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HTC Doesn’t Expect Gingerbread to Stop Sense

By now you may have heard that Google plans to revamp the user interface (UI) of Android with version 3.0 aka Gingerbread and the question which immediately popped into most people’s minds was, “What would happen to HTC’s Sense?”  One of the reported goals of this new spicy UI for Android was to eliminate the need of manufacturers to want to slap their own skins onto handsets, but HTC has other plans.

In a conversation with Forbes, HTC’s design team lead Drew Bamford had this to say…

Google, too, has indicated that it wants to make the next (3.0) version of Android more polished and user friendly. Industry observers have speculated that manufacturers like HTC will make fewer alterations on their Android phones as a result. Bamford, however, says he doesn’t expect Google’s tweaks, which are scheduled to debut before the end of the year, to affect his work. “Google may focus more on improving the user interface on the stock Android [software], but I don’t think they’ll preclude manufacturer customization,” he explains.

So Sense is here to stay people, whether you are a fan of it or not.  While I have mixed thoughts on it, all I want to see is HTC update their devices to the latest builds of Android faster.  Sure Sense looks pretty and is incredibly stable, but the waiting game is a little much.

Your thoughts?  Hoping Android 3.0 would eliminate Sense or help to make it better?

Source:  Forbes
Via:  Androinica

  • Trust-no 1

    I agree with u man it should be like that.

  • It still sticks out like other high-end HTC devices but doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb. This is mainly because of the design of the battery door. It’s hard to explain what’s going on here so just take a look at what I mean in the picture above. … It’s no surprise, then, that HTC Senseruns with snappiness and ease. (Even more so on the DROID Incredible 2 thanks to the upgraded GPU that sits alongside the CPU.) Gaming performance excelled with smooth .

  • Wow, you all must not be using the same sense I am, because I have switched my incredible to CM6 and then CM7 and couldn’t stand it. Sure, it was speedy, but I found myself having to get apps to replace functions that were already built into sense, and even with the new gingerbread design, Sense is still more consistent and polished. Plus, with the theming options in the newer versions of sense, it’s very customizable. I don’t want to sound like a fanboy, but after using sense, HTC is really the best android experience that I have used, and 3.0 looks even more exciting.

    and to those complaining about the transitions slowing things down or being only for looks, what’s the point of having a 1.2gh dualcore processor if the operating system doesn’t need it? Stock gingerbread will be almost exactly the same on the OG droid and the sensation, so HTC shows off the phone’s power through their interface design.

    That said, if you hate sense, get a phone that runs stock android and stop complaining.

  • Wow, you all must not be using the same sense I am, because I have switched my incredible to CM6 and then CM7 and couldn’t stand it. Sure, it was speedy, but I found myself having to get apps to replace functions that were already built into sense, and even with the new gingerbread design, Sense is still more consistent and polished. Plus, with the theming options in the newer versions of sense, it’s very customizable. I don’t want to sound like a fanboy, but after using sense, HTC is really the best android experience that I have used, and 3.0 looks even more exciting.

    and to those complaining about the transitions slowing things down or being only for looks, what’s the point of having a 1.2gh dualcore processor if the operating system doesn’t need it? Stock gingerbread will be almost exactly the same on the OG droid and the sensation, so HTC shows off the phone’s power through their interface design.

    That said, if you hate sense, get a phone that runs stock android and stop complaining.

  • Chris

    I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • Souslslslk

    it'll just polish up the stock android… and make sense even better.. the only problem with android now is that the base program is not right yet.. 3.0 will fix it

  • WhereIsTony

    Keep it. Sense has not left the incredible behind the moto droid. An option to turn it off would be nice.

  • mophor

    Eliminate it!
    One of the key benefits of such an operating system is that you have choice. Well, if you're a normal user, you don't want to have a totally different UI if you switch your phone.
    Another problem are the updates that take forever. This is a real problem and makes people feel bad about their choice. This is why I have a nexus one…

  • StephanC

    I hate sense, it screws with the device functionality.

  • eliminate Sense and just add the widgets

  • doomsjay

    So much hate for HTC it would seem from reading several of the comment on this site. Yet, there are several, several people, including myself, who are absolutely impressed by the design and functionality of HTC Sense. Even after rooting, I've chosen to keep Sense and a number of HTC's widgets on my phone because of how much I like them.

