Android has become a massive force in the smartphone industry and Google has facilitated this by offering the OS at no charge to manufacturers. The issue with so many manufactures using the same OS is differentiating your offering from others. No manufacturer has invested more in the UI customization area than HTC with their Sense UI.
Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera of HTC believes the UI needs to serve two task to be truly effective. It needs to have a wow factor that consumers can notice when comparing phones for brief periods in carrier stores that will attract them to that offering. The other focus point is providing a unique and engaging experience that will keep customers coming back for their next upgrade.
New HTC Sense
In order to achieve the in store wow factor HTC has focused on giving Sense a more attractive home screen and a more interactive lock screen interface. These are two things that will get noticed right of the bat to consumers browsing phones in store. Sense is easily one of the best UI experiences on an Android device and other manufacturers are just starting to catch up. There are many HTC custom widgets, most notably the often copied Clock and Weather widget. Their widgets try to make the phone much more informative at a glance than most other Android devices.
HTC Sense A Success
HTC has been very successful with their Android lineup, they recently passed Nokia and RIM BlackBerry in terms of market capitalization. Their numbers are double what they were a year ago and most HTC owners swear by the UI and are hooked on the brand.
HTC does more than visual upgrades when the apply Sense to their devices they try to make the user experience as easy as possible. One of the points they wanted to improve with their latest version is the camera experience and the speed in which users can take and share their photos. Kodera spoke about shutter lag saying, "With that lag you have, you usually miss the shot when you have things that are moving". The newest version will ship with the EVO 3D from Sprint and will make its way to other HTC phones soon after.
HTC Sense A Dedicated Approach
A different approach HTC has decided to take is to offer smartphones to a younger demographic by designing them with deep Facebook integration from the start. HTC is doing a good job at making a name for themselves in the ever crowded Android landscape and raising the bar for what other manufacturers must do to keep up.
What are your thoughts about HTC Sense and their products lately? Let us know in the comments how you think other UI's compare their offerings right now.