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HTC to Possibly Allow Existing One Owners to Remove Sense UI From Their Device?

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New details have emerged out of the HTC camp regarding today’s announcement of a “Nexus Experience” HTC One. Two main points were brought up when speaking to The Verge, the first concerning the device’s hardware buttons. They will remain on the device, with the Android OS being built around them. Exactly like how they are currently, Google Now will be accessed by long pressing the home button and then double tapping the home button will bring up Android’s multitask windows. 

The second and most important piece of new information concerns current HTC One owners that might feel a bit left out by this announcement. HTC is currently “examining the best way to support early adopters of the One,” who would potentially prefer an AOSP experience to Sense UI. That’s right, current owners of the One may be given stock Android if they so choose.

How and when HTC intends to roll out such a change is still to be determined, but this is a great sign that HTC is open to their customer’s opinions and desires. As of right now, the only way we could think of that they could accomplish such a task is to basically release a vanilla Android ROM for people to download and flash. Either way, we like what we’re hearing.

Any HTC One owners in here that can’t wait to flash some stock Android?

Via: The Verge

  • Jack

    sold my Samsung s4 on ebay. i’m so getting the htc one

  • Chris Newsome

    I personally wouldn’t mind the update, but I won’t be bummed if I don’t get it on my HTC One. I’m liking Sense 5 anyway.

  • Avery Dejuan Herron

    Hum all oem should have a way for us to turn off the addons we didnt want and keep what we do want that way they can’t force credo on us and we have a choice it would be really nice to be able to delete any feature totally offs the phone that we didn’t like and put it back easily like app install if we changed our minds we could re-add them.

  • T3viin

    But HTC can just leave the DNA.. like come on.. where is our love :(..

    • Jack

      Google has to agree on this in order for this to happen.

  • WickedToby741

    I think a lot of people are getting this wrong. Everyone is expecting HTC to rewrite Sense so you can toggle back and forth between Sense and stock. I don’t for a second think HTC is going to invest the time or money to pull that off, and rightfully so because it would probably bloat up the phone. I think instead what HTC is insinuating is that they’re going to make it easy for One owners to port over the Nexus ROM. That seems a lot more sensible (no pun intended) and requires a lot less effort on HTC’s part.

  • cizzlen

    I may get down voted for this but Sense 5 is the only skinned UI I’m actually quite content with and do not feel the need to flash stock Android. Plus you loose a lot of great features so to me that would be like going backwards. I think it’s GREAT that we at least have a choice :)

  • Synacks

    I dub thee as HTC Nexus One. Oh wait…

  • duke69111

    I wish all phones were that way. You could switch between stock and skin like a launcher can change.

  • http://czonin.deviantart.com/ Corey Zonin

    I’d love that new phase beam LWP

  • PhilyP

    They need to have this option for every phone! Especially my SG3 :'(

  • GiantJay

    Might be selling my S4 for the One after all. Or have both.

    • Ian

      Phone for each hand :)

  • I-Troll-U

    Will this work on my N4?

  • J. Gilbertson

    Strip it of sense ui but leave some of the APIs in place for optional HTC software. We know AOSP camera software isn’t up to snuff like Samsung and HTC camera software. But most of the rest of the aosp experience is awesome.

  • Jordan

    What if I’m getting mine in a week? Would I still be eligible for this?

  • Tim242

    Tim-O-Tato…you know I love you. Why post most of your article titles in the form of a question? This would work just fine as a statement.

  • Sith77

    Now if HTC can only get the red elephant in the room to start selling the ONE HTc could come back stronger than ever ……. Oh wait I know what it is . Verizon thinks they have TOoOooooo many customer and that they need to share them with other carriers . Now,I got it . Sorry , carry on

  • Bionic

    downvote me some more, come on, lets see how many down votes i can get.

    • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

      Will do.

    • KG

      I wish downvotes were more like warnings on the good ol’ AIM. Get so many warnings and you can’t message, or in this case post, for a few hours… Would allow for a few Bionic-free threads

  • Knlegend1

    Holy crap really? That’s awesome.

  • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

    This is a pathetic hail mary pass by HTC that is going to fail hard.

    Seriously, every decision they make is so dumb.

    • Eric

      Someones a little angry. Must have bought a GS4.

