HTC’s Butterfly S, their flagship for markets overseas, is starting to receive the Android 4.3 update with Sense 5.5. MaximusHD ROM developer LlabTooFer tweeted a screenshot indicating that he has received the massive update. Included are Video Highlights improvements with a new interface, BlinkFeed adjustments to broaden its capabilities, Music interface improvements, and Sense TV improvements that also receives a facelift. The version number is 2.21.708.1 meaning that this is for the Bufferfly S in Hong Kong. The update is almost 750MB, so make sure you have enough space. Let us know how it feels after you finish installing! » Read the rest
If you have been worried that the continual gains in computing horsepower in smartphones was reaching the point of uselessness, you can breathe easier as Disney Research has discovered a new technology for touchscreens that will surely chew up computing cycles. The team in Pittsburgh has created a way to communicate tactile information creating a sensory illusion of 3D objects or textures when a user is touching a screen. » Read the rest
Just last week we reported that MoDaCo.SWITCH had opened their ROM for those who signed up to receive the beta, but now it looks as though the beta has gone public.
The MoDaCo.SWITCH ROM allows HTC One users to effortlessly switch between stock Android and HTC Sense with the touch of a button. The best part is that the ROM uses a single set of user data so all of your apps/information/etc. are available on both UI’s.
Now that “beta 8″ is available to the public (only on the GSM HTC One) you can go and grab it below if you’re familiar with the flashing process.
MoDaCo is also working on a project to bring their ROM to the Galaxy S 4 using an Indiegogo project to raise $1500.
Download, installation, and set up instructions below.
Do you have an HTC One and want to try out stock Android, but aren’t willing to take the plunge and lose Sense? Well, popular modder Paul O’Brien is at your service, as he is developing a new feature called MoDaCo Switch, which will allow users to seamlessly switch between HTC Sense and stock Android. Via the image above, you can see just how easy it will be to switch.
The feature is a work in progress, understandably as it must be difficult to load two full operating systems and the ability to switch into a ROM. You’ll need to be rooted, and run the MoDaCo ROM on your One for this to work.
With HTC’s latest Android flagship in the HTC One X+ finally being unveiled today, TELUS wasted no time in confirming the arrival of the device for the network. The One X+ will offer a powerful 1.7 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the same 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 display, and has an 8 megapixel camera on the back. The One X+ will also offer Android’s 4.1 Jelly Bean software with Sense 4+ right out of the box.
So far no other Canadian network has announced the availability of this device, but well let you all know as soon as we find out. Any TELUS users excited for this device?
This is certainly interesting and something I wasn’t expecting. It looks like HTC’s supposed upcoming 10 inch tablet may have found its way out into the public with several leaked photos. The design definitely looks interesting and something new compared to the other Android tablets that are currently out. The tablet offers a very slim design and a thicker bezel at the bottom where the front facing camera resides. It also looks like it’s running HTC’s Sense interface, although it may be a Sense that’s been made for tablets.
When HTC announced the One series of phones last February, Sense 4.0 was being hailed as a huge step toward a lighter, less laggy manufacturer skin that was closer to vanilla Android with some UI improvements. Though Sense 4.0 is significantly better than past versions, it still contains some bottlenecks (home screen, live wallpaper, and app drawer lag) and UI quirks (unsightly menu bar for legacy apps).
Looks like HTC is on the case, however, as the leaked Sense 4.1 RUU shows. Tech site Geeksaber has gone hands on with this new version and lists the following promising observations:
- Live wallpaper lag has been fixed
- There’s a dedicated button in the Camera app to switch between Front/Backward facing cameras. (earlier you’d have to go into the menu for that.)
- A dedicated button to switch tabs in the browser. (You’d have to go into the menu for that, too)
- Complete removal of all 3D-Effects in the launcher leading to a completely lag-free experience.
- Probably the most important- Rebased on Android 4.0.4
- Added ability to remap the recent apps button/ Long-press recent apps/ Long-press Home as Menu. (yes, it removes the Virtual menu bar) under Settings->Display, Gestures and Buttons
- New, blazing fast kernel. We mean it. It scored a pretty impressive 59oo+ in Quadrant benchmark (compared to 5100+ on Sense 4)
- Wifi-dropping/ Icon showing weak signal Fixes.
