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Posts Tagged: HTC Sense

handphone

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 2.2.2.0, 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:

TWRP can be found in the TWRP development thread.
3D-IMAGES

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.

 Hi everyone!

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:

  • Booting (On Arc/s) last tested
  • Apps
  • Adb
  • Touchscreen
  • Sound

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:

htc-sense

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

Having tested this on an EVO 3D, I can say that this app does exactly what it claims to. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the original thread and give this a spin.

Virtuous Immersion Skin for HTC Sense 4 Devices

Do you have an HTC device running Sense 4 and find yourself unhappy with the range of themes supplied by HTC? Want to install a custom skin on your device while sticking with Sense 4, without having to switch to a different launcher? There is now an option thanks to the first custom skin for Sense 4 devices.

Since Sense 3.0, HTC started using its proprietary theming format. It wasn’t long before XDA Recognized Developers Flemmard and Diamondback found a way to crack open the custom files storing the resources, opening Sense 3 up for theming. HTC changed the format again with Sense 3.5, but the same guys again succeeded in finding the new image format, making custom skins possible. With Sense 4, they have done it again, and XDA Senior Member cypis has built upon their efforts to bring us Virtuous Immersion as the first custom skin for HTC Sense 4 devices.

Virtuous Immersion themes the Sense Launcher, Sense apps, and Sense lockscreen; and it should work for all devices running full Sense 4 in form of a stock or Sense-based custom ROM. While it doesn’t currently work for devices with lite version of Sense 4, the developers are working on it.

Visit the original thread for more information, screenshots, and download links.

galaxy_gio_2

Whether you love it or hate it, HTC Sense has a habit of making an appearance on unexpected devices. The latest to join the club is the Samsung Galaxy Gio. No you didn’t misread that, I said Galaxy Gio.

XDA Senior Member voetbalremco is the person behind this. As you may expect, there are bugs so don’t go trying to use this as your daily driver just yet. While issues with RIL and SD Card detection have been fixed, there are still some remaining issues with WiFi, Bluetooth, sound, sensors, and so on. However, it does boot and offer basic functionality, even if only to marvel at the wonder (or travesty, depending on your point of view) that is Sense on a Samsung device.

The ROM itself is based on the latest Chinese RUU intended for the HTC Explorer, which means it’s a Sense 3.5 ROM based on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. As you’d expect, SuperUser and BusyBox come pre-installed, and multiple languages are supported. Voetbalremco would like to hear from any other developers out there who may be able to contribute to this project and make it suitable for daily use.

If you think you can help out or just want to try this out for yourself, head over to the original thread.

[Thanks to iok1 for the tip.]

ARHD FTW

HTC made a promises to their customers that the One series line up wouldn’t be neglected like their other devices have been. So far, they’ve been keeping up with their word, as the One series devices have gotten plenty of updates and have been promised Jelly Bean. Of course, it’s perfectly normal to remain skeptical.

Until official Jelly Bean release, though, it’s up to developers to keep the firmware fresh. And for Sense phones, it doesn’t get much more fresh than the newest version of HTC Sense. Now, HTC One X users can get their hands on the first custom Sense 4.1 ROM.

The ROM comes from XDA Recognized Developer mike1986.. ARHD doesn’t do much in the way of theming, but it offers a large feature list over the stock offering including:

Removed software (CPU) rendering – full nVidia Tegra 3 (GPU) rendering
Fully optimized and tweaked
ROOT (su + SuperSu Permissions – Thanks to chainfire)
Unsecured boot.img
Newest BusyBox
RAM optimizations
System signatures check enabled for system security and safety
Improved virtual memory management
Speed optimizations
Enabled GPU UI rendering
Data, cache and system partitions mounting tweaks
Bloatware applications removed
All /system applications updated to latest available
All /data applications updated to latest available
Improved camera performance
Improved CPU governors performance
Most optimal system scheduler
Disabled kernel debugging for better performance
ZRAM ready!
Zipaligned (Improved RAM management)
Zipalign on boot (for user applications on data partition)
Fully de-odexed
init.d scripts (BusyBox run-parts) support
Auto init.d permissions set on boot
sysro/sysrw commands support
Excellent battery life!
Improved EXT4 performance
You can replace HTC boot animation with any custom one (or use ICS default)
OpenVPN support
4EXT Recovery (Thanks to madmaxx82)
Most up-to-date system files permissions
Adobe Flash Player support for Ice Cream Sandwich
Support almost 24h a day

