On the Internet, the mood is growing that stocks are the best on Android. Many people prefer the clean look of Google's vision for Android, but manufacturers like LG will add features and themes to stand out from the crowd. But these OEM skins, as they are called, are not always as presumptuous as you might think.
The skin used by LG devices is known as LG UX, and it made its debut on the LG G4. Previously it was known as Optimus UI, so it had plenty of time to grow – now it's actually a pretty polished surface.
We will take you on a visual tour of LG UX and compare it to the "stock Android" UI from the Google Pixel. While it's by no means Android, it's not as far as people would believe, and the changes are not all terrible. The screenshots are from the new LG G7 ThinQ, which ships with LG UX 6.0, the latest version of LG's skin based on Android 8.0 Oreo.
Let's start with the menu that welcomes you every time wake up your phone. With LG UX 6.0, LG has made the background of notifications on the lock screen semi-transparent. You can still see the white background, but the lock screen wallpaper is also visible. Stock Android uses a solid white background that is not transparent at all.
LG also changed the left quick launch app. While the lower right corner still shows the camera, the left side of Google Assistant changes to LG's LG app.
The default home screen for the LG G7 ThinQ has some notable changes on Android. Initially, LG decided not to adopt Pixel Launcher's new extended dock, which adds the Google search widget below the app's ranks. Instead, the search widget is separate from the docking station and is located directly above the app's row.
LG does not include Android "At a Glance" which displays the current date along with other relevant information such as the next calendar events, flight information and traffic information. Instead, LG opted for a weather widget from a weather app developed by them.
The default home screen has no app drawer. Instead, LG Home Launcher places all apps on the right. Each new app is also added on the home screen like on iOS. This change is far removed from Android stock, which allows all applications to access an app drawer that you saved with a swipe gesture.
Located on the leftmost home AppFlash, a Google Now inspired app that displays a list of articles that you might be interested in. Popular Stock Android has the Google Now page, which not only has a list of articles, but also several tabs with other information contains. For example, Upcoming displays personal information such as reminders, flight information, and shuttle information. You can also hide items in your feed, unlike LG's AppFlash.
If you want you can Swap AppFlash for a feature called Smart Bulletin. Smart Bulletin is a set of widgets that provide access to apps developed by LG, such as LG Health, Calendar and Music.