The HTC Desire HD has quite the history. With a 4.3-inch screen on the outside and a single core 1GHz CPU on the inside, it became available all the way back in 2010, rocking some truly ancient software that’ll challenge even the most studious of historians—namely Android 2.2 Froyo and HTC Sense 2.0. It was upgradeable to Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Sense 3.0, and was graciously promised by HTC an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwhich. Unfortunately, HTC didn’t keep their promise and backpedaled, essentially crushing any hope for Desire HD owners to experience the benefits of later, official releases.
But as we’ve witnessed time and time again, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And in this case, the HTC Desire HD finally sees Sense 5.0 (and Android 4.1.2) running on its screen. The Sense 5.0 port comes thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member S.a.M.e.R_d, who managed to port the HTC modified skin and the associated features and improvements such as Blinkfeed, from the HTC Desire 500.
Quite a few functions are working as they should, including the backlight, root access, mobile data and text messaging, but the port is still a work in progress, and this can be seen from the broken camera, audio, WiFi, and SD Card.
If you’re a loyal HTC Desire HD user, or someone who’s simply interested in the development progress of a relatively ancient device, head over to the development thread for more details and discussion.
Update: The port has been discontinued. Nothing to see here folks.
It’s pretty much a proven, scientific fact that the HTC Pico (a.k.a. Explorer) is one heck of a trooper. Its 3.2 inch screen, 600 MHz processor, and 512 MB of RAM have seen more action than the latest and greatest devices out on the market right now. Having marched past Sense 4.0 without batting an eye, having Firefox OS for breakfast, and conquering dual booting, the Pico can now proudly boast Sense 5.0 on the trophy shelf.
Accomplished by XDA Senior Member xaak, Sense 5.0 has been ported from the HTC Desire 500 and 600 to the Pico. With the port, HTC Pico users will now be able to enjoy the many revamped and new features that few legacy devices get to enjoy, such as a slicker user interface and Blinkfeed. Also, a special mention must go to XDA Recognized Developer cute_prince, whose ION kernel serves as the foundation of the port.
As of now, almost everything that’s required for a usable daily driver seems to be working such as WiFi, GPS and mobile data. But since the port is still in its beta phase, not everything is working as expected, namely the camera and video recording. Other bugs include the default music player force closing and that everything is not resized.
So for those interested in the project, be sure to check out the development thread for more details.
October 30, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re an HTC Sense stalwart (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and you’ve been longing for a bit more customization on your Sense 5 (or 5.5) ROM, there’s a fantastic multi-purpose toolbox for you. XDA Senior Members langer hans and Mikanoshi created an Xposed-based toolbox that brings you a handful of customizable mods.
One of the main features of the Sense 5 Toolbox is that it allows you to rearrange your quick control (EQS) tiles. And once you’ve found a setup that works for you, you can backup the tile order so that your next ROM flash doesn’t clear the order. There are also a handful of other modifications such as tweaks to your physical buttons, an advanced power menu, transparency settings for various UI elements, an AOSP-style recent apps menu, and much, much more. Basically, if you can think of it, it’s probably already in this toolbox.
While the module was originally intended for use with Recognized Developer mike1986.‘s ARHD ROM for the HTC One, this module should be compatible (at least for the most part) with pretty much any device running Sense 5.5 and without too many other modifications.
If you’ve been looking for a great, general purpose Sense toolbox, this one is definitely worth a shot. Visit the toolbox post to get in on the action.
September 22, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
To say that the HTC HD2 has survived the test of time would be a severe understatement. The device, which was first released four years ago should by all means already be in a museum. After all, judging by modern device longevity standards, our phones are obsolete often before we buy them thanks to upgraded models and healthy competition.
Despite its advanced age, however, the HD2 is still thriving. There are new builds of operating systems never even intended for the device being ported at lightning pace. The latest addition? None other than HTC’s latest and greatest iteration of their Sense overlay.
The porting work comes courtesy of XDA Senior Members aazzam16661, gilbert32, dungphp, and a host of others cited in the first post. It is important to keep in mind that this is not yet daily driver status. Naturally, since the port is still having its kinks worked out, not everything works. Currently, the touchscreen, cellular connectivity, and data work. However, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB mass storage, sound, camera, video playback, and GPS don’t yet work. In other words, we would only recommend trying this if you know what you are doing and have a good backup to restore.
If you’ve still got your hands on an HTC HD2 and would like to play around with Sense 5, or if you’re just a former owner looking to pay his or her respects to the venerable device, head over to the ROM thread. We look forward to many years of continued HD2 development here on XDA.
[Many thanks to XDA Senior Member aazzam16661 for the heads up!]
Do you consider yourself a die hard HTC fan? If so, we can’t blame you. Their latest flagship, the HTC One, has been a great success, combining great build quality, snappy internals, and a remarkable screen.
If you’re a fan, we wouldn’t be surprised if you already have something in your forum signature displaying your patronage to Taiwan’s most prominent smartphone manufacturer. However, having more options is never a bad thing.
XDA Forum Member Sgt-Obst created and shared a collection of HTC-loving banners. Stylish and sleek, these 500 x 100 images are perfectly sized for use in your forum signature. Images for the HTC One, HTC One X, HTC One S, HTC One Mini, and HTC Sensation XE are included, as well as images showing love towards HTC Dev and Sense UI.
