Back in the early days of Android, HTC's Sense UI really stood out as a much-needed step up in the UI department, compared both to stock Android and to competitors custom UIs. Like a hard-partying rock star, though, it just didn't age well; it went from sleek, helpful, and attractive, to bloated and borderline obtrusive. Sense 4.0 - which we spotted slapped atop of Ice Cream Sandwich - was definitely a step against that direction in some ways, but still offended some people - Cameron included.
Last night we got some hands-on time with HTC's new family of smartphones - the One series. While we didn't get a hands-on video with the One X (largely due to a dead battery), we did spend a fair amount of time with the One S, which shares most of its hardware with its larger sibling.
The main difference between the two lies in the displays. The One S packs a 4.3" SAMOLED qHD display (540x960), while the One X has HTC's new 4.7" S-LCD2 HD screen (1280x720).
It's now been exactly a year (minus one day) since I published my very first editorial for Android Police, Let Android Be Android. A lot has changed since - dual-core CPUs are now table stakes for a high-end smartphone; Android has evolved from an exclusively mobile OS to a software powerhouse for phones and tablets alike; and we've been given several seminars on stretching the truth about the speed of a wireless network (yep, that would be the "4G" drama).
Something that I love about the Android development community is that developers are always looking for the newest thing to beef up current devices. The case of HTC's Sense 3.5 is no different. The newest iteration of HTC's overlay was obtained from a dump belonging the HTC Bliss, a yet-to-be-released phone that will come with Sense 3.5 baked in. Ostensibly a split-second later, Senior XDA developer Evokings got 3.5-based ROM to the EVO 4G.
Earlier this week, the OTA update to Android 2.3.4 finally began rolling out to HTC Sensations around Europe. Our unit received the update yesterday, and quite by accident we discovered that - besides being able to make voice/video calls in GTalk - we also had a new ability to take screenshots untethered from a computer.
Those of you familiar with the standard method of taking screenshots through the Android SDK know how convoluted the process can be: hunting for drivers, enabling debugging, living down those notification-bar icons ...
Update: In a new Facebook update, HTC explained that some apps would be cut to allow enough space for the Gingerbread update. Looks like it was all about internal storage after all, rather than RAM.
That was quick. HTC, via its UK Facebook page, has announced that Gingerbread will be coming to the Desire after all. Despite the all but scientific conclusion of HTC's engineers, after rigorous testing, that "there isn’t enough memory to ...
Update: HTC backpedaled on this issue quicker than ever before and announced plans to follow through with the Gingerbread upgrade after all.
Are you ready for some Tuesday morning bad news? If you own an HTC Desire, brace yourself -- it looks like your dreams of ever seeing Gingerbread officially hit your device have been crushed. I know it stings, but here is the official word from the HTC UK Facebook page:
We've all heard it time and time again: generally speaking, people hate manufacturer skins on Android phones, i.e. Blur, Touchwiz, Sense, etc. I realize that not everyone falls into this category, but I think it's probably safe to say that the bulk of Android users do. It looks like we're not the only ones that are opposed to manufactures gumming up our beloved Android with their custom overlays - Virgin Mobile, a prepaid subsidiary of Sprint, has taken a pro-stock-Android approach to all of its devices.
Update: It has been confirmed by T-Mobile that the Sensation 4G will cost $199.99 on a two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate. Still no word on off-contract pricing, however.
It doesn't come as much of a surprise, but T-Mobile has finally announced the release date of the long-awaited Sensation 4G - by June 15 at T-Mobile retail stores, and as early as June 12 at select Wal-Mart locations. Unfortunately, T-Mobile didn't provide anything in the way of pricing, but we'll certainly be hearing about that in the coming days.