For more info, check out the original thread.

icson3d

So after months and months of waiting, kicking, and screaming from the user base, Sprint has finally decided to provide their EVO 3D customers with a brand spanking new base to play around with. The new official Sprint ROM (base number 2.89.651.2) has been fitted with ICS 4.0.3, Sense 3.6 (as promised), a new radio, HBOOT 1.58, and some new bits and pieces of firmware. As always, this is loaded (and I do mean loaded) with Sprint’s usual bloatware such as Sprint Zone, Nascar, and a few other unremovable (by regular means anyways) bits of Sprint love on the device. After all, nothing screams “we care about our customers” than the bundled Blockbuster app, embedded into the framework with an additional .jar. This rom is an OTA, which means that Sprint is distributing this wirelessly to roms that are capable of receiving the update.

Enough with the formalities about the ROM itself, and lets just go to the core of this article. This is a well known topic as we have covered it before in similar instances. You know, the usual dance where Google announces a new OS, everyone gets excited about promises and ideas and starts looking forward to a reason to hold off on dropping $500-$800 for a new phone (off contract) or for begging the carriers for an early upgrade. Here at XDA, we strive against the inability of the carriers to completely satisfy their customers (us). And because of that, we have had ICS with Sense 3.6 builds for a few months now. Which makes me wonder quite a bit about the entire update. Is it worth having your bootloader relocked just to have to flash buggy software? Yes, buggy software. As it turns out, this new ROM does not have the amount of quality control it should have had for having taken such a monumental amount of time to be released. One such somewhat major bug is Bluetooth, which was either not working or doing so very poorly. Thanks to XDA Forum Member mikeyxda, we now have a fix for this bug. You would think that something like this would have been caught after such a long wait. Lets face it, it was a rather big “opps” considering that Bluetooth is so widely used.

So, what exactly took HTC and Sprint so long? Why did they keep people waiting for this? In previous articles, we had stipulated that perhaps they hold off on upgrades for long enough to not have to explain themselves to the customers as to why they are purposely going against Google’s recommendation about the 18 month promised upgrade. This is not exactly rocket science, albeit you need a good set of skills to whip up a decent ROM. Having said that, developers on XDA probably have far fewer resources than HTC and Sprint, and certainly they don’t have access to most of their “private stuff.” That said, why is it that our site’s devs have the capability to put out better stuff in shorter amounts of time? Oh! I know! HTC has to spend monumental amounts of time and resources because the likes of Sprint and Verizon want them to “protect” the devices and as such, they put in new locked bootloaders so that people cannot fully utilize their devices.  How did we arrive at this conclusion? Quite simple actually, we have had Sprint’s ICS with Sense 3.6 leaks on XDA  for a few months already. The stock RUU was actually not half bad, and certainly something par to what we see in other stock roms. But aside from the official vs leak factor, there is a major difference between the leak and what we just received from Sprint: a new locked bootloader, which unlike previous bootloader versions, will make your device go on a bootloop if you try to flash the ROM without updating it. In other words, if you want to run Sprint’s latest and greatest, you must update your hboot. Is there any reason to believe that this is necessary for ICS or even for Sense 3.6 to run on the EVO3D? Considering that the leaked build runs perfectly well on ENG HBOOT, I am going to dare say no, there is not.

So, what conclusion do we arrive to from all this? EVO 3D owners just waited for well over a year not for ICS and a somewhat outdated version Sense, but for Sprint’s latest attempt to prevent users from using their devices. So, thank you Sprint for making HTC give us a brand new headache version number 1.58 as opposed to a bug free ICS rom with Sense 4.0. Oh, and just an FYI, Sense 4.0 works fantastically well on our EVO 3D.

Thanks for reading.

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20110502203743

Themers working with HTC Sense ROMs currently face a major problem. They are unable to modify most images used by Sense 3.5 and beyond because of HTC’s method of storing images inside proprietary m10 files. Unfortunately, the images are not stored as JPG or PNG. Instead, they are encoded with an unknown algorithm.

