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How do I revert to the screen layout prior to an update?

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How do I revert to the screen layout prior to an update?

I just updated my Xperia Z2 Tablet because an app I depend on for school suddenly required me to be on Android 5.0 minimum. After reading the details, I decided it was safe to update. More important, I read that Android finally gets use of the SD card again in 5. However, the update? It didn't even update android! I stayed on the same android version, but it changed EVERYTHING else! 

The most critical change is that it added a google search bar to the top and a menu on the bottom which persist on all screens - like in my phone, but this is a freaking TABLET!!! Sure, it technically has a dialer, but I rarely actually use this to make calls because it's speaker only so I prefer the phone icon to be off on another page. I can drag most items out of it, except for two: the phone icon and the apps icon. (I also prefer the apps icon to be in the top right) They are frozen in place, and can't even be moved somewhere else on the same bar, let alone somewhere else. There's an option to hide the google search bar on the top, but not the bottom menu.

I FREAKING HATE THIS! Everything is squished down, it all looks tinier than it was, all my icons are all over the place, and I am forced to see icons I don't want to see on all pages! 

This is even worse than the update that moved the menu with the back and home buttom from the top (where it made sense on a tablet) to the bottom (where I constantly hit it accidentally when using the on screen keyboard)

Are the developers of Sony just completely stupid? Who thinks up these trashy UI changes? and why doesn't Sony ever TELL US when they are going to fundamentally alter the user interface in a manner that completely affects everything we do?

After that, I was finally given the option to update Android, but since the updates were separate I don't get why the UI had to be altered first. I really really really hate this. I loved the look and feel of my tablet, and now it's ruined. Please, either tell me how I can get this trash off my tablet, or tell me how to downgrade to the last firmware version where it worked right, or really anything else I could do to purge this horrible change. If I could even remove the frozen in place icons from the new menu bar I'd be able to restore some semblance of the look and feel I had, which would at least be an improvement, although that wouldn't unsquish the icons so I'd like to nuke the whole bar.

On a similar note, I don't suppose it's ever possible to update Android without letting the UI update?

For reference, I have a UK model. Not a Verizon branded.

 

Update: After the subsequent update I am finally able to remove the phone app from the bar, but I still can't move the apps icons. Also, now the drag down interface is bad. It used to match my theme, black background (so my eyes don't hurt in the dark like a white background) but it's white suddenly. Also, it used to drag down from the left and the right two separate menus, but now it drags down only in the center (squished tiny) and I have to drag down twice to access things like bluetooth, wifi, etc. which is really weird and counter intuitive - especially since it could at least show both at once. I am also no longer able to remove stalled download icons from the drop down, all I can do is change notification settings for browser apps. It's like everything they could have done to destroy the user experience was done with these updates.