You may have heard the term “Stock Android” in the world of smartphones. People often use this term to describe the user experience on a phone. However, the meaning of “Stock Android” has changed over the years.

Stock Android is technically AOSP

AOSPAndroid 12
AOSPAndroid 12

We should start with what is “Stock Android” at the core. The term has come to mean a few things, but there is only one technical definition.

Essentially, stock Android is Android at its most basic level. Stock Android is the foundation on which all Android phones and tablets are built. It includes many of the core Android features you’re familiar with, but not all of them.

When we say “basic”, we really mean basic . Stock Android does not include Google apps or fancy customizations. It’s simply a starting point for manufacturers like Samsung to add their own features and customizations. Developers also use it to test their apps and games.

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Another term you may have heard in relation to this form of Android is “AOSP”. That stands for Android Open Source Project. Both terms refer to the most basic version of Android you can have, with the AOSP open source code. Technically speaking, the phones do not run “Stock Android” or “AOSP”.

stock android as skin

Android 12 release
Android 12 for Google Pixels Google

Okay, so if the phones don’t really run the true stock definition of Android or AOSP, why is the term used so much? It has a lot to do with the early days of Android devices and Google Nexus.

In the beginning, Google’s own phones and early Motorola DROID phones ran software very very much like AOSP . The main difference was that the devices included Google apps. Others android phones on the market, especially those from HTC, had your own custom covers .

Over time, Google stuck with this basic software. The company eventually released “Nexus” phones, which were considered by many to run “Stock Android” simply because it was much closer to AOSP than other devices. Even then, though, the Nexus software wasn’t technically “stock.”

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That’s why you often hear people refer to Google Pixel devices as running stock Android. It’s a leftover term from previous Google devices. In reality, the software on Pixel phones looks drastically different from AOSP. Pixel devices have many features that are not present in the actual “Stock Android”.

Google Pixel phones don’t work with Android

Android 12 logo on a Google Pixel 5

Much of the confusion stems from there being no definitive name for the software on Pixel devices. Samsung has One UI, OnePlus has OxygenOS, HTC has Sense UI, and other manufacturers have their own names for skins.

Google has a name for it. design language on Pixel devices, «Material You», but not the mask itself. There is no “Pixel UI” or “Google UI” in the About Phone section. So people have just kept calling it “Stock Android” when it really doesn’t look anything like that.

It’s true that Pixel software is generally “clean” and doesn’t have an overwhelming number of features like other skins. , for example, Samsung OneUI . But that doesn’t mean it’s stock Android.

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Stock Android is the foundation for all the different forms of Android you see in the world. It’s not a skin like One UI, and it’s not what runs on Google Pixel phones. Just think of stock Android as a pizza base with no toppings. A pizza would not be possible without it, but no pizza is just a base.

The post What is “Stock Android”? was first published on ResponTodo.

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