Next we have those that like carrier customizations, including UI changes found in skins like HTC Sense or Samsung’s Touchwiz. They buy their devices and leave them alone as far as looks/UI are concerned.
There are also users that are indifferent. They don’t care if it is stock or not, and again, largely leave their devices as-is.
Is that it? Nope, the final category would be users that like the stock Android look and feel, but also enjoy special smartphone features that are only made possible by manufacturer-customized software. This includes HTC’s Zoe and Blinkfeed, or Samsung features like Smart Pause.
For these folks, you can either choose devices like the Moto X – which is lightly skinned and looks mostly like stock Android with extra features. Or you can take a device like the Galaxy S4 and transform the phone or tablet’s look and feel into a near-stock experience.
So how do you go about that? Pretty easily!
Step 1: You’re going to want to download a launcher that is designed around the style of Jelly Bean. There are quite a few choices out there, some paid and some free. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll use the free version of Holo Launcher.
Congrats! Your phone already looks one step closer to stock Android!
You’ll notice that if you get out of the homescreen and try to come back, it will ask you which launcher you want. Go ahead and choose to make Holo Launcher the default from now on.
Optional: Feel free to explore the launcher settings and change things around, if you so desire.
Step 2: Your stock-like Jelly Bean look isn’t finished yet. Now we need to get ourselves a new lock screen. The best free option out there is Go Locker. Download the app, but don’t open it just yet.
Step 3: Next you’ll need a theme. Sticking to the Android Jelly Bean look, we will use Jelly Bean for Go Locker. Download and install now.
Step 4: Now it is time to start open Go Locker. Right away you will be presented with a screen asking you to download other apps. Click the X button in the top right corner to get out of this (as indicated by the arrow directly below).
Step 5: Now you’ll be presented with the Go Locker app. Go ahead and click on the Installed tab (circled in red).
Hit the apply button. It will now set your lockscreen to the Jelly Bean theme, as shown below:
Step 6: If you insist on coming as close to the stock look as possible, you’ll want to grab the official Google keyboard. This is purely optional if you already enjoy an alternate keyboard such as Swype.
Step 7: Finally, let’s get our hands on the Jelly Bean wallpaper. There are lots of choices for this one, but we recommend the wallpapers by KovDev (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore).
After downloading, open it up and you will be presented with this interface:
Choose the wallpaper you want and then hit the Set Wallpaper button. Simple as that, you now have the Jelly Bean wallpaper:
That’s it! You have the stock keyboard, the stock wallpapers, the Jelly Bean-style lockscreen and even a launcher that mimics stock. Sure this isn’t a pure stock experience, but it is pretty close and should satisfy most users.
So what do you think of your makeshift ‘stock-like’ Android experience? Any other apps or tips you can think of to make the experience even more genuine? Let us know in the comments!