Man Behind HTC’s Sense 4.0 Interviewed, Talks Inspiration and Toning Down

In a recent interview with Laptop Mag, HTC’s AVP of user experience Drew Bamford, was asked to spill his guts on the development of the new Sense 4.0 and how they were able to “tone it down.” As most folks here may know, we have had the general belief that the Sense UI, when placed atop vanilla Android, was bloating and made our devices lag all across the board while not adding anything that was incredibly needed by some. HTC have been listening and took many steps to minimize Sense down and make it more usable and an intuitive experience.  (more…)

New Custom Sense 4.0 ROM Released for the HTC Rezound, Only Bluetooth Missing

HTC Rezound owners, more custom ROMs are on the horizon for you. This newest Sense 4.0 ROM is almost completely in working order after two months of stressful work by developer, newtoroot. It has a very short list of bugs, most notably being the lack of working Bluetooth. With full working 4G data, GPS and sound, this is the most complete 4.0 ROM we have seen so far.

For downloads and instructions on flashing this ROM, follow the via link below and read up on everything you will need. If you own an already rooted and unlocked ROM, your task is quite simple. For the rest of folks, let’s hope you know some adb commands.

Via: XDA

If You had to Choose a Skin for Android, Which would It be?

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This video from the folks at The Verge that is floating around today, is simply put, hilarious. During the clip from their podcast, they interview a guy who goes by the name “Big Poppa Joe” and claims to be the biggest Samsung TouchWiz fan on Earth. Yeah, you may need to read that again. Someone who admits publicly to loving TouchWiz. He may just be a brilliant troll, but if you needed a good laugh as we head into the weekend, this one is worth a watch.

With that said, we would love to hear your thoughts on the rest of the OEM skins out there. I’m curious to know which you would choose if there was no other choice but to have a skin. Stock Android is gone for good, which skin would you choose and why? HTC’s Sense, Motorola’s Blur, Samsung’s TouchWiz or something else?

As of today, I would go with Blur. While it was complete garbage for a a year or two there, the latest version is not all that bad (assuming you like the color blue). With its built in MotoCast software, semi-customizable launcher, gradually improving camera software, and new lockscreen, it’s not half bad. My opinion may quickly change on this once I get my hands on the HTC One X and see Sense 4.0, but until then, as surprising as it may sound, I would go Blur.

HTC: Our Sense UI Got Too Bloated, Time to Bring Simple Back

HTC’s chief product officer Kouji Kodera sat down with Pocket-Lint this week to admit that their Sense UI had gotten far too complicated and cluttered in the last couple of releases. From the time Sense originated, HTC had always wanted to keep things simple and easy to understand, but as their skin grew with features, so did the bloat. Going forward with Sense 4.0 and their new One Series, they will attempt to slim things back down:

“There where too many things in there,” Kodera continues. “Even on the home screen we had four or five icons before consumers got a chance to add things themselves. For the HTC One range we have taken it down to Sense 2 again.”

And in case you were wondering, they are attempting to keep Ice Cream Sandwich as untouched as possible. While I find that sort of an overstatement after seeing a couple of Sense 4.0 videos and screenshots, we should at least expect to see less in your face 3D transitions, spinning wheels, and other performance decreasing UI tweaks:

“What we’ve done right now is a good mixture of keeping Sense and Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich element in a good balance. We haven’t tried to change everything here. We have kept a lot of the ICS element but still added the Sense flavour on top of it.”

As someone that was once a fan of Sense, but found it less appealing in the 3.0+ phases, I’m actually pleased to hear this news. HTC needs to go back to their clean and easy-to-understand UI. Looking forward to the One Series or whatever it is they plan to release on Verizon to try to compete with it.

Via:  Pocket-Lint

HTC Ville Caught on Video Running Ice Cream Sandwich, Sense 4.0 and Looking Ultra-Slim

 

A month before Mobile World Congress kicks off and we have the first mega-leak to drool over. The HTC Ville was caught in a lengthy video this morning, showing off its official spec list, Sense 4.0 over Ice Cream Sandwich, and an ultra thin body. This is a device that we have covered for a while now over at Android Life as it is rumored to be heading to T-Mobile, but with this being one of the first polished sightings of Sense 4.0, we wanted to make sure that everyone saw it.

So what is the Ville? It’s HTC’s thinnest smartphone ever at roughly 8mm thick, but will rival some of the other players for the “thinnest smartphone in the world” tag. As you can see from the front, HTC is moving to a 3-button approach to match up with Android 4.0, however, they are still using hardware soft keys instead of on-screen soft keys. The design itself looks like most of HTC’s previous work, but again, this sucker is ultra thin.

Hit up the break to see the full spec list and a quick run-through of the device.   (more…)

XDA Makes Beats By Dre Flashable To Any Sense 3.0 Or 3.5 ROM

Up until now, we have seen XDA provide us with ROMs that have Beats by Dre cooked into them for your music listening pleasure, but the problem still stood, what if you liked your current ROM? Well we now have a fix for that.

There is a flashable zip a the source link below that will allow Beats to work with any Sense 3.0 and up-based ROM. The installation is as easy as booting into recovery and flashing the file and rebooting. User smokin1337, who came up with this file warns you that the first boot might take a while and as always, make a backup before you flash something like this.

Via: XDA

New HTC Sense 3.5 Devices Like the Rhyme Will Receive Bonus 3GB of Dropbox Storage

In addition to the free 2GB of storage that users receive when signing up for popular cloud storage service Dropbox, owners of new HTC Sense 3.5 devices – like the Rhyme – will get an additional 3GB for free. There are a variety of cloud services tied to other operating systems and phones, so this newly formed partnership between Dropbox and HTC simply makes sense.  While it’s not the 25GB that Windows Phone 7 users get with Skydrive, it’s at least a step in the right direction.  Our lives are revolving more and more around cloud storage these days; it’s about time an Android phone manufacturer did something on this front.

And not that we have confirmation on this, but it’s pretty unlikely that older phones like the Thunderbolt or Incredible 2 will receive this added bonus or Sense 3.5.  HTC definitely hasn’t show that it is the type of company to work backwards with its Sense skin.  The funny thing is, Sense 3.5 is clearly able to run on lower-end phones (single-core processor, 768MB of RAM, etc), but will likely only see it on new phones going forward.

Via:  Pocket Lint

HTC Bliss and Runnymede Sense 3.5 ROMs Ported to DROID Incredible 1 and 2

 

Two of HTC’s newest phones – the Bass (Runnymede) and Rhyme (Bliss) – have been fondled for long enough by the Android developer community to release ROM ports from each.  Since both of these unreleased phones run HTC Sense 3.5 (full walk-through), owners of the original Incredible or Incredible 2 get to be some of the first to give it a spin.  The Runnymede Sense 3.5 is the newest and truest to form, but the Bliss builds will likely have a lot less bugs since devs have had more time with them.

Links to each thread can be found below.   (more…)