HTC Widgets

Yesterday we brought you the bad news that Beautiful Widgets developer, LevelUp Studio, received a nice little letter from HTC demanding it remove its Sense-like widgets from the Android marketplace. LevelUp is currently working on overhauling Beautiful Widgets to be released soon, minus the HTC Sense inspiration. We then got wind that HTC itself might release widgets.

The news of HTC bringing widgets to the marketplace spiked some excitement for those of us who use non-HTC devices. Good news is some official HTC widgets have made their way into the marketplace, bad news is they currently are only compatible with the HTC Hero and Droid Eris. As you can see from the shot above (via AndroidLib), they are as follows:

  • Tip Calculator
  • Dice
  • Today in History
  • Battery

More screenshots after the break!

 

Reader comments

Official HTC widgets in Android Market

37 Comments

Those are useless. And I contend that HTC hasn't a leg to stand on with LevelUp and are simpy bullying with the threat of legal action because they know LevelUp doesn't have the finances to fight it. There are many similar looking clocks in the market and I'm quite sure there's no patent on file for animated weather.

I agree. These widgets aren't even offered for the Droid. H3ll HTC why dont you just hire the guys at LevelUp to write these widgets for you

I agree. Besides RIM has a flip clock as well. I've seen the screenshots of the new Beautiful widgets that LevelUp Studios is working on and they are awesome!!!

Tried them on my Moto Droid.. that didn't appear under widgets, nor in my applications list or anything.. they were really not runnable. Uninstalled.

I was surprised to see today on the Android Market, widgets by HTC Corporation.
I'm a HTC Hero GSM user.
I've downloaded them all, although I feel the Dice widget is useless,
I've liked the other widgets.
The Battery widget is very useful, I had a third party widget, but this one brings me more info.
The Tip Calculator is good for someone like me for goes out very often to restaurants with friends, and calculcating each ones' bill used to take some time, especially when we forgot to add the Tips.
The Today in History widget is a nice one, although It's too big, and I wouldn't like it to use one of my homepages.

The only problem, is that these applications are only widgets. I would've loved to have them as applications, especially the Tip Caluclator and the Today in History since they use up a lot of space on my homepage.

Anyways, it's good to know that your manufacturer is working on creating its own apps and widgets.

What I am still asking from the HTC Corporation is the update to Android 2.1!!

I agree with the guy above(hatch.duffy), hire the guy, let him make money,and HTC won't lose face! Who knows they both may make more.

I love em and would hate to see my Droid go naked!

Three questions.

Why should HTC support the phones built by their competition? Motorola would never respond in kind. If Moto ever got into the App game they would make certain it only worked on their own phones. Exclusive features are the only selling points on these phone. Shame on HTC for having business sense.

And second;

Why should HTC hire app builders who have essentially copied apps that HTC produce specifically to increase the user experience for those customers that purchased HTC phones?

If you want the features the HTC has to offer and find your Droid lacking(like every other Moto phone since the Razr) return your Droid and buy an HTC. If that doesn't meet your liking,at least stop asking a company, that hasn't earn one dime of your money, to fix your issue with their competition.

Finally;

Why aren't you asking Moto for a better phone?

HTC should make better widgets that work with the actual operating system. If I use a Launcher Application that is compatible with Android, the HTC widgets that I'm *entitled to* via everyone's reasoning that you need to get an HTC phone are not available. The specific code and placement of the code excludes the use of those widgets from other launcher applications. This is the most annoying thing I've ever seen, and you can bet I'm complaining daily to HTC. There should be no reason why I cannot use those widgets even though I have an HTC phone. So what I don't LOVE HTC Sense UI. I don't love the other stock phone launcher apps either. That's why we have the *freedom* to chose on the Android phone.

Copying applications and styles have existed since the beginning of the computer age. Windows does it so Mac does it. Mac does it, so Windows does it. Linux does it so Mac does it. One phone has a touch screen with touch gestures, another phone has a touch screen with new gestures building upon the other ones. There's no end to that. They can earn any dimes if they simply add their widgets to the open market for a fee for any non HTC phone user. Simple!

