A short, open letter to anyone at HTC


To anyone at HTC who might actually read this,

I know some of you watch the Verge Mobile Show, so I'm hoping you also read the forums every now and then. I want you to do a little experiment for me. Find a One XL (like the one you released on AT&T, for example). Root it and unlock it, then put CM10 on it. I'll wait.

You see that? That is what your hardware is capable of. It's almost like the One X was meant to be a Nexus device, isn't it? Hardware as good as the One X should not be dragged down by software that is, for lack of a better word, kinda terrible. No offense to your programmers - I'm a software engineer myself, so I know how hard it can be - but...yeah, Sense is still pretty awful.

I get it - you want your phone to stand-out. But you know what? No one else is releasing stock Android devices in North America. There's one new Nexus phone every year! One! Releasing a Stock Android device would be standing out!

You don't even have to throw away all of Sense. Some of it is actually kinda great! Like the Camera app, for example. The problem is everything that comes along for the ride. Oh, and your shitty proprietary memory management. That's also terrible. But we're losing sight of my original point. The stuff you do well? Like big flashy clock widgets, and camera apps, and lockscreen stuff? Those can all be apps! Just like on Windows Phone 8! Hell, you can even make them HTC exclusive apps! Put them on the phone by default, if you really want it to stand out in the store. The point is, there's no reason your best features can't be simple add-ons to the already-awesome Stock Android experience. Even better, that means those add-ons can be updated without having to push an OTA update! No more dealing with carrier bullshit just because you improved your camera app.

Please, HTC. I know you've put a lot of resources into Sense, but let it go. I hear that Sense finally runs kinda smooth on the Droid DNA (seriously, did you really let Verizon name it that? ugh), but it should not take a quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM for Sense to finally run "kinda smooth". If you followed my advice earlier, and actually installed CM10, you'd know that. Just imagine a whole line of One X-class devices, running Stock Android, getting OTA updates directly from Google (again, no more carrier bullshit), with the option of HTC-exclusive Sense add-ons to the Android experience. Did you hear that? That was the sound of Android fans around the world having a simultaneous nerdgasm. Remember, you don't have to beat Samsung - you just have to carve out enough of a market niche to remain competitive.

Hugs & Kisses,

Someone who likes his One X, but loves his One X running CM10.