HTC Admits to Sense UI "Bloat", Says Sense 4.0 is Less Complex
March 1, 2012 11:03 AM
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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."
HTC One X
"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."
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3/1/2012 1:10:36 PM
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).
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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