Print 13 comment(s) - last by flyguy29.. on Mar 4 at 1:15 PM

Sense 4.0 promises it won't hide Android 4.0

Many Android smartphone fans will agree that custom OEM user interfaces for Android often muddle the user experience. Some users prefer the standard Android interface, but much of the ire felt against custom user interfaces on Android is that they often significantly delay the rollout of operating system updates.
One Android user interface that has drawn its share of criticism is HTC's Sense UI.
HTC's chief product officer, Kouji Kodera, has gone on the record saying that Sense UI has become too complicated. According to Kodera, despite the fact that millions of HTC users like Sense UI, it has become too cluttered and complex.
"From the original Sense up to Sense 3.5 we added too many things. The original concept was that it had to be simple and it had to be easy to use and we had that philosophy, but over time it got cluttered."

"There were too many things in there," Kodera continues. "Even on the home screen we had four or five icons before consumers got a chance to add things themselves. For the HTC One range we have taken it down to Sense 2 again."
Kodera promises that the fourth version of HTC's interface is much more refined. He also promises that the new version doesn't completely shed the Android operating system just for the sake of covering it up.
HTC is set to roll out the fourth version of its Sense UI on coming smartphones including the HTC One X, One S, and the One V.
"What we've done right now is a good mixture of keeping Sense and Google's Ice Cream Sandwich element in a good balance. We haven't tried to change everything here. We have kept a lot of the ICS element but still added the Sense flavour on top of it."

Source: Pocket-Lint

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UI as an option.
By Tequilasunriser on 3/1/2012 11:24:06 AM , Rating: 5
I still wish they would allow the UI to be an option.

That way people that like sense can have their sense while other like myself can uninstall it in favor of vanilla Android. (without having to root and flash roms)

RE: UI as an option.
By nafhan on 3/1/2012 12:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
That said: HTC, at least, is tending towards unlocked phones going forward. So, "rooting" consists mostly of agreeing to "this may void your warranty" messages, and custom ROM installation consists mostly of downloading a file and placing it on your SD card. Still, it'd be nice if that wasn't necessary.

I actually like the "look" of Sense, but I got rid of it because it was buggy. :(

RE: UI as an option.
By danjw1 on 3/1/2012 1:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
But with ICS all OEMs need to allow you to go to the base UI from google. So you CAN DO THAT .

RE: UI as an option.
By piroroadkill on 3/2/2012 4:04:58 AM , Rating: 1
I don't actually mind. I've used vanilla Gingerbread, and Sense 3 Gingerbread. I actually like some of the things Sense adds.

It's not like you have to use the shitty launcher (I certainly don't).

RE: UI as an option.
By Spoelie on 3/2/2012 4:44:42 AM , Rating: 2
I actually did miss a lot of Sense functionality when going from Sense Froyo to stock Gingerbread, my first 2 weeks was trying to find (free) apps that added functionality that in my opinion was worse stock than in Sense:
* dialer (the keypad didn't search contacts, why god why??)
* contacts (source some fb data)
* sms app
* keyboard
* camera app
* calendar, weather and clock widgets

SenseUI does make sense for the average consumer IMO; even though bloated, it does work better than stock for those that don't know how or like to tinker with their phones.

Disclaimer: this was with Froyo Sense 1 (or 2?) vs stock Gingerbread. My experiences with stock ICS on a tablet are much better, eager to try ICS on a phone as well.

Why are there buttons on the damn thing?
By quiksilvr on 3/1/2012 11:37:19 AM , Rating: 2
I thought those buttons were to become part of the screen itself and not touch buttons.

Either way, at least HTC Sense lets you change the launcher, so that's nice.

By theaerokid on 3/1/2012 12:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
You have a point. My touchscreen-compatible gloves can handle the screen just fine, but seem to have trouble with those buttons just under the screen. Although I do like the fact that they're common controls that are always available and not taking up space on the screen.

Stock Android please
By ZorkZork on 3/1/2012 5:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
Sense is actually one of the best Android customizations out there but I would still rather have the stock Android image. Here is why. It takes time for HTC and the others to build their stuff on top. By the time they have something it will only be a short time before next version of Android is out which brings so much new that I would rather have the new Android version over an “improved” old version. Android is such a fast moving target that HTC and the others will not be able to keep up.

