HTC is making the best Windows Mobile phones today. Its Touch and Touch Pro lines of Windows Mobile phones have pushed the limits of the aging phone OS and brought it into the modern age. The hardware of the HTC phones is impressive, but the TouchFLO […]

htctouchdiamond_hqHTC is making the best Windows Mobile phones today. Its Touch and Touch Pro lines of Windows Mobile phones have pushed the limits of the aging phone OS and brought it into the modern age. The hardware of the HTC phones is impressive, but the TouchFLO 3D interface is the magic that makes the Touch lines hot sellers. This interface is dazzling to look at and works extremely well by touch, which is a hot consumer item. HTC has almost totally separated the user interface from the Windows Mobile platform.

HTC has done such a good job with the TouchFLO 3D interface that it has effectively separated the UI from the operating system. Sure, there are technical things under the hood (the operating system), but the average consumer doesn’t care about them. TouchFLO has become the de facto face of HTC Windows Mobile phones, at least the most innovative and popular ones. This is good for consumers, and great for HTC, but not so good for Microsoft. What is stopping HTC from porting TouchFLO to the Android platform?

HTC is the first and biggest maker of Android phones. It produced the T-Mobile G1 and the upcoming myTouch. What if it produced an Android phone with a TouchFLO interface? It would effectively remove Windows Mobile from the equation and still have a phone that looked like one to consumers. It would have the marketing buzz of being a “modern” phone with Android inside — a Windows Mobile phone without Windows Mobile. It is certainly food for thought for this geek.

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  1. There are two problems with this thesis:

    1) Microsoft have been encouraging HTC to develop TouchFLO for years now and most of the people who work on TouchFLO for HTC used to work for Microsoft.

    2) Last weekthe head of HTC pointed out that they were only flirting with Android but were committed to using Windows Mobile for the bulk of their phones including their top-tier phones.

    1. James Kendrick Jake Tuesday, June 16, 2009

      There’s no reason HTC would have to stop the WM thing, they can easily do Android too. They ARE the TouchFLO interface, not WM.

  2. Ummm? HTC has developed a UI for android called “Rosie”. It’s essentially like TouchFlo reskinning but allows you to use more useful widgets and lacks the suckyness of windows mobile. Should be lauching in a week or two on their new models (Hero, others). HTC has an event coming up. Research.

  3. Markus Göbel’s Tech News Comments Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Did you see the Rosie UI from HTC for Android? It will come with the HTC Hero and looks very similar to TouchFLO 3D. So they are already working to fulfil your wish.

    See our slideshow at: http://bit.ly/2G6Ap

  4. James Kendrick Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    I have seen Rosie and even written about it and while it looks promising I am talking here about a full-blown port of TouchFLO 3D for Android. The point is to make the interfaces look the same which effectively makes it a full HTC phone and removes the OS out of the consumer’s mind.

    1. Unfortunately running a non HTC App will dump you back into the familiar WinMo OS.

      I know Winmo gets a hard time but we owe it a lot for getting us where we are today. I was using Win CE devices from Philips in 1997 then onto Cassiopeia, E105 then E115, then onto Pocket PC Ipaqs, Axims etc. All gave a lot of the same utility we now get on say an iPhone or Android, albeit less slick! A WinCE core is used on hundreds of devices – sat navs, point of sale devices, inventory trackers etc and does the job well.

      MS rested on their laurels however and really should have added more polish before the iPhone came along and blew WinMo away with its UI (although not necessarily its utility).

  5. I have different ideas about UIs. I suppose companies have to cater to different groups of people, and I prefer things to be logical, but most people care more about having a slick and cool UI.
    I like the HTC interface for being black rather than green, but that’s about it. The volume control, which is the only thing I haven’t managed to disable, is just buggy compared to the standard one. (Can’t mute/unmute)
    What I want from future WM is more features (e.g., a more fully outlook client, more customizability).

  6. A unified UI is a key way that the phone manufacturers can differentiate their product from their competitors. How many times have we compalined in the past about cookie-cutter Windows Mobile phones?

    The case in point must be Samsung which has implemented TouchWiz across all its OSes, be they proprietary, Symbian S60 or Windows Mobile. I am sure that a port to Android is also in the works.

  7. If it was ported it might look great, but it still wouldn’t be Windows Mobile ;)

  8. bahh I disable TF3D on my Touch Pro. SPB Mobile SHell is sooo much better

  9. I like the idea for what it could become.
    It would allow software companies to focus on providing a stellar operating system that works like it should for its target market while freeing it up to allow graphic designers to make it look good. Geeks make things work, we dont quite get the “it has to look nice to” argument.

    Take this a step further, why not build on this and and “virtualise” the UI so that it could run on any platform?

    Yes VMware announced something like this and i think it would be a great idea, forcing the software development teams to build a better OS, not just an OS with great applications.
    The positive spin i see from this is that there would be tighter integration between the Operating System Developers and the Handset manufacturers to create devices that were made for one another since and not just work together.

  10. you must have never really used tf3d, because it sucks big time, i ended up using spb mobile shell, not perfect but a hell of a lot better.

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