Yesterday’s Google Now update brought a really neat feature to an already-awesome service: the ability to simply ask, “Google … what song is this?” and have Google give you the song information for almost any song playing in the background. This is really cool in theory and in practice, except for one thing: if you have an HTC device, the Sense UI breaks this functionality.
If you open Google Now on an HTC Sense device and ask it this question, you’ll get the following generic error message: “This action is not supported on this device.”
Of course, the HTC EVO 4G LTE hasn’t been officially updated to Jelly Bean yet, so this doesn’t affect EVO owners who are still running a stock ROM. It does, however, affect owners of the HTC Droid DNA, or anyone lucky enough to have an updated HTC One X. And once the EVO 4G LTE finally does receive the update, it will probably still be a problem.
This brings up the larger question of whether or not the Sense UI is even needed as we approach 2013. Granted, Sense has some great widgets, and there are a few features you can’t get on stock Android (i.e. the Sense camera, flip to silence, etc.), but is this handful of unique features really worth the bloat, along with the breaking of other neat features?
The fact that Google’s music ID service isn’t compatible with Sense also reminds me of the days when the “Set Alarm” voice action wouldn’t work on HTC Sense devices, like the original EVO 4G. It took a lot of waiting, and a couple OTA updates, before this simple voice action was compatible with the EVO.
Hopefully Google and HTC are able to address this before the EVO 4G LTE is updated to Jelly Bean, but I highly doubt it.