      • Tim242

        GS4 is wonderful”

        • NemaCystX

          more like full of something

          • Tim242

            Yeah, a 5″ gorilla glass 3 display and the best camera on any smartphone.

  • EC8CH

    But… But… But… Kellex loves Blinkfeed now?

    • aQuickBit

      Well he can just get over it :P

    • PhoenixPath

      Blinkfeed app on Google Play?

  • Christian Wagner Jr

    I would be interested in seeing a dual boot option myself.

  • trophynuts

    i feel like the wheels are coming off over at HTC

    • Bionic

      they are, havent you been reading about the company’s desperation and free fall? They are desperate to please

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003386080045 John doe

    Bootloader unlocked and rooted, ready to flash Pure Android. And the wait begins.

  • MayHaveAWinner

    Seems like a good calculated move for a company that really didn’t have many tricks left up its sleeve to get back in the game.

    When all else fails, “Give’em a great phone with stock and hope for the best!” The Google Experience for the S4 may have opened the door for HTC.

  • Bionic

    You will be able to remove blur from the x phone. Oh wait…….blur is dead anyway, nevermind.

  • Drome

    pinch me i think i’m dreaming

  • white.noise

    Why can’t Samsung offer the Galaxy S4 users this

    • Bionic

      this might pressure them to do so. Maybe they can find a way to remove touchwiz but still keep the cool camera features and stuff like that installed. I would be totally into that.

    • KleenDroid

      Yes, I can’t believe a rom is over a gig to download and a backup is 3 gig. Its ridiculous. … wont take long to fill my 64 gig card at this rate. I never had to worry about space on my little 32 gig Gnex. This 16 gig S4 with 64 gig card is filling quickly. The only thing I want from Touchwiz is the camera and the remote control.

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    You know instead of releasing a nexus experience phone, how about just give people the option to run vanilla android.

    • Neomastermind

      Stop it, you. You’re making too much sense.

    • Bionic

      That is something that has been presented in that past and its a great idea if you ask me. Make it an option to simply click a button and switch to stock. Its our damn phone after all.

      • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

        Yeah I remember the fake rumored specs of whatever Androids next os was at the time where they said it would come with an option to turn off OEM skins. Shoot I wish OEMs would put their camera apps in the play store. I would pay for the touchwiz camera app in a heartbeat to run on my N4

  • http://xn--wbg.com/ Michael Anthony

    Couldn’t they release an image much like the nexus devices to provide current users with stock android?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003386080045 John doe

      They may do just that, you’ll have to unlock the bootloader by way of there site. Then just a matter of flashing the ROM.

    • KleenDroid

      Can you imagine Verizon approving that? :) Or how long the approval process would take?

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    very off topic question but i have no idea where else to put it

    what’s up with the read receipts in hangouts? i can’t tell if someone read my message or not. how can i?

    • razorwit

      A smaller icon of the other person appears in the chat to show where they have last read.

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        seriously appreciate it, thanks. I would’ve never noticed that.

  • Kevin McDole

    Your move, Samsung.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003386080045 John doe

      Well said.

      • Tom mason

        If htc made this with a dual boot mode (if possible) it would be epic

    • KleenDroid

      I think its just talk and don’t think it would ever happen. Just like when they announced they would never lock their bootloaders again. But if they did do it Samsung would certainly follow.

      • WickedToby741

        You’re making this seem like it’s way harder than it probably is and HTC is making it seem like they’d be doing us a bigger favor than they are. The Nexus edition HTC One is likely identical to other GSM US model HTC One’s hardware wise, so the only difference is probably the ROM. HTC already has a bootloader unlock tool, so really all they’d need to do to pull this off is post the Nexus ROM and a simple guide on how to flash it.

        • KleenDroid

          I’m sure they could do it but I just cant see them actually doing it.

          Also if you use their unlock tool you are on record of voiding your warranty. If you root and unlock privately you can return to stock and have your warranty back.

    • WickedToby741

      It should be easy enough. Hardware should be identical to GSM S4’s so Samsung would just have to provide the ROM and keys to the bootloader. Technically we shouldn’t even need Samsung. The bootloader has already been unlocked sans help from Samsung and developers should be able to extract the ROM from the Nexus edition S4 rather easily.

