HTC Sense 2.1 (Gingerbread) Overview [VIDEO]


It seems that with each new version of Android, HTC adds more to their custom layer, HTC Sense. The same was true for several new Android 2.3 phones HTC announced today which include the Incredible S, Desire S, and the Wildfire S. I figured it was worth taking another look at Sense to see what surprises awaited me.

One thing I loved was that HTC put settings togglers inside the notification pain. Before, you just had your recently used apps and your list of notifications, if any. Now, you can flip between notifications and settings by hitting the tabs on the bottom. This does away with the need to add those toggle widgets to your home-screen.

It’s 10 times better than any homescreen widget method considering you can access them anywhere at anytime. HTC still inludes the toggle widgets for those who may still want them. (But why would they?)

They also made some changes to the app drawer. Firstly, it’s no longer a kinetic scrolling mechanism. You still scroll vertically, but you go section by section. It’s a change that many OEMs have decided to implement for their custom overlays, and it isn’t bad.

Also new are a couple of sorting options: you can look at your most frequently used applications, your market applications, or just all of them. Not totally flexible, but options are options, and you didn’t have this one before.

A few of the widgets have gotten a bit more polish, too. I didn’t check all of them out, but one notable change is to the clock widget – It’ll now pull in the latest Facebook status update if you have set an account up on your phone. I failed to see the point, though, as you can’t scroll through a list of statuses and touching the status doesn’t open Facebook, it just opens more weather and clock options. HTC says this new version of Sense isn’t final, however, so that may change.

That’s about it as far as anything new goes. Would have liked to be able to try out a lot more stuff, but it’s hard to do anything on a phone with no internet connection. We’re sure phones with this version of Sense will be popping up soon enough, and you can bet we’ll go even deeper when they do.

PS: No, I didn’t see that big “REMOVE” button when trying to delete the calendar widget.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. how about 2.3/2,4 for existing handsets, any word on when it’s rolling out for dhd yet?

  2. Poor sense….Cyanogen mod has had notification widgets for quite some time now…

  3. stupidity at 3:13…dude, see what you are doing before you show it to us. Clearly there is a “Remove” at the lower right corner..sheesh!

  4. Sense is still the most refined OEM shell.

  5. Sense is still crap.

    Total bloatware. Ugly as hell.

    I will never buy an HTC phone that has this junk. Most people wouldn’t either if it weren’t for the carrier-only sales channels we have in the US.

  6. Sense sucks. Death to fragmentation. We need more vanilla phones and less crappy UI’s

  7. @ TRiP Stop being an asshat because of something so trivial.

  8. Sense is better than stock Android. It is straight up eye candy. So clean, so beautiful. Nobody does better eye candy better than HTC.

  9. SIGNIT its not crappy, its the best android skin, so shut up asshole. Vanilla android 2.3 is ugly shit.

  10. @SIGNIT FUCK off.

  11. The notification settings togglers were first found im the Galaxy S I believe. Cyanogenmod and Project Elite ROMs incorporate it as well.

  12. When you say all the Android 2.3 Gingerbread phones does that also include phones already released that could get the update to 2.3 and it would be included with that update?

    Droid Incredible / EVO / ThunderBolt for example, ThunderBolt already having 2.0 but 2.1 is a nice little refresh with some new features added, i like the facebook integration into the clock widget, i wonder if there is a setting when you edit the clock widget if you can choose between certain feeds, facebook or just weather.

  13. @Mapex I’m talking about stock HTC devices.

    @NCX I mean the phones they’ve announced today – the Desire S, Incredible S, and Wildfire S. They said they had no word on what other devices would get it, if any.

  14. this is why i prefer stock. you can actually see the changes that happen.

  15. HTC SENSE is nice looking. They have the best widgets. I do prefer them over other skins. But Since I been using LP on my Evo. I think I’m ready for Stock Android. Google needs to make a Book Mark, Email, and a better calendar widget. We will be good with that.

  16. One thing I would’ve liked to see was the web browser, something that wasn’t shown in any other hands-on either…
    Additionally, it would’ve been nice to see whether or not it features the same iOS/Honeycomb-ish rotation animation Sense 3D for the Flyer uses.

  17. And yes, I did notice the “no internet” bit: I’m talking about the UI of the web browser, not its performance.

  18. That’s funny… Quentin goin’ crazy tryin’ to see the animated pic of the hot chic… I would have done the same and been more disappointed that him. BTW! DAMN those are some big hands dude!

  19. Writing this from HTC Desire stock 2.3. It’s nice to be rooted and nonsense.

  20. Looks nice, but most of this functionality has been added in the custom froyo rom I use on my EVO. I do hope you aren’t forced to have facebook updates over weather. I don’t use facebook at all. America’s greatest waste of time…

  21. Dear HTC,
    You have failed me with your sub par phones for the last time. As i am not female i hate your ugly UI. I am available at any time for input. I will be at your moms house for the rest of the week.

  22. What about those app shortcuts at the top of the notifications shade? Are those customizable or are they just recent/running apps?

  23. will the thunderbolt get sense 2.1?

  24. Looks nice! Hopefully someone will be able to finagle the Wildfire S ROM to work on the Aria (Specs of the 2 phones look very similar).

  25. Sense is cool and I love it on my droid incredible, but fragmentation sucks enough when it involves the android OS alone, now theres UI fragmentation in addition to OS fragmentation, this shit is getting out of hand. HTC needs to make phones that are at least 2 years into the futureproof, enough from date of launch until 2 years out to complete a launch buyer’s contract. I mean, this basically means that the tbolt Sense UI is already obsolete and its a brand new freaking phone. smh.

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