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HTC One Google Edition rumours strengthen


HTC ONe back

More rumours have emerged concerning the existence of an HTC One with stock Android, this time from the very source that accurately predicted the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition.

Geek's Russell Holly correctly ascertained that Google was going to launch a version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 running the stock Android OS at its Google I/O event last week.

Now he's performing the same crystal ball routine over a possible HTC One Google Edition.

According to "multiple sources," HTC has its own stripped back flagship handset in the works, and a US launch could be imminent. The US-only initial roll-out could mean that Google is once again going to take responsibility for distributing the handset, as it has with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition.

This supports last week's suggestion from a well-informed Twitter tipster that a "Senseless" HTC One was headed for launch this summer.

Of course, a couple of the HTC One's key features rely on custom HTC software to operate, so it will be interesting to see if HTC is permitted to apply a light sprinkling of software source, or if the handset will be notably hamstrung.

The HTC One's impressive stereo speakers are boosted by Beats Audio software, while its unusual UltraPixel camera relies on a whole heap of custom software to get the most out of it.

It's worth noting, though, that unlike Samsung, HTC has already launched a phone with stock Android as an option. The ill-fated HTC First may have launched with a customised Facebook skin, but it could easily be disabled to leave a pure Android Jelly Bean experience.

It seems HTC is already facing up to a post-Sense UI world - or at least the option of one. An HTC One with stock Android may be the logical next step.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One comparison feature.


May 24, 2013, 8:10 am

As I see it, there are ways HTC can get round the lack of software customisation for a stock device.

I imagine you could make the Ultrapixle camera software an app which could be installed (and it'd only work with an HTC One) and the Beats software could go down the same route. It's an EQ afterall. Remember that the Galaxy S4 has a bunch of features that require their software and therefore aren't available on the stock build either.

HTC could get a real 1up here by allowing current HTC One owners to root and install the stock rom if they fancied it, that'd get some traction and good press in the battle with the GS4. Hopefully Google would be compliant.


May 24, 2013, 10:07 am

The problem HTC has now is that their Sense customisation is no longer considered desirable in and of itself like it once was (it certainly used to be a major selling point) and they now actually have something to prove if their performance vs Samsung is anything to go by. From what I have seen online and from friends who have Samsung devices, they don't get them for the bloatware Samsung seems to intent on marketing, they get them because of price/performance/hardware...

This "senseless" (gotta love that one!) One would put the focus purely on the hardware leaving the (IMO lovely) stock "AOSP" Android to shine for what it is on its own. Blinkfeed is completely and utterly useless - worse than useless - to me when I have 5 publications on Google Currents, 25 RSS feeds via Feedly (now Reader has EOL) how the hell is 5 or 6 items on screen of any use? Same reason I /can't/ use Flipboard

Speaking of hardware, the recently revealed Japanese specific version of the One has highlighted something that I've been banging on about for ages; there is actually no reason for leaving out the MicroSD card slot! If the manufacturers claim that they leave it out for space and device thin-ness reasons, how come that MicroSD slot packing Japanese version is no different externally than the gimped One? How come the Japanese version has it in the first place if they claim that they can't fit one in? (I don't have an actual quote on that one, but how come they don't have it in the first version?)

The fact that there is a One on the market /with/ a MicroSD slot just proves that there is NO excuse for not having one...

The other main benefit of a "vanilla" stock Android version is as already highlighted with the Stock S4: timely software updates! The only main holdup for OS updates is the crap that manufacturers put on top. Some of the holdup is for processor/Modem/camera compatibility as highlighted by the good old "everything works except for the camera" ongoing joke of Cyanogenmod support for new devices, but the main holdup is while they re-write their bloatware (eg Samsung Touchwiz) to re-skin all of the new aspects of the UI. If they don't insist on re-skinning EVERYTHING like Sense and Touchwiz do, then the updates can be pushed much quicker - just looks at the relative speed at which Asus gets their Android updates pushed compared to Samsung and HTC...


May 24, 2013, 11:57 am

I'd like to install the stock ROM on my HTC One. I don't like Sense 5 after using Touchwiz on my old Galaxy S3.

I tried installing APEX launcher (which is a massive improvement), but then I can't use the default music player widget to connect to my cars bluetooth and transmit track info, etc..

So back to Sense with the news feed zapping my battery and data connection even though I don't want to use it. Apart from that it's a brill phone ;-)


May 24, 2013, 1:20 pm

I think this is highly subjective - I quite like Sense 5 (although you quite correctly say that you not liking it is your person opinion and I totally understand why it's not likeable after Touchwizz - it's the polar opposite. I have the same problem with Touchwizz). I like pretty much all of it apart from what they have done to the Gallery but apparently changes are coming.

I've minimised the impact of blink feed by removing everything from it and telling it to only sync on WiFi - not perfect but then HTC want you to use it so they aren't going to let you turn it off completely are they.

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