HTC Magic owners will notice a colourful ‘with Google’ logo on the back of their new Android phone. But is that the only way? HTC are selling HTC Magic handsets in Singapore that ditch the Google branding and offer extra features.
The HTC Magic runs Android, which was originally developed by Google – hence the tight integration of Google’s app suite and search tools on most Android phones. This does not have to be the case, however. Indeed, HTC are offering a version of the HTC Magic throughout Asia that eschews Google’s cloud of apps and services in favour of HTC-developed functions.
HTC’s Eric Lin said of the ‘with Google’ version currently available in the UK, “This simple phrase indicates that the phone has a pure Google experience – no customizations have been made to the software. The Magic being sold in most of Asia is not a Google experience phone so we have started to put some of the HTC special sauce into Android.”
Special sauce, you say? According to Lin, the ‘Googless’ HTC Magic comes with support for Microsoft Exchange, predictive text input, something called ‘smart dialling’, a more responsive camera app and extra widgets. No word on a western release, although we are not likely to see it here while carriers are offering the ‘with Google’ version as an exclusive.