Why do people want to store Android on their phones?

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You’ve seen people talking about “stock” Android on the Internet, but you’re not quite sure what that means. The short answer is that it’s “pure” Android straight from Google, but that doesn’t explain why so many hardcore Android fans like it.

stock id android

It is true that the term “stock Android” only means the version of Android released by Google. Well, in fact, it was developed by the Open Handset Alliance. A consortium of 84 companies working to develop open standards for mobile devices.

Most of the big players in the mobile field are members of the OHA, including Samsung, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Intel, and of course Google. Google is the primary commercial sponsor of Android development, but the operating system itself is open source and anyone is free to use it.

So it is the version of Android certified by the OHA, sponsored and led by Google, which is commonly referred to as stock Android.

Understanding the Android phone ecosystem

So why not all stock Android? Most of the Android phones that you can buy today have a modified version of Android. In essence, every basic operating system is the same, but different phone makers tweak or replace the user interface, add more features and preload their favorite set of apps.

Android is an open platform and thus there is a heated competition between different brands of phones and tablets to stand out from each other. There is a vibrant ecosystem of devices of radically different shapes, sizes, and features.

On paper, it seems to be a good idea for every phone maker to tweak, extend, and improve the underlying Android layout. Most of the time, it is! However, there are obvious advantages that make the stock Android experience very attractive.

What’s so great about Stock Android?

There are many reasons why someone would prefer stock Android over other options, but the first thing that most fans of no-frills Android rave about is that it’s, well, no-frills. Stock Android is relatively small, doesn’t require a powerful hardware to work well, and has a simple interface.

Perhaps most importantly, Stock Android is free of bloatware: Apps and other content preloaded by Android phone makers which are often annoying and hard to get rid of.

Apart from cutting out all the bloat and offering a simple and fast user interface, stock Android also benefits from quick updates. If your device is running Android, you can update to the latest Android version as soon as it is launched.

If you are using a device with a modified version of Android, then you have to wait for the manufacturer to open the hood for the latest version of Android and work its magic before releasing it to customers. That has changed somewhat these days, with Android makers releasing bug fixes and high-priority bugs almost immediately, and disconnecting them from major Android updates.

Stock Android is also completely open source, which means that (in principle) anyone can scan the code and see exactly what is on their device. It is impractical to hide spyware or backdoors in an open source software product. With modded Android phones, everything that is installed on the underlying operating system is proprietary. So, to sum it all up when it comes to the good stuff in stock Android:

  • Comes without bloatware.
  • Provides minimal user interface.
  • It is open source with no screws attached.

There is a lot to like about the simpler life that Android offers, but it is not all advantages and disadvantages!

What’s Not So Cool About Stock Android

The main problem with stock Android is that it is not optimized for any particular device. If you install it on a random Android phone, you will lose access to any special hardware features of that phone without adding the special drivers again.

Stock Android is also not as feature-rich as the custom versions of the operating system on the market. For example, the native screen recording function became an official feature only for stock Android in Android 11, however, phone makers like Samsung have offered this function for years. If you care about the latest high-end hardware and software features, stock Android probably isn’t for you.

Likewise, stock Android has some catching up to do when it comes to multitasking and running multiple apps on the screen at the same time. Android 11 does not yet provide an official “desktop mode”, but users of Samsung phones can use DeX.

How to get Stock Android

So, if you want stock Android, how are you going to start getting it? The simplest answer is to buy a stock Android or semi-stock Android phone. The term “close to stock” means that minimal modifications have been made to the operating system and it retains the look, feel and usability of stock Android.

There are a number of phones you can buy that have a bloat-free Android experience out of the box. Google’s Pixel phones are a good example of this. You may also want to look for “Android One” phones, which are officially certified by Google, and get at least two years of operating system upgrades as soon as they’re released.

If you want to mount stock Android on your existing phone, this is much more complicated and involves “rooting” your phone to get full administrator privileges and upload a custom modified OS image to it, which can include stock Android. This is not something we advise a new Android user to do, because if things go wrong, there is a real chance of turning your phone into a paperweight. So make sure you do some serious homework on the process and its risks before you take the leap.

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