Shell vs pure Android

Since ancient times, it has become a tradition that smartphone makers have sought to improve Android. And all because… why not?! In fact, the main reason is this – because I could, because Google allowed them, opening code system.

Chronicle of the confrontation and progress

And pulled playful little hands to dig in the guts of a cute green robot and make incest sinful, giving rise to light Frankenstein’s terrible. This period of development Android I associate with a child who was born with complications and postnatal defects, and they rushed to deal with seven caring nurses, each with its savegame in the field of education of children.

Yes, the first “improvement” occurred, with varying success. Something came out good, some functionality has become a revolutionary, was successful discoveries. But some things are just so mad users. And it should be noted – in spite of everything, all this movement ensures the progress of the platform as a whole. Therefore, despite the common confusion, you can’t dismiss the positive aspects.

By the way, no wonder our resource has the word root in its name. But now many have forgotten its value. So I’ll remind you. This website at the time organized a simple geek. That first thing after buying a new smartphone do what? Right. Got root access and installed to your device custom firmware. Preferably based on pure Android.

That is, I’ll try again to track the entire chain of events. Google is doing a clean OS and throws the code to the partners in open access. Manufacturers completely rework the system, add their functions, and pull the sheath is terrible (mostly) design. From which the user after purchase trying to get rid of as quickly as possible and aims to return the system to its original state.

For a very long time in the environment of enthusiasts were present waterskii mood. Particularly hated were the shell TouchWiz from Samsung. Actually, I still remember the days when it was called the Pantheon on my first Android Galaxy Spica. As for the Samsung, I can confirm that using them from the box during the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note 1-2 1-2 was almost impossible. At least slow the file system had to change to ext3, otherwise the interface is simply terrible lag. Corny – it was impossible to listen to music on the player because of the constant stuttering when reading data from memory. In addition, the sudden biting of the battery was very common for TouchWiz. And the culprit quickly discharge was simply impossible, and how to fix something yourself. The situation started to improve around with the Galaxy S4. Modern shell – Samsung Experience – just like heaven and earth compared to what it was. It is fast, comfortable and functional, it is nice to use. This is one of the most striking examples of the positive progress of the original shell in my memory.

But back to the past brand of shells. They were not entirely bad. On the contrary. Some of the things Google has shifted in the next version of its operating system. And, Oh God, something even Apple have managed to steal and present as an innovation from the stage, presenting a new version of iOS.

If you think objectively, shell with unique functions during the rapid growth of the mobile market was competitive, they contributed sales of smartphones, accordingly, the development of new features has paid off due to the raised from the sale of the devices means. Further functions were tested on the consumers, was carried out a natural selection of the most popular solutions, which were implemented in a new version of the clean OS and this cycle is repeated again and again. This feature remains relevant to this day – every manufacturer tries to add exclusive pieces in your shell and copy the best practices of competitors. Largely because of this, Android malaysiaboleh of DIY turned into the powerful platform that we use now.


The main drawback of membranes was considered to be the firmware that was impossible to remove. In addition to the conventionally useful programs, like a calculator, voice recorder, weather app, the producers tried to sew as much as possible some completely useless services, both branded and third party. And due to not fully debugged mechanism of management of memory in earlier versions of the OS, this zoo application can run automatically without your knowledge and disable the autostart was impossible. Not only that, the firmware took a seat in the already small volume of permanent memory, so this activity is still held non-memory resources, causing braking when using your smartphone and the battery is discharged in the background. The term battery drain known to many users, and jokes about Android, which runs in the night became a meme at the time.

This situation favored the development of custom firmware based on lightweight drain cut unnecessary programs and services. Again, to install them, had to start to get root or custom recovery. In General – fun enough.


It is worth noting that at the moment, manufacturers have become much more restrained in the desire to fill the smartphones built-in applications. Usually only implement the most critical minimum corporate services, and the rest is proposed to establish from a corporate repository or the Google Play store.

Most third-party software, supplied with the shell, you can remove directly from the desktop on or off in the settings. In addition, a clear improvement occurred in terms of memory, startup applications and background activity.


In fact, even pure Android itself was far from perfect. Therefore, advanced users also tried to change it and “finished” by itself. Very popular custom optimized kernel (“ask the core, brother”) a number of utilities over and underclocking and change governorof processor (Google what it is), programs to control autostart, settings memory, all sorts of battery monitors and optimizers. All of them required root access for full work again return the user to the need to ratowania, install custom firmware or kernels.


Modern sheath got advanced built-in tools for performance optimization and energy saving. Setting AutoPlay allows you to determine which applications should automatically start when you turn on the smartphone and which can be run only manually. You can also fine-tune the operation of programs in the background – to identify the applications that would close when screen off and Vice versa – what needs to continue. In addition, it is possible to firmly secure the mission critical applications in RAM, and is posting actively, even after a device reboot. Moreover, with the implementation of machine learning functions, the less this setting is necessary in manual mode, although this possibility remains. For example, in EMUI, the system monitors the usage model, and automatically accelerates the start of popular applications.

