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HTC: Widgets not important to most Android users

Posted: , by Alan F.

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HTC: Widgets not important to most Android users
The new BlinkFeed screen brings you your social networks and news feeds

The new BlinkFeed screen brings you your social networks and news feeds

HTC has really changed the Android homescreen experience with Sense 5. With the BlinkFeed providing social network updates along with news, you are seeing real time information that is not only important to you, but also is fresh. You might have a weather widget on your home screen that gives you the current temperature, but how many times a day is that information actually useful to you? BlinkFeed is designed to present you with information that is important to you at all times.

The Taiwan based manufacturer really listened intently to what it's customers had to say. HTC learned that 90% of its customers don't care about widgets. HTC also found out that most people don't differentiate between apps and widgets. Outside of weather, clock and music widgets, only 10% of HTC's customers used any widgets at all. And while some Android users do customize their home screen when they first take possession of their smartphone, once the first month of ownership passes, 80% do not change their home screen at all.

While previous versions of Sense leaned heavily on widgets, this research conducted by HTC led to the BlinkFeed screen and this huge change. And considering that only 10% of Android users care about widgets based on the Taiwan based manufacturer's research, it wouldn't seem that HTC is taking a risk at all.

source: HTC via MobileBurn

113 Comments
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posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:34 13

1. Ninetysix (Posts: 1357; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


No.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7huae767Rxg

"I'm telling you..it's all about the widgets."

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:48 18

10. danny_a2005 (Posts: 117; Member since: 06 Oct 2011)


"sh*t android users say" thats the name of the video right?

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:49 21

35. p5yb0rg (unregistered)


Widgets and customization are the main things that separate iOS/Windows OS from Android. Take that simple joy from me and I'm gone.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 19:58 4

81. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 880; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


live tiles are somewhat similar to widgets

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 08:34

102. Aeires (unregistered)


Except you can't get rid of the live tiles if you don't want them. Fundamentally what's keeping me from owning a Windows phone.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 09:36 2

103. rizevnarastek (Posts: 326; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


It's not gone. You still have widgets in Sense5.

I, currentIy owning a Note 2 have an agenda widget/clock and a news/rss widget on my home screen, on the left and the right a note widget, for play and for work.

I see A LOT of potential in BlinkFeed. Mixing my agenda/news clock widget in a good news/agenda/social agregator feed looks like a brilliant idea.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 13:26

107. ghmina (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 Feb 2013)


they didn't take this from u you can make any screen your home screen
check this video in the fourth minute twenty second (04:20)

video name
(Interview with Drew Bamford, HTC AVP of User Experience)
in phonearena channel on youtube

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:44 3

64. Dastrix (Posts: 570; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


Customization is the name of the game for Android. I have mixed feelings about BlinkFeed, but I don't think it would detract too much from customization.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 18:23 2

70. half_21 (Posts: 44; Member since: 16 Nov 2012)


i'll be dumping android off the trash if not only for the widgets and customization...i barely go to the app drawer to open apps..but instead almost all the apps that i open has widgets..so widgets really make it an easy access and at the same time gives your phone a good look, not just showing a bunch of icons...

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 19:53 6

79. joey_sfb (Posts: 2547; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


HTC also don think multitasking is important to.have sense force close all background tasks making some Android apps incompatible. HTC might as well come out their own mobile OS. If it is truly better than Android I will buy them.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 06:48

100. cloud_atlas1991 (Posts: 61; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


This is not even a pressing matter. If you don't like widgets THEN DON'T USE THEM. What's wrong, HTC?! Can't find anything worth anyone's attention?

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:37 12

2. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 271; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)


Sigh, catering to those who are uninformed. Hard to blame them, but it's a shame for us here at PA who love to mess around and customize our phones.

I think blinkfeed has potential, as long as it does not become burdensome for those who do not use it.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 16:47 4

53. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2649; Member since: 26 May 2011)


"Uninformed" is very different from "uninterested". I love messing around and customizing, but I really only use about 2 widgets: weather and screen filter (best app if you use your device in the dark). I've got other widgets on my homescreens, but I don't know that I've ever touched any of them.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 00:33 2

94. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5530; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


But you use those 2 widgets every day, right? How would your opinion change if you could no longer use those two widgets?

posted on 04 Mar 2013, 01:18

110. rizevnarastek (Posts: 326; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


You can still use widgets!!!!!!!!!!!! It's still Android!
Only the default screen is set to BlinkFeed which you can change or disable.

(god why don't you people read before you start ranting, I'm so sick of you dimwitts)

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 21:07

86. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1301; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


people used to buy htc because of the rich collection of widgets , wonder if everyone at htc is possessed by Apple or something

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:40 19

3. Muayyad (Posts: 96; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


They don't matter to me

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:44 14

5. danny_a2005 (Posts: 117; Member since: 06 Oct 2011)


me either, never use them

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:13 1

21. taz89 (Posts: 2008; Member since: 03 May 2011)


I use 2 widgets the weather and a twitter widget and I also have power widget in the notification...

