HTC considering buying OS of its own

HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang told the China's Economic Observer that the device manufacturer is considering purchasing a mobile phone operating system that it can use as its own.  The possibility is there, but it is nowhere near becoming a reality.  “We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse,” Wang said in an interview. 

It may come as a surprise that a company which has seen so much success building devices with third-party operation systems (Android and Windows Phone) would be possibly seeking to obtain one of their own.  However, if you follow recent trends of Nokia pairing off with Microsoft and Google buying Motorola Mobility, HTC might be looking for a little insurance that they won't be left out in the cold as a manufacturer with no OS.  Even Samsung, whose bread and butter is Android and Windows devices has their own proprietary operating system, bada.

If HTC does decide to go the route of their own OS, it's still unlikely that they will completely drop the third-party ones that have rocketed them to the heights of the mobile phone market.  Still, it might be cool to see a "HTC Sense" phone, or the acquisition of webOS by a company that could actually make it successful.

Source: Focus Taiwan; Via: Mashable

HTC affirms commitment to Sense on WP7, still vague on what that means

While "Sense 3.0" on Windows Phone 7 is a bit underwhelming (although that weather update helps), HTC is still interested in developing it further for our new OS. What exactly that means is anyone's guess because evidently, they're not talking.

In an interview with Forbes, HTC's head of UX, Drew Bamford said the following about Sense and WP7:

We have a good relationship with Microsoft so we’re continuing to work with them to figure out how to enable a Sense experience without breaking their model...Our expectation is that we will be able to do more over time.

Well, maybe even they don't know. But from an earlier report, HTC did talk about how they "...will innovate differently to improve the experience and to get some HTC unique and differentiated experience on Windows Phone 7 in the future." Once again vague.

So we'll continue to wait but to be honest, while we dig their mini-apps, we're not looking to replace our new UI anytime soon. But hey HTC, we'll see what you can do.

Source: Forbes

HTC updates Sense Hub, adds Live Tile

HTC has updated their Windows Phone 7 Sense Hub to version 1.5. The update has minor fixes and the option to have a Live Tile that displays your current weather conditions.

The app now supports automatic location based weather that will update the Tile every hour, every three hours, six hours, twelve hours, pr once a day. You can set the Live Tile to your location or manually to another location. 

It definitely helps give the HTC Hub a little more functionality.

via: wmpoweruser

HTC Sense Hub caught on tape


While we've seen the HTC Sense hub on video before, Phil was able to spend some hands-on time with it during the Windows Phone 7 launch.

Running on the HD7, the Sense hub is graphically pleasing and adds yet another diminsion to the Windows Phone 7 experience.

Cookies Home Tab version 2.0 Beta released

The popular HTC Sense Home Tab modifier, Cookies Home Tab (CHT) is on the road to being updated. Version 2.0 Beta has been released to the public over at XDA Developers. The highlights of the update include:

  • left/right sliding pages configurable from 1 to 7 pages (separately configurable for portrait, landscape and lockscreen)
  • redesigned softkey area, bottom menu and tab slider (tap and hold the slider button, don't just tap and release)
  • quick links can be configured in any row by column layout
  • new links that are can be freely moved anywhere on the screen (free links - add from popup menu)
  • free links have a slide-to-launch feature on the lockscreen
  • more widgets: email, sms, RSS, weather, clocks (digital, flip and analog)
  • add-on widget framework: widgets can be made by anyone and installed as an addon cab
  • widgets can be pinned into place and some can be freely re-sized

The most noticeable change with v2.0 Beta is the softkey redesign. A softkey panel overlays the traditional Sense slider. If you press and hold the three-directional arrow icon, the Sense Slider will appear. I'm not sold on the softkeys yet but if you end up preferring the more traditional look, you can turn the softkeys off in the Cookies Home Tab Editor (which is also in the v2.0 beta stage).

Version 2.0 requires Sense 2.5 running on a WVGA or VGA Windows Phone. HVGA is not supported. You will also need .NET CF 3.5 which can be found here. Unfortunately, settings for previous versions of CHT are not compatible with v2.0 Beta. There is good news though, exported settings for v2.0 will be forward compatible with future 2.xx versions.

While v2.0 Beta looks really good it is a beta version.  We still we have to toss out the customary caveat that the beta version may have bugs and you should proceed at your own risk. In testing out v2.0 Beta I did experience a few bugs ranging from Sense restarting on a finger swipe to the Cookie's main page being off-set just a smidgen. Nothing critical but just signs that this is a beta version.

