HTC has announced through an official blog post on Thursday, that they are killing off Sense TV on their Android and Windows Mobile platforms with effect from April 30th. There had already been reports previously that something like this was on the cards, and now the Taiwanese smartphone maker has made it official.
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For the uninitiated, Sense TV was a mobile app that HTC used to bundle with some of their handsets. It would function as a smart remote on HTC devices that shipped with an IR blaster, which pretty much means every flagship since 2013 including the HTC One M7 and the One M8. The One M9 however does not ship with the app and instead it comes pre-loaded with the Peel Smart Remote app, which is what the outgoing app was in essence underneath the Sense TV wrapper. The Peel Smart Remote app has already been available for a while on the Play Store for other users. HTC says, that One M7 and M8 users will now have to switch to Peel to keep getting access to their favorite content and if not, they’ll get a “No data retrieved” error message when trying to load the app after the deadline. The Peel Smart Remote app is free to use, and offers very similar features to the about-to-be-discontinued Sense TV, while also offering an EPG (Electronic Program Guide) to keep a tab on your favorite shows. Additionally, according to HTC, “Peel does allow users to share programs with their friends, which was not a feature in Sense TV”.
Explaining their decision for the discontinuation of Sense TV, HTC said that it had done so to “make sure our engineering team is focused on what’s most impactful for you”, meaning that they want to concentrate on core, mainstream apps like Camera, BlinkFeed and Zoe rather than spend resources on more niche endeavors. The blog post went on to say that “Peel is faster, updated more frequently, and available across a wider range of locations. “There’s no need for us to act as a middleman with Sense TV when the Peel Smart Remote is available on its own.” Makes you wonder why they bothered with it in the first place then.