One of the defining features of the new HTC One and Sense 5 operating system is BlinkFeed, a Flipboard-like homescreen replacement that displays a stream of updates from social networks and news feeds from select content providers, including Huffington Post, Tech Crunch and ESPN.
With BlinkFeed, HTC aims to differentiate, but also to provide an incentive for users to choose the One, by making information accessible at a glance on the device. It’s a radical departure from the “classic” homescreen we see on other Android devices, although the concept bears a resemblance with Microsoft’s Live Tiles implementation on Windows Phone 8.
HTC’s AVP for User Experience, Drew Bamford, recently published a post on the company’s blog where he explains why HTC opted to make BlinkFeed the default homescreen for the new One.
HTC’s arguments are based on some interesting research that suggests most people hardly use the advanced customization apps that Android offers. Quoting from the blog post:
- 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% 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.
If HTC’s research is accurate, it means that one of the most often touted advantages that Android has over other operating systems, widgets, are not actually used by the vast majority of users.
Is HTC downplaying the interest in widgets in order to promote its own BlinkFeed? Remember, this is the same company that claimed last year that customers prefer thinner phones over better battery life.
Or is HTC on to something here? Do you use widgets? If so, how many and what type? And how often do you alter your home screen? Let us know in the poll and comments section.