it not knowing that it still had a stellar user experience. This year's Moto X is faster than any other Android phone, has improved the features from last year's phone and costs less than any other major OEM's flagship phone so I suspect that it'll do much better this time around.

24. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

It's hard to believe that the S5 can only gain 4 more hours with UPSM.

27. aymnga

Posts: 30; Member since: Aug 19, 2012

smart stay and quick memo

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