Sep 24 AT 3:59 PM Christopher Chavez 68 Comments

Android Hacks: Hands-on the new HTC Sense UI ROM

HTC is completely revamping their Sense UI and taking it to a whole new level. What started out as a merely a skin on top of Android is now turning into a whole new level of service with all of your phone’s media, texts and data being backed up to their soon to be released

I’ve always been a fan of Sense since day 1 and it was the reason I went through with rooting my G1 in the first place. I know there has always been a lot of criticisms when it comes to Sense and it definitely isn’t without its naysayers. Whether you are a “Sense Hater” or not, I think HTC has been proving themselves in not only firmware updates but by continuing to enhance the user experience.

Out of all other companies, I feel like HTC is listening. Now, with the addition of themes, super-quick 2 second boot time and the new, I think Sense is better than ever and definitely pushing the Android OS further.

In this video I’m using a port of the Desire HD ROM that was given to us from @IncredibleDoes on Twitter and XDA. Although buggy, I’m using the ROM to give people a taste of what to expect from HTC Sense in the coming months. I cannot wait until we see this official update from HTC!

Source: YouTube

Chris is a long time gamer and tech enthusiast. His newest passion is Android and its ever growing community. He loves people, food, life and lives by the philosophy that "you choose your attitude." He likes choosing a positive one. =)

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  • http://Website wallingsworth

    meh. makes battery life on my Evo even more terrible than before.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Are you serious??? What did you have on your phone before? Apparently the new Sense was supposed to implement HAVS which is better CPU scaling.

      I experienced above average battery life on this ROM. Why would the new Sense take up MORE battery anyway? Cuz its new?

  • http://Website Enriques04

    When i had my G1, i rooted and flashed roms like crazy. but now that i have my evo with 2.2 i feel there is no need to root. i like HTC sense way too much to even care about other roms.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Sprint and HTC have been good to Evo users. The phone is getting better and better and its barely been out for 3 months.

      Can’t wait til we see this new update! =D

  • krazytrixxxsta

    i like vanilla stock android, but i love htc sense.

    • Christopher Chavez

      I feel the same way. I was running stock vanilla Android on my Evo for close to 2 months now. That was until the Evo got the most recent update. And now I’m back on Sense and loving it =)

  • http://Website watbetch

    Quickly… 14 minutes?!

    • Christopher Chavez

      Oh, its YOU again… =p

      • http://Website watbetch

        First of all, thanks for indirectly admitting your video was far from short and to the point and uh.. good to see you’re enjoying your 1 bar of 3G on WiFi!!

        • Christopher Chavez

          I’ve had 1 bar of reception on every carrier I’ve ever been with. T-Mo. Sprint. Verizon. (haven’t tried AT&T yet). My house is a dead zone. =O

          Not sure what your point was… LOL

          • http://Website watbetch

            “I get 3G at my house now with Sprint” – looks like you’re using it up!

            I don’t need to know you to know that the reason why you have Sprint is because your phone was free and your service is cheaper from what sounded like sharing a plan with someone else. Don’t BS people.

          • Christopher Chavez

            WHO ARE YOU??? LOL

            BS people? Huh?

            I’m on Sprint cuz its cheaper than T-Mobile.
            Sprint was the only place to get an Evo.
            My 1 bar of 3G is MUCH faster than my 1 bar of Edge.
            And my phone wasn’t free. I gave that one to a friend on my Family Plan. Paid for my white Evo.

            I don’t know what else to say.. Hahaha.. I’m sure T-Mobile is great where you live. Doesn’t even matter. Its just a carrier. Not your family. Relax, yo. LOL

          • Ian

            Don’t. Feed. The. Trolls.

          • http://Website watbetch

            3G or EDGE wouldn’t matter if you we’re on WiFi like you clearly are, 3G must not be that fast with 1 bar. Also

            (shows where service goes between the networks when the 3G signal is weak much like your Sprint signal is, easily fixed with a WCDMA lock)

            Nobody likes a fibber. Looks like you get the same level 3G coverage with 2-4 bars of EDGE. Fibber. It doesn’t matter, you got a free Evo one did you not?

        • http://Website zedklind

          ewww. trolls really are ugly :/

  • http://Website Dee

    im sure google will copy most of these features for gingerbread. these features are just to good not to, especially about the lost phone thing and cached maps.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Thats exactly what Google did with 2.0. Pretty much took all the good ideas from Sense and implemented it into stock Android.

      I really can’t wait to see what their UI overhaul will look like in 2.5 Gingerbread =D

      • http://Website adc123

        personally i think ur a trader for switchin to sprint and the evo

        • http://Website CatMan


          • Christopher Chavez

            I was just sick of waiting for cool phones to come out. Evo was the best fit for me and what I was looking for. Also saving a TON of cash by going to Sprint so I’m a happy customer. Looks like you are too. Glad to see it.

