Android Overload: Google exec says there should be more carrier UI’s, T-Mobile 2-day sale for select Samsung phones, and more


  • AT&T offering $100 off tablets with a 2-year data plan. [AT&T]
  • Pulse updated in the Play Store to version 3.0. Brings new navigation and improvements. [Play Store]
  • T-Mobile 2-day sale offers discounts on select Samsung devices (no Galaxy Note 2). [TMoNews]
  • Android (and iOS) app Blippar breathes life into the ShortList magazine via augmented reality. [Mashable]
  • Nvidia’s Q3 revenue hits record $1.2 billion thanks to Tegra 3 processor sales. [NVIDIA]
  • Google Ventures executive thinks carriers should be doing more to customize their Android UI’s. [FierceMobile]
  • Paper Monsters coming next week to the Google Play Store. [YouTube]
  • Ubuntu team releases Ubuntu Nexus 7 desktop installer. [DroidDog]
  • Light Flow for Android updated in the Play Store. Brings support for 4.2 Jelly Bean. [Play Store]
  • Arcane Legends launching within a week for Android in the Google Play Store. [SpacetimeStudios]
  • Google and all Google services being blocked in China (again). [Readwrite]
Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Nexus 7 spontaneously combusts, leaves behind toasty, melted corpse [PICS]

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  1. As I have said before Unity and Gnome 3 would work better with touchscreens since it seems that is the way things seem to be headed windows 8 has gone that way and so has unity and gnome 3 looks like I will be sticking with gnome 2 for as long as I can and once its no longer viable I will probably switch to KDE since it seems to be sticking to their desktop roots unlike every thing else.

    For me it goes Gnome 2 then the tradtional windows GUI of windows 7 and earlier and at the bottom of the list is unity/gnome3/metro for desktop computers.

    1. Holy run on sentence, batman

      1. I like how he took a breath after the first sentencegraph and then continued on with the nonsense.

  2. Thank God Rich Miner has little/nothing to do with Android any more. Carriers and their crappy UI “enhancements” are the biggest problem with Android, and their overreaching influence adversely affects the US wireless experience in general. With their Nexus devices, Google is offering a reasonably priced alternative to this experience, and consumers are increasingly moving toward this alternative. Why would anyone think that carriers should do more of what’s driving customers away?

    1. no doubt!

    2. With sales of the Galaxy S3 through the roof, and the Galaxy Nexus being an afterthought, and the Nexus 4 being more limited than the Galaxy Nexus in terms of carrier availability, what really makes you think consumers are increasingly moving toward this alternative?

      1. It may be anomalous, but among new acquaintances, there’s a higher number of prepaid users with unlocked phones than I have observed in the past. It’s certainly not scientific, and I don’t make a habit of asking people what phone/service they use, but when the subject comes up I’ve seen a swing toward unlocked/prepaid. I’ll also admit that my “circle” probably isn’t representative of the general population – but this is probably the case with most tech blog readers.

        I switched carriers specifically to use an unlocked Galaxy Nexus, but I certainly understand the approach of “carrier first, device second”, and in some areas there simply is no other way given coverage issues. It doesn’t bother me at all though if Google doesn’t make Nexus devices available on carriers that insist on meddling with the UI and pre-installed apps – it’s the price those carriers and their customers pay.

        1. You do know most of the enhancement of ICS when it first came out was for OEM skin like sense and touchwiz.

    3. Some these enhancements were implemented in stock Android and even iOS (like unlock to camera). I think manufacturer UI’s have made their contributions, but I think they should be implemented like LauncherPro or GoLauncher, where they aren’t part of the core system. Sense used a non-standard bluetooth stack for example, which was the cause of some bugs with bluetooth peripherals. I don’t know if that is still the case, but if Android could be updated separately from the manufacturer UI, it would solve a lot of the problems with non-Nexus devices. There’s not reason for the to be so pervasive.

