HTC Selling Sense Widgets In Android Market?


We literally JUST told you about how HTC sent a C&D letter to a developer mimicking and selling their HTC Sense widgets. We thought it was just to protect their brand but it MIGHT be because HTC themselves hope to sell the widgets in Android Market. Check out Dave’s comment (#20) on the original article:

I just noticed the HTC themselves uploaded 3 test apps to the App store.
Could maybe they be getting ready to sell the widgets themselves?

Sure enough, if you visit that link, you’ll see 3 applications from HTC Corporation:


The applications pretty much ALL have the same description with the only differences being the title and the package name. Speaking of which, take a look at the package name in the HHH Test description:

Personal Test

HHH test was developed for Android by HTC Corporation

Package name :

System permissions : This application doesn’t need special permissions

Rosie Widgets? Sounds like HTC Sense widgets to me! Although if you search Android Market for the applications now you won’t be able to find them! We’re guessing because HTC promptly pulled them down but AndroLib hasn’t reflected the change. This is probably the same reason that our report of 20,000 apps yesterday was off by 4,000 apps.

Would HTC want to sell their widgets? It would provide LESS of a reason to purchase an Android Phone with HTC Sense but provide a LARGER audience with which to make a sale. HTC has formally been considered a hardware company and even with HTC Sense… they’re still largely a hardware maker but selling widgets/apps on Android Market to the masses would have them entering a new area.

Two questions:

  1. What do you think is actually happening here – is HTC preparing to sell widgets on the market?
  2. If they ARE planning the above – good idea or bad idea?
Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. i think it would be badass if we could buy HTC sense for any phone, not just the widgets. But maybe HTC would lose costumers and that is one of the reasons they aren’t selling them yet. And as a midground they are planning on selling their most popular widgets

  2. The second that HTC has the sense widgets available I would love to know. I will buy them the second they come out.

  3. HTC might be selling Rosie Widgets FOR ROSIE in the Market.

  4. I think Hardware manufacturers would be missing a big opportunity if they don’t sell their software on the market. Granted, your software distinguishes your hardware, but if you make the price worth your while then I would think you would want your software on as many phones as possible…

  5. I would love to buy HTC sense for my droid

  6. It makes sense that htc would sell Widgets. The fact that sense ui with android 2.1 has the option to ‘getmore widgets’ makes me think it may be the plan for updated handsets.

  7. I have an HTC Hero and I have noticed that it has space to add more widgets on their widgets section could this be for HTC Android phones only (Hero/Eris)?

  8. I’d probably pay $50 for SenseUI to run on a non-HTC phone (if that is what I was stuck with doing).

  9. It probably would hurt their hardware sales. Because if I could get all of Sense (or most of it) as a download I would stop waiting for the Passion and get the Droid.

  10. It makes a whole bunch of sense (pun intended)! Users could just upgrade to the latest flavor of Android instead of having to wait for HTC to update Sense UI.

  11. I think its an awesome idea. It’s not like I would buy an Eris over the Droid just for the HTC UI…

  12. I think HTC is not just a harware manufacturer. Sense gui is revolutionary in design and in interactivity.

  13. It would make perfect sense, get it?, for them to sell Sense UI widgets. And contrary to what some have said it wouldn’t hurt their business at all. Why? Because they’d be selling the widgets and not the entire Sense UI interface! Most people would kill for flip clock and weather widgets. At least I would!

  14. Judging by the dates on the comments, at least two of those have been up for several months (July and September).

  15. This makes perfect sense. (no pun intended) I would assume that HTC eventually will make straight android phones that are stocked with stock android. Adding the sense as a widget would make updating the OS a heck of a lot easier. I’m sure they could make all the HTC specific android changes a widget or other app. Just a thought.

  16. i was actually thinking this the other day. i’ve been hearing that android is becoming difficult to develop (apps) for because the different UIs ie Sense, Rachael, MotoBlur, etc. so WHY NOT have a generic version of Android and ADD ON skins, themes, widgets, etc?!!?

  17. I’d still wait for the Passion compared to the droid because of the size, no keyboard, oled screen, and I imagine it has to be lighter than the droid.

    But this would be great and would allow them to release Google experience phones that are upgraded right away. Although I think people are making too big a deal about that. 1.6 was release right after the hero and was only a small update, and it isn’t like anyone else not name the Motorola Droid has 2.0 right now. For all you know Rosie might not have even needed much tweaking for 2.0/2.1 and maybe any extra time was to add features.