Sgt-Obst is also taking requests for future devices to be added to the banner list, so head over to the original thread to show your HTC love.
September 2, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
As a developer, making sure that your users are running the latest version of your creation is always a challenge. This is then compounded when you’re dealing with modifications such as kernels, ROMs, and skins rather than applications that can be set to automatically update through Google Play. In order to help alleviate this, XDA Senior Member mikrosmile created myHUB to serve as a hub for all Sense-based ROM developers.
The project originally began as an addition to the DarkSense ROM on the HTC Sensation, as a way to seamlessly provide updates and compatible downloads. However, now the application has been rebuilt with additional features such as an OTA engine and more.
So what can you do with myHub, the OTA engine, and its other applications? According to the developer:
Features of myHUB:
- Provide News
- Provide any Download sections you want (Skins, System MODs, Icons, Keyboards, Kernels)
- Full preview of your Content
- Automatic installation of apk or zip files
- Automatic checking of MD5
- In-app updates from myHUB Developer
- Ease configuration of myHUB (one txt file in your System)
- On-line updates (changes) of all your Content
Features of myHUB OTA:
- Provide ROM updates (as easy as possible) with almost similar to HTC’s OTA
- You can provide Full ROMs or Small size OTA
- Add your Changelog
- Checks current version with latest available on your Server
Features of myHUB Web:
- Provide any web link together with news and open inside app
- Fully featured web browser
Features of myHUB Files:
- Install any apk or zip files (Zip installation through Recovery)
- Open any file through Favorite apps (Images, Audio, Video files, Text, etc)
- Checking of MD5 of files (Simple calculation of MD5, enter MD5 to check if correct)
- Manipulate with files (Cut, Copy, Delete, View properties)
Beneficial to both end users and developers, myHUB can dramatically streamline your update and discovery process. Head over to the original thread to get started.
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.
Even though the HTC Sensation XL has been available since May 2011, there is still a dedicated community trying to keep the phone as up-to-date as possible. XDA Senior Member S.a.M.e.R_d released a ROM that allows XL users to enjoy the full benefits of Sense 4.1.
Currently, the ROM is on its seventh build, and the change log shows that there has been some rapid development since it first went live in December of last year. Common problems with early ROMs such as front and back facing camera issues seem to be fixed in the latest build, as well as apps that you will only find in an HTC Sense device.
S.a.M.e.R_d has also created a host of modifications that are ready to be installed on builds 6 and 7 of the ROM. Battery mods, Samsung’s lock pattern, Rosie mods and a multitude of fonts are all available. If for some reason you are stuck with V5 or below, there are some modifications ready to be downloaded.
If you have a Sensation XL laying around and wish to try Sense 4.1, this looks to be a great place to start. For more information about the ROM, please visit the original thread.
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 184.108.40.206, 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:
October 29, 2012 By: egzthunder1
Recently, we have seen lots of cool projects being born on the HTC EVO 3D, which is for the most part a device that is slowly fading into the shadow of its younger, slimmer, and more powerful brethren. But as it is customary on XDA, this is not going to stop devs from continuing with work on devices with such unique features (fully functional 3D camera and display). The only problem is that as new updates become available from our devs, other things get broken. In the case of this, Sense is very much tied up to every aspect of operating the device’s 3D capabilities, and porting the UI and framework is never without its hiccups.
One of the features that is missing from most Sense 4+ based custom ROMs is the ability to see your 3D pictures in 3D by using the stock gallery app. XDA Forum Member androidus21 took a shot at this issue with the help of Forum Member HJ200’s Tools3D-Library, and came up with a small add-on that enables 3D picture viewing directly from the Gallery app. The fix essentially adds a link in the Android “Share” intent, which enables 3D display to activate and fully display the .mpo and .jps over-imposed image files instead of a single 2D file.
The dev is currently trying to investigate a way to get around this, so that the Gallery displays the pictures without having to go through all this. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to chime in. In the meantime, enjoy your renewed ability to used your 3D in the way it was meant to be used.
I build a “PlugIn” for galleries, for example the HTC Gallery in Sense 4.0/4.1 roms. So what is the function of this PlugIn?
It will show your mpo- and jps-files in 3D.
You can find more information in the original thread.
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HTC Sense is one of those things you either love or loathe. Much more than just another launcher, Sense is a complete framework replacement, with so much of the Android system being integrated into Sense. Some people like Sense so much that they spend a significant amount of time and effort in porting it to other non-HTC devices.
Enter XDA Recognized Developer Zackconsole, who has managed to port HTC Sense 4.0 to not only one device, but a number of Sony Xperia devices. Before you Xperia owners get too excited, the ROMs are still considered very pre-alpha, meaning they are far from complete and not usable for any real purpose. They are intended for developers only at this stage, or for those hardcore flashers who just have to try new things. But this is definitely amazing progress and goes to show nothing is impossible.
The list of working features is quite small at the moment, hence the pre-alpha status:
If you think you can help with the development of these ROMs, or just HAVE to give them a try, head on over to the thread relevant for your device: