Open source – it’s great even for UX!

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It’s been a while since I tried CyanogenMod on my device, if you don’t know what is CM, well let’s just say that these guys are taking the AOSP (Android open source project) and bringing Google’s pure-android experience from Nexus devices to almost any other devices out there…


I used to enjoy CM back then (2 years ago) on my old Galaxy S2, and it was fine, almost the ultimate Nexus experience without having a nexus device… but lately I installed it again on my Samsung Galaxy S4, and I was amazed! These guys did a fantastic job, they actually implemented a unique Themes engine into CM framework, which means that you can install any Theme you want and Design your device the way you want! You can even make it look like Samsung’s TouchWiz-UX, or LG G3 new UI… it basically lets you change your design skin without flashing any Roms!

By using CM, I’ve come to the conclusion:
Maybe Google should force other manufactures that are using Android on their flagship devices, to reduce the number of pre-installed applications (Bloatware) on their devices. And not just bloatware, their frameworks too! Take Samsung for example, their TW interface is so heavy and so slow that even new devices with 3GB of Ram are still suffering from lags when opening App, and the famous Home button delay while closing an App…
So maybe google should convince manufactures and make them understand that there are other ways to Redesign Android, by using skins to brand it without causing performance issues. Google should force them to develop on top of Android framework without replacing it, and at the same time to skin it just the way CyanogenMod does. Even google has done a great job by separating their own apps from Android (Google play services). I think that google should guide manufacturers in a way that the Android experience will remain smooth, buttery and fast as light, No matter what branded skin it has on top of it!

The User-experience is what matters:
Even the average user can tell the difference between Pure Android (Nexus) experiences vs. Samsung’s TW experience! Maybe they can’t point on the actual differences but they do feel it! They can feel that the one is faster, smoother and responsive, while the other is not! So by keeping Android clean and faster without bloatware, maybe it will be easy for the manufactures to release Android updates quickly instead of keeping users wait forever, because without too much changes in the original framework it will be easier to update devices with minimum development effort and modifications, that way they’ll only update the skin and apply it on the newest versions of Android (AOSP) and release it as their brand. After that, every Android user will be happy, and it will also pay off for Google, because if user will get the latest version of Android as fast as possible on their devices, than Android Platform Stats will get better reputation (even on other manufacture’s devices), so everybody will be happy, even iPhone users won’t get bad experience when they’ll try Android devices (except Nexus of course, because Nexus always been smooth!).

And my point is:
If a group of open-source developers can develop and design skins for CM theme engine to look and feel just like other manufacture’s version, than those manufactures can do the same! And as for their bloatware – they must understand that nobody needs that! Everybody hates bloatware! That’s why my next device will be a Nexus, even though I know that Samsung, LG, and other manufactures have great hardware, but as I already said – The experience matters! And even geeks and technology enthusiastic want it out of the box…


Themes for CM, can you tell the difference?

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