"Today, Android powers more than 80% of the smartphones in the world" - A feat commonly attributed to its flexibility and market diversity. But then its greatest virtue is also its Achilles' heel. It is hugely inconsistent across devices from different manufacturers and sometimes even among devices from the same manufacturer!

Many manufacturers in an effort to differentiate themselves from the rest, add custom layers with so many bells and whistles that in the end leave the average joe puzzled and clueless. Some might describe this situation as a total mess to say the least.

On the other hand, simplicity and consistency are the main reasons why many stick to iPhone / iOS and Google is making progress in this area by promoting stock Android experience in as many devices as it can. But then Google can only go so far and the said variety is what draws many others to Android in the first place. Its a catch 22 situation where you disappoint one group or the other either ways. Is there a better solution to this problem?

Fortunately Android is completely modular and you can customize almost every part of it to suit your needs. And the solution is to completely customize the default experience to achieve a level of consistency across devices from different manufactures and generations. The best part is we can achieve all this with apps from the app store. Eg. Aviate as launcher, TrueDialer as dialer, Hangouts for messaging and conferencing, Chrome for browsing and so on.

I bet you are already doing something similar on your phone! The idea is to extend this approach all the way till we completely customize and thereby unify the experience across devices.

Update: This approach is particularly useful when bootstrapping / customizing a phone for your older folks so that they can feel at home using any Android with these swaps today and tomorrow. Ideally, it would be great if we can have an app to remember the setup and re-do it on any other phone.