I use an HTC phone! Why can't I use the widgets?!?!?!

um, yeah. Android market is for Androids. Hero and Eris are Androids. Makes sense to let the thousands of HTC users pick and chose which Widgets they want as apposed to getting a forced update with all of them. No one complains when apps are released on the Market that only work for Android 1.6 and above (when tons of people are stuck on 1.5)... So why complain when HTC drops something on the Market only for HTC users?

You should be complaining, as many have, that handset makers and carriers aren't offering upgrades to the latest Android OS version, not advocating further fragmentation of the app market. Making apps that only work on proprietary hardware is exactly the sort of practice Android was meant to prevent, by providing an open source, cross-hardware OS. Proprietary apps should indeed be opposed, and so should the absence of upgrade options for certain handsets.

Considering SenseUI was a big reason why I chose the phone I did it makes complete sense to why they'd ask for a cease & desist and only release the widgets for handsets already with SenseUI.

Quite simply, it's a specific (and wanted by many) selling point for HTC.

EXACTLY. I don't know why more people don't realize this. It's common sense. After using an HTC Hero, I will never buy another Android phone that does not include HTC's Sense UI. It is a huge selling point for their devices and it makes perfect sense why they would issue a C&D. Anything mimicking it's proprietary software is illegal and they most certainly have the right to take legal action against companies diminishing their competitive edge in the market. Android itself may be open-source, but the proprietary software that handset manufacturers invest the time and money into to write themselves is not.

eh... that's great you guys love HTC's look and feel, but why should that mean that no one else gets to enjoy it, if an app developer is able to recreate it? This is an open source OS, and an open software market, and the idea of a big flip-clock is hardly HTC's intellectual property. Anyway, it's great that you like your HTC UI, but are you going to enjoy it less if the rest of us have it too?

You too could enjoy all the goodness of Sense UI's widgets... Just purchase an HTC device that has that has Sense... If HTC meant for everyone to have the widget design that they came up with and created, then they would have provided the necessary materials to Moto, Samsung, and every other manufacturer for them to include on their devices. Now, I'm sure HTC didn't invent the concept of a "flip clock", but that entire widget design is something their team of devs came up with and it's unique to HTC's devices. I agree with the previous comment... I chose the Hero because of the widgets alone. So I can see why HTC wants to protect that. If it could be downloaded to any device regardless of manufacturer, HTC would lose potential consumers. I'm a perfect example, if the Moto Droid had HTC's Sense widgets, I probably would have purchased that instead of the HTC Hero.

Bull crap on the original idea. There was a similar weather clock available as a software add-on for Palm devices back in the 90's before HTC even existed. You used to update it by docking to your computer. Pretty useless back then but it shows how far we've come. They would have a heck of a time holding up any patent on it just based on that prior art. The only leg they really have to stand on is when the makers of these clocks use the fonts and art from the HTC design. Personally, I find Sense UI worthless. Too many steps to do stuff I can do with one click on a widget. If you really want Touch Flo, why not go all the way and buy a WinMo device. Only good thing on the system is that clock and its not really original.

why don't you guys request or petition Moto to write up one. Droid is Moto's phone after all. Plus Moto wouldn't be caught writing for their competitor and neither would Apple unless it benefits them.

Exactly. The Sense UI is a differentiating factor for HTC devices, and is a deciding factor for some buyers. Why would HTC want to make that experience universally available on competing devices?

That said, I can see such differentiation being bad for the platform as a whole.

BTW, I'm a Droid owner.

I HAVE an HTC phone with Sense, but I can't seem to use the widgets unless I only use the sense UI. That means no switching to Home++ or LauncherPro unless I want mock widgets. Don't get me wrong, Sense UI is probably the best, but it ain't perfect... they just hit some awesome gold with the weather/clock widget + animations.

I guess you'd better send this sentiment to Samsung too since they brought their TouchWiz interface over to Android as well.

