Whether you love it or loathe it, the HTC First and its Facebook-centric user interface happened. It was only a matter of time, however, before people became tired of being constantly bombarded with vague, asinine status updates and pictures of other people pets/children doing things that pets/children do. While you can always use it as a (close to) stock Android device, some actually favor Sense UI. And since it’s made by HTC, I suppose the obvious choice would be to use Sense on the First. Now you can, thanks to XDA Forum Moderator jmz.
It’s not often that HTC releases a device without their trademark Sense interface. We’ve seen quite a few nonsense devices from them in the past, but a non-sense device is quite unusual and when done right, something to be genuinely excited about. I guess even Sense has to be better than a constant stream of Facebook updates, though.
The port in question here is a Jelly Bean 4.1.2 ROM with Sense 4, and it seems to be very functional. There are a few minor issues, most of them graphical, but nothing that should prevent you from making this your daily driver. Installation is incredibly straightforward, and adding a new lease of life to your First should take absolutely no time at all. Head over to the original thread for more information.
February 19, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android version 4.2.2 of Jelly Bean has arrived on the Nexus line up’s door step. That can mean only one thing: It is time to cue the onslaught of mainstream technology journalist statements about the “fragmentation” of Android. They proclaim this fragmentation hurts Android, that non standardized hardware and different OEM customized versions of Android will be the downfall of Google’s mobile operating system. These people have perhaps drank a bit too much iKool-Aid.
The different options of Android handsets are what make Android a success. If I want a 5.5 inch phone screen, there is the Samsung Galaxy Note II. If I want a water and dust proof phone, there is the Sony Xperia Z. If I want a phone that I cannot unlock and has some of the most difficult bootloaders to crack, there is almost every Motorola and HTC device. In this episode XDA Developer Producer azrienoch gives us the 5 myths of the custom OEM Android software ecosystem.
January 17, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
HTC Sense is undoubtedly one of the most popular proprietary OEM Android skins. This is partly because of the rather slick looking widgets that are available to use on your device’s home screens. Unfortunately though, as with any other kind of custom UI, you might often find yourself having to manually replace all your widgets and or shortcuts. While some third party launchers are capable of backing up widget placement, this doesn’t really help HTC Sense users. Cue XDA Recognized Developer and creator of ROM Cleaner Patrics83 and his latest creation, Widget Scanner.
Widget Scanner will trigger a rescan of the widget database to save you the trouble of having to clear the launchers data and then manually replace your widgets after tinkering with the Sense apps, flashing a modification that somehow disturbed their arrangement, or even if they mysteriously vanished. The mod is applied as simply as flashing a .zip file via recovery and carrying out the Aroma Installer based instructions that follow. Once completed, you’ll be ready to restore your setup in a flash. This script is applicable to all HTC devices running Sense 4.x.
If you’re fed up of restoring your widgets the long way and would like to try this for yourself, check out the original forum thread for more info.
The HTC Explorer was never one of the most popular smartphones to grace the pages of XDA. The Explorer is a low end device that was released in late 2011. With only a 600 MHz processor and 512 MB RAM, it was never going to grab any headlines. This is what makes the recent high level of development activity on the device all the more impressive.
First up, XDA Senior Member oblikas brings us TWRP. The popular touchscreen driven recovery system allows you to do much more than flash a ROM. While it does work as intended, at version 188.8.131.52, it’s not updated to the latest version at the time of writing.
Next up, XDA Senior Member derefas has managed to port HTC Sense 4.0 to the Explorer. Given that the device originally shipped with Sense 3.5, this is an exciting port for Explorer owners, giving their device a complete refresh. The only listed known issues with the ROM are occasional USB issues, Bluetooth, Wifi and Superuser, though these last three issues have been fixed by the dev and will be working in the next ROM update.
Further to this, XDA Senior Member sam_0829 has impressively ported Sense 4.1 to the device, using the HTC Desire HD as a donor. The main functional parts of the device such as radio, sound and camera are all working, but as the Desire HD has a much higher screen resolution, a large amount of the ROM needs to be re-sized to fit the Explorer’s 320 × 480 screen. The dev has created a thread in the hope that others will be able to provide help in re-sizing, so that a usable ROM can be put together.
