Lenovo has been heavy handed on customizing Android OS on its smartphones during the past few years, preferring more of a Huawei or Samsung route than a Sony or a Motorola one.
However it is clear that the company – ever since it fell from its number one spot in global smartphone shipments- is looking for new ways of doing things.
And it has decided that its Vibe UI has to go, opting for a much cleaner, stock Android UI.
Clunky and Awkward
Vibe UI wasn’t considered to be the pinnacle of Android skins, given its clunky icons, awkward colors and non-intuitive user-interface.
At the same time, its other brand, Motorola, has continued to offer nearly-perfect stock Android on its phones, with the only additions being a few small apps and gestures.
Not an Easy Shift
Anuj Sharma, head of product marketing at Lenovo says,
There’s no more Vibe UI going forward and we are moving to complete stock Android for all our future Lenovo phones. It was a lengthy process to get done [as] Lenovo had to align all markets where it sold Android devices. This is a huge transition for our business perspective.
Motorola hasn’t quite nearly been as successful under Lenovo, which means the Chinese desktop and smartphone giant finds it a bit of a bother. After all, the American brand has a pretty-diverse lineup of phones but that didn’t make it very successful.
The Chinese Don’t Like Stock UI?
One can point to factors such as Lenovo’s brand name and a wider appeal of stock Android to mean that it increases its chances of success, however, Chinese users prefer a custom skin.
The company’s upcoming K8 Note will be the first one to come with stock Android, followed by other phones in the future.
Lenovo will retain custom features like Dolby Atmos and TheaterMax, which aren’t particular to any OS. The phones will ship with Android 7.1.1 Nougat and will receive an update to Android O when it comes out. The company claims this change will enable it to roll out faster OS updates and support older smartphones for a longer period of time.