Is stock Android overrated?

Majority of pure/stock/vanilla/unadulterated Android enthusiasts and sympathizers love it because of its performance boosts and cleanliness. Others convince themselves that buying a device rocking bare-bone Android is a stepping stone to timely updates. I can agree that it has been so until the period when we transitioned from KK to Lollipop. It was a mess because the OS had far too many cases of memory leaks and app crashes.

OEMs such as Motorola have been awarding their customers with prompt updates based on their no-skin approach to Android. However, things have changed. Timely updates are a big deal they take soooo long to grace the cream of flagships. In fact, OEMs are on a new level of lazy, and it gets worse every passing year.

Now, it is an open secret that stock or near stock Android doesn’t elevate users onto a special seat where updates get passed to them when they snap their fingers, unless, of course, you’re a Pixel/Nexus user. Secondly, I find pure android tooo flat for my taste unless - there’s nothing interesting you can do in the settings section. On the other hand, skins have tons of features (and gimmicks), and while some my find them intrusive, OEMs are trying to tone them down while keeping features that are subjectively useful.

So, have been misled that skins are bad for Android?

Disclaimer, I think skinned Android versions are overrated and simply encourage the version fragmentation that affects the entire ecosystem.

Stock Android is ideal for the average user, those who simply require something that “works”. For the power user, OEMs generally suck and its probably better to root or install a custom ROM.

stock android is the best

Vanilla Android all the way. Reason I would never buy a Samsung or LG device. Worse Huawei.
It’s not just about updates, which they still get faster than those heavily skinned Android versions. But the experience. The beauty. The Android.

With or without makeup?

Skins are awesome until they’re not. Have you ever used a Xiaomi phone? I think their super skinned version of Android called MiUI looks fantastic. I’m not a fan of the older TouchWiz but I understand they have a better and renamed skin (haven’t seen it yet.) Unfortunately Android versions with skinned UI’s do not play well with user customizations. MiUI for example simply doesn’t work with apps designed to change the appearance of anything. If you find one that works its functionality is pitifully limited. Despite the beauty of these skinned Android phones, I prefer vanilla every time. That way I have a blank canvas to employ my own artistic preferences and I am pretty certain it won’t easily refuse me.