  18. My MyTouch 3G only pulls up old phandroid pages, my desktop is up to date, but whether i go to on my phone through bookmark, google search, or go directly to the address the page i get is days old. refresh doesnt help, ive cleared browser cache. Anyone?

  19. The cost of developing widgets is basically rolled into the cost of a phone, right? Any additional revenue HTC can get from the app market would be a bonus. If HTC provides their widgets for free after the development costs are covered, it would also improve their reputation in the android community. Seems like a win-win to me.

    Of course, they can always keep the best widgets for themselves until they get “stale,” send a C&D letter to whoever is developing knock-offs, and start the cycle again.

  20. Very bad idea…
    buying an htc phone and it being exclusively on an htc device it would only make sense to offer it for htc customers and not sell it since we have the phone, and me for example i had purchased a widget from level up studio so if i am to wipe my phone the app is gone so ill have to buy it from the market again but through htc doesnt make sense for me to have to do that or to even back it up… they should figure a way out or they might just have level up cough up the cash or make htc pay for another one… and again what customers want is convnience so why back up the app i paid for it so i want it and i want it the easy way and thats why i paid them for it..

  21. If HTC sells Sense Widgets, they will also have sold me on the rumored Nexus One. That was one of the last pieces that phone was missing for me.

  22. Not interested really. They (HTC-ish widgets & Sense) take up too much screen real estate. I’m looking forward to Android 2.1 (FLAN) with more than 3 home screens – THEN I’d be interested in this.

  23. I doubt if this is about revenue at all. HTC has nothing to lose by offering its widgets in the marketplace, as they blur the line between hardware.

    If I’m used to relying on the (really sharp) HTC weather widget, for example, and get used to the interface, I’ll have a lower learning curve the next time I pick up a HTC phone in the store.

    It’s kind of like what happened with Apple starting with iTunes: Build a great piece of music management software, pair it with a slick portable device and get your foot in the door the next time I need a laptop.

  24. i think its a really bad idea to sell widgets to everyone… its a good thing for customers but bad for htc. the whole point of making sense UI is to stand out and give possible customers an incentive to want to buy an htc phone. i think the best way to implement this idea would be to allow anyone who has a phone with sense ui to purchase different widgets and that would create further uniqueness to each htc phone thus making the phone “more YOU” which is the point of their whole ad campaign..

  25. How about selling the HTC keyboard on the market? I would buy that in an instant if it came with updates! I currently have it installed on my phone and love it, but wish it was updated from time to time.

  26. @Firelight

    sense comes with 7 screens. its true that the widgets take quite a bit of real state, but you’ll have a hard time filling up those 7 screens with app shortcuts and widgets you actually use. besides, it comes with a bunch of different layers, witch gives you a whole new 7 screens on each. if your reason to look forward to 2.1 is more than 3 screens. then you should be interested in sense ui.

  27. I still want my money back…

  28. If the geniuses at xda cant get sense widgets on stock android I don’t see much hope. But i havent been to xda Dev forum lately maybe they HAVE done this?

  29. thx for getting greedy htc! hope you charge for your apps in the market just so i can pirate them out of principle =D

  30. Did anyone try the 2.1 hero rom ?
    there is something about downloading widgets , so maybe they are going to link it with the android market for better updating process .

  31. I think they will be offering additional widgets for current and/or future Sense UI devices.

    Some of the widgets that Sense UI currently has implemented wouldn’t work on Vanilla Android anyway. Take the Twitter widget for example: It has scrolling implemented, which is prohibited by the widget SDK in standard Android. That only works with HTCs own widgets on their own Home Screen app.

    I’m not sure, though, why they sent the C&D letters then. Maybe they stumbled upon Beautiful Widgets just now. Or they want to sell their own widgets so Sense UI devices at a higher price and don’t want the users to get a cheaper alternative. I don’t know :D

  32. The HTC Sense UI is the best android skin so far! i love it so much that i spent a couple hours hacking it on my G1 and love it!

  33. I think maxisma is right they are putting up more widgets for rosie

    While testing the Eclair Sense and adding widgets to my home screen i saw the option for “Get more widgets” with a little download link next to it…

    clicking leads to another screen that says connection failed. So ya i think the 2.0 with sense is coming sooner than expected if theyre already putting up their widgets for tests in the market..ofcourse i can be full of it but its just my 2 cents.

  34. @davis
    Try “nubinews”.I like it and it’s how I found phandroid in the first place.Engadget hasn’t been working properly for me, but I am on rooted g1.still.was waiting to see who would carry x10,but sounds like it’s at&t,so gonna ride into 2010 with 1.6.