One of the most important functions to ensure the performance of a modern smartphone is to optimize the system and clean it of trash. It is no secret that the Android OS is amassing a huge amount of information during their work and over time, these data clog your memory and slow the system. Now, in modern shells, this problem is solved, and in the most advanced – also with the help of machine learning. From time to time the firmware issues a notification of the need to optimize. Even this operation can be run manually at any time by the utility Manager “phone”. This made clearing the app cache and system, and the user is prompted to remove duplicate pictures and unused files and programs. This can be realized all by pressing one button and using a convenient wizard with tips.

Naturally, built-in to firmware utility most efficiently perform such optimization without any harm to the health of the system and without the risk of deleting important user data.


As I said, in addition to tons of unnecessary software manufacturers impose users with your UI design, often very different from pure Android and not in a good way and without possibility to change it.

At the same time a clean OS always attracted a concise appearance, especially after the introduction of the concept of material design. It also provoked many users to develop firmware using third-party launcher or even a complete change on the AOSP-based, like the popular CyanogenMod and its derivatives.


Almost all modern shell got support for themes and a special tool for their shifts, which are usually called “Themes” or “theme Manager”. This means that the appearance of the user interface you can easily change drastically. The composition usually includes icons, Wallpaper, changing the design of a lever with switches and built-in apps (phone, SMS, calendar, etc.), and changing the registration settings menu. Themes can be downloaded from the official shop, there are free and paid options. In EMUI and MIUI themes can be combined among themselves, that is to take different components from different themes.

In addition, themes can be downloaded from Google Play as separate packages or with the help of special applications, the type of EMUI Theme Factorythat, in fact, is a repository of custom themes.

Many of the shells there is the possibility to just download the theme file to the device and throw it in a certain folder, and after that, the theme appears in the Manager. In General, if you do not like the official design of the shell, then get on your smartphone appearance, very similar to pure Android, at the moment quite easily. Generally, it is possible to view any modern shell, stylized iOS or to find something original to your liking. Of course, you have to spend a little time searching for a suitable topic.

Backup and restore

Backup and restore of user data – was and remains a huge problem Android. Full backup at the system level is actually not there now. Yes, the OS remembers a lot, and stores data about installed applications in the Google cloud. However, to say exactly which data will be restored from googleaccount after a complete reset or change devices, and which are not – it is impossible.

At the same time, almost all shells now have built-in tools backup – you can save data to the cloud or locally and then restore on the other device everything, call log, SMS, apps and their data, photos from gallery. Yes, of course, it must be a device from the same manufacturer with the same shell. However, the actual mechanism is, and it pleases.

In addition, the shells are utilities for transferring data over the air. Very convenient when you upgrade, if you haven’t sold your old device. For example in the shell Huawei this tool is called Clone Phone and it is even multiplatform. With its help it is possible to completely transfer all data from old smartphone to new. Get the old software environment (in fact – a copy of the old smartphone) on the new device. Convenient. For example, I now use, which together with the data migrated I have Huawei P9 to P10 – P10 Plus – Mate Pro 10 – P20 Pro and went through several updates of the firmware versions (with up to 4 EMUI EMUI 8.1.0). Every time I just cloned an old smartphone to a new device.


For many years at the dawn of the formation and development of the Android platform, I was a supporter of a clean system on your smartphone. So after buying a new smartphone tried to change the firmware on CyanogenMod or something similar from the world of AOSP. However, over the past 5 years my attitude towards corporate shells gradually changed. Especially over the last few years. And of course, this was largely due to the efforts of smartphone manufacturers that tirelessly from year to year improved, and modified its.

Now given the choice between pure Android and a proprietary shell comes to my mind by the following comparison. Pure Android rather be called “naked” is like a car with standard equipment. So after buying the device it must “pump” additional features to ensure an adequate level of comfort when using. Of course you will use various third-party solutions that vary stable, as no one ensures their perfect operation at the system level and they can not compete with software from the manufacturer, which is most properly integrated into the firmware and tested for compatibility.

That is, instead of buying modern ready-made solutions, you get the designer “back to Android 2.x” (with a beautiful design, can’t argue with that) and start from shit and sticks to build their system virtually from scratch. All hope only on your straight arms. It is clear that to ensure a positive outcome in such hands is very difficult. Of course, there are exceptions, but I see constant fucapi with pure Android even experienced reviewers, what can we say about ordinary users?

In addition, even if we imagine that you are well versed in the issue, many unique features which manufacturers provide branded shells, it is still not available on the smartphone with a pure Android OS, simply because the same third-party solutions you won’t find in Google Play.

The result is often original pure Android system turns from a light basic solution in a congested third-party programs, and zabagovannuyu fuckin trash generating negative user experience to its owner.

From what I see on the Internet, the tracking responses of users who use smartphones on a clean Android – frequent errors and crashes, and, the ordinary and popular (the application is not responding and will be closed), Express sudden discharge of the battery for unknown reasons and generally unstable autonomy, as well as the main beach “vanilla” devices – a noticeable slowing down after about six months of operation. The only solution that saves the day in this case a full reset, clearing and start from the beginning – set up, software installation, six months of use, the reset. Cool, Cho…

Most of the functions of the custom firmware migrated to the original shell, where they drank, combed and made stable. That is why at this stage of the platform development I’d rather say “Yes” to the smartphone with EMUI, MIUI and Samsung Experience than the device on pure Android OS. What do you think about this? Voting and comments features.