HTC to build Sense into Windows Phone 7 devices

HTC have revealed that their upcoming phones running Microsoft's yet-to-be-released Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system will run an adapted version of their overlay user interface, dubbed "Sense".

Microsoft have been eager from the outset to maintain a much more controlled environment around Windows Phone 7 (WP7) devices and what manufacturers can and cannot do, in a bid to stop fragmentation, standardize features and maintain a unified user experience across the potential myriad of WP7 devices.

But it seems HTC is seeking to buck the trend, announcing over the weekend its intentions to bring a modified version of Sense, HTC's either much loved or much hated user experience it adds onto all of its phones running Google Android or Windows Mobile 6.

“Microsoft has taken firmer control of the core experience [in Windows Phone 7], but we can still innovate,” Drew Bamford, Head of HTC’s User Experience Design Team reportedly told Forbes.

While he maintains that the experience of Sense won't be the same as it currently is on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6, where the interface replaces much of the default Windows Mobile style, he says the new Sense experience will help "augment" the experience of Windows Phone 7.

“We won't be able to replace as much of the core Windows Phone experience, but we will augment it,” he said.

Bamford also told Forbes HTC has plans to improve "discovering and sharing [of] media--music, video, mobile applications and books--easier" as well as improving syncing capabilities with cloud services.

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I'm not sure if this is a good thing in WM7 On my HD2 it looks better, works pretty good but it has little bugs that make it frustrating to use. Ofcourse I don't know if it will be on WM7 as well, so we'll see. As long as you can turn it off it should be fine

The Windows Phone 7 interface clearly does not need augmenting I hope one can turn Sense off; although, I'll reserve judgement until I am able to try it.

Well, depends on how they make it look like, but overall I'm not really a fan of custom-made UIs. Still, I won't make a judgment until I see it.

I love Sense. I am not in the minority I rum with and without and I come back to with. I do not think that sense will sit on top of the tiles but as some have said that a HUB might be created or at least some of the Widgets will be brought into it. Sense is a resource hog and slows down the EVO4G compared to the EVO4G without Sense in terms of scores. But the actual daily use of it is hard to notice in terms of speed. I have played with them both ways and have loaded more ROM's and updates than I could care to imagine.

I am really looking foward to the WP7 and Zune integrated player. I really like my EVO4G and DROID X(can't wait to load some custom goodies for it) but I am also an open minded person. I will give WP7 a try. The only thing I miss about AT&T is the ability to swap out SIM cards and play around with different phones. Apple IPHONE4 killed this with the Micro-SIM. Can't go back and forth. Oh well I don't have them anymore so no worries.

Dont worry people, they cant do too much, and they can NOT change the UI. Microsoft won't let them. It's gotta be a hub that's linking together some apps, but because the can not change the UI, you should be able to remove (or at least hide) it.

I got a Nexus One specifically because it doesn't have sense on it. Whenever i see stuff about people porting sense to the Nexus i cringe and shudder to the idea.

Elliott said,
HTC needs to stop with this Sense crap. They've already ruined their Android phones with it.

I made my wife buy a HTC Wildfire. I wanted to see what Android was like (Coming from an iPhone 3G at the time). The biggest disappointment for me is the Sense interface. It's OK making an interface look nice but nice doesn't make it practical. I wish you could disable it as I would like to see Android is its natural state. One thing that keeps me with the iPhone is that despite the interface looking nice its also very practical to use. Even my young relatives can easily use it.

Elliott said,
HTC needs to stop with this Sense crap. They've already ruined their Android phones with it.

I think i read somewhere that when android 3.0 comes out, google wants to lock down the interface a bit more as well. May be the end of sense, or at least the end of being forced to use it without hacking your phone.

Elliott said,
HTC needs to stop with this Sense crap. They've already ruined their Android phones with it.

Are you kidding me? Android without a skin is like Ubuntu at stock. It looks unbelievably ugly and unrefined. I love sense.

If they really get Sense on to WP7 devices I can guarantee that I will not be buying a HTC WP7 device. I cannot stand any part of Sense at all and have removed it from all of my HTC phones in the past. Unfortunately that usually involves building a custom ROM without it, and from the sounds of it that will be harder with WP7.

No thanks. If it can't be turned off, I definately won't be getting an HTC. I much prefer the stock Android stuff to HTC's android interface, and I wouldn't want it on a WinPhone if I switch.

Firethorne said,
No thanks. If it can't be turned off, I definately won't be getting an HTC. I much prefer the stock Android stuff to HTC's android interface, and I wouldn't want it on a WinPhone if I switch.

You've always been able to disable it on WinMo and Android, I don't see why HTC wouldn't continue the trend and not let you disable it on WinPho 7, right?

I am not thrilled to hear this. This puts HTC at the bottom of my WP7 list. Depends on what sense does and if I can disable it.

Well then, unless you can turn it off, I won't be buying a HTC phone with Windows Phone 7 on it! Simple as, I hate crappy interfaces that they produce.

windowspczone said,
Well then, unless you can turn it off, I won't be buying a HTC phone with Windows Phone 7 on it! Simple as, I hate crappy interfaces that they produce.

Hey? Sense is widely regarded as the best in the industry.

able_aardvark said,
Only because on WinMo, the underlying interface is as clunky as it is.

No Windows Mobile uses TouchFlo which isn't as good. But yeh Windows Mobile 6.5 UI is awful.

thealexweb said,

No Windows Mobile uses TouchFlo which isn't as good. But yeh Windows Mobile 6.5 UI is awful.

It uses HTC Sense - (The clue is on the back of the HD2 "With HTC Sense" ) - I think TouchFlo was an earlier name for Sense (but I'm prepared to be wrong here). I suspect that Sense on Android is a different version, I know a lot of the community want that version of sense on the WinMo devices.

thealexweb said,

No Windows Mobile uses TouchFlo which isn't as good. But yeh Windows Mobile 6.5 UI is awful.

They rebranded TouchFlo to Sense

Let's hope it's done well and not just a giant clock, Sense suited Winno 6 but I think 7 looks fine without it. Hopefully they'll surprise us with something new.

I guess it'll be kind of like Sense but self-contained within a hub/app... All the Sense gubbins, swipe from page to page in order to view the weather, emails, twitter etc... That'll be good as it'll be an addition to the phone, not a replacment... (And it'll be removable from the home-screen).

Under a meg though, that'll be tricky... Unless it's all going to be on the web, nothing held locally other than the data configuration.. a glorified web-browser of sorts.

Regardless, roll on WP7 coming out, I had a bad experience this weekend with my HD2 behaving like a brick for a day which caused me way too much stress. No more custom ROM's is very appealing!

They never said they were putting sense on it, They said they will custimize it, whether that means putting sense like tiles on it, or making a hub that looks and acts like sense with the winph07 negitave space swipping, it wont be sense in any incarnation that we know, and it will have to be under a meg unless you have permission from microsoft

thealexweb said,
This is a good move, without it all Windows Phone would just have the same dull boring interface.

AUGMENT, not change it.

As long as it can be turned off I'll be happy. I like the "standard" interface and want the option to de-sense it without having to jump through hoops if I deem it necessary.