What’s the Point of Android Skins?

Manufacturers just can’t leave Android alone. When they build Android devices, they’ve got to customize. There’s Samsung’s TouchWiz, Motorola’s MotoBlur, HTC’s Sense, and others. These customizations have come to be known as skins.

Skins are a touchy subject. Enthusiasts howl about how much better a phone would be if it didn’t even have a skin—if it just used stock Android, straight from Google. Our readers scream about them every time we write about a new Android phone. We grumble about them as loud as anybody. It’s enough to make you wonder just why the hell manufacturers keep using skins at all. So, we asked them.