By Chris Velazco
Good night, sweet prince. Whether you knew about it or not (my money being on the latter), HTC's HTCSense.com has provided users with online backup and device location services since October 2010. In an effort to "improve" its customers' experience though, HTC has recently announced that it will officially shutter the HTCSense.com backup service so it can focus on revamping its cloud offerings.
Worry not, you HTC loyalists, you'll be able to download all of your digital effluvia (contacts, messages, and the like) in a handy .zip file before April 30. But this whole thing raises a hefty question - what is HTC planning to do next?
Quite a bit, if the company's string of parnterships are any indication. HTC realizes it's time to go big, and key deals with cloud-loving companies like Dropbox (file storage), Dashwire (mobile data backup) and Intertrust/SyncTV (streaming video service) all point to the possibility of a much more robust HTCSense cloud service coming down the pipeline.
Representatives for the Taiwanese company were as tight-lipped as ever, and I'm not privy enough to internal chatter to make any bold claims, but the company certainly seems intent on gathering up an impressive roster of teammates. It's not unthinkable that HTC would seek to tie all of them together under the HTC Sense brand, which itself got a boost when the UI bearing the same name got its own revamp at this year's MWC.
I suspect that, in light of all of HTC's other big partnerships, we'll also be seeing a considerable bump in its new cloud service's reach and visibility. Honestly, before this news started making the rounds, how many of you had heard of the HTCSense backup service, let alone used it? It launched in late 2010 with support for only two devices, and while HTC made minor improvements in the intervening years, it never really seemed like the success that HTC was hoping for. The company has already rolled out commercials playing up additions like Beats Audio, so if something as substantial as a multifaceted HTC Sense cloud service appears, you'll probably be hearing a lot about it.
As Digital Trends points out though, HTC could have some issues when playing up their new services. To offer a cloud backup service, abruptly, and expect users to jump in the pool once again is indeed a bit of a leap. The big difference is that HTC's new pool has the potential to be far more compelling than the original one-off backup service. Once it has got that in place, it'll have a potentially tremendous selling point for all of its hardware releases - access to a formidable HTC Cloud. Sure, the abruptness of the transition may have ruffled a few feathers, but it could all be worth it if HTC delivers what I'm hoping it will.