If Sense isn’t your cup of tea, and you prefer a more true Android experience, there are a number of ROMs available that are more suited.
XDA Senior Member sakindia123 has been busy, and brings us unofficial builds of both Cyanogenmod 9.1 and 10. The Ice Cream Sandwich based Cyanogenmod 9.1 ROM is fully functional with no known issues. The Cyanogenmod 10 ROM is almost completely working, with the only issues being with video decoding and voice search.
Another non Sense option is an unofficial AOKP ROM, built from source by XDA Recognized Developer flowish. This ROM has no known issues and of course has all the standard AOKP features.
Finally, if you haven’t been hiding under that rock of late, you’ll no doubt have heard of PACman ROM, an amalgamation of the best features from Paranoid Android, AOKP and Cyanogenmod 10. This port of PACman ROM is brought to us, again, by XDA Senior Member oblikas. Given the ROM has only just been released and is in an alpha stage, there are a few issues at present, including the camera, audio and USB mass storage.
There are of course many other custom ROMs available in the HTC Explorer Development forum. This article is just intended to highlight some of the more recent development taking place.
If you want to try out any of these ROMs, check out the relevant ROM thread:
September 26, 2012 By: FallenWriter
For Android users rocking an AOSP-based ROM like CyanogenMod, changing their device’s bootscreen is a snap. However, for users of HTC Sense-based ROMs, the process is a bit more complicated. Unlike AOSP where users have applications able to load everything for them, Sense users have had to manually change the files in the system directory. That is, until now.
Thanks to XDA Forum Member vsaravind007′s latest application, Sense Bootscreen Changer, users of Sense-based ROM’s can now change their bootscreens on the fly. The application currently features:
Ability To Change Bootscreen Of Sense Based Roms(only SENSE ROMs)
Checks Whether The Selected File Is A Valid Bootscreen File Before Replacing
Backs up Current Bootscreen File To The Folder /sdcard/SenseBsChanger/Backup
February 5, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Developers are always looking for ways to squeeze every ounce of speed, performance and reliability out of any given device. They write scripts, tweak ROMs, compile kernels and all sorts of other modifications that, in the end, increase user satisfaction substantially.
Well, in the HTC Desire forums, there’s a different kind of development going down. XDA Senior Member Proz0r has released a modified D2EXT method that eliminates symlinks and increases the speed of the HTC Desire. As Proz0r explains:
INT2SD doesn’t use symlinks. It mounts ext partition on your SD to /data, thus eliminating the need for the mtd5 userdata partition. This makes the mtd5 userdata partition unneeded. It is used in conjunction with the fatsys HBOOT (more info later on), allowing most of the vital parts of a ROM to stay on the system partition without the need to symlink half of it to the SD due to memory shortage.
The unique modification isn’t widely available for the Desire just yet, but Proz0r is working with other developers on the device to make it an option in as many ROMs and a feature on as many kernels as possible.
For Desire users, if you would like this mod applied to your favorite ROM or you would just like to know more about it, you can find out more in the original thread for AOSP or the original thread for HTC Sense.
January 23, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
The HTC Rezound has a number of Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs. Most of them also include HTC Sense or are based on HTC Sense framework (often called “senseless”). However, there isn’t a whole lot of AOSP love going on in the HTC Rezound forums. At least, there wasn’t a few days ago.
XDA Senior Member dmeadows013 has been working, released, and is now actively updating an Ice Cream Sandwich AOSP port for the Verizon’s beastly HTC phone. Based on the HTC Evo 3D port of ICS, the ROM is still only in beta and one can expect to have issues.
Here’s a list of what isn’t working:
So it isn’t quite ready for prime time, daily driver usage yet but seeing a ROM available to flash is always an encouraging step forward for any phone development.
If this is something you want to check out, possibly help with or if you just wanna flash it and check it out, you can find all the information, download links, instructions (but not screen shots…yet) and much more in the ROMs original thread.
M10Tools is going open source! Need I say more?