Cookies Home Tab has built a reputation for bringing extensive customization and functionality to HTC Sense. Version 2.0 lives up to that reputation and then some.  Once the bugs get ironed out of the Beta, v2.0 will be hard to beat.

HTC on Sense & Windows Phone 7: "...we will innovate"

In an interview with FierceWireless, HTCs Peter Chou (CEO) gave some details on their future plans for Sense and Windows Phone 7.

While we know technically it is verboten to re-skin the whole Metro UI, HTC is looking to exploit every nook and cranny to squeeze their Sense experience in between. Here are some quotes from Chou on the matter; they're quite telling:

"Initially, we don't have time to bring things on top of that," he said. "But over time we will innovate on top of that to provide some HTC experience."

"I don't think we would do complete Sense UI on Windows Phone 7," he said. "However, I will say that we will innovate differently to improve the experience and to get some HTC unique and differentiated experience on Windows Phone 7 in the future."

A spokesman went on to clarify:

". ... Sense, by definition, is a way for HTC to improve the user experience in both big and small ways--which we will certainly work to do with Windows Phone 7 devices. But, if this does not include a fully revised user interface, that does not mean that it doesn't have a form of the Sense experience--it may just be expressed in ways that do not include the interface."

So HTC sounds committed to this philosophy of Sense and we applaud them for it. Though Microsoft has forced a major restriction on HTC, out of this we think some truly unique innovation will come from them in the future and we look forward to what their team can think up over the next year.  Read more at FierceWireless.

More details on HTC Sense on Windows Phone 7 surface

We are learning more about HTC Sense on Windows Phone 7.  We've seen a video demo of Sense and a brief video of Sense actually running on a device (it's back up by the way).  We know it's a hub/tile that will run on Windows Phone 7's main screen and not the user interface we are used to on Windows Mobile.

We are now learning that the tile will include an assortment of applications and may have the potential to add additional applications through the Marketplace.

Details on each app is somewhat sketchy with the leaked videos likely offering the best detail so far on some of these apps. A list of applications, for the time being, should include:

  • Weather App
  • Calculator (both simple and scientific)
  • Connection Setup (utility)
  • Unit Converter
  • Flashlight (utilizing your camera light)
  • List (a basic list app)
  • Notes
  • Love Me/Love Me Not
  • Photo Enhancer
  • Sound Enhancer (an equalizer of sorts?)
  • Stock quotes

We have gotten used to Sense taking center stage on a HTC Windows Phone and it will be interesting to see how all this comes together with Windows Phone 7.

Curious.  Does moving Sense to a tile give it more flexibility (use it when you need it, hide it when you don't) or will it be overshadowed too much with the Windows Phone 7 interface?


HTC Sense for Windows Phone 7 revealed

Update: See a video of HTC Sense running live on the HTC Mozart here

A video has surfaced demonstrating HTC Sense for Windows Phone 7.

And for the time being, we'll file it under "Rumors we wouldn't mind seeing come true" because it looks really nice.  There are some indicators that make us lean towards thinking this is for real but in the same breath, those indicators can be fabricated just as easy as the video itself. 

At the bottom of the screen you can faintly read "HTC Confidential" and "For Internal Use Only". Additionally, there is a faint watermark on the video that reads, "EU Products". At first I was thinking "EU Products" was the company making the presentation. But is it a stretch to think this could be HTC's internal designation for European products?  Seeing that Europe is due to get Windows Phone 7 first, it may not be that much of a stretch if this is legit.

So is the video too good to be true or a sign of things to come?

via: Mobility Digest

More on HTC Sense and Windows Phone 7

 Here's a little more on the HTC Sense running on Windows Phone 7 that gives the earlier video a little more credibility.

As some pointed out in the earlier video, it now appears as if this will be a Hub within Windows Phone 7 (as the video above demonstrates). WMExperts member GP007 described it as a "Super App". posted the above video and commented (translated), "The had exclusive access to the new HTC Mozart, a Windows Phone Equipment 7 very interesting. One component that has few people had access was the HTC HUB interface, which presents itself as the best ever made by HTC.".

The Hub demoed differs slightly from what we saw earlier today, focusing mostly with the weather panel. With Microsoft's earlier stance against third party UI's, a hub makes sense for Sense.

