The new Facebook Home-optimised HTC First runs a stock version of Android Jelly Bean, which can be accessed simply by turning off the social network’s new, custom UI, reports on Friday revealed.
As Phandroid found out during its hands-on time with the device, it looks like the HTC First runs a stock Android version underneath the Home user interface, which makes it the first HTC handset after the G2 to come with stock Android on board, even though it’s not comparable to the kind of stock Android you get with Nexus devices:
So, what does this mean exactly? Well, I should start out by saying that when I say “stock Android,” I’m not talking about pure AOSP with direct updates from Google. Only Nexus (and for a short time, Sony) devices get those kinda privileges. What I mean by “stock” is a version of Android that simply isn’t skinned and comes with stock Android apps like messaging, camera, gallery, stock notification bar, etc., but may or may not have some of the underlying software tweaked.
HTC later confirmed to The Verge that this was indeed the case and stock Android is the beneath-the-surface version of the OS.
Why is this somewhat of a surprise? Well HTC phones are usually dripping in its own skin for Android, the love-it-or-hate-it Sense UI.
For a pure Android experience, you can always purchase the latest Nexus model (or ask a relative to get it for you from abroad!), but did the HTC First also get sort of interesting now that you hear you can run Android on it without any UIs in the way?