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:25 3

62. blingblingthing (Posts: 419; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


Weather, toggles , Google now , YouTube and Apollo.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 21:54

90. BattleBrat (Posts: 1038; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


There is an app called Floating widget, try that out ;)

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:43 1

4. drnggaj33 (Posts: 127; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


its an option thats all like have my twitter right on my screen without going into the app i like sometimes

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:45 8

6. housry23 (Posts: 76; Member since: 03 Jun 2012)


Honestly, widgets are a huge part of Android. The problem is, the average user doesn't know about them and how useful they can be. There are some AMAZING widgets in the Play Store. UCCW is so cool. It does have a learning curve, but if people would actually take the time to learn their phone, get know the OS and use it to its full potential, Android would really take off. It is so much more powerful than iOS. Here are a couple reads from former iOS lovers that took the time to get to know Android and have completely switched over.
http://thetechblock.com/from-ios-to-android/
http://gizmodo.com/5973073/an-iphone-lovers-confession-i-switched-to-the-nexus-4-completely

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 18:20

67. Hemlocke (unregistered)


Now, now, Dexter, let's not get TOO carried away.
Honestly, I like a bunch of widgets, but unless you have the hands of a basketball player to use the Note 2, or you like Motorola's locked down MAXX, the trade off between widgets and battery life is not worth it. I guess if you are close to an outlet all the time it might be, but barring that, I usually ditch the widgets to save my juice.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 11:22

105. housry23 (Posts: 76; Member since: 03 Jun 2012)


Haha! I wondered if you were the same Hemlocke as XDA. How have you been? Honestly, I get at least a full day with anywhere between 2 and 5 hours screen on time. Widgets don't cause a major battery drain for me. I don't have a bunch of widgets. I have the sharp and clean Google Now widgets and it gives me all the information I need. I also have the circle battery widget. Someone else on here says they like a nice clean look. I think my setup is very clean looking. The UCCW widget can have hotspots to launch applications. It is by far the most intuitive widget out there. Don't take my word for it. Look at what people have done with widgets to make their homescreens as minimal, clean or as complicated as you want.http://mycolorscreen.com/

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:46 6

7. torr310 (Posts: 334; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


I don't like widgets because I like the simplicity and cleanness of the home screen. I replaced widgets with shortcuts. For instance, I just click the weather shortcut if I need to check the weather instead of keeping the weather widget running/occupying all the time on my home screen.

Also, I only have two pages of home screens and it's very easy to find everything I want just in one flip.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:11 6

20. menny07 (Posts: 89; Member since: 13 Dec 2012)


^Basically this. Widgets ruin the wallpapers that I painstakingly find on the Play Store lol.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:46 13

8. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Only a few are actually important, in my case I like to use the power control, clock/weather and the news widgets on my homescreen. Because in reality a bunch of icons isn't too appealing *cough iOS cough*.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 16:14

50. downphoenix (Posts: 2266; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Power Control is a must. I no longer use it though since my GS3 gives all of that functionality in the notification bar though, but it was a must on my previous Android phones.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:47 12

9. omarr (banned) (Posts: 149; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)


The core of android is widgets

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 16:48 6

54. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2649; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The core of Android is customizability, and that extends to what manufacturers do. It's not just a core feature for end-users.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:41 1

63. Tarzan (Posts: 58; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


I reckon widgets just drain your battery with constantly updating feeds like FB, Twitter, Flipboard etc.

Widgets are part of Android's customization not the core mate.

I was answering to omarr

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:49 7

11. Eonnaydra (Posts: 197; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


Widgets are useless.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 15:20 6

43. p5yb0rg (unregistered)


If you're not using widgets, you aren't using your Android phone properly. I suggest you return it and buy an iPhone immediately.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 16:50 8

55. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2649; Member since: 26 May 2011)


This is completely false. Using widgets has nothing to do with using Android properly. If you never used the notification tray, share menu, or Google apps, maybe I could agree a bit, but widgets are really not that important.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:05 2

60. torr310 (Posts: 334; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Agree with Michael

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 20:03

82. Slammer (Posts: 929; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


True Michael. But importance Vs. want are two different instances.

I love my widgets, I love my removable batteries and I love my expandable memory. HTC has ignored many complaints(admittedly by an HTC rep I talked to) yet, here we are today with an Apple move. Suspiciously viewed since HTC and Apple have formed some sort of agreement a few months back.

I waited almost a whole year out of contract and passed over the Evo LTE in hopes that the ONE would implement these features. I left them last week after the announcement of the ONE. Not an easy decision as an 8 year perpetual HTC consumer.

Many phone bloggers as yourself enjoy frequent upgrades and new devices and never really experience these issues long term.

As a consumer of the wireless industry for over 26 years, I am tied to two year contracts just like other mainstream consumers. We experience problems more at this level a year and half into the contract. Conveniently outside of manufacturer warranty. Who's the man now? The insurance companies and manufacturers.