  • Jordan

    How in the world is HTC going to move current users from Sense to AOSP when they cant even update current devices to JB?

    • Bionic

      desperation to post a profit is a pretty good motive

      • KleenDroid

        Yes but there is a difference between talk and them actually doing it.

        • Weber

          I think HTC realizes they aren’t in a position to announce something and not follow through with it. As Bionic said, desperation is leading them to want to please everyone ( or so it seems), including their wallets.
          I also agree with you, though. I’d rather wait to see them follow through before I put my eggs in their basket.

  • Pedro

    If HTC is watching, this brings another hardware option into my decision making.

    Cost, for me, is less important than a Nexus must-have.
    Software, and bootloader unlocking, is more important (for me).

    Give me high end hardware, AOSP compatibility, AND all the benefits of Sense to use as *I* choose, I’ll buy that phone. Flash HTC-Sense.5.50 (with all Sense stuff) or AOKP nightly depending on mood. Sign me up.

    And now for the fantasy list:
    HTC sees what Custom ROM users use. They integrate it into HTC-Sense-5.51. Awesome sauce.

  • Chris

    Hopefully its just an on/off switch.

  • trwb

    I’d love to get rid of Sense on my One X+

    • trwb

      Why the down vote?

  • S2556

    I’ve always wanted the option to switch off a manufacturers skin and bloat and just go straight AOSP. One’s dream has been realized!

    • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

      Why stop at that? The true heaven is a stock Android, plus manufacturer addons as apps that you can choose to install (or not.) I am sure that many people will miss some of the features on the non-Nexus version of the HTC One.

      • S2556

        That would be cool. Like an aroma installer type of setup

  • jeff manning

    This along with Samsung and Motorola has to be the rumor that was going around last year about multiple nexus phone. Just a misunderstood rumor.

  • Tyler James Edward Hills

    This could be huge. I remember before 4.2 was announced there was a (fake) rumor about a UI hub of sorts that gave you the option to run the manufacture skin or go stock. It didn’t happen but i REALLY wished for that feature. If HTC pulls this off, I’m getting a One no questions asked

    • WickedToby741

      Whoa, let’s back this up and not get our hopes up. To me this sounds like they’re just going to post the Nexus ROM and a guide to flashing it onto Sense One’s ( no Sprint of course). I don’t for a second believe HTC will invest the time to make it so you can switch between the two in real time.

      • Tyler James Edward Hills

        Ah. yes you’re right I got a little bit ahead of myself there lol

  • Brent Cooper

    I would like to see there be an option to switch between vanilla android and skinned android in the settings menu…or something letting you always be able to get the latest version of pure android at the same time as a nexus device.

    • Dominick White

      So pretty much something like the face book home launcher.

  • Bionic

    That would be interesting and would set a precedent others may follow.

  • Brent Cooper

    I agree. If HTC can get battery life up to at least 18 hours with 4 hours of screen time on(or basically RAZR MAXX or better), then I think HTC might be in my future. I am loving what I am seeing lately

    • techpro1993

      HTC ONE is capable of doing that already, 4 hours youtube, few calls/text. At the end about 15% left.

      • http://twitter.com/tanujrocks Tanuj Chokshi

        that’s awesome

      • Casey Maines

        I would have to say prove it! Not being a jerk, just would like to see some screenshots of these claims. I’ve NEVER gotten more than 3 hours of screen time on any phone, except recently I bought the Hyperion 4200mAh battery for the GS3 and I was able to get almost 2 full days and 3 and half hours screen time. On the stock battery, I get about 1 to 1 and a half hours of screen time on the GS3.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          I will say this about Hyperion, I have their 3500mAh battery for my GNex and I can go two and a half days without needing to charge sometimes.

          • Casey Maines

            Yeah I really like the performance of the Hyperion…I just can’t stand the added thickness. I’m very anal about that! Took me a few years just to be able to put a case on my phone.

          • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

            I would suggest folks go with Anker batteries over Hyperion.

        • KleenDroid

          Wow… 1 hour of screen on time? That is beyond bad and hard to believe on an S3. I believe you but I think you need to make some adjustments to the phone.

