Android Skin

Five custom skin and ROM features that stock Android needs

We love the Open Source Android Project. It's where the Android community starts, where ROM developers go for "blessed" code, and without it, Android would still be puttering along behind lesser platforms. But the really great thing about Android is that it's adaptable - and anyone can adapt is. Many custom ROM developers out there (and, to be fair, manufacturers as well) have made natural and obvious additions to Android that are so useful, Google should go ahead and add them right into the main development tree. Here are five of my favorites:

Huawei breaks hearts, plans custom Android UI

You know what I really like about Huawei? Despite being a definite up-and-comer in the Android world (in Europe and Asia, anyway - here they keep getting the shaft) they've left Android alone for the most part. Even on their high-end devices like the Acend P1 S, you'll find an interface that is mostly stock - and with Ice Cream Sandwich, what more do you need? Yes, Huawei is truly an example of what an Android manufacturer should be: a hardware vendor that lets Google's software shine on its own.

Sony Ericsson Porting its Android UI Skin to Two New Feature Phones

Sony Ericsson is going to be releasing two new feature phones in the new feature which utilize their custom UI from the Xperia Mini. The phones, the rumored to be called "txt pro" and "Mix Walkman," both feature touch screens, and the txt pro, a slide out QWERTY keyboard. The two feature phones are set to be released sometime in the coming months as part of a competition on SE's Facebook page which will feature the winners reviewing the phones.

HTC ThunderBolt BodyGuardz Carbon Fiberish Armor Application [CTIA 2011]

This year at CTIA 2011, SlashGear and Android Community were contacted by a group called BodyGuardz. This is a group that creates and skins for devices of many shapes and sizes, most notably for us the Motorola XOOM tablet and the HTC ThunderBolt. What BodyGuardz enticed us with was the prospect of getting 2 of their very first custom-cut-on-site HTC ThunderBolt wraps. These wraps were so fresh off the press that the paper backing had no brand and a freshly cut edge. It was like we were in the lab! We were so pumped up that we had to take a couple videos showing the application for all of you to see the loveliness.

Android team forced to pull Palm Pre theme

Customization is one of the big draws to open source devices like those running Android. Users can modify and customize their devices to their hearts content. One of the stranger ways to customize phones to me is to try to make them look like other devices. A theme has been available for Android that mimics the look and feel of the Palm Pre. As it turns out the theme used wallpapers and icons directly from webOS and raised the ire of Palm.