Okay, for those of you who don’t know about M10Tools, I’ll explain. In a nutshell, it’s a program that allows you to edit HTC Sense. Normally Sense is very challenging to edit directly, but with M10Tools a world of opportunity opens up to people with coding skills. Over the past few months things have really taken off, and now the developer wants to take it open source!
There’s a snag in the plans though. It seems one of the original devs has decided to quit, leaving an opening for new developer. According to Diamondback10 the new guy must have:
•Very good experience in C# and/or C++
•Windows dev of course
•Experience with reading/writing binary data would be helpful
•Experience with reverse engineering file formats would be also helpful
•Good spoken english required (German would be nice too)
•Communication is done via either IRC or Skype
•Development uses SVN, so knowledge about SVN and how it works is quite helpful
•Having a HTC phone with a sense 3.0/3.5 ROM is strongly advised. You don’t totally need it, but it helps a lot.
If you think you have what it takes to continue the legacy of this awesome program head on over to the thread here.
September 13, 2011 By: egzthunder1
We all like to theme our devices differently. However, there are times when we simply want to stand out from the crowd by actually uaving less. For these purposes, we have seen a number of Google apps being done in different colors (inverted, etc), but this we had not seen before. XDA member fernando sor brings us transparent HTC apps. Basically, these modded apps will allow you to see the wallpaper that you worked so hard to choose through your most commonly used apps such as the dialer. Only the aforementioned one and the MMS app have been done so far, but this is certainly something interesting to have if you miss your background while using your device. One word of advice, pick a background that will allow you to see the text on your screen because if you happen to choose something with lots of white or black (depending on what colored font you have as default), you will have a rather hard time reading from your screen.
Please leave some feedback for the dev.
Brought to you by fernando sor and jeffanace
i have been working on this project on and off for a few weeks and it is pretty close to being 100%. let me just say it was challenging. i hacked , ripped, changed, deleted and redirected.
to my knowledge this has not been done before.
You can find more information in the original thread.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
Thanks silverxbv2 for the tip!
August 17, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
Mmmm! Smell that? Sorry to get your hopes up; it’s not bacon. That’s actually the smell of DEVELOPMENT! Here on XDA-Developers, we love developers of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels. We also take kindly to those older, more established developers who help the new guys out by writing helpful guides.
Luckily that’s precisely what XDA Recognized Developer samuel2706 has accomplished. To all the budding ROM chefs out there looking to get started with porting a Sense UI ROM to another Sense device, this is a great resource that you must check out. In this guide, the developer has compiled an easy to follow guide that should get you started in no time. Following the guide, you will learn the appropriate mixture of host and target device files for a successful port.
This screenshot-laden guide is only six simple steps long, making even the most novice chefs feel right at home. However, realize that any messes you get yourself into are yours and yours alone. As a precautionary mesure, make sure to create a Nandroid backup before loading up your new creations.
As stated in the guide:
Hello and welcome to my porting guide, it works 9/10, the 1/10 it doesn’t use mans best friend
ADB LOGCAT. It works wonders you know. PM me with any questions or helpful tips.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for bricking or blowing you up or causing your balls to shrink or you to see ghosts or anything, i am not responsible, your an adult act like one. you choose to do this on your own values, please dont expect me to buy you a new device, you broke it. i am not saying these work 100% of the time so don’t blame me if it doesn’t.
Continue on to the guide thread to get started with easy ROM porting between Sense devices!
[Thanks M_T_M for the tip!]
HTC Sense does many things right. It offers aesthetically appealing visual mods, useful widgets, and for the most part, it doesn’t seem to hamper device performance. However, there are surely some Sense users who are not quite as pleased with the sounds as they are with the sights. Fear not, XDA members, as forum member ronnyhawks and preludedrew have compiled the AOSP notifications and ringtones into a simple, easily flashable package.
Here is a flashable zip file of all the AOSP ringtones and notifications. I requested this to use on a sense rom (MikG v2.2) Thanks Preludedrew for making this for me!!!!! Hopefully all the sense users out there that are stuck with some pretty weak tones can find this useful. And always remember to DO A NANDROID BACKUP FIRST! I am not responsible for what happens to ANYBODYS phone!!!!!!!
What are you waiting for? If you’re a Sense user who longs for vanilla sounds, be sure to continue on to the original thread.