- Better Battery life- 5 Hour+ Screen-on time as compared to a measly 3 Hour+ on Sense 4.
Not sure whether this is the same version currently being pushed to the AT&T One X, but it seems likely.
XDA developer football already has a ROM based on this version of Sense called HTC One maXimus V2.2, which is available for the international Tegra 3-powered HTC One X. Hopefully, this new Sense will make it to all One series phones soon, including my Evo 4G LTE.
Sharp has announced that they have teamed up with the company Frog to help them create their new Android UI overlay. They have dubbed it “Feel UX” and they claim it to be “highly personalized” and “visually stunning”. Of course, anything should be an upgrade from their previous efforts in their AQUOS line. This whole new UI should land in their new line of AQUOS smartphone’s by this summer starting in Japan. No word yet if it will ever reach the America side as their previous smartphone’s have never made it to the US for that matter. Sharp claims that Feel UX will include photo browsing and widget functionality without unlocking devices and “real-time weather display motion experience and animation.” This already sounds familiar to Sense, but I commend Sharp for giving it a shot and creating something new. Head over to the video below to see a preview of their new UI. Personally, it looks a little too clustered for my taste, but I can definitely see it hitting a certain fan base. What do you guys think about it?
Full press release after the break:
Ah yes, the variation of the Android platform. Some people love it while others hate it. Let’s face the cold, hard truth about Android: it’s an open-source platform in which any individual can take the basic source, tweak it a little and truly make it their own. Similarly manufacturers can take the basic open source and throw it onto all sorts of devices with all sorts of hardware configurations. What do both amateur developers and established manufacturers of Android devices have in common? Each want to develop and create an end result or product that is “unique” and more or less different from its competition, while also providing a need for its customers and consumers. Amateur developers have a different perspective from both the engineers/developers at Google and OEMS– that’s to take the Android platform which notoriously omits items such as built-in functions like the ability to take screenshots and make it available for all. OEMs and manufacturers conversely see the bare Android platform as too basic and will slap on enhanced features such as social communication widgets. Independent/amateur developers and OEMs/manufacturers have different visions, but again— they’re looking at the bigger goal of answering what they perceive to be Android customer’s need ands try to address them.
What Android users truly want or need can be subjective and there’s no real right or wrong answer. However, we all believe Android’s benefit to users involve the freedom of choice. There are a myriad of options prospective and interested consumers can look into when it comes to manufacturers. For those who want a simple phone which allows for web browsing, messaging (texting and Twitter) and basic phone calls, there are a ton of budget options such as the Pantech Burst smartphone. For others who are interested in watching videos, listening to music or gaming on the go, there are other devices which feature dual-core processors with built-in GPUs such as the HTC Rezound. Whatever it is a prospective user is interested in, they’ll find what they want. Now suppose I ask this question to you: considering Android is truly an open platform, is it fair that manufacturers generally market devices with various hardware profiles, but only one UI option? More importantly, what is the benefit of having an Android device with a custom UI and would manufacturers and ultimately consumers be better off having the option to choose between a device with a custom skin or no skin at all? I personally believe that not only is it unfair for OEMs to market most devices with custom skins, but also marketing devices with no skins may be a financial benefit as well as positive perception from the various levels of the Android community.
Among the many new things that will be unveiled at next months Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC Sense 4.0 is one that you may have forgotten about. If your anything like me, you don’t really care for manufacturers UI overlays, and prefer the vanilla experience as Android intended it. I have always thought the Sense UI was one of the more obtrusive UI’s and I have a fear that Sense 4.0 will ruin the lovely ICS experience that I have fallen in love with. Who knows, maybe I am worrying too much because the folks over at Pocketnow got a sneak peek at the unfinished product and say it’s a “step in the right direction.” Hopefully they weren’t just being nice.
Although PocketNow was unable to snap any pictures of the Sense 4.0 look, they were able to share some of the featured highlights and improvements. Here is what we can expect: » Read the rest