  35. As I mentioned above it’s more likely that the widgets will be available only for HTC phones with sense UI… and the proof is on the Android market… when you search “HTC” you will find two widgets made by HTC… one is a tip calculator and the other is a battery level indicator… under the description it says they’re only for HTC hero and droid eris… so there you go!

  36. I was hopping for this development…

    Google is possibly releasing the HTC Nexus/Passion/Dragon/Bravo aka Nexus One early next year…

    Google seems to have added at least five(hope this is changeable 7 is better.) desktops to it + lots of other visual UI enhancements… But, it won’t come with Rosie aka Sense UI…

    Right now HTC takes forever to update new versions of Android thanks to the full Sense UI porting & upgrading… Imagine what HTC could do to move units if they would just stick Android 2.1 & higher on their phones & use the market to exclusively sell Sense UI as a widget… Once Adobe flash & multi-touch are central part of the main Android release(without the manuf. of the phone needing to add it themselves)… Sense UI is just an awesome(Love Rosie) collection of widgets… & now with the 1Ghz CPU’s the tweaking is not as hard for great soft. speeds.

    I bet this will only available for HTC phones(manuf. by HTC) that don’t come with Sense UI.. Like the G1, MyTouch on TMobile & a few other markets…. Although of both of this probably only MyTouch will probably see it… And the main reason for this is Nexus One… This is for the non-rooting crowd… If they price it right… This should be a good intro into soft. sales for HTC…. And will probably be a better market then snap on back front covers for the Tattoo… Right now after a phone is launch & bought by a good number of peeps, there is very little incentive for the manuf. to upgrade to the latest Android… Remember some phones are coming out next year with Android 1.x … WTF… The Nexus One suppose to be Android answer to the fragmentation of it’s OS… HTC seems to be trying to help google show others how to handle it better.. Also Sony/Ericson said a few months back that it was open to selling their UI too…

    After news of the HTC Dragon come out… I remember some one going around the forums saying that Dragon did not mean a phone but the software…. I wonder if this the end product…

  37. Looks like they’re out there this am…

  38. Weather Widget – Donate (which includes the Flip Clock) has higher resolution and updates better than Beautiful Widgets (I bought and tried both). I read that both got C&D orders from HTC, so if you have either, back them up, as prolly will be pulled from Market soon. However, I expect they will just modify the appearance in a major way so HTC doesn’t get their panties in a wad, and put new apps back up on the Market. I love the Flip Clock concept, but the numbers for the time are too large — I don’t need to be able to see them from across the room, LOL.

    For those of you complaining about no enuf screen real estate for Sense UI-type apps, try Home++ Beta app. It’s free, and I think works better and smoother than Open Home and the other pay Home alternatives. Home++ has up to 7 screens, and is fully user selectable. The Dev is updating and improving the app constantly.

  39. I can see why htc might send a C&D letter to someone who was copying their widget designs (why wouldn’t they?). I imagine that, the market for those designs having been proven, they might then sell the original widgets on the market.

    But htc Sense is not just pretty looking widgets. There are underlying frameworks which enable multitouch, social networking syncing etc. and apps which add functionality (even if Footprints looks like an answer to a question which nobody has ever asked).

    So, even if they are going to market their widgets at the wider Android world (or at least those widgets which don’t rely on Sense frameworks), it doesn’t mean that they will market Sense itself. Unless they have an Apple-style control freak mentality, I would imagine that they will market the bits which are basically pretty Android widgets while keeping the underlying Sense crown jewels to themselves.

    Alternatively they may have decided that the amount of development work required to keep Sense up to date with Android is too much, so they are considering a whole new way of working.


    Greedy? I wouldn’t have thought that expecting financial return for work is greedy. It’s more like… work.

    If you want to work for free, that’s fine. If you want to spend time and money designing software so that someone else can make cash out of it, that’s fine. If you *expect* other people to work for free, then you’re a freeloader, and that’s not fine. And if you pirate software, you are a thief.

    So unless you’re totally happy with working unpaid and having things stolen, I’d reconsider your philosophy.

  40. For the peeps complaining about 3 screens, wanting sense etc on older phones, search, its out there.

    I love it, had a guy the other day notice my g1 next to the lap top, i was streaming pandora inthe park. We got talking about phones and he braged about his droid and his wifes eris. I lit mine up, showed him my settings screen, jaw dropped when he saw widgets then …….. 2.1! Whats this his new droid was suddenly old news. Lol. I laughed as i explaned i was tethered wireless, streaming pandora, oh, and did i mention i could still make/take calls. Yep theres a map for that to……

    Old school!

  41. i just want the animated weather screen like the hd2.

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