Back in the early days of Android, HTC's Sense UI really stood out as a much-needed step up in the UI department, compared both to stock Android and to competitors custom UIs. Like a hard-partying rock star, though, it just didn't age well; it went from sleek, helpful, and attractive, to bloated and borderline obtrusive. Sense 4.0 - which we spotted slapped atop of Ice Cream Sandwich - was definitely a step against that direction in some ways, but still offended some people - Cameron included.


Earlier today, Kouji Kodera, HTC's chief product officer, addressed these concerns in an interview with Pocket Lint at MWC. He agreed that the company "added too many things" to Sense as time went on and it "got cluttered." As we'd heard before, he also admitted that the company's product line was equally as bloated. Luckily, there's light at the end of the tunnel, as Kodera promised that Sense 4.0 was a return to simplicity. He also acknowledged that Ice Cream Sandwich offers a major visual upgrade, and promises that Sense 4.0 strikes a balance between HTC's customizations and ICS's natural beauty.

[Source: Pocket Lint]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • Sam

    Still rather have the stock ICS look, hopefully when they do the update for my sensation XE there will be a way to get rid of sense...otherwise ill be looking into custom roms.

  • Dmitry Pashkevich

    Wow, it took them like less than 100 years to realize this...

    • http://blog.ravrahn.net Ravrahn

      That's true, it took them less than one year, which is less than 100 years. What's your point?

  • L boogie

    Glad it took only 5 seconds from forever to buy a clue but admitting one's mistake is the first step in the right direction. With that said, how about making the sense ui optional in your devices?

    • Vulf

      It was always optional. There are plenty of alternate launchers.

      • Freak4Dell

        Sense is far from just a launcher.

  • http://alldroid.blogspot.com Blizard

    That's good news!!

  • James

    This is great news!! hopefully the other manufacturers catch the drift too!

  • archboy

    I think this is why HTC is such a good company. They are honest to their fan base. They do as they promise. We can see that in Motoblurr which has also seemingly slimmed down. I think Asus has gone the right route. They add functionality to the user experience without a complete makeover.

    Sense was good in the beginning but it got bloated, aged terribly and sluggish. How can you have a 1.5 phone an still lag? Sense.

  • Eggo

    Glad to see they acknowledge their mistakes and listened to their users. LG and Motorola need to take not -- they're extremely stubborn.

  • Marcus Los Habousmuscus

    I personally love Sense, but glad they're cutting down on the bloat.

  • JimJam

    2011 was a total fail in my eyes for HTC, they played all the wrong cards and so saw them fall at the latter part of the year.

    Glad to hear they are trying to slim down Sense but it is now looking like Froyo...I mean look at that dock!

    Their icons have not changed one bit in 2 years since I bought my Desire the day it came out!

    I think had they not had the Froyo style dock and just had a divider line about the dock icons like stock ICS it would have looked a lot sleeker and I may have been able to forgive the other things....still wouldn't make me change from my Nexus though but still

    • slurms mckenzie

      yup that dock does look like froyo. i too hate those damn ugly icons

  • http://www.oakfurnitureland.co.uk Ronnie

    Sense needs a preferences screen where you can select the functions you want, as well as an off button to give you a stock option.

    • kenyu73

      You can sorta, or at at one time. If you went into settings->applications->HTCSense and tapped clear defaults, the next time you tapped the home button, you could choose the stock home screen.

  • Chris O

    These 'skins' should really be an installable (and uninstallable) option instead of being son incorporated into the OS as they are. That way HTC could do whatever they want with Sense and if a consumer buys an HTC phone, likes the hardware and isn't happy with sense he or she could uninstall or turn off sense leaving them with stock Android or the ability to add someone else's skin.

  • Donna

    Why does nearly every single company feel that the standard Android interface is so horrible... that it needs to be modified/replaced????

    Stock Android is handy, fast, and powerful.
    "Let's replace it!"

    • Eggcake

      Because the standard interface of android WAS horrible until 4.0. Blame Google.

  • http://www.dj69.nl dj69

    i think Sense 3.0 was the best of all Android UI..but what a pity they cannot keep the simplicity but have the unique Sense technology that makes HTC Sense stand out from all other Android devices..

  • Sean

    It's unfortunate that it doesn't have a removable battery, otherwise I'd be all over it.

  • AMurderOfCrows

    I for one am angry. I believed in HTC and in 2011 they led me to believe that the HTC Amaze was the premiere device to own on T-Mobile.

