When the HTC Flyer tablet was launched, there was a great deal of skepticism over the decision not to put the latest version of Google’s mobile Android OS 3.0; Honeycomb – the one specifically designed for tablets – on board at launch.
Of course, the news that it will eventually be getting an upgrade to Honeycomb will come as no surprise, but straight off the back of news that Google will be keeping a firmer control on third-party customisations of Android, the timing seems a little coincidental.
HTC is famed these days for it’s Sense UI, and it appears that it will stand by it’s Android skin, though it’s actually a lot more than that, to the death. So the question remains, will we see the Sense UI on Honeycomb?
The only iteration of Honeycomb we’ve seen so far that has been customised is the modestly altered Touchwiz on the latest and greatest Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets. And in truth, that’s pretty tastefully implemented, and the changes aren’t at all drastic. In fact, though I keep a quiet aversion to almost all manufacturer’s attempts to customise Android, and would rather keep a consistent stock platform across all devices, Samsung’s latest effort seems only to have brought improvements.
Unlike the Galaxy Tab, though, having watched the promo videos for the Flyer, it’s clear that the Flyer is completely orientated around a number of applications that come as a part of the Sense package (this is where it becomes more than a UI).
The promotions paint a clear picture of a synchronised device that will provide ample software to aid your productivity, and it becomes the key selling point of the Flyer as opposed to any other 7-inch Android tab – of which there are many – so once again, HTC will have to work on bringing these applications forward to the Honeycomb platform, without destroying any of the functions that Flyer users will have become accustomed to whilst using the current software.
HTC is going to, if it hasn’t already, go back to the drawing board with Sense UI, and hopefully that, along with Google’s apparent restrictions on customisations, will lead to a more tasteful, more attractive Sense UI, and one that will actually enhance either usability or functionality on the device.
So, what do you think of the HTC Flyer Android tablet then? If you’ve seen one in action, or been excited at the software shown off in the marketing videos, this news may actually not be one that brings great elation, though of course more up to date, tablet-specific software can only be a good thing, right?
It all hinges on HTC’s efforts to modify Honeycomb, and whether Google allows implementation of a full suite of ‘Sense’ apps and a drastic change to the look and feel of the OS it is no so proud of, under it’s new restrictions. Let us know your thoughts, as always, in the comments section below.
Via – Engadget