    4. OEM UI enhancements can be useful (current gen of Touchwiz is nice, and current gen Sense isn’t terrible from what I hear and from what little I’ve seen of it) but I would rather never again see a carrier have anything to do with the software portion of any phone. You think having bloatware is bad enough? Imagine if they were responsible for the entire package. It would be a nightmare. Let them stick to building networks. Some of them are at least half decent at that.

    5. Ugh! I agree! No way I want Verizon dictating my UI experience. They already make owning an Android handset on their network a pain enough as is!

  3. That’s sure to enrage people who want the “pure” Google experience. The unfortunate thing is that to carriers, “customizations” just mean adding crapware. However, if they truly innovate with the Android UI, like Sense and TouchWiz do, then they would have something, and I suspect this is what Miner meant when he said that.

  4. There are plenty of customization options in the Play store, and even more available if the user roots, etc. No need for carrier bloatwa…ERRRR…customization, thank you.

  5. free galaxy s3 is pretty sweet, but the note 2 is lte proof.

  6. Really? I have owned Google phones since the G1, I have only Nexus devices now. I tried to help my gf with her Sense UI the other day and got efing lost! Users need a seamless experience with their phones, otherwise it becomes “too complicated”, “too different” and ultimately this will drive consumers away.

    I am really surprised at Google, the success of their business model has been SIMPLICITY. Look at their homepage, that’s what users wanted- that easy experience. Throw in custom UI’s and you are throwing away the foundation that made Google the leader search engine and billions of dollars in the first place.

    1. Pure google is a lot harder to use then Sense or touchwiz. I have use both and my gf has use both and too her, sense is a lot easier to use.

      1. I have to disagree. With ICS and now Jellybean, the stock UI has really gained some consistency and intuitiveness, and more simplicity in comparison to Sense especially. Just my opinion, but I think that has been Google’s focus for the UI over the last 13 months.

    2. I wouldn’t say that Google has ever mastered simplicity. Everything being cloud based without a centralizing app (such as the dreaded iTunes) has lead to data fragmentation to go along with hardware and software fragmentation. Just my 2 cents.

  7. Go ahead and offer more bloatware and UI “improvements.” As long as AOSP is around, I’m fine with removing whatever they bloat these powerful devices up with. That’s half the fun of root!

    1. Yeah but you’d root anyway to replace stock with Cyanogen’s customizations

  8. Personally, I hate AT&T. I have verizon and a galaxy s3 and I’m sticking with that.

    Danielle Faith

    Android Asus

  9. The Note 2 wouldn’t even be possible without UI customization. It would be just another big phone.

  10. That’s because the entire world apparently want’s stock Android. HTC Sense was pretty cool. It was just too bloated for phones at that particular time.

    Stock is just too… stock and boring. Not much really going on. In a cosmetic sense that is.

  11. Good grief! For most of 2007, and subsequently in 2008 I looked for a decent smartphone that could hold it’s own with the iPhone. And I ended up buying feature phones with lots of Verizon goodness (such as $2.99 ringtones that lasted for 15 seconds in an age when full songs on iTunes were $0.99). All I can say is that when Android was announced I was super excited. I didn’t go to T-Mobile though so it wasn’t until Verizon got on the Android bandwagon that I got to partake of that Android goodness. But the biggest thing to love about Android? The freedom from carrier tyranny! To download, to play with, to do whatever I want with my own pocket computer! But this guy wants us to go back to the glory days of the mobile equivalent to dial-up? Heck no!

    Sure, if carriers want to make their own OS skins then they can be my guest. But will I ever purchase such abominations? No way! I already feel itchy under the collar with unremovable bloatware baked into the ROM by the carriers, like I need any more of that in my life. And the delays after delays of waiting for the next version of Android, that has to be updated and bloat-ized by the carrier who has to prep a new ROM with all their apps built in. Verizon is worse with this than some other carriers it seems, but most carriers do the same things. And I would rather have freedom.

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