Now I hate to bring in the Apple guys but customizations are one thing they do correctly: They have no customizations (carrier, OEM, whatever). When Apple pushes out a new version, everybody gets it at the same time. One image for the world. Then consumers can customize by installing Apps. Good thing is, that since Android is much more flexible in terms of user customizations, this model would work even better on Android.

Here is what I would like for HTC (and the others): Keep your phone customizations at a minimum. In practice, your customizations should be limited to drivers and getting the Google apps on the phone. Then, setup your own app store (or “rent a corner” in Android Market) where we can get HTC only apps. That is how you should deliver your customizations. In the end, it will not be your customizations that drive your marketshare. It will be hardware design, specifications, quality, etc. Please give up trying to compete on software. You do not have the resources of Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

And carrier customizations make things even worse. Good thing that most European carriers do not insist on carrier customizations.

RE: Stock Android please
By bug77 on 3/2/2012 4:11:05 AM , Rating: 2
Now I hate to bring in the Apple guys but customizations are one thing they do correctly: They have no customizations (carrier, OEM, whatever). When Apple pushes out a new version, everybody gets it at the same time. One image for the world. Then consumers can customize by installing Apps. Good thing is, that since Android is much more flexible in terms of user customizations, this model would work even better on Android.

That would be true if it weren't for the drivers. Apple has a handful of devices so testing a new OS on all of them is not a big deal. But try doing that on Android, when you don't even own the phones. So even without customizations, there would still be multiple parties involved in delivering an update. That's insane, imho, since I'd never rely on a manufacturer giving me a new Windows/Linux version.

By bug77 on 3/1/2012 11:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
Please offer stock Android images as updates, too.

Have something like Chrome's update channels, where users choose where to update from. Users wanting the latest and greatest can have their updates (much) sooner and users wanting Sense can wait as they do now.
Or update first to the stock version and later to the Sense variant, if that's fairly simple to do.

In any case STOP MAKING ME WAIT 6+ MONTHS FOR A NEW VERSION. It will not make me want to buy HTC more often, it will make me want to buy something else the next time I upgrade.

Biggest issue
By adiposity on 3/1/2012 1:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest issue is that the stock OS is deficient in a lot of ways. The manufacturers UIs are annoying sometimes, but they also add desperately needed features, such as proper voice dial, to many phones. Another nice feature is the ability to edit previous searches, rather than just repeat a previous search. I believe Google has finally added this in stock, but for years only those with custom ROMs had the feature (even on 2.2 the OG Droid could not do it).


There are multiple "bug" reports open for Android regarding the lack of proper voice dial. Unfortunately, Google is ignoring them, because it's not on the radar for most users, as Motoblur (and probably Sense and Touchwiz, as well) has provided the feature.

Until Google starts providing features that were in Windows Mobile 5 years ago, in stock Android, you can't really drop the customizations that Motorola, HTC, and Samsung have been adding. I haven't tried 4.0 yet so maybe it addresses some of these things.

(this last one is marked as "released" even though it remains active, and has not fully addressed the issues listed here).

Better font control
By KOOLTIME on 3/1/2012 1:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
I just wish they had better font control, you can alter the size of fonts for easier reading of different screens. Alot of phones say they let you swap fonts and such, but most are actually stuck on fonts that only apply to a few app screens and such, cant adjust them for the entire phone, so everything is easier to read.

Also HTC updates the expand feature, like iphone has. You can enlarge any screen for easier reading.

HTC only apply to a few screens, but alot of them once you start clicking around the phone to sub options, everything gets static, cant adjust views or reading size at all, even in web pages and e-mails. Very hard to read an e-mail with alot of text that wont enlarge and is static to the size of the phone screen. Unless you have laser eyesight, it just becomes impossible to read the small text.

They need to make the swipe enlarge across all screens so folks can make things bigger for reading, not just email or web pages only, like iphone does global, so can read everything easier as needed.

By flyguy29 on 3/4/2012 1:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
wonder if they can just add foders and banner header. Maybe Apple will take legal issue with that.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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