Tips & Tricks

What is Stock Android?

In this guide, we will be talking about what Stock Android is. If you are an Android user, you would probably have heard about Stock Android. We hear or read this particular very often around the smartphone world.

This term is usually used to describe one’s experience of using a phone. Although people may come across this term very often, many of them do not know the proper meaning of the term.

The meaning of this has changed over the years but the fundamental meaning has stayed the same. In this guide here, we will be discussing what is the meaning of Stock Android.

Stock Android

Stock Android is AOSP

What is Stock Android? 1

Stock Android actually is Android in the basic state. It lays down the foundation on which Android phones and tablets are further developed upon.

This features many of the basic Android properties and characteristics that we see in our daily use, but stock Android does not have all of the features.

Our use of the word ‘basic’ implies that it is very different from the Android operating system that we use everyday. It does not come with any customizations or extra features or services like Google applications.

It is the point from which Android manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Samsung take over and make their own Android OS skins which contain extra features. Developers also make use of this to carry out tests on their applications and games.

AOSP is another word that we commonly hear along side the term stock Android. AOSP stands for Android Open Source Project. These two terms both refer to raw Android or the most basic state of Android. Devices do not actually run on stock Android. Rather, a modified or customized version of basic Android is used to run devices.


The question you may have, is that if devices do not run on Stock Android, then why do we come across this term so often? Well, this has to do with Android at it’s beginning. In the early days of Android and Google Nexus devices, Google’s devices and Motorola Droid phones used to run on software which was very similar to stock Android.

The only major difference was that the software on those phones came with Google applications. Other brands and manufacturers had their own Android skins.

With time, Google released new devices which also came with software close to stock. When Google Nexus devices were released, it was assumed that those devices were running on Stock Android, but this was technically not true as the software was different from Stock.

This is one of the main reasons behind why people think that Google Pixel devices nowadays run on Stock Android. It is because the devices in the past had very similar operating system to stock. The software used on Google Pixel devices is different from AOSP as they contain many features that the basic version of Android does not.


Another reason as to why people think Pixel phones run on Stock software is that there is no particular name for the Android skin that Pixel devices run on. Unlike Pixel, other manufacturers and brands have a name for their Android skins. For example, Samsung has it’s One UI skin, Xiaomi has the MIUI skin and OnePlus has OxygenOS.

Do not confuse Material You as the name for the Android skin on Pixel phones. It’s basically the name given to the design language used on the Android skin. As there is no specific name for the Android skin, so people just keep calling it Stock Android as the Android skin is similar to stock.

Another reason behind this false assumption is that Google Pixel phones do not come with as many features as devices from other brands like Samsung. But this does not mean that Pixel devices run on Android AOSP.

So that was it from our side on What is Stock Android. We hope that this guide was helpful. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Uzair Hussain

Uzair Hussain is a dedicated writer who loves to read and research about android phones and technology. Has always enjoyed exploring further into tech and likes to share his knowledge through publishing writings.

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