            And I didn’t know people joined “Carrier Gangs.” I’m loyal to God, my country and Android. That’s about it =p

        • http://Website UniqurNate

          Really, your going to dislike a person cause they switched phones?

          • Christopher Chavez

            Apparently which carrier you’re with defines who you are.

            Never meant to be a “trader” LOL!!! @ADC123

  • http://Website IncredibleDoes

    Thanks for the Shout out!!

    • Christopher Chavez

      You’re the man! Thanks for the quick port. Its not even a phone you work on so that’s cool of you =)

  • Name (required)

    With Gingerbread coming soon, I see no pint in manufacturers hanging on to their custom UI. I hope all android devices will see a stock firmware future without the laggish ROMs, whatever whichever whoever makes them.

    Unless, Google delivers the UI it promised (that there will be no need of custom UIs on android), I think even HTC should drop their sense UI on future android devices.

    If they still want to, why don’t bug the upcoming windows phone 7 phones with their HTC Sense UI when Gingerbread plays it role? JK!

    But I would really like to see fast android devices where we don’t have to bother about what’s software eating how much RAM, be it about widgets or custom UI.

  • http://Website adryan

    Does anyone know if it can be ported to the droid since it was ported to milestone and even thought its GSM it has been ported to Droid incredible so thats a CMDA device. I would love to try it out on my droid

  • http://Website Tito!

    Soo, basically they’re going along the lines of MotoBLUR?(:
    How is this new, again?
    FAIL on HTC’s behalf.
    I Love BLUR. Because of it Motorola has won me over.
    HTC I loved & still do.
    But if they’re gonna follow somebody else’s concept,
    Just shows who’s the superior?

    You’re better then that HTC.

    • http://Website HTCEVO4EVA!

      So motorola has a UI that will sync with a website?…………………………didn’t think so Motoblur is garbage

      • http://Website Spencer

        Actually they do…i forgot the name of it tho

        • Christopher Chavez

          I know they did with the Cliq. You had to make your own unique Motoblur account (in addition to your Google one) but I don’t know if they got rid of that…

  • http://Website kris

    Will this be available for the evo? Without root?

    • Christopher Chavez

      More than likely, yes. No reason for them NOT to do it. Prolly wont see it til after the Desire HD release though…

  • http://Website Stella

    HTC Sense UI is edging ahead of the others UI’s in the features department (not talking about Google vanilla). My first (Shadow) and second (G1) smartphone were HTC and they have really improved in quality and performance. I love my Vibrant but I’m definitely looking at a HTC for my future phone.

    • Christopher Chavez

      One of the reasons I stick with HTC is mainly cuz of Sense. (That’s how much of a fanboy I am. LOL)

  • http://xda ez14u2nv

    did you try “rebooting” holfing power button instead of pulling battery??

  • http://Website Pablo

    You give some of the shittiest video reviews. Nobody gives a shit “what you liked”. Show all of them you fucking idiot.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Show all of what, Pablo?

  • Vladimir Kelman

    It’s “pushing Android” into further fragmentation, incompatibility and possibility of the whole brand of being replaced by the bunch of cripled partial carrier- and manufacturer-provided separate operation systems.

  • Vladimir Kelman

    Name (required) – Yes, you’re right:

    Hopefully, in Gingerbread or in Honeycomb Google will implement a smart change Andy Rubin announced this Spring as a means of coping with fragmentation: they will further decouple significant functional parts of Android OS, specifically – UI. This, will allow for most enhancements, be they from manufacturers or third-party developers, to be installable and un-installable applications (hosted by Android Market or by third-parties) rather than custom ROMs. This apps could well be paid too.
    This would mostly eliminate the need in custom incompatible ROMs, preserve Android integrity, and won’t stop innovation.

  • http://Website Manly Man

    When will this Sense drop?

    • Christopher Chavez

      Not sure exactly. Most likely wont be released til after the Desire HD comes out. That’s one of it’s selling points.
      Hopefully REALLY soon though! I’m feenin’! =D

  • http://Website Virtue

    Will this work on a Vibrant? I want the hardware goodness but I can’t let go of sense…

    • http://Website SI

      The new Touch Wiz really isn’t that bad. In terms of media, notably video playback, It plays virtually any format under the sun… including hd mkv files and they look spectacular. My Vibrant is the best portable video player ever.

  • http://Website Gatordon

    Hey Chris, the new sence is looking mighty tempting..loving the whole look..the only thing is when will that camera be fixed

    • Christopher Chavez

      Soon. This ROM was a very early port. No work was done on it at all except getting it to boot. =p

  • http://Website Dub

    Good Job as usual Chris. Keep up the good work.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Love ya, Roy! =D

  • todah09

    good ish!homey!

