Current phones are feature packed, and many of those features depend on software as well as hardware. And while removing Sense UI from the HTC One to make it a Nexus Experience device will obviously remove software features like Zoe and Blinkfeed, it’ll also take a bigger toll on things like hardware. For example, when asked about the IR blaster, HTC stated that the blaster will be disabled on the Google Edition. The hardware will be there, but stock Android has no native support for IR blasters. This is what we mean: a lot of modern features we enjoy depend on good software, and stock Android isn’t the most fully featured software in the world.
When asked about Beats in the stock device (due to the Beats logo still being on the body), this is what HTC said:
It features the hardware benefits of Beats Audio, but it does not have the software indicator in the status bar.
We’re not sure if they are saying that the Beats hardware is there, as in the dedicated amp, or if the software remains but has no switch. If the software is there, that doesn’t bode well for the “stock” monicker. Plus, if the software is active but has no switch to deactivate, a lot of audio purists would be mad, myself included. The last thing we need is a software equalizer affecting our music, no matter how “light” or “good.” Hopefully this just means that the hardware still resides in the device, with no software accompanying it.
And of course, as you know and are probably happy about, the device loses a bunch of Sense UI features. HTC Zoe, Blinkfeed, lockscreen shortcuts, and more are stripped out. For the people that find this phone appealing in the first place, this is great. However, for many, this may not be ideal. So keep that in mind.
Now the decision is yours. Is the IR blaster that important? What about Beats audio having no software switch? Is any of this going to affect your decision to buy the device? And will the Google Edition Galaxy S 4 lose its IR blaster too? Leave a comment with your thoughts!