Mar 1st, 2012

Sense UI. Love it or hate it, it’s not going anywhere. The complaint most people have with Sense is it’s simply too bloated and can hinder performance on any phone with it’s flashy UI and countless features. The good news? HTC knows this. And they’re going to make thing right.

In an interview with Pocketlint, HTC’s chief product officer Kouji Kodera, said he believes HTC Sense started off fine but over time, with each new Sense version, the UI became too cluttered. We’d agree.

“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 where too many things in there. 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.”

I guess the bad news here is the only devices that will reap the benefit of this all new and improved UI seem to be the HTC One line — possibly only the One X and One S which use Sense 4.0 — the One V uses an older Sense 3.6. It’s unclear which version we’ll see on HTC’s current dual-core Gingerbread devices but I’m crossing my fingers for Sense 4.0, which, according to Koujira, is more of a theme than the complete Android overhaul like in previous versions.

“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 flavor on top of it.”

HTC’s simpler design philosophy carries over to their product portfolio as well. The One line features no removable batter or SD card slot. Can’t get simpler than that. Koujira also reiterated the company’s stance of releasing less products this year, focusing solely on the One line. “You will start hearing less from us as we are going to be focusing on less number of products.” Focus is good. Especially if it results in more timely updates, a feather in the hat of any Android OEM that can provide them.


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