    • Christopher Chavez

      Thank you good sir. You are the ish as well =)

  • thedeportee

    Does anyone have a problem with their phone constantly rebooting the htc screen? i flashed the ROM a few times, and each time I flash I get the same thing after boot. To explain it a little more, After booting up for the fist time I get the lock screen after the initial setup wizard. As soon as I unlock it the white HTC screen shows up and after about 3 seconds it goes back to the lock screen. and that happen over and over again.

    any advise would be good.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Advice: The ROM is nowhere near ready for the Evo yet. I’ve been cruisin’ the XDA forums and still no work has been done. I wonder what all the devs are occupied with?? =/

  • http://Website Name (required)


  • http://Website Biosfear

    would this work on a GSM HTC Hero? im guessing not? i know my phone is outdated but its still good! running a swedish 2.2 Froyo rom, its great but still no flash :(

    would love to update my phone now but i will wait for dual core cpus and some nicer handsets by HTC.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Dual Core wont be til next year. If you’re in the UK you can always get the actual Desire HD. No need to mess with ROMs =p

  • http://Website hk

    nice video, only problem/pet peeve i have is you swipe around on the screen several times for no apparent reason, dont know if you want to show the “snappiness” of the rom but personally i think its unneccesary

    rom looks great, the built in skinning/theming is nice is there any word or kit to get/make 3rd party skins? also id rather have access to wifi bt and gps in the status bar as opposed to recent apps because you can easily press and hold home.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Good points. I swipe when I talk.. not really sure why. Habit I guess.

      And yeah, I think toggles in the notification tray would have been smarter (ala MIUI)

      • Mario

        Hey! Nice video… I just got in with my Evo before I was iPhone user… but I really love some of the benefits of the android platform. Well when I saw your video I Google it for a long time and I don’t find any serious way to make it happen. So I take some of my time to ask you if is any way I can get it? Cuz is obvious is not coming out any time soon. Anyways thanks for the info and your time. I’m looking forward to get an answer from you… good day now

  • http://Website Adrian

    Who would have thought an informational post could generate all the hate it has above? Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have the internet. Thanks for the article Chris. By the way you said the rom was buggy… Is it close enough to test run as a daily for a few days? I want a taste.

    P.S: You’re a total trader. I’m sure you’ve traded something in your life at one point or another. Maybe lunches when you were in school.

    • Christopher Chavez

      The MAIN bug with it was some random reboots and the camera app wasn’t working. Seems like 2 small things that could easily be fixed but I haven’t seen any devs working on this ROM (for some odd reason). You can definitely run it for a day as data and WiFi are working. Random reboots occur differently as far as severity depending on the user. I had it for a day before finally going to MIUI.

      Don’t be a trader. =p

  • http://Website HTCEVO4EVA!

    If anyone in still trying to get their hands on an EVO they are available through sprint online as of this morning (9:02 am)…….So you can try this rom on one !!!

    Phanboi had to shamelessly promote for HTC =P

  • http://Website greg rose

    when are we going to get this im on the evo 2.2

    • Christopher Chavez

      No word yet. Most likely AFTER the Desire HD drops since this is one of the main selling points with that phone. But it WILL come =)

  • http://Website ajm135

    Any idea if this can be ported the moto droid?

    • Christopher Chavez

      I was talking to a friend with a Droid and apparently Sense ROMs don’t work well on a Droid AT ALL…
      I think your best option would be to get an Incredible or the new HTC slider that’s coming out soon. Both will get upgraded to the new Sense and if not, can always be rooted and run the ROM with ease =)

  • http://Website zedklind

    Thanks chris. great videos. been a fan since super D. you opened up my world to android hacks on my old and trusty g1. take care

  • http://Website markman007

    I really liked this blog/video/thread. I think Christopher is an intelligent honest guy with a lot of class and humility. It also raised some interesting issues that have nothing to do with the topic or content but with the whole online community and format, IMHO.

    Is this not a place to not only share, inform and educate but also to express, debate and make an argument(as long as the intentions are sound and positive)? Not only that but good natured robust sarcasm, banter, wit and humor makes it more fun and interesting, does it not?

    Aside from one maybe two uncalled for negative comments, I didn’t see anything that wasn’t of the best of intentions. That weren’t meant sincerely and shouldn’t be given equal do respect. Yet I couldn’t believe how many comments that were hidden do to negative ratings.

    I thought Chris responded well to all of them and certainly doesn’t come across as somebody that wants or needs an entourage to yank his chain or jump on his band wagon. To jokingly state “14 minutes really?” should be taken lightly as it is a little cute. But by saying that a
    “hater”(can’t stand that term) nor a “troll” does one make.

    Aight nuff said. Thanks for the vid.

  • http://Website akshar

    hey i liked the youtube video but im kind of disappointed that the new sense has not come out i want it really bad but i want the camera and 4g to work so im going to wait for the offical version. Any info about the release date.

  • http://Website sergio

    hey i really want to get this SENSE UI for my htv evo can you help me…