Regardless how Sense lands on Windows Phone 7, based on these two demos, it's going to look good.

HTC Sense Hub video pulled

Yesterday we ran across a video of HTC Sense running on Windows Phone 7 as a hub over at Apparently, HTC has requested that the site pull the video, giving things a little more credibility.

The site commented (translated), "Unfortunately, HTC did not like to have seen the video of its new interface released before it was officially presented, and I was warned that this could have legal repercussions for both the PocketPT either to the author of the article. To avoid any legal embroglio decided to remove it."

While this video was pulled, if you missed it, the demo video is still circulating (for now).


HTC gets in the e-Book Reader business with new Manila 2.5

This is some pretty big news: it appears that HTC is getting in on the e-Book business. Watch out Apple iPad?

The latest version of Manila/Sense 2.5 (2012) features a tab dedicated to reading e-Books that can be purchased by Boarders or, evidently, though Adobe. No word on at this time.

HTC Reader 1.0 is the name of the program that will render the e-Books and overall it looks pretty great. It follows the usual UI/UX that HTC has laid out with their other tabs, which includes a directory for browsing, book art, and of course reading the book. There does seem to be some scrolling action needed, in addition.

The other big news is that this latest ROM comes from a Chinese Rhodium Shipped ROM.  To translate and as we mentioned in the last podcast, this is coming from a Touch Pro 2 ROM that is ready to market. That HTC, they never rest.

Does this mean the reason for the Sprint WM6.5 ROM update is taking so long is so they can get their hands on this version? We have no idea and zero indication that is the case, but that notion has at least entered the realm of plausible. Keep your fingers crossed.

In the mean time, you can expect some custom ROM action to start including this latest build as it spreads through out the community.

[Big thanks to tek818 for the screenshots & info!]


New Sense 2.5 build 2011 leaks out; Twitter fixed

As much as we loved the idea of Manila 2.5, the "no landscape" and slowness of the messaging app has kept us at arms-length from it.

Of course the no-landscape issue was addressed a few weeks ago, but things like Twitter still only took half the screen; clearly it was not finished (and perhaps there were ulterior motives for that leak).

Well, as you can see above, in build 2011 the Twitter in landscape feature is fixed. There are probably some other enhancements, though it remains to be seen what those are specifically. Though at lest according to one who is using it, "It is as fast, if not faster than Sense 2.1!" which jives with the idea that it comes from a "shipped Topaz ROM", meaning this is final baby.

Expect your favorite ROM chefs to start rolling this out soon.

[Thanks, tek818, for the tip & screenshots!]


Hints of WM7 in Sense 2.5 (1922); HTC is still going to cover up Microsoft?


A big question many of us have been wondering is this: if Windows Mobile 7 is this huge overhaul of the OS (and it is), what will become of HTC's Sense UI?

One the one hand, we have strong reason to believe that WM7's UI will be very compelling--possibly Zune HD like, with a Silverlight base for transparencies and advanced GUI features.

On the other, you have HTC and its now corporate-branded UI: Sense. Sense appears on Windows Mobile and now Android devices and has come to represent their identity in the marketplace.

But how will these two work together in WM7?  Is HTC really going to push forward? Evidently yes.

XDA member CookieMonster found this bit of code in the latest Sense 2.5 (1922):

if HomeMachineStatus.WM7Device.Value then 
  IsWindowsMobile7Device = true 
  PredefineItem = 1 
  HomeItemCollection = HomeManager:GetHomeCollection(1) 
  IsWindowsMobile7Device = false 
  PredefineItem = 0 
  HomeItemCollection = HomeManager:GetHomeCollection() 

Considering we have a pretty good idea that the HD2 is getting WM7 and Sense 2.5 (1922) is designed for the T-Mobile HD2, well you can see how HTC is already playing with and planning to cover up WM7.

Of course we know MSFT has no issue with this and in fact encourages such practice, plus it's not like you can't turn off Sense to return to the WM UI.  Still, it's an interesting tidbit for the future.

[MobileTechWorld via WMPoweruser]

Hands-on with the HTC HD2


Here it is, folks: The HTC HD2 in all of its 4.3-inch, glass capacitive screen glory, running Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional and HTC's custom Sense user interface, which takes the place of the venerable TouchFLO 3D.