    It's simple folks, if you don't like it, you either root to remove it, or you don't buy a phone with it. No need to bash others' for their preferences.

  • I love Sense and haven't seen any interface to match it's mix of style and functionality. That being said, I do find myself spending a few days at a time running Launcher Pro(Beta and now Plus) along with Beautiful Widgets just to get a new and great experience. I would be happy with Google requiring hardware makers to use their UI as long as HTC and others could offer paid skins(anywhere from .99 to $4.99 or so) in the market. That seems like the best way to allow quick updates and offer the UI you want. In the end the best part about it is the choice I get with this platform.

  • Liquidamber5

    I think if HTC wants to continue putting Sense on it's Android devices after Gingerbread, that's perfectly fine and in keeping with the open nature of Android. It's the manufacturer's choice. Ultimately, the market will sort this thing out. If Gingerbread is compelling enough from a UI standpoint then HTC will have a tough time selling devices that are skinned with Sense. Or, it may inspire them to improve on Sense such that Android users will have fantastic options from a UI perspective. Either way, it's not really a big deal.

  • AlexM

    why dont they just release updates with stock for any device that has different user interfaces slapped on, then give them the option to put the user interface over it when it is finished through some theme manager? it would be cleaner, devices would be more up to date, and droid x owners would have phones that could breath cause they're not choked with crapware.

  • Bonez

    They shouldn't mention gingerbread when they haven't even released froyo

    • Chris

      I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • Mdc242

    Need to stop the fraction…

    I have the Moto Droid and love the vanilla android 2.1 that I have. You should be able to enable or disable these skins easily and at your own whim. That is the android way…

  • Armin W Schneider

    I rooted my EVO, hoping that I can get rid of Sense UI this way. Did not work work as much as I had hoped yet, but I am as 'stock' as can be. I would have loved to buy a Nexus One in the first place, but that one was announced to be phased out already then – especially since I couldn't care less about Sense. In short: don't need it, don't want it!!

  • I hope it only makes Sense better. Sense UI is both prettier than, and more polished than stock android, and adds more options. Just look at the copy and paste method of Sense.

  • SiNep

    I like sense. But right now, im running stock froyo (Cyanogen Test 7) and i LOVE IT! I do miss some of the sense widgets like FriendStream and the big flip clock. The stock lock screen is so much better than sense and everything just seems a bit faster. I'm not ready to do away with sense though. Its a great UI and works flawlessly. I think i just like having something different for the time being.. wish my camera worked on this build though. Oh well, thats why its a TEST build 🙂

  • That's why I opted for a device with stock android. That is what I want, that's what I want. That's what I waannnannnt, that's what I want. Sorry for the musical interpretation.

    I think it makes sense to have modified UI's for casual users… But now we have no stock andy devices coming up as far as I know. Last I heard D2 was using Blur… I could be wrong.

  • Holy comments Batman; this got hot fast.

    I have to say the Sense UI on my Incredible has underwhelmed at times, but overall I appreciate HTC's efforts. I do think it's logical and preferable to essentially move toward more choice in all things. I hope in 3.0 or 3.1 or whatever that switching between stock, mfr, and custom options for EVERYTHING becomes the norm. Dialer, launcher, everything.

    I hope HTC keeps differentiating and pushing the OS, but a little more coordination and movement towards choice is what I see as the best.

  • theineffablebob

    Are there any HTC Sense weather widget clones out there?

    • digitalicecream

      There are Sense like widget clones out there, search for them on appbrain

  • VANILLA ANDROID FTW as soon as we can get some vinalla ROMS on the Droid X im doing it

  • Austin

    now knowing the vanilla android is just as slow to update as manufactures android skins I don't get what people are complaining about… either way I was in the “vanilla or bust” fan club until I got my X and objectively checked out sense and I'm a huge fan.. There are so many features of sense and “motoblur lite” that android and custom roms never even touched ( I was on the froyo rom bandwagon until I got this X) and if 3.0 addresses some of these issues I'll agree that there should be an option to turn the UI enhancements off, but I can tell you if my X could turn motoblur off right now I would not turn it off.. this coming from a rooted ROM guy

    • Angry DroidX owner

      Droid X doesn't have Sense, doode

    • Alex

      im all for customization from the manufacturers, but im also for the choice from the user stand point, i think that if hardware manufacturers want to produce software so bad, they should just make it available for download on some sort of theme store so that everyone can run sense on their droid x's like you apparently are

    • “now knowing the vanilla android is just as slow to update as manufactures android skins I don't get what people are complaining about…”

      Bullshite. N1. 'Nuff said.

