Stock Android: The Canvas No One Painted On

Published on Author Eli Fennell

Android has been accused of being a bit inelegant, and, at least prior to Android 4.0, that much was true to a point.  Android somewhat looked like it had been designed by software engineers, and, in fact, it had been.

Third-parties have tried with mixed results to bring elegance to Android; Samsung’s Touchwiz is generally inoffensive but contributes to painful upgrade cycles, while MotoBlur is so widely hated that one wonders what Motorola is thinking to keep using it, and hopes that Google will kill it after the takeover.

And then there was Prada.  In a rant by Sam Biddle, This Stupid Prada Phone Is the Best Looking Android I’ve Ever Seen, the author takes Samsung, HTC, and other Android makers to task for being shown up by a cheap lousy LG Prada branded Android smartphone.  In his own words, “This idiotic LG/Prada luxury phone that nobody will buy has one thing going for it: it looks nice.”

Sadly he’s right.  Look at that elegant user interface!  Tasteful, well planned, and as Biddle puts it, “It’s designed.”  Why the hell did it take Prada to bring taste to Android?  It makes me wonder if the real failing hasn’t so much been on Google’s part; if this was always what Google expected their Android partners to do, to bring design to it!

As the title suggests, I’m starting to suspect that Android was meant to be the canvas, a true stock operating system to be modified by the vendors, and no one but LG and Prada have done more than wildly fling cans of paint at it!  In the end it has taken Google with Ice Cream Sandwich to bring design aesthetic to it!

One thing is for sure: Samsung, Motorola, HTC, other Android vendors, your attempts to improve Android all look pretty cheap and halfhearted when compared with this silly smartphone for fashion fanatics.  You should all hang your heads in shame!