With all the tablets coming out and all the manufacturers trying to "improve" Android with their own custom UIs, I think it would be useful to document what UIs are running on devices, how intrusive they are and links to any other options. I haven't seen this anywhere and this could be a useful resource to the community, and pre-empt a lot of questions.

I recently bought a Viewsonic G-table which claims to be running Android 2.2 but when I got it I discovered that their TapNTapUI was so intrusive and clunky that you'd never know it was running Android at all, or that it had a Tegra2 processor. If I didn't know better I would have thought it was an old Oregon Scientific PIM with a really big and pretty screen. I'm returning it and have ordered an Archos 70, however it took a long time to research exactly what "improvements" (perversions) Archos has made to the UI and how deeply ingrained they are (supposedly, they are only minor changes that you wouldn't notice).

This may be a little ambitious in scope and beyond the focus of this platform but I can definitely see a bunch of granular questions like...

  • "Is the Archos 70 running a proprietary UI?"
  • "How do I remove the TapNTapUI on the G-Tablet?"
  • "What tablets are loaded with Vanilla Android?"

... and the benefit to rolling them all into a wiki would be creating link bait and keyword rich posts that would help bring people in.


  • why do example 1 & 2 have to be CW? thy are not subjective
    – Louis Rhys
    Commented Dec 7, 2010 at 9:12
  • @Louis Rhys: I wasn't suggesting that questions like that be a CW, I was giving examples of normal questions that could be answered among others with a comprehensive CW covering the topic in general.
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 22:55

3 Answers 3


I have two concerns.

One, "intrusive" is very subjective. What's intrusive for you may not be a big deal for someone else.

Second, and more important, is that I think it's too ambitious and doesn't fit in with this site. The number of tablets is going to grow exponentially and, unless someone is really dedicated, your proposed wiki will never be able to keep up. Once it gets out of date by more than a couple months, it will have lost most of its utility. Plus it has the potential to get really huge.

This is the sort of thing that Wikipedia does well. Let them.


  • 2
    Who would have guessed, they have a whole site dedicated to community wikis!? I wonder if this wiki "pedia" site will catch on.
    – Matt
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 18:17
  • Very droll, sir.
    – ale
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 18:19
  • @Al: I'm with you on this now. This CW may not be my best idea.
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 22:56
  • could be worse, Matt - what if it IS your best idea? (!!! meow !!!) Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 21:04

Sounds like a good idea. My ancient (migrated across from the Gadgets.SE site) question Android phones without custom UIs could be used to get some starter info in there.

Probably worth doing as two separate Wikis? One listing devices and UIs and then a second one with the Pros/Cons/Features of all the different UIs.

Would we want separate Tablets and Phones Wikis? Will it even be easy to draw the dividing line between phones and tablets in the future as new devices arrive that blur the lines between them?

  • Al might be right, this may be a little overly ambitious and outside the scope of this site. It's something I'd like to see somewhere though.
    – Matt
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 18:27

I see no problem with your first two example questions being just regular questions. They seem to fit within the scope. On the last, I agree a list like that is probably better relegated to Wikipedia.

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