  • YumGrippos

    why cant each phone manufacturer release a plain android phone and have sense or motoblur as a download option for their phone.

  • Rizzidy

    [comment removed by the cyber police]

    • He Don Goofed

      Must have backtraced him…

  • GeauXtigers

    “but I don’t think they’ll preclude manufacturer customization”

    I wish it would!!!! I want an option to be able to get any device with Vanilla Android!!! No e-fuses, no MOTOBlurs, no Sense, just Android served neat…no chaser.

    • the efuse is in the processor its a hard ware issue not an UI issue

  • Custom ROM Friday?!?!

  • EggoEspada

    Well make things easier to port or rid of useless changes so the damn things don't take so long.
    If Microsoft could make requirements, why can't Google?

  • I want to see a skinning engine built on top of Android. That way ANYONE can build and ship their themes, and remove them as they see fit. Can anyone ring in on how difficult this would be? I would compare it to something like OpenHome, PandaHome or something like that. Hell, compare it to Chrome/Firefox browser theme.

    Manufacturers should develop their custom themes or whatever and just ship the phone with it. If we don't like it, we can default it back to the stock Android interface.

    • it wouldnt be too hard to integrate that, but root would be needed to enable loading of new themes. Google would see that as a security flaw, so i doubt this is feasable. 🙁

  • Timoh

    All of these skins the manufacturers make to “polish” up android should have the option to be shut off. It's a little ridiculous that they say they are doing it for the customer experience but don't give the option to shut the crap off if you don't like it.

  • Dennis

    I haven't used sense so I can't really comment. If the android UI does end up being better I'm all for Motorola and HTC dropping their UI's so we can get updates faster instead of waiting for them to updat everything.

  • Calumnium

    Google knows what they're doing, I think they'll beast sense

  • Dan

    Some things will just never make Sense.

  • NonSense. {{-_-}}

  • Either way it goes people who like sense will use it and those that don't wont. I like to root and mod. My brother likes stock. As long as android keeps it open Then everyone can be happy.

  • bravoleader2

    Sense makes stock Android so much better, and not just their widgets. If Google is eliminating the option of preinstalling Sense, then hopefully they are changing EVERYTHING in the design of vanilla Android.

    If you root your phone, your opinion means nothing (to the argument) because you will remove it if they keep it.

    • In what way does it make stock android “so much better?”

      Aside from the Widgets, sorry THE WIDGET (most of them suck, Footprints? really?), most of Sense has no function other than the just make the phone different.

      • bravoleader2

        You have OBVIOUSLY never used a phone with Sense. Or a good phone with Sense. Yes, the HTC widgets are very good. The time/weather widget (mimicked by beautiful widgets) is a great one. The friendstream widget replaces the nearly useless facebook and twitter widgets very well. The bookmarks widget is a much faster way to browse to specific bookmarked websites. The messages and mail widgets are a very cool way to quickly get through your messages and they animate beautifully on the home screens. Obviously a non-Sense user (like what I did there?) would say “most of them suck” without every seeing or using them.

        About the differences in Sense, it is evident throughout the phone. The overall experience of sliding through each Android application, like mail, messages and contacts, is a much more polished experience than the Android tabs. The phone application is also much different and is, again, more polished with the sliding interface at the bottom. It's all about GUI with Sense UI, and it shows. You have a consistently polished interface that is used in every native Android application.

        The LEAP feature, which allows you to see all the homescreens at once is genius and highly usable. Having the phone button pinned to your homescreen is a must-have (as many launchers would agree).

        The Sense keyboard is a much more accurate keyboard than the stock Android one. I think most people would agree that replacing the stock Android keyboard is probably one of the first things you did to your phone. The Sense keyboard is ported for other devices because it is very good.

        So, as someone who has probably never used Sense, I can understand how you would just bash it because you have something else. I don't fault you, it's the way of most users on the site, unfortunately. If it is different, it must suck. You can argue all you want that your rooted phone is the best and that's probably true. At the end of the day it is obvious that HTC Sense is a very good skin that is in demand because they sell a lot of phones (and backorder them too). It is so much more than widgets and if you have had a phone with Sense (Incredible) and a phone without Sense (Droid) like I have, it's easy to say that the experience on the Incredible is a much better one, hardware differences aside.