I hope you see my point. I have heard the complaints and I assure you, local government manufacturers are going to increasingly start dealing with these complaints around the country.

John B.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 15:32 1

45. babyk (Posts: 221; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


i could not agree with you more. i can do with the music widget calculator calendar and thats about it imagine i have a one x + and i only have three home screens i deleted the rest.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:50 18

12. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Clearly HTC is tuned in to what users want, judging by their dwindling market share.

Three years ago they insisted users didn't want larger batteries.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:55 1

13. Luuthian (Posts: 201; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


I would be fairly certain that HTC has the money and resources to better poll the market than ourselves. It doesn't take a scholar to understand that what the power users want is rarely what will captivate the masses, though.

This kind of flys in the face of everyone saying that widgets are the key factor behind iOS' stale apperance.

Personally, I've never really felt that was the problem. I think the problem is simple lack of change. It's not that iOS needs better customization or widgets. It just needs to look... Different. New. Fresh. That's it. Could it use more features and gestures on the home screen? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, the masses that will the device just want it to look new again.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:57 9

14. emadshiny (Posts: 1127; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


thats why their new Sense doesn't catch my eye.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:00 5

15. ahhxd717 (Posts: 317; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)


They're right. Most users do not use many widgets. A lot of people with phones that can get rid of multiple home screens end up only using one page with app short cuts and like a clock widget. The only widgets I find personally useful are the calendar ones and maybe weather, and like setting toggles. Otherwise I never find myself using them and I consider myself an "informed" user. I think widgets are cool and useful at their core, but I can believe that 90% of users don't use them.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:01 4

16. josephnero (Posts: 278; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


big mistake.HTC working for microsoft?just joking
Widgets are big part of android custimization
http://mycolorscreen.com/

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:17 4

23. Jonathan41 (Posts: 526; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


Widget are fully compatible with Sense 5.0. Check out post 22.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:45

33. josephnero (Posts: 278; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


i never said they arent.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:52 3

65. Jonathan41 (Posts: 526; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


Well then what is HTC's "big mistake"? All they did is responded to customer surveys and ad the Blinkfeed to Sense. You don't have to use it if you don't want to.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:05 4

17. Jonathan41 (Posts: 526; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


I do use my widgets and I change them around all the time. HTC makes some gorgeous widgets and I'm hoping that they will still include their OEM widgets on the One since all you have to do is swipe to the left to get to the normal home screen (I still don't know if everyone knows that).

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:13 2

22. Jonathan41 (Posts: 526; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


Question answered:http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one-review-902p3.php

If you have any questions about the Blinkfeed/Home Screen I highly recommend you read this.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:06 1

18. Seymur (unregistered)


I use only Music and Weather widgets. They are almost useless.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:10

19. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


now that they mention it, I prettymuch only ever use the stickinote widget that comes preloaded on my phone, along with the task and calendar widget. I'm so preoccupied with batterylife that I never use widgets at all...

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:18

24. taz89 (Posts: 2008; Member since: 03 May 2011)


You still use 3 widgets just like, I don't think many people actually fleet hull the pages with just widgets I think the average has only like 2 widgets..I have weather and clock,power toggles and falcon pro widgets and that's it...am glad we have widgets because at least we have a choice to use the them or not

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:22 2

25. protozeloz (Posts: 5369; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Coming dro the people who just built a huge news feed widget? Oh please

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:28 1

26. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


i like the idea of the blinkfeed. i'd say to just expand on it's functionality and it'll be solid. o:

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 19:38

78. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


I really like it to.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:29

27. tgtftw (Posts: 31; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)


Everyscreen I have is loaded with widgets. I find it nice to have everything on my screens vs having to launch the app and then to what I want. It just takes away another step and in the end run makes it a simpler experience to operate the device. I love my wallpaper but I like the widgets better.
The average consumer also isn't that well informed on what their phone can do either. It still baffles me when I have a customer come in with their phone 7 months after purchase and they havent changed a thing to it. Thats the beauty of android. Every phone I sell I try to run them through a crash course of what features are available to them but I guess after that no one wants to read a manual anymore.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:30

28. kamejoko (Posts: 106; Member since: 10 Nov 2011)


yeah! and HTC learned that 90% of its customers like style ip5+xperia P+Metro UI , only 10% of HTC's customers like old design of htc's.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:30

29. imkyle (Posts: 969; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


I love widgets. One of the main reasons I switched from IOS to Android in 2011.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:33

30. protozeloz (Posts: 5369; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I think someone shares this opinion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMDIOwlIaWM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:34

31. StalkinUrMom (Posts: 110; Member since: 16 Apr 2012)


The only reason I set up widgets is so people who borrow my phone will think it looks cool.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:46 3

34. kamejoko (Posts: 106; Member since: 10 Nov 2011)


With weak cpu, htc make sense very beautuful. With strong hardware htc make sense simple like metro ui. If user like personally wallpaper or live wallpaper on home screen? with live wallpaper make android more spices.

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