Leaked HTC Sensation ROM Gives First Look at Sense UI on Android 4.0


Though the official update to Ice Cream Sandwich is likely a good way off, a newly leaked ROM for the HTC Sensation is giving us our first glimpse at how the Sense UI will appear when coupled with Android 4.0. At first glance, not a whole lot looks to change. Notification bar icons remain rather uniform with current Sense releases and the interface retains a familiar feel. The biggest noticeable change comes with the static launcher icons and app drawer, which reflect the changes Google has made with the stock release of ICS.

For Sensation owners that want to dive deeper into the new version of Sense and Android 4.0, the ROM is available for download. It still needs a bit of work, but is usable to an extent. Were you expecting bigger changes from HTC? Or are you happy to see a recognizable version of Sense?

[via XDA | Thanks, Micah!]

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  1. :(

  2. I was expecting something new – something fresh and exciting.  Familiarity is nice for some people, I guess.  But the look is just stale to me – we’ve had the same basic look for what?  Five years now?

    1. While I still think the overall look of Sense looks very nice — I do agree there’s not much new here. And this is just the homescreen. 

      The rest of the apps likely wont see any of the new ICS changes like phone, gallery, messaging, etc.. Those will be replaced with the Sense apps.

    2. I agree, I would like to see something new.

      Indeed, the Sense look has been around for quite some time.  I had an HTC Touch Diamond (WM6) as a hand-me-down before I got my EVO and a lot of the elements still have that same look.

      1. Sense made sense (no pun intended) back in the old WM days as it added a lot of functionality that WM6 didn’t have built in.  It was actually an enhancement.

        Android can already do just about everything Sense can do natively.  It’s just a resource hog now and largely unnecessary.  Rezound was the first phone I tried that Sense actually didn’t feel like it was bogging down the phone.  I’d still rather have it gone though.

    3. My main issue is that they’re not making any attempt to match the new ICS look-and-feel.  Android is no longer using opaque shapes with rounded corners; it’s either thin outlines around transparent shapes, or gradient-background tiles.  And most corners are now squared-off.  The rounded corner thing was cool for a while, but it’s grown stale.  Stock ICS looks so much cleaner and more modern.

      Of course this is all subjective, but I think the Android design team is using current public taste and trying to stay a step or two ahead.

    4. I think HTC could be worried about alienating some of their customer base (read: the hordes of non-tech users) that are used to Sense and would probably have a hard time with a big change.

      1. No one has confirmed other than the Headline and comments in the fine article that this is from”HTC”,, although people posting here (not you) based on that, are more than willing to bash them.,

  3. Sense is now ugly

  4. Sense is usually beautiful, but this is ugly. Might as well just be stock.

    1.  Nah.  Sense is my biggest knock on HTC.  It’d be nice if they could make it optional at least.

      1. Same goes for motorola and samsung. Please allow us to choose stock android!

        1. it’s called unlocked bootloader.

          1. Only for us techies, I want a stock/no hassle way of choosing stock. For instance, when you buy a phone you could choose between two editions of the phone: one with the OEM’s customizations and one without.

  5. Maybe someone will have an ICS Sense 3.5 skin? =/

  6. Also Holly crap, 2 degrees?!

    1. Well, it’s -15 here…

    2. Celsius

      1. What’s a celsyus? This is AMERcUH!

  7. I was hoping for the ICS theme.

  8. I honestly think that is ugly…if that is what they push to my phone I might actually have to root and go to a pure Google experience.

    1. I agree. Sense made sense (sorry, nearly unintentional) on previous versions of Android, which were simply ugly. Sense was, errr… less ugly. But now Google made its UI design lessons. And Sense’s and other visual add-ons’ role becomes “blurry”…

  9. Boo on Sense. Yay for Nexus!

    1. So far we have nothing but more ugly garbage with manufacturer’s ports of ICS. Touchwiz looks exactly the same and now Sense is incredibly unimaginative. I’m curious to see if a flagship phone will sell well among the general populace if it ran stock android, no carriers/OEM’s have given it a chance lately, except for LG who screwed it up royally.

  10. HTC 4 skin?

    1. HTC UNCUT

  11. Is this a leaked rom from “HTC”  ? your headline and the article make it seem like it… but is it ?

    1. Exactly what I was thinking.  The article asks “Were you expecting bigger changes from HTC?”

      This seems to be something written up by XDA and nothing official for how HTC plans on changing Sense with ICS in mind.  I’m still waiting for the latter before making my Nexus or ??? decision.

  12. I’ve had my nexus since release day … have to say, coming from the HTC Incredible, there are elements I miss, such as the facebook linking to contact list, but other than that, I am really liking the appearance and feel of stock ICS

    1. You can link all your stuff in ICS on the Nexus as well but it doesn’t have a background process doing it FOR you. You have to go into the addressbook and do it … it’s a control thing. A lot of people don’t like the bloat that comes along with daemons running in the background taking up cpu cycles and memory doing this type of thing. I know .. it’s not apparent anywhere that ICS does this but it does. I just came from a Thunderbolt to the GN. :D

      1. Has anyone else had a problem when trying to sync your facebook account to the contact address book, aka “People” app? When i hit add account an hit Facebook, nothing happens??

    2. That will come.  Instead of baking any single application into like Sense they created an API that anyone can use.  So its really just up to Facebook to use that API to plug into the People app and you will get your contact aggregation back.

  13. Honestly, I hate the current Sense doc and that’s why I kept LauncherPro when I went from my Droid 1 to the Rezound. Now if they allow the dock to be scroll-able and allow you to choose which apps appear in the doc, then I’ll get rid of LauncherPro & use the Sense launcher.

    1. shouldve waited for the galaxy nexus.

      1. After getting the Xoom, I decided I wouldn’t get another Android version launch device. I’d rather get a phone before a new version comes out so there are limited bugs when my phone/tablet gets the update to the new version. Plus I’ve had nothing but problems with Samsung phones.

  14. Nice, Polish language on the screenshot ;)

  15. Will someone please flash this and make a video? I’m interested in its innards.

  16. TripNRaver on MoDaCo has a 95% working stock ICS ROM for the Sensation. Just though I should let everyone know. I don’t think I am allowed to post links, just look on MoDaCo. 

    1. As soon as I get a Sensation that doesnt have dust under the screen, i’ll be jumping on that. So sick of Sense, its worthless.

  17. Sense has looked outdated now since froyo IMO.

    Why do I want my phone to look like its a cuisinart?

  18. I used to like Sense but now its too played out. