HTC’s Peter Chou announced OpenSense, a developer outreach program that would encourage developers to make apps for HTC’s Sense user interface at Uplinq 2011, an event hosted by Qualcomm. Developers will be provided with an SDK containing APIs to enable apps optimized for HTC’s smartphones. HTC shipped some 25 million smartphones last year and has already shipped over 9 million in the first quarter. But the Taiwan-based smartphone vendor is facing an uphill task of differentiating its offerings from the likes of Samsung, which also ships Android smartphones with a similar user interface it calls TouchWiz. Hit the jump to read more. Also Read - Beware! This new iOS bug breaks WiFi on iPhones: Here's a quick fix for it
Rather than developing its own operating system to differentiate itself from other smartphone vendors, HTC is hoping to attract developers to create ‘experiences’ and apps that are deeply integrated with HTC’s skin on top of Android OS. This would mean apps that are optimized for HTC’s smartphones, which would run better and at times, might even offer more features owing to access to more APIs. I am quite excited to see what developers do with the pen that comes with HTC’s Flyer tablet. Also Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing ends
Developers too, in my opinion, would be keen to develop stuff optimized for the largest selling Android smartphone brand, considering visibility of apps is a major problem on Android Market, one that Google isn’t interested in tackling. Having said that, HTC will have to rope in some big names in the business initially to attract more developers, which is something that should not be a big problem. Also Read - Apple CEO Tim Cook claims iOS is more secure than Android
OpenSense is a part of HTC’s playbook (no pun intended) that talks about great hardware on which the company can push content and services. It started with www.htcsense.com, that gave users remote control of their smartphones, in case it is misplaced or stolen. This was followed by a strategic investment in Saffron Digital, a multimedia content delivery service provider. Soon, its CEO, Shashi Fernando, joined HTC as its Content Head. With most of the ends tied up, it now remains to be seen how HTC executes its strategy of becoming more than just a smartphone vendor.