Android Skins: What They Are & Why You Should Avoid Them

Android skins are custom software running on top of the core Android OS. Android skins are usually developed and installed by cell phone manufacturers. They were intended as a way for CPM’s to further differentiate their products, but they have become another form of bloatware. Click through to find out why you should avoid Android skins.

Problem 1: Skins delay Android OS Updates

Waiting for the latest delicious-sounding version of the Android OS? You’ll have to wait for your phone manufacturer to configure their custom skin to work with the update, which means extra wait time.

Problem 2: Skins dilute the user interface

When Android made its debut, the skins did really contribute something to the user’s overall experience. But Android has caught up and it is now questionable if skins add or detract from the Android UI. The Google development team has finally got its act together and you have to wonder if a cell phone manufacturer can really compete with Google’s dedicated development team.

Problem 3: Security

It’s been proven that manufacturer and carrier-added bloatware is a security risk for Android phones. For the most part, cell phone manufacturers are looking at the bottom line and want to push their products to market asap. Security is not the primary concern.

What if I want a skin-free phone?

If you want a phone with the unadulterated version of Google’s Android OS, there are two options. The first is to buy one of Google’s Nexus phone models, as these are the best bet for the pure Android experience. The other option is to root your existing phone and upload a ROM of your preference. Neither option is easy, but many Android users are unaware that skins are even on their phones.