Listen up, Android manufacturers: The time has come for your built-in Android custom user interface to go away. Call it Motoblur, call it Sense, call it whatever you want -- as long as it's coming preinstalled on Android phones, it's officially overstayed its welcome.
These days, practically every Android phone-maker is including its own custom UI -- or "skin," as it's often called -- on top of Google's basic Android software. The motivation is understandable: With modern Android devices having increasingly similar hardware power, the skins give companies a way to set their phones apart. And that's fine. It's the implementation that's a problem.
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The manufacturers, you see, insist on integrating their UIs into the phone's operating system, replacing the stock Android OS with their own tweaked-out editions. It's pretty much the standard M.O. these days; it's what we see with Motorola's Motoblur, HTC's Sense, Samsung's TouchWiz, and Dell's and Sony's custom Android skins. And it's a practice that needs to end.
The trouble with the integrated custom Android UI
The idea of the integrated Android interface presents a couple of serious issues. First, rolling out new versions of Android becomes a painfully involved and delayed process: Even with Google's updated software out in the wild, manufacturers have to make their own modifications and bake their custom skins back in before users can get the goods. We're seeing that happen right now with the Android 2.2 "Froyo" upgrade. (Yes, I know that HTC and Sprint were first out of the carrier gate with Froyo for the Evo -- and major props to them for making that happen -- but as most Android owners know, that's more the exception than the rule.)