          • Casey Maines

            Yeah it’s bad…came from a GNex and it was worse. I’ll have to monitor it over the next few weeks and try going back t stock just to see what I get on there.

          • KleenDroid

            You should be better off on a rom than stock. No idea whats going wrong with your phone.

        • athom07

          I used to get around 3 hours 53minute screen on time when I first got my S3 (on stock Touchwiz). Lately my battery life has decreased but I don’t know if thats due to battery depreciation or the ROMs Im flashing. The S3 has pretty awesome battery life, Im surprised you can only get 1 to 1 and a half hours of screen on time. For instance, right now I have 40m 0s of screen time at 76%.

          • Casey Maines

            That could be part of it for me too. I’ve been running Slim Bean for quite a while now. I wasn’t monitoring battery as much when I was on stock touchwiz, so the ROM could have a lot to do with it. I just can’t get away from stock Android though!

            I’ve tried different kernels and settings too. Thanks for the tips!

        • sayed mohasin

          I don’t play games but I used the phone to do everything else. This is the normal avg battery life with the one for me.. It’s not letting me post my screen shot
          Sorry :/

        • rutgersjaffo

          I can do about 7 hours of mostly on screen time with my Note 2. Just sayin…

        • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

          A galaxy Note 2 can get 4hrs screen on time and more. It’s got a huge 3100 mAh battery though. I’m continually dissapointed in HTC as I want to jump on the bandwagon, but I need swappable batteries. Even on my Note 2, three days out of the week I use the hell out of it and need to swap batteries in the early evening.

        • techpro1993

          There are couple factors in that weekend day. 1. I was at home all day on wifi which tends to consume less power. 2. I have power saving mode on which shut off lots of stuff while idle.

          Let me try this weekend and capture screen shot.

          • techpro1993

            Update with screen shots. 40 hours with > 4 hours screen on.

        • techpro1993

          updated with screen shots, see below.

    • Diablo81588

      Razr maxx gets more like 7 hours of screen on time..

  • Mike Hilal

    Welp, nevermind. I hate the buttons enough to skip this device entirely. Had they remapped them to the standard android layout, it would be a different story.

    • MrOrange645

      Its easy enough to enable the softkeys and then you don’t have to worry about the button mapping. Did it on my Droid Razr Maxx (Not HD).

      • Synacks

        Yeah but then you lose about 0.25 inches of screen space.

    • cizzlen

      They’re not even that bad.

  • Stephen Freeman

    It’s nice to see a company humbled by their mistakes. If this becomes legit, Bravo HTC, Bravo.

    • Chris

      Not really a mistake as back then android looked like crap.

    • one off

      Sounds like a phone HTC released

    • WickedToby741

      They’re not admitting a mistake, just offering a choice.

  • cjohn4043

    If this rumor holds true…I think I’ve just found my next phone. But contract ends in December. :'( NOOOOOO.

  • James_75

    Ok, the gig’s up.. HTC must be reading Droid-Life!

  • Eng Nuth

    this is awesome, wish they’d make it easy to patch in zoe/beats features though

  • Andrew

    The return of HTC?

  • Nathan Aker

    Damn. HTC is not holding back.

  • hkklife

    Amen to that. Of course, this would never be applicable to any HTC device on VZW but we can always dream…

    • Damian

      I have a DNA, guess I’m screwed…..

      • hkklife

        I just want to see the DNA get all of the new Sense lovin’ that the One has. DNA’s still a very, very nice phone if you can live with the limited storage and battery capacity.

        • LionStone

          It will…no doubt about it.

        • http://twitter.com/tanujrocks Tanuj Chokshi

          would you say the battery life is worse than getting 2 hours of screen time? the gnex is getting unbearable in terms of battery life lately.

          • Justin Kos

            I got a 10 dollar batt charger and a spare battery on amazon, half way I switch batteries or keep a spare on me when I go out on weekends …gotta say its great to be able to do that

          • http://twitter.com/tanujrocks Tanuj Chokshi

            can you link me to that battery charger? i got one off ebay from hong kong but the batteries dont actually fit in it so i have to tape them in to allow the contacts to touch and then only does it charge lmao so ghetto

          • Justin Kos

            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0087OYBME/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

            The battery they provide is ok, i use it along side my OEM 2100mAh one

          • michael arazan

            I use my screen for 4 1/2 hours straight watching videos on my GNex before the 16% warning pops up. I ‘ve used my camera for like 5 hours straight before the warning popped up and then used the remaining 16% left for 1 hour more on vacation last summer.

