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Android widgets aren't important to most users, according to HTC research

News by Andrew Kameka on Friday March 01, 2013.

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The HTC One introduces Sense 5 and a home screen that is a dramatic departure from previous iterations of HTC's Android UI. As seen in our hands-on video, it's also one that downplays widgets in favor of news and updates, and the research shows that is a wise decision.

HTC has published a new entry to its blog that explains the logic behind its decision to alter Sense UI. The company says that after interviewing customers to learn their habits and how they use their phones to observe what features might prove useful to them, HTC made the following discoveries about widgets:

- Most people don't differentiate between apps and widgets.
- Widgets aren't widely used - weather, clock and music are the most used and after that, fewer than 10 percent of customers use any other widgets.
- Most of you don?t modify your home screens much. In fact, after the first month of use, approximately 80% of you don?t change your home screens any more.

HTC's claim that more than 90 percent of its customers don't care about widgets doesn't surprise me. As someone who relied on widgets to get tweet updates, fast media controls, and dialer or email shortcuts, I would expect more people to take advantage of all that widgets have to offer. However, the advancement of Android notifications have made me rely less on widgets and more on the notification area. I was formerly part of that 10 percent crowd that craved widgets and am less reliant on them, so hearing that the overwhelming majority of HTC device owners have even less interest than me is understandable.

Previous versions of HTC Sense were widget-heavy, but reduced interest in widgets led to the latest version of Sense having Blinkfeed. The new Sense cares less about packing the home screen with fanciful clock widgets and more about showing news articles or social network updates that are more relevant to the user. I have a nagging feeling HTC will make a post in a year or two realizing that Blinkfeed is even less important, but only time will tell. Widget lovers can still bypass Blinkfeed and add widgets to their home screen, but HTC has understandably decided to shift its focus elsewhere.

source: HTC

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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