Sense 4

HTC incorporates web radio services into new phones, offers in-car streaming accessory

Monday, February 27, 2012 - 12:20pm

HTC's new line-up of music-focused devicesYesterday at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, major Android device maker HTC unveiled a new line of phones that integrate web radio services and a "completely new car experience." Meanwhile, Google revealed figures on the growth of the Android platform.

The new devices -- One X, One S and One Z -- run on a version of Android customized by HTC called Sense 4. That platform includes Beats Audio and wireless iTunes music syncing over Wi-Fi. HTC announced Pandora, Spotify and other third-party streaming services would be able to use Beats Audio on the new devices.

Additionally, web radio services like Pandora and TuneIn will be integrated into Sense 4's "Music Hub" which will serve as a sort of all-in-one aggregator for users' music. "This is huge," commented Boy Genius Report (here).

Sense 4's music features also integrate with HTC's "completely new car experience," which aims to make music services easy to use while driving. HTC will even offer a wireless stereo clip accessory that will stream music from a user's phone to the car dashboard. That includes local music files, more than 50,000 streaming radio stations and audio from any music app. HTC also revealed an accessory that will play a device's content on a HDMI TV screen. 

HTC may have even more streaming music plans up its sleeve. Earlier this month, GigaOM reported that the company was rumored to be working on its own streaming music service. HTC may also be working on some sort of wireless boombox. Find more from GigaOM here.

AndroidHTC's new devices will be available in the U.S. in April. You can find more coverage in CNet here, Engadget here and HTC's press release here.

Also at MWC, Google announced that 850,000 Android devices are being activated every day. That's up "a whopping 250% year-over-year," reports Boy Genius Report (here). Android's app store now has 450,000 titles -- "a mere 50,000 shy of Apple's iOS App Store."

ComScore recently found that Android has a 47.3% market share among U.S. consumers with a smartphone. Overall, 42% of U.S. mobile phone users own a smartphone (up from 27% in 2010). You can find more from Engadget here.

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