            What’s really crazy is how fast the Battery depletes when uploading th HD videos over the 4G network to my drive account, uploading eats battery the fastest of any other application i’m using

          • http://twitter.com/tanujrocks Tanuj Chokshi

            i don’t believe that you used your GNEX for 4 1/2 hours straight watching videos on verizon 4G LTE. what rom are you using? do you have any screen time screenshots? the most ive ever gotten out of my gnex is around 2 hours and 30 minutes of screen time.

      • IHATEHIPSTERSSS

        hows the battery life?

        • Damian

          Better than a Razr Maxx HD……

          • IHATEHIPSTERSSS

            No.

          • Diablo81588

            Hahaha…

          • BobbyG

            false

  • Ramana

    Whoa! That’s bigger than the nexus announcement actually.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      Agreed. Letting folks get RID of Sense is a huge step in HTC’s realization that OEM skins may not be what people actually want. It’s pretty amazing.

      • Pedro

        They probably know that the % of people who actually click the Sense-free button will be small.

        But, wow.

        Even bigger would be a ‘Regain Sense’ button. Thanks for trying AOSP, care to get the Sense flippy clock back?

        • RAZR_FANN

          They could call it “Senselessness”.

        • WickedToby741

          It won’t be a toggle switch to instantaneously flip back and forth between the two, it’s more likely that HTC is simply going to open source the AOSP ROM from the Nexus edition and provide a guide for flashing it onto “normal” One’s.

        • shooter50

          I bet most would return to sense if there was an option to disable it and return. Pure Android is so boring most average people wold hate it in comparison the sense or touchwiz. I know thats heresy to say here, but the extremely small volume (3 million) of Nexus 4 sales clearly indicates that pure android users are a small minority

          • Robert Boluyt

            Lets be honest, the Nexus 4 has a slew of short comings that counter the superior AOSP experience. Tiny amount of storage, no LTE, only 720p screen, small battery, flimsy glass construction, etc. Some believe the better screens, CPU, battery, and build of the One & GS4 are worth the trade offs of having to deal with Sense or TW.

            On Sense, I haven’t seen a UI that takes such effort to fight the user at every step. Sense used to be decent back in the Cupcake/Donut days, but its fallen to the bottom of the barrel and started to burrow now.

          • WP8_Android_iOS

            totally agree, Sense is beautiful, easier to use and full of good features.

      • Blue Sun

        This is huge. Motoblur was rubbish on my Droid X. Sense made my Thunderbolt sluggish. I really hope that OEM’s will give me the option to remove these “features”. If not, I am staying with Nexus devices since they tend to be supported more by the ROM community.

        • Synacks

          The new Sense is probably the best Android skin out there, it’s fast stylish while not killing your battery at all, not sluggish at all.

          • Joseph A. Yager

            Check back in in a couple months. I always feel like it’s fast for a while and somehow slows down to molasses eventually.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003386080045 John doe

        Id love to know if/when numbers come out how many units sold of HTC ONEs and Galaxy S4 with pure Android.

        • WickedToby741

          If they offer AOSP up for subsidized One’s, most will probably still be “normal” One’s when sold. Let’s face it, most people will buy their phones subsidized or on a device plan from AT&T or T-Mobile simply because they can’t afford the $600 up front. Then they’ll unlock the bootloader and flash the Nexus ROM if they’re interested. Which is probably all HTC is going to let people do anyways; provide a guide to get the Nexus ROM on your “normal” One.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003386080045 John doe

            Should be interesting to see how HTC handles the Flashing process.

        • shooter50

          not many I bet since the HTC one outsold the Nexus 4 for by 2 million units in only one month and the Nexus 4 has been out for months.

      • Bigwavedave25

        This. HTC, I desire your awesome hardware, just not your Sense software. Would probably be a tough pill for HTC to swallow knowing how much time they have also put into their labor-of-love skinned version of Android.

        • Robert Boluyt

          People don’t want Sense, HTC isn’t in a financial position to hammer a square peg into a round hole.