One of the highlights of Google’s I/O, particularly for those with an affinity to Samsung-made devices, was the news that a variant of the flagship Galaxy S4 would be arriving on stock Android, bypassing all the crap additional extras Samsung likes to bundle therein. Now, rumor has it that HTC could be planning a similar move with its flagship ‘One’ smartphone, which currently ships with an overlay of bloatware including Sense 5 and the divisive BlinkFeed. The report, if true, would certainly appease the purists who like a ‘clean slate’ of Android when they purchase a new device, and given how unconfirmed sales figures have placed the HTC One in a strong position against the Korean company’s latest and greatest (selling one unit for every two Galaxy S4s), it’s a move that would help the Taiwanese vendor keep tabs on its strongest rival.
Having already purchased the HTC One and being a bit of a loather of any heavy, immovable extras, I am among those of the opinion that stock, untouched Android is the best way to go. Having used the Nexus 7 tablet for the best part of a year now, it just feels so clean and light, and although both Sense 5 and the latest version of TouchWiz do have their respective plus points, they cut an imposing figure for those who simply don’t want them there.
HTC is reportedly toying with the idea of bringing a stock version of the One to market, and in all honesty, this is the kind of move we should have seen the company pull right from the very start. I mean, it’s completely understandable that companies want to throw their own software into the melting pot, but when you have features taking up vast amounts of storage space that cannot be moved, it tends to get people’s backs up.
The Google’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will set consumers back a cool $650 on Play Store when available, and we would only presume an HTC One of the same persuasion would command a similar fee.
Whether the reports will bear any fruit remains to be seen, but if it is the case, even if you’re not a fan of the HTC One, this is definitely a firm win for consumer choice, and should be celebrated as such.