How do you feel about manufacturers putting their own interfaces on top of vanilla Android? We know it isn’t a very popular idea, but Google Ventures’ Rich Miner is wondering why carriers don’t do the same thing. He said as much at the Open Mobile Summit, with Fierce Mobile reporting that he expressed surprise at the fact that carriers don’t take advantage of Android’s open platform to make their phones stand out from the crowd.
“There’s a big opportunity that they seem to have left on the table,” Miner said. Of course, that’s not to say that carriers haven’t tried adding their own features to the handsets they offer (plenty have in the past), but installing custom interfaces has mostly been a manufacturer thing. Miner apparently doesn’t see a reason why it can’t be a carrier thing too, though we’re sure many Android fans would disagree with his assertion that carriers should start doing more to make their devices stand out.
In fact, most of the people we know would pick their carrier based on the quality of the their network and fairness of their pricing, not because the phones they offer have custom interfaces you can’t find anywhere else. A lot of the Android faithful seem to be just fine with the vanilla Android experience, as evidenced by the fact that so many complain about the changes manufacturers make on their phones.
Carriers might just listen to Miner too – after all, he is the co-founder of Android. It might not be a bad idea if carriers can come up with useful interfaces that actually perform well, but ultimately if it just leads to more bloat, we can see it easily having an adverse effect. What do you think? Should carriers start making their own modifications to the Android OS, or should they leave Android alone for the most part?