The beauty of the Android OS is the fact that it’s completely open source and each core application can be tweaked or swapped out for another. This ability has allowed manufacturers to customize their devices with their own applications, giving their phones a unique feel and user experience.
Unfortunately, Android’s openness seems to be causing some friction within the Android community. On one side, you have fans of the stock Android UI, features, and set of applications that are bundled with a vanilla install of the OS. The other side has fans of the custom UI’s, tweaks, and application integration from companies like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola.
Rumors about the upcoming Android 3.0 build, expected to be unveiled within the next 6 months, indicate that Google is focusing a lot of their attention on enhancing the stock Android UI and adding in many of the custom feature sets that manufacturers have created for their handsets to bring the functionality and design of Android up to par with the custom builds. Many Android purists are hoping that with the unveiling of Android 3.0, manufacturers will start shying away from their custom UI implementations which do add a significant time investment into the development process.
But fans of HTC’s Sense UI can breathe a sigh of relief. A recent interview with Drew Bamford (Manager of HTC’s user experience design team) has revealed that HTC is still hard at work on Sense and has no plans on shelving their custom UI when Android 3.0 is introduced. Bamford noted that, “Google may focus more on improving the user interface on the stock Android [software], but I don’t think they’ll preclude manufacturer customization.”
New features such as the application sharing widget found on the recently release HTC Wildfire will be ported over to other HTC phones in future updates. Bamford also mentioned that HTC is looking into cloud computing integration which would allow HTC users to sync, store, and stream their data and media.
We know that there are a lot of HTC Sense fans around here. Are any of you glad that Sense will be sticking around when Android 3.0 is released?