Are OEM Android interfaces bloated and filled with junk?

Today in Open Source: Stock Android or an OEM version with bloatware? Plus: Top Android 4.3 features, and Ubuntu versus Xubuntu

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I don't have kids, so the restricted profiles thing doesn't do much for me. But I can see it being useful in other kinds of situations such as retail stores, etc.

Open GL ES 3.0 is going to be a big winner for Android users. Who doesn't want better looking and fast graphics? They are always in demand by gamers and others who use a lot of video and graphics heavy apps.

Bluetooth Smart Ready does like like it might spawn some cool apps. I work out regularly so having a heart rate monitor could be very useful. I can see a feature like that being a boon to users, once developers have implemented in their apps.

I hate getting a lot of notifications, but I can see how Notification Access might be useful for developers and then for the users who allow access to their notifications.

I can't say I'm excited about the Digital Rights Management stuff, but as Steven points out, it's a necessary evil on Google's part. Given that piracy is rampant on Android, I wonder if it will make much of a difference in the end though. A lot of users might not even notice any of these changes if they don't bother with DRM protected content in the first place.

Ubuntu or Xubuntu: Which is Better?

Gary Newell has a good comparison between Ubuntu and Xubuntu. Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop environment, while Ubuntu obviously uses Unity.

So when should you use Xubuntu and when should you use Ubuntu? A simplistic view would be to say that if you want a lightweight operating system because you like to keep your system lean and clean or because you are running older hardware then Xubuntu is the way to go but if you want to use cutting edge applications on a cutting edge desktop then use Ubuntu. You might also consider using Xubuntu if you want to be able to customise your desktop experience beyond changing desktop wallpapers and deciding whether the launcher hides itself or not.

More at My Ubuntu Blog

I have to weigh in on the side of Xubuntu, all the way. I have never been able to warm up to Unity, it's just not my cup of tea. Xfce, on the other hand, is a more traditional desktop environment. It's also lighter and faster than other desktops, so it's fantastic if you have an older or slower computer.

I also like the way Xfce looks compared to Unity. Yes, some might consider this a shallow reason to choose a desktop in Linux, but I think it's quite valid. After all, when you pick a desktop you might as well like it since you'll be using it regularly.

What's your take on Ubuntu versus Xubuntu? Which one would you pick?

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