This morning at Qualcomm's Uplinq 2011 conference in San Diego, Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, announced the launch of HTCDev, a new developer program which opens up HTC's "Sense" user interface (UI) for Android to developers. The program's early partners include LinkedIn, Google Picasa, Gameloft and others, all of which have used the new tools to build plugins and add-ons to more deeply integrate their apps with HTC's iconic UI.

HTC OpenSense to Launch in Weeks

"People tell us how much they love HTC Sense," said HTC Peter Chou, delivering a keynote speech at this morning's Qualcomm Uplinq conference in San Diego. "Now we will make Sense available to developers."

The program includes three main parts: the OpenSense software development kit (SDK) and related tools, support, including documentation and libraries, and community engagement programs that will allow HTC to reach out to the developer community to listen and respond to feedback, ideas and concerns.

All of the OpenSense tools will be made available online at HTCDev.com, in a few weeks. The program will be complimentary to HTCPro, another outreach program aimed at businesses and organizations that want to go mobile and are looking for trusted partners.

Via HTCDev, developers will have acces to custom tools, sample code, APIs (application programming interfaces), and other controls which will allow them to create a Sense look-and-feel within their own applications.

CEO Peter Chou Talks About HTC's Vision

Chou also took some time this morning to talk about his company's vision for the mobile revolution. "The last few years have made it clear that what's next is mobile...a computer in every pocket," he said, the statement an updated twist on Microsoft founder Bill Gates' earlier vision of a PC in every home.

4G connectivity, cloud computing, social networking, mobile video and online services will all come together on smartphones and change people's lives, said Chou. "Smartphones are bringing a new era of civilization, and it's happening on a global scale, very, very fast."

To demonstrate the speed of this mobile revolution, Chou reported that HTC shipped 25 million smartphones in 2010, over 100% more than it did in 2009. And now, as of Q1 2011, it has already shipped 9.7 million more - triple the sales from a year ago.

He also boldly predicted that smartphone sales would outpace feature phone (aka "dumb" phones, or messaging phones) sales by year-end.

HTC's focus is on a more holistic user experience, where everything it does makes technology work for you, Chou explained, which is why the company has focused so much on Sense. With the updated Sense 3.0 software arriving on new phones like the HTC Sensation and the EVO 3D, HTC is delivering re-imagined lockscreens with at-a-glance information about your emails, messages, photos, social networking updates and more. It will also offer updated core applications and HTC Watch, a digital media streaming service that will allow users to stream blockbuster movies to their phones and tablets, said Chou.

He also talked about HTC's strong relationship with Google, saying that HTC has the largest group of Android developers outside of Google itself. It's this strong relationship that makes recent rumors of a future HTC-based "Nexus" phone from Google seem more likely.

But Chou also gave a brief shout-out to Microsoft as well, promising it would deliver great Windows Phone devices, too. "We believe in giving people a choice," he said. "Microsoft has played a huge part in HTC's success."

HTC currently accounts for 35% of the smartphone market share, Chou claimed, and it's clear with these new developer-focused initiatives, it's hoping to grow that even further.