One of the ingredients in the Android Fragmentation soup is the extra UIs that companies like Samsung and HTC add on top of the standard Android interface. These extras help differentiate one company’s phone over another. The problem is that for app developers to make use of these extras they need access to a software development kit which exposes the relevant APIs.
HTC’s SDK is called the “OpenSense SDK” and according to the phone maker, it “enables deeper integration into the HTC Sense experience.” To do this in the HTC OpenSense SDK, which is available as an Android SDK add-on through the Android SDK manager, provides access to the HTC APIs from within the standard Android SDK platform.
A little while ago, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC announced that it would update its SDK with more features. With the new SDK, app developers are able to integrate access to their apps from the HTC lock screen, or add dual screen capabilities using Wireless HDMI. There is also support for HTC’s Sound Enhancer and new Common Controls.
HTC are claiming that the new SDK allows developers to differentiate their apps on HTC hardware, without fragmentation. The “without fragmentation” is emphasized by HTC as the SDK gives the app an easy way to detect if HTC Sense is present and then act accordingly (like offering lock screen integration etc).
The updated HTC OpenSense SDK can be downloaded from here.
Are you an app developer? Would you consider using the OpenSense SDK to enhance your apps on HTC phones? Let us know below.
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Probably not, it takes too much the way it is to target different phones, different screen sizes, and different android sdk levels. The only way i might see this being useful is in an enterprise or large scale environment where a whole fleet of HTC devices is being used and applications are being developed exclusively for them. Other than that, as a lone or small group of programmers targeting these SDK’s is low on the priority list.
These third party SDK’s exist in part because Google does not have certain drivers as part of their API, such as HDMI that you mentioned…