I'm no huge fan of UI overlays, but even I have to admit that HTC's Sense is getting better and better. With features like HTCSense.com and even an e-books store, there's no arguing that it's become more than just an Android skin - in Europe, at least.
It looks like the US is finally on the agenda for the new Sense. According to Drew Bamford, HTC's head of User Experience, the company will be rolling out a new version of the UI next year, which, among other things, will bring us Americans the features Desire HD and Desire Z owners have been enjoying for a while now. That's not all, however - apparently, HTC will be adding an online media store for e-books, magazines, newspapers, music, and video (take that, Samsung Media Hub). Their partner for e-books has been and will continue to be Kobo, while Netflix is said to be a candidate for providing the video content. And here's some news that's sure to make you Qik haters happy: HTC is also planning to offer video calling out of the box on future 4G-capable phones.
Bamford also added that "natural interaction" will be a "megatrend" in the next version of Sense. He didn't go into any details, but he did tell Forbes that it will build on current Sense features such as lowering the volume of the phone's ringer once it has been picked up.
Nothing here (other than, possibly, the online video store) is mind-blowing enough to make me long for HTC's UI, especially since Honeycomb is supposed to bring about major improvements, but HTC has definitely done some nice work here. For what it's worth, Sense would be the custom UI of my choice, even though I still prefer stock Android.