Previously, M10Tools by XDA Recognized Developers Flemmard and Diamondback would be used to decode these images. However, with the release of Sense 3.5, this no longer was an option, as HTC added new image formats that are not compatible with the software package.

After trying unsuccessfully to decode the new image formats, Recognized Developer and Forum Moderator Diamondback has decided to seek help from other developers in the community to find a solution to the M10 image format woes. Luckily, there is progress being made to find a solution. For starters, Diamondback has compiled a list of what we know so far:

We don’t have any hard facts for these image types but looking at the “old” image types, we can guess a few things:

  • The images are in a format the GPU can render directly (Like s3tc, ATC, QTC, etc) (At least this used to be the case, might have changed)
  • Images are most likely compressed. The ratio between assumed size (based on meta data) and the actual data size indicates some heavy compression. The data itself obviously looks compressed too.
  • There are no headers or any other help. It is just raw data.
  • We don’t know exactly how the decoded images actually look like, so we can’t say what the images display. However, due to latest archievements we “might” know this for images from Sense 3.5 and 3.6 if needed.
  • The handling software side is all in a few libs and NOT in smali / java, so we can’t look for stuff there, however we have the libs, so if someone is pro with assembler he might find out something

So which image types are the ones in question? As compiled by Diamondback:

Here is a list of image type we already know ( remember, we don’t know where the numbers come from, might be some enum in native code or so)

  • Type 4: Raw RGB
  • Type 6: Raw RGBA (still used rather often)
  • Type 8: ATC RGB (doesn’t seem to be used at all anymore)
  • Type 9: ATC RGBA Explicit (doesn’t seem to be used at all anymore)

As you can see we got types WITH and WITHOUT alpha encoding.
Here is the list of UNKNOWN formats:

  • Type 13 (used way less than type 14, so maybe no alpha?)
  • Type 14 (this is the most used type, so I assume this one supports alpha encoding)

When thinking about what the data might be, don’t throw away crazy ideas like “The data is S3TC /ATC /whatever but compressed again by some ‘normal’ compression algorithm”. Maybe they just replaced type 8 and 9 with an additional compression on top of these types.

Diamondback is searching for help from everyone who is experienced with file formats, image compression, OpenGL or reverse engineering. Since these efforts have been ongoing for several months, any input is appreciated.  Those who wish to join the project should head over to the development thread and lend a hand.

amaze4

Looks like Sense 4.0 keeps going down the 2011 line of devices, filling these devices with new life and a sense of continuity thanks to the wonderful work of some of our developers. The latest case took place earlier on Sunday as XDA Recognized Developer sportsstar89 and his colleagues at Team Nightmare felt confident enough on their work to release it into the wild, granting the Amaze 4G users the option of adding yet another port to their arsenal of ROMs and options.

The ROM in question, much like with other early Sense 4 releases, has very few working features and most of them are nowhere near enough to be considered daily drivers—at least for the early ports that we have covered in their alpha states. Although it still has a long way to go, the devs got this to boot, and there are a few other things working such as Bluetooth, which hardly ever works right off the bat, as well as the touchscreen. However, nothing else seems to work properly at  the moment.

Keep in mind, once again, that this is by no means a finished build. So, please share what you can find in terms of bugs with the devs so that the build can be improved and the quest for Sense 4.0 can be fulfilled.

Working:

  • As of now not much
    Boots
    Touchscreen
    Bluetooth (Strange Enough)

You can find more information in the port thread.

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[Thanks sportsstar89 and dharvey4651 for the tip!]

HTCDesire

HTC Sense 4.0 seems to be a love-it or hate-it affair for most users. For those who enjoy its take on the Android UI, it is now available for the Desire and Desire HD thanks to a couple of ported ROMs. Both ports are based on Android 4.0.3 and originally come from the HTC One V, which comes preloaded with HTC Sense 4.0. These releases will thus give you the latest Sense experience, if you are so inclined.

The port for Desire was made by Recognized Contributor shaky156. And even though it has a long way to go until it is usable as a daily driver ROM, it is an encouraging initial release. Earlier this year, we saw the Desire HD receive a Sense 3.6 ROM. However, this port is instead based on the newer Sense 4.0. Being that the Desire is over 2 years old, it’s great to see the latest Sense on it.