Better yet, maybe you should just throw a big middle finger to all handset makers, crawl back under your rock, and go back to using a can and string. Just make sure that the cans you use don't have labels because then if you have a Campbell's can the other kids with the Del Monte cans might get jealous and claim they should get a Campbell's can too.

We should all oppose the fragmentation of the Android app market, because it's the sort of thing that will bring down the whole OS. Do you want to have to explain to your iPhone friends that "oh, well this one doesn't work on my phone, and that one doesn't work on his phone, for the following inane reasons..."? Certainly if I were selling Android hardware I wouldn't want to. HTC may be a fine handset manufacturer, but this is a douche move.

The other issue is obviously OS version upgrades - I have apps on my Droid that only work in Android 2.0, and although at least that isn't manufacturer-specific (in theory), it's equally unacceptable that OS upgrades aren't made available to everyone, assuming their hardware can handle it.

The best thing for the success of Android isn't further fragmentation, it's universal compatibility. That's what we should all be behind.

I have the moto droid and my beautiful widgets are still working just fine i downloaded them about 2 weeks ago. I truly love the look it brings to the phone

Meh, Tip calc? Tons of them for free in the Market. Battery widget? Think about it, it's one more app running, using up the battery, makes no sense. Also what good is the info to the user? It looks cool but that's about it. Now if it had a built-in task killer, that would be something. Dice? Useless. Today in History, halfway useful but I'm sure the market has at least one alternative.

IMO, people are making a big deal out of nothing.

Wow guys... the whole concept behind the android system/market is "OPEN SOURCE". It is the biggest reason for its advancement. Why do you think T-mobile says you can root and flash any rom to your device and still have it under warranty as long as you put it back to normal before you file a complaint. Besides the fact that most of the Htc widgets that just became available are simply "prettier" versions of apps developed by the open source community. Looking mainly at the battery meter and tip calculator. Those have been around since almost the early days of the android market. HTC's versions offer nothing new except a different face. The whole idea with open source is that every thing is shared so that the whole of the community can progress the technology at a much faster pace than a single money hungry company can. Don't get me wrong I love HTC. I own a G1 (HTC DREAM). I have it running Android 2.1 (Eclair), overclocked to 652 mhz, 64mb swap, and jit enabled. Do you really think any of this would have been possible without open source? Perhaps, but not at as great speeds as we have seen it come about. I love HTC, but trying to create a closed market based on top of an open source technology is just plain ridiculous. Business wise yes they will profit off it, and by making their apps work only on their devices they are profiting not only from the work of their programmers but that of the open source community. Because you have to be crazy to think that they aren't going to take advantage of a free source of technology. It's just plain greedy in my opinion. If they want to force technology like that why don't they just go team up with Steve Jobs on the iPhone. In the end it doesn't really affect me because I will stick with the open source alternatives that receive constant updating rather than buying into a limited technology.

My dad once told me... Shut the !@#$ up, and be happy with what you got. Stop griping about stupid nonsense like a spoiled little brat.......there's people out there who would love to have something like that, but don't. So if you continue your whining, I'll just give it to some one who can't even afford it.

But I digress....

If htc doesn't want developers to reproduce their software, the best and most profitable way to do so would be to release paid widgets that you'd find in sense, that way instead of fighting about likeness rights, they could just have the real thing available for five bucks a widget, I mostly say this because I love freindstream, I would pay five bucks for freindstream, I just wouldn't pay five bucks for a hero or an eris, seriously erises, get with the program, its called an easy root method, its much better than waiting for someone to find out how to rollback to another version just to root. (Family Guy reference) Oh yeah, and rooting kicks ass, my droid 1 is faster and more baddass than the droid incredible, droid x, and I'm even betting the droid 2, because it runs 1.2 ghz and plays flash games, btw I do have a sense rom w/flash lite, it just doesn't do 3g so I don't use it. So I say to htc, you are artists, so don't deny your work to those who enjoy devices that are cheap, and powerhouses. If I could have afforded a nexus one, I would have gotten one, there's a sense rom for that, right?