Ask any Nexus smartphone user, and he’ll tell you that vanilla Android is one of the main drivers behind his purchase. We will show you how to get Stock Android UI on any device without rooting.
There are all sorts of user interfaces out there — TouchWiz, ZenUI, Sense, and Optimus UI are just some of them. These different UI’s tend to come packaged with all sorts of bloatware such as theme stores, digital assistants, and popup tips. But sometimes all the user wants is to enjoy stock android UI.
Depending on your device, you might have some of these apps and settings already configured, but by the time you’re finished with this walkthrough, you’ll have a device that functions very closely to a completely vanilla-feeling Android.
In many ways, your launcher is the most important app on your phone. It’s the central interface that you use on a daily basis. Your launcher determines how your home screens are organized, how your icons appear, and how your app tray functions.
For achieving stock Android, you have two popular and quality options: Google Now Launcher or Nova Launcher. We advise using Google Now Launcher as it is made by Google itself – it will give you the closest experience to Stock Android. Google Now Launcher also gives you access to Google Now Cards right from the launcher, which allow you to passively submit information to Google so it can anticipate your needs and interests.
Google Now Launcher will go a long way toward making your phone feel more like a practical device
Lock screens can sometimes be a little buggy. Many custom versions aren’t super reliable, and others rely on playful gimmicks that really just aren’t conducive to regular use. I have fortunately found a good working lock screen and that is Lollipop Lockscreen Android L. Just install it and use the on-screen instructions to activate it. The app will bring Lollipop-like notifications to the lock screen.
Your keyboard is probably the second most important app on your phone, and once again, a lot of people aren’t aware that they can change it.
You want clean Stock Android UI – go straight to Google Keyboard. Nobody does it better than Google when it comes to stock apps for obvious reasons. It’s clean, simple, and has a no-nonsense approach to predicting your input and correcting your errors. Do note that Google’s keyboard app is not as advanced as other offerings such as SwiftKey, Swype, and Flesky.
Having the right camera app can make all the difference in the world in terms of picture quality – Google Camera. It’s simple to use, but it still offers sufficient controls to keep you interested and maneuvering the software. This is about achieving a stock feeling experience, and Google is very hard to beat in that regard. The Photosphere feature, for instance, is also a pretty cool tool that you can use to patch together several images.
When you’re looking to go stock, it makes sense to use products that are all designed by the same developer to encourage a consistent feel throughout your experience. There are plenty of ways to use launchers to achieve different looks for your device’s software. Stock Android’s look is just one of our favorites. You can do a lot with launchers, and everyone customizes their own in a different way.
There you go! Now the user interface of your smartphone will look highly similar to that of one running stock Android. Keep experimenting! You never know when a better launcher, camera, or keyboard might come along.
Are there any better apps that you believe have an even simpler and more basic feel to them? Let us know in the comments!