    I still don't have s-off, and i still don't have Cyanogenmod. I hate the Sense UI, i hate that no one besides XBoarder56 is doing any development work at the moment. I hate that i paid so much money to have this phone, being locked into a contract for 2 years, and having absolutely no options.

    HTC ought to be ashamed of themselves for the Amaze.

    • sriracha

      this is why my next android device will be partially dictated by the development community. i suppose i got lucky with my DInc2, as it was my first android, but the aftermarket is rich with ROMs, apps, tweaks, kernels, et al. i'll never board the front-runner train for the exact reasons you mentioned. i'm happy to wait a few months after a new device comes out to see how the android community accepts it, rather than how it was marketed to the consumer.

  • anhmel

    Stock Android, even ICS, is gloomy and boring. That's why I like Sense.

    • http://www.thepixelpuse.com aj

      I completely disagree. Gingerbread, yes. ICS, no. It's cohesive, inviting, and feels like it has an identity. All of those things make ICS feel the opposite of gloomy imo. Just because there are touches of black here and there, doesn't mean it's gloomy. Maybe from screenshots and the like, but I think anyone who's used ICS will disagree with you as well.

      • Eggcake

        There are still many things in ICS that can be improved, especially the apps (like the Dialer, which is still crap).

        Yes, ICS got much better. But why should the manufacturers no back off all of the sudden? Eclair, FroYo and Gingerbread were all very bad from a usability standpoint. Seriously, apart from the performance issues, just compare the Sense we got in FroYo to Stock FroYo...come on.

        Now, HTC also recognized that ICS got much better, that's why they toned down everything, but you still get many improvements in my opinion. If the performance is good, I see no reason not to use the new Sense.

  • Patrick

    Sense 4.0 looks like Gingerbread. I don't have as big of a problem with OEM skins as most people do, but sense 4.0 is an atrocity. Like someone fingerpainted over the Mona Lisa or scribbled crayon on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

    • Renil

      Agreed! Nice comment...

  • italyanker

    Kodera: I hope! Haning an Android Original ROM transformed in an android 2.x is terrible...
    Anhmel: stock ics could be boring without the content added by Manufacturer like HTC, but it's also boring having an android 4 by HTC ( stock htc rom ) that is similar to the old android 2 stock htc roms.

  • Goat cheese


    Who in their right mind likes sense?!?! It's bloated, laggy, and just plain ugly!! I'll take vanilla android over no-sense any day!

    Wait...this just in....HTC has released another 15 devices all with sense and bloated factory software. Crap.

    • http://blog.ravrahn.net Ravrahn

      Did you read the article? The sarcastic criticisms you made are exactly the things they're addressing in it - they're releasing less devices and trying to make Sense less bloated.

  • Virginia

    HTC Blows....moving on

    • http://www.thepixelpuse.com aj

      The One X hardware looks beautiful, but if it comes with a locked bootloader or shitty battery life, I'm steering clear.

  • Mark Hudson

    Dont know about anyone else but I Hate the look of the new Sence, HTC has managed to make their phone look like every other iphone clone out there.

    I Like the Curve, dont need the bloat as commented but the "Big Phone" button in the middle makes answering the phone while doing whatever a bonus and just made "Sence", lol..

    Bring Back the Curve..

    Dont need 5 buttons on top of the 4 built in ones. Get real HTC..

  • skinien

    I don't understand why OEMs don't release more AOSP models. They can easily release two versions of the same phone (AOSP and skinned).

  • Samu

    Htc sense WAS the best back when the evo was one of the best, now its just shit. Like the evo itself .

  • Jeromy

    All android phones should be treated like the Nexus. No custom interface, no bloatware, updates directly from Google. If you want to ruin the beauty of android, use a custom launcher.

  • asdf1234

    Please allow an option to make the flip clock only flip if the time has really passed into the next minute. Not every fucking time the flip clock appears.

  • paxmos

    It is such a shame, HTC with such good looking phones yet ruined by Sense UI...That is why I have never bought one except the original Nexus 1.

  • Bazar6

    Now if we can get VZW to realize the same thing with their bloat apps

  • Freak4Dell

    Glad to hear this. The only thing I still don't like is how deeply Sense is integrated into the software. I've come to realize that Sense makes it difficult to get AOSP builds, since so much of the stuff is proprietary. If they would just figure it out so that Sense is just an overlay rather than being knit so tightly into the core software, then it wouldn't be so bad to have to deal with Sense.