        • Thanks for your horrible assumption! I have used Sense. Having owned a Hero, a Motorola Droid and HTC Incredible I find that I'm not only well versed in Sense, but in the difference between the two.

          Most of the changes you like about sense are completely subjective, as is my hate for it. The keyboard is no more or less functional than stock android, it's just different and too busy if you ask me.

          The interface is less than consistently polished. It looks dated and tacky. It might have been cool back when they used the same UI elements on Windows Mobile in 2006 but the progression of Sense hasn't seen a lot of improvement.

          Aside from the few widgets, which could be included by an alternative to integrating an entire system overhaul, I have to stand by that Sense offers almost nothing better functionally over Android. You may say “oh well it looks better!” but the point here is Google is hiring UI designers to enhance the look and feel. What will your argument be next?

          HTC isn't alone on this. Motoblur, TouchWiz and TimeScape (or whatever Sony's thing is called) all do little but add a different UI and make the upgrade process harder to future versions of Android. A lot of them do a good job of slowing down the phone too.

          I'm glad you like Sense.

          • bravoleader2

            Ben, you seem to be missing the point here. You are saying that Google is hiring UI designers to enhance the look and feel, but that is exactly what I said they need to do if they are going to preclude companies like HTC from including their software.

            The fact that you feel that it seems dated seems like an argument based on your taste. I can tell you that the Sense interface is very stable and there is no reason to say that it looks dated or tacky, unless of course you just do not like the visual style they are going for. To each his own.

            To say that Sense offers nothing better functionally is absurd. The widgets that Sense has in it's arsenal are very powerful tools to those that would use them. Of course, you can get a similar offering from the market, but we are talking about right out of the box here.

            Lastly, it is a shame to say that Sense slows down the overall experience. Sense actually makes the homescreens and switching between them much more stable and snappy. The smoothing that they do really enhances that and prevents lag.

            As far as slowing down the upgrade process, well that seems to be a thing of the past. It seems that the Incredible and the Droid will be getting 2.2 at about the same time. So that argument is out the window. So what are we left with?

            Again, it's either pretty or it isn't. This basically boils down to an argument over taste and out of the box functionality, with the latter being the bulk of my argument.

          • mir4ge

            I agree 🙂

          • I think I might get the point better than you do.

            – The UI dated, this is fact given the elements are old and mainly ported from HTC's Windows Mobile implementation. Some might even consider that lazy. I'm sure HTC says it's just so people can identify with their handsets.
            – Again, Widgets can included in a phone without having to overhaul the entire thing. If Sense UI was nothing but an alternative launcher and some signed Widgets that only worked with it that would be one thing, but it's not.
            – Lastly you're confusing UI transitions with performance.

            Luckily for you HTC, and I'm sure all the others, will continue to waste countless dollars on revamping the phone to look different from the others. It sure would be nice if they actually added functionality while they did that. Sense did this back in 1.5 but has ceased to do so going forward.

            For example, if you're going to take the time to swap out the SMS/MMS app why not give it some new features like Popup Notifications? Why swap out an app that works perfectly fine and fits the UI for something many people either replace or add on to?

            Why include a twitter client? Do all your customers want twitter? I'm sure the ones that do are savvy enough to get the better looking official client straight out of the market. As a company I'm baffled as to why they would want to waste their time developing software for what really feels like no reason at all.

          • bravoleader2

            You are missing the point. HTC develops this because they want to differentiate themselves from the rest of the Android world. They are trying to create a sort of brand loyalty, showing what makes their experience worth buying only HTC devices. It's smart business.

            The average mobile phone user is a moron (so is the average American/person). They aren't catering to the high end super users that expect more from the phone.

            Saying the UI is dated is still a mistake. Change for the sake of change is no good. It gives you the EXACT SAME FUNCTIONS as the stock Android tabs, but uses a fancier slide transition to move between them. The smooth sliding of the homescreens is a result of Sense smoothing the transitions, not hardware. This is something that is one of the biggest benefits to Sense. It's partly hardware, obviously, but Sense smooths the transitions to make them look nicer on the eye.