After the break: Four and a half minute of the largest Windows phone ever to walk this Earth.

HTC's sense on the Samsung Omnia II

The Samsung Omnia II is a more-than solid piece of hardware. It's the UI that drives us batty. But that's no matter to the folks at MoDaCo, who are hard at work loading HTC's Sense UI onto that gorgeous AMOLED screen. It's still a work in progress, but work that we're glad is being done. [MoDaCo via pocketnow]

Manila 2.5 landscape now available

For those using custom ROMs and who have been flashing with HTC Sense 2.5 (aka Manila 2.5), you will surely have come across one of the major limitations of that version of TouchFLO: it can't do landscape.

The reason for that is that Manila 2.5 was built for the HTC HD2 aka 'Leo' and because that device doesn't have a physical keyboard, HTC never designed it to do landscape.

Of course the fact that Manila 2.5 was built to run on a Snapdragon CPU and the lack of landscape orientation hasn't stopped anyone from using it, namely due to all the cool new features (Footprint, Twitter tab, Shortcuts, etc.).

Luckily, XDA member Rotastrain has stepped in to finish HTC's work by releasing his 'fix', which involves Mortscript and a few other files.  He's even released a Chef package to easily cook into ROMs. (So get on that Chefs!)

While not perfect, this certainly extends and fixes one of the biggest drawbacks of Manila 2.5 for many of us, so kudos to Rotastrain!  Get it here.

HTC makes sense out of Sense

On top of building phones that continue to increase in sophistication, HTC also has continued to evolve its custom OS skin. We're all used to TouchFLO and TouchFLO3D on Windows Mobile. Android now has the Sense UI, and it's coming to WinMo on the HTC HD2. Above, a presentation from HTC that shows Sense in great detail, and hopefully what we can expect on more Windows phones in the future. [via Mobile Tech Addicts]

And speaking of Sense, be sure to check out Android Central's review of the HTC Hero and its implementation of Sense.

HTC officially announces the HD2, but it's not coming to the U.S.

The HTC HD2, aka the Leo, has been one of the worst-kept secrets out there, and HTC pulled the covers off it this morning. Unfortunately we're not looking at a U.S. release, so we'll have to gaze at the massive 4.3-inch screen, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and honest-to-goodness Sense UI, as first seen on Android, from afar.

The HD2 will be available "later this month across Europe."

Full presser after the break.

Sense UI on the WinMo HTC Vogue

Here's a video of the Sense UI stripped out of the Android-based HTC Hero and slapped into the HTC Vogue, the stalwart Windows Mobile device.

Yeah, it's running on Android within Linux on top of Windows Mobile, so it's not you're really running Sense on top of Windows Mobile, like TouchFLO 3D does now. But it is pretty darn cool, and it works pretty well. (What you see here, apparently, is an early build, and things have gotten snappier.) It also has the hooks for basic phone devices. And as Rory mentions in the video, it's more proof-of-concept than actually everyday workhorse.

Keep an eye on the project homepage if this is your cup of tea.

This Mobile Life via Pocketnow

Will TouchFLO 3D get some Sense?

And that's the question of the day. HTC has released a slick new phone (pun intended — the darn thing's got a Teflon shell!), with a slick new UI called Sense. So, of course, one of the first questions asked is, "Will Sense come to Windows Mobile?"

HTC, so far, isn't saying, of course. Can't really blame them, seeing as how Sense is all of 6 hours old at this point. But NetworkWorld [via wmpoweruser] is saying otherwise:

The company calls the new software HTC Sense, and it will be introduced in HTC's entire portfolio of mobile phones starting with the HTC Hero. The company is the world's largest maker of Microsoft Windows Mobile smartphones, and handsets running that software will also run HTC Sense in the future.

That's taken from an interview with HTC's chief marketing officer, John Wang, though it's not a direct quote. So we're taking it with a bit of a grain of salt. But we're willing to bet we'll see some Sense knocked into Windows Mobile at some point (sorry, it's just too hard to resist). Whether it replaces TouchFLO remains to be seen.

Update: Oh, yeah. Forgot about this line from the official HTC press release, emphasis ours:

Built on a culture of innovation and a passion to enhance peoples lives, HTC shapes the mobile experience around the individual. Debuting on the HTC Hero and available on all new HTC devices moving forward, Sense delivers on three basic principles: Make it Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected.

So, there you go.