HTC Announces New OpenSense SDK for Developers – Wants Moar Apps


It’s been a few years since HTC first unleashed their beautiful “Android skin” known as Sense UI. We first saw it on the HTC Hero and since then, it has evolved, matured and even become the central focus for HTC and the reason, they feel, consumers would want an HTC device over all the rest. There’s no denying the beauty of Sense and the amount of polish all the native apps have about them but that was offset by the majority of apps having a stock “vanilla” Android UI to them. But after years of honing Sense on a plethora of devices and refining it to what we see today, HTC has formally announced their commitment to the developer community and has opened up their new site

Now, using their OpenSense SDK, developers from all over the world now have the API’s they need to tinker around and create apps built around and tailored to HTC’s custom UI. One of the many API’s developers now have access to is the HTC’s Scribe Pen API. This could lead developers to create some truly unique/innovative apps and games using the Scribe Pen found on the Flyer. Or how about about HTC’s 3D API that devs can utilize for creating eye-popping 3D visuals in their apps? Pretty exciting stuff.

HTC is hoping this new move will help distinguish their UI from the multitude of devices from OEM’s all over the globe by giving them the edge where it matters most – apps. App exclusivity seems to be a hot topic going around these days and it looks like we’re just getting started. I, for one, am excited to see what developers will come up using the OpenSense SDK. Viva, la Android!

[Via Twitter]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. moar? You mean more?

    1. No, I mean MOAR. As in, MOAR APPZ NAO.

      1. It’s kinda sad that some people can’t take just a bit of comedy/lightheartedness… :/

        1. A bit of the funny is good, but you need to be sure you hit the mark.  When writing, if you want to drop in an in-joke, you do it in a subtle way that doesn’t make you look like an idiot.  Well done it should be funny to those who get it, and mean nothing to those who don’t.  In this case, he just made himself look like he can’t spell.  And then having to explain the joke, which wasn’t even funny, he becomes the joke.

          Instead of looking like a serious article about Android, the whole things gets lost in the weird word.  Who cares about the article anymore?  Why is that word misspelled?

          Ultimately, it was MOAR as in FAIL.

          1. I personally understood what he meant and although I am generally a stickler for grammar/spelling, it was funny enough to me for me to overlook it. Maybe not an LOL funny, just a little chuckle or something… Besides, it’s CHRIS we’re talking about here… you know, the really animated and off the wall Chris? I come to expect this kind of stuff from him.

          2. Still trying to figure out if that was a compliment…. either way, I’LL TAKE IT. :D

          3. @Gamercore:disqus ‘Twas a compliment to you good sir!  :)

          4. moar is common internet vernacular. Get with the times!

          5. It’s the vernacular for, “I think I’m cool because I’m copying some fool who can’t spell, making myself look the fool as well to any serious people.” 

            I’ll pass.

            I’ve seen this kind of “vernacular” appear in emails and documents at work, too.  It doesn’t make for a positive reputation builder. 

            In this case, “moar apps” in quotes would have said, “this is a joke, not a misspelling.”  Buy hey: if people would rather stick to their guns and looks like fools to the general populace, have at it.  Just don’t complain if you’re not taken seriously. “evar”

          6. What do you know… you’re just a talking moose. o_O

  2. this is a terrible idea.  Please god I hope no developers actually write apps that depend specifically on Sense.

    1. I do! Some of the best phones in the world are running Sense! =)

      1. Chris. Please marry me and have my children.

        1. I now pronounce you Mr. and Mr. Christopher Chavez!

      2. So HTC encouraging apps that only run on one platform is a good thing for anyone other than HTC how exactly?

      3. G2 – Vanilla
        G2x – Vanilla
        Nexus Devices – Vanilla
        Galaxy S – Touchwiz
        Galaxy S II – Touchwiz

        No. Not All The Best Phones Are Running Sense.

        1. Some =/= all.

    2. I would imagine that if the devs want, they can do a quick check to see what kind of phone, and enable/disable the enhanced UI. Sure, you won’t get the prettier UI, but you can still use the app.

    3. I agree with you.I’ll give HTC that their Sense UI is better than other OEMs’ attempts at UIs but personally I would rather have none and let Google handle the software. This pursuit of distinct UIs is bad for Android. If OEMs want to customize phones, preload it with awesome unique apps and widgets like they are doing with Honeycomb, don’t replace core system utilities with specialized lame remakes of existing apps.

      1. Or at least give users the option to disable the custom UI (without root).

    4. Amen to that.

      But the real problem is that HTC now seems to think they can make up for their phones’ numerous shortcomings – cheesy camera optics, dime store speakers, bland & nearly identical shells – simply by slapping Sense on top.

      1. Camera’s on phones always look like.. well, camera phones.

        And the speaker on the Thunderbolt was probably the best sounding speaker I’ve heard on a smartphone to date. Was very impressed.HTC still makes some of the sexiest phones around. Simple. Smooth. Sexy.

        1. You wrote:
          “Camera’s on phones always look like.. well, camera phones.”

          Then I guess you haven’t tried enough camera-phones. :)

          I’m no Nokia fan, but even I admit their N8 has a better camera than any other current phone. Same goes for Nokia’s E7, which leaves behind all Android still cameras (and video) except for Samsung & Sony’s new flagship models. In comparison, HTC’s cameras are among the worst. 

          Same goes for HTC’s in-phone speakers, nearly all of which sound like something went wrong in the manufacturing process. Sure, maybe you can cherry-pick a decent example out of their recent offerings but that leaves at least 8 or 9 HTC models looking pretty sad in both departments.

  3. wtf is “moar”?

  4. Well that’s cool of HTC. Even though I don’t particularly care for the Sense UI, I’d like to see what devs cook up. Who knows, they just might win me over!

    And LOL @ “moar”. Made my day. :P

  5. Love the idea. I but htc phones because of there sense.

  6. This is a good idea, but they almost need to offer it separately in their own app store. Maybe they intend to do this, I don’t know, but it seems like a mistake putting a bunch of Sense only apps in the Android Market.

  7. This charmingly recursive sentence…

    “One of the cool API’s devs now have access to is the Scribe Pen API which could lead devs to creating some interesting and unique apps using HTC’s Scribe Pen in gaming apps and/or note taking apps.’

    …reads like a junior high book report, where a kid is desperately trying to reach the requisite word-count.

    1. I enlarged the margins to hit the page count too. o_O

  8. So HTC is trying to vendor lock now? Or am I supposed to forget about a strategy Microsoft perfected?

    Embrace? Extend? Extinguish? No thanks.

  9. hopefully one of the guys at XDA will be able to change the bluetooth stack on Sense so I won’t have to run on CM7 to use Wiimote

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