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HTC Sense 3.0 won't come to Desire HD and other older Android phones

HTC has confirmed that its new Sense 3.0 UI will only work on new devices like the Flyer, Evo 3G and Sensation, but not on its older Android devices.

One of the more impressive features of the new HTC Sensation smart phone (pictured) is the latest version of HTC's Sense user interface that sits on top of Android. Bad news for owners of older HTC Android phones though: Sense 3.0 will not be coming to your mobile in its full form.

We asked at the launch last week and got a non-committal answer, but HTC has now made things clear in a tweet: "Due to Sense's hardware requirements, only our newest devices (Flyer, EVO 3D, Sensation) will be able to support it." That means owners of the Desire S, Desire HD and other existing HTC phones will be stuck with Sense 2.0 for the time being.

Unwired View reckons single-core 1GHz processors are unable to handle Sense 3.0. As Android users reacted with disappointment online, HTC tweeted again to ease the pain. "Clarification: aspects of the latest HTC Sense won't work on some previous devices. We are working to incorporate other aspects that will."

What those may be is left unsaid. When we played with the Sensation earlier this week, we noticed the 3D animations and slick transitions between screens, making it a much whizzier experience than Sense 2.0, but also considerably more processor-taxing. At the time, we suggested Sense 3.0 may not come to older phones such as the Desire S, and that appears to be the case.

That said, features such as the new lock screen should be manageable on these older phones -- it lets you set four shortcuts to simultaneously unlock the phone and unlock specific apps, or even replace those with photo slideshows and animated streams of Facebook and Twitter updates.

One thing HTC's announcement does bring into focus is the confusing nature of Android upgrades for users. Not only are you left wondering when the latest version of the core OS will be pushed out to your phone, but now there's an added layer of speculation around the manufacturer UIs that sit on top of it.

Then again, we know many people who instantly turn off all animations and whizzy extras as soon as they get a new Android device, in order to eke out the maximum battery life. If you're one of those people, the loss of Sense 3.0 on your older HTC Android phone may not be a problem at all.