One of the best-loved and yet, more controversial features of Android is the freedom it affords device manufacturers and software developers to play around with the user interface the way they feel. That being the case, no two Android interfaces are the same, with Samsung’s TouchWiz, say for instance, varying widely from ASUS’ ZenUI, while LG’s custom UI (LG UX) looks vastly different from Xiaomi’s MIUI. While skinning their Android GUIs allow vendors to differentiate their products from those of their competitors, users have often complained about the lack of uniformity when shifting loyalty from one brand to another, even though the underlying operating system as well as its basic tenets remain fairly similar for the most part.
Sense UI is the proprietary user interface found on HTC’s Android handsets, including its latest flagship offering, the HTC 10. Like most proprietary Android skins, it has thus far been available exclusively on HTC devices, although that is likely to change in the near future, with HTC last week e-mailing invitations to HTC Preview members to test out Sense Home 8 on non-HTC devices. Reports now seem to indicate that that the Taiwanese company has finally started rolling out a pre-release version of the software to willing volunteers who might have signed up to be beta testers. However, only users with compatible devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or newer versions of the OS are eligible to take part in the beta test. While that qualifies quite a few devices going around, screenshots of the Sense 8 Home reportedly from a Galaxy Note 5 are already doing the rounds of the internet as can be seen from the image below.
Of course, HTC wouldn’t be the first company to make its Android Launcher available on devices from competing brands, with companies like Xiaomi already having released its Android-based MIUI 7 for devices from other manufacturers, like the Samsung Galaxy S5, Nexus 5, LG G3, HTC One (M8), OnePlus One and many more. As mentioned already, ASUS also recently made its ZenUI Launcher available for non-ASUS hardware, so HTC is right in line with the trend of manufacturers trying to get more people acquainted with their software so as to make them consider jumping ship when it’s time for these users to upgrade their smartphones.