            If you were a phone manufacturer you would be crazy to not “waste” your money on building a skin to put over top of Android. It's brand management. It's smart. It makes money. Why do you think the Droid 2 has Blur? It's not because the Droid was an unsuccessful handset. The key is to not change the OS, just make it look better. Think like a businessman for a second before you assert that they are wasting countless dollars.

          • I agree as well…that HTC is catering Sense for morons. Screw transitions that only bog down the CPU! I want my data when I click on it, not some hundreds of milliseconds later. Screw brand freakin' loyalty! You want to differentiate? Give people the CHOICE to completely remove this bilge. The only thing HTC ever got right UI-wise was cut/paste. Everything else is too little, too late.

          • Dincredible12

            Wow, you are in the minority bunch of people that doesn't like Sense over Android, you point of view is totally wrong, Every cell phone specialist had conclude that HTC Sense is the best, smooth, polished, elegant launcher than any and enrich android user experience. launcher Pro ADW and several launcher trying to copy cat Sense and their widget as well. I have it in my Incredible and the experience is awesome!

  • Sense was a fad that has been slowly fading.

  • Ryan C

    Stock android all the way. hopefully gingerbread is hugely successful. Nobody wants to be forced to have MotoBlur or SenseUI. Maybe HTC and Motorola and make them home replacement apps in the market for those who want them. This is why i love my Moto Droid with no Blur. its stock and awesome just the way it is.

  • As long as there is Launcher Pro Im happy.

  • nick o

    INCREDIBLY STABLE=GIANT PUN

  • Ilhe1s

    I totally look forward to Gingerbread making Sense way better!

  • Michael_NM

    I'm 100% nonsense. That's why I love my Droid!

    • Jdstell

      After using both MotoBlur and Sense UI, I am NOT a fan of either. I would consider them both to be bloatware. They just get in the way too much. Plain vanilla Android or LauncherPro for me!

  • Sense just isn't the home screen. It's the horrific phone dialer, ugly address book, needlessly changed text messaging and so on.

    SenseUI is a major overhaul that is mostly pointless since Android 2.0 and as the OS iterations go by becomes more and more of an upgrade road block than a real benefit.

  • Evermour

    I dont really have a problem with sense but if there's not an option to have or not have it on then i will root, even though i know very little about it.

  • Bullet Tooth Tony

    I hope it's easily turned off… if not, there's always rooting to accomplish it. Looks nice and all… but maybe just boil things down to a few widgets, like Launcher Pro has now. I'm just not a fan of these heavy skins though.

    • kellex

      It can be turned off on the EVO right? Hopefully that option comes with an OTA to the Incredible. 🙂

    • You don't need root to disable Sense. Sense is just another Home replacement app with some nice custom widgets for it. So installing something like LauncherPro replaces it.

      Of course, the custom status bar icons and lock screen can't be so easily manipulated and requires root, but when people say Sense, I think they generally mean the Home screen.

    • Took the words out of my mouth. I won't get a phone with Sense unless it's disable-able and rootable (unlocked bootloader is also a requirement). I'm an Android purist.

  • Sense is gaudy and needless. I hope HTC realizes that some day or at least hires some UI designers that don't focus all their attention on black and silver plastic looking interfaces that make Windows XP look good.

    • Benlocosense

      BS

  • PyroHoltz

    I can't get excited about sense, and would prefer it go away in favor of a little more polished Google Experience.

    First?

    • no so much friendo!

      • PyroHoltz

        Yeah, figured not…haha

  • Erfr

    post

  • I like sense…and the benefit of having a sense phone is also the ability to replace it with launcher pro or adw to get the vanilla feel. I just want 2.2 right now…and 720P

    • Sense just isn't the home screen. It's the horrific phone dialer, ugly address book, needlessly changed text messaging and so on.

      SenseUI is a major overhaul that is mostly pointless since Android 2.0 and as the OS iterations go by becomes more and more of an upgrade road block than a real benefit.

      • I disagree with pretty much your entire assessment there, but I do agree that the holdup before OS upgrades is lame(although the DrInc might be getting there sooner than later). The idea to offer these skins in the market that can be added to a “vanilla” Android UI sounds like the best option for all.

  • mbaldwin85

    no need for sense or blur! its all about Root and custom roms. Damn my Droid X lol