Android and openness is something we talk about all the time, but the recent developments in the industry point towards inherent flaws with this very premise. Be it from bloggers, political institutions or corporations, Android is seemingly not open enough. The “War on Openness” is ironically becoming an open war, where many players are increasing their stakes and scope to try and land a bigger hold - or at the very least, restrict Google’s - on what is the world’s...
Game Changers – HTC Home
The recent XDA TV article by Azrienoch & cajunflavouredbob reminded me of the old days, when the HTC logo looked like this. Because of this, I was reminded of some of the old things released that really changed how we use and view our devices and also changed what we came to expect from the device manufacturers.
The first game changer I want to look at is HTC Home. This was the first incarnation of what would eventually come to be HTC Sense. It ran on windows mobile as a plug-in for the home screen and instead of displaying widgets that can be freely moved around to suit the users needs, it displayed one of 5 or 6 things on half the screen.
The first was the “home” tab, this displayed a large digital style clock, below this was sms, emails and missed calls notifications, This was way before the flip clock style animation we know and love today was dreamed of.
The next tab was the “people” tab allowing you to have 10 contacts available via shortcuts.
Next was “weather” displaying a non animated logo from a limited range of places. If I remember correctly, it was tied into the Accuweather service and you could eventually add cities by using the accuweather city codes.
Following this was a “program” tab allowing ten application shortcuts. Funny how that seemed enough back then. These also allowed easy access to settings like connectivity as well. Then, there was a page entirely devoted to sound (and no not music, I’m taking about volume levels and ringtone levels).
At the time, this was THE thing to have, just like modern sense is now. This was because it showed the things you needed to see in one place, and it did it in a more aesthetic way than the existing plug-ins did. But I find it interesting to see how a simple today screen plugin has evolved to become a integral part of the Android operating system on HTC phones.
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Before the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Holo Design guidelines served as the official reference for Android design, right from IceCream Sandwich to KitKat. However, updates to the guidelines were few and far between, leading to a lack of synchronization between Android design and current UI/UX trends. Google seems to have learned from their mistake the last time around, and earlier this week, a significant update was released for the Material Design guidelines, marking the second revision in less...