The Desire HD port was created by Senior Member HTC_Phone, who has made a lot of progress since his initial release, and has quite a bit working now. One thing worth noting on the Desire HD ROM is that it is Sense 4.0a ,which is the a version of Sense 4.0. This ROM is on the same path to being a completely functioning ROM and is already usable as a daily driver.

The current “not working” list for the two releases is as follows:

  • Desire - Audio, GPS, Bluetooth, Data, USB Mount, SD Card, and Other Small Bugs
  • Desire HD - Camera, Microphone, and Other Small Bugs

You can learn more and download the goods in the Desire thread and Desire HD thread.

HD2

Whenever you think of the Energizer bunny, a few concepts come to mind—cute and funny (for some anyways), durable, and definitely long lasting. I think that if Energizer ever felt the need to replace the bunny with another iconic “toy,” it would definitely have to be HTC’s greatest phone to date, the HD2.

Ever since the original Android ports started hitting the device back in 2010, the HD2 has been a hotbed for development; breaking ground time and time again, and expanding the device’s horizons and possibilities beyond reasonable limits. Today, we come across a very interesting and brand new development, brought to you by XDA Recognized Developer sbryan12144. The very first Sense 4 ROM has appeared for the aluminum backed beast.

Sense 4.0 is a a brand new set of problems when it comes to porting, as many of the already-available tools are not exactly functional. Having said that, we have seen this ported to other devices including the Sensation, the EVO 3D, and a few more. Just like the aforementioned, this early ROM release has very few features working and is more of a functional proof-of-concept at this point than a daily driver. Basic things like data and WiFi are still not properly working or at all, but they will eventually get fixed as development continues.

Please be sure to follow the installation instructions and provide feedback and bug reports to the devs so that the build can be improved.

Not Working:

  • Camera
  • SD Mount
  • USB Storage
  • Data (Starts but doesn’t connect)
  • Sound
  • Wifi

You can find more information in the original thread.

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[Thanks sbryan12144 for the tip!]

evo3dones

You may recall that not too long ago, we wrote an article about the first ever port of the HTC Endeavor (One S) for the EVO 3D, brought to you courtesy of XDA Recognized Developer TMartin. Well, as it turns out due to some time constraints on his end, the dev could not update the ROM as much as needed and thus, it never really took off from the pre-alpha state. That was until now because thanks to the generous donation of an EVO 3D, XDA Recognized Developer newtoroot has been brought into the game to help TMartin with the port.

In case you are not familiar, the HTC One S is one of the latest devices released by HTC, a variant of the One X, which comes loaded with ICS 4.0.3 as well as the all new Sense 4.0 interface. The appeal of this project is really a two-fold ambition: A. Sense 4 will not be coming to the EVO 3D anytime soon (the official update to ICS is rumored to come with Sense 3.6); and B. because porting stuff is fun and some people claim that it cannot be done. All in all, we do it simply to break limits.

In any case, newtoroot just released a brand new ROM in beta stage taking on TMartin’s work. The dev has been able to get the ROM working in such a way that it literally jumped from Pre-Alpha to Beta in a matter of days. Some of the things he fixed were:

  • Wifi
  • Data
  • MMS / SMS
  • GPS
  • Phone
  • Speed and stability
  • more…

Having said that, this ROM is still in beta and as such, many could consider it a non daily driver. The ROM has no Bluetooth or working cameras. And on top of that, transition animations must be turned off since the kernel being used right now does not play well with these animations, and causes continuous freezing of the screen. Last thing are actually the device’s sensors, which seem to be somewhat laggy, particularly the accelerometer. The latter actually causes some freezes due to the device trying to go to the mode being requested (landscape or portrait). Due to HTC still not having released the new ICS kernel for the EVO 3D, the correct drivers for the device are not yet available, but are being worked on. So, there is hope that we will see a more complete ROM very soon.

Please leave any thoughts or comments on the thread and if you happen to come across a bug that is not reported, please leave the feedback clearly in the thread so that it can be reviewed by the dev.

Ok this is something i threw together for you guys to hold you off while tmartin and myself work on a really solid rom… I want to say Thanks to tmartin and the user who donated the device i cant remember his name at the moment but ill add him in the OP later… without them this would not be possible for you guys so show them some love….

You can find more information in the original thread.

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