Change is in the air, as not only have two of the biggest names in Android smartphones announced devices without the user interfaces they spent time and money developing, but one of them may offer existing owners the chance to do away with the UI too. It’s HTC which has been rumored to be considering such a radical move, following the launch of the HTC One Google Edition earlier this week.
The first hint came from The Verge, which quotes an HTC spokesperson as saying it’s, “Examining the best way to support early adopters of the One,” and may offer a way for them to use standard Android without the HTC Sense user interface over the top. Pocket-Lint.com has also been chatting to HTC, and was told almost exactly the same thing.
What this could mean is HTC will offer a downloadable ROM – essentially a file containing a new operating system – for the HTC One, which would revert the phone back to stock Android, or even send out an update which would allow Sense to be switched on and off at will. The latter option would be most preferable, as it offers the best of both worlds for consumers, however the former option would probably be easier for HTC to implement.
It could be a good move by HTC, which really needs to think differently to its rivals at the moment, and an option like this could see those undecided between the One, the S4, and the Xperia Z, edge towards HTC. It’s all speculation at the moment though, as HTC has made nothing official.
If all this sounds familiar it’s because of Facebook Home, which is basically the same as a manufacturer user interface, over which you have complete control. The HTC First, for all its faults, is the blueprint for this level of freedom, as when you want a break from Home, you just turn it off in Settings and enjoy standard Android Jelly Bean. We dared to dream about manufacturers adopting this strategy across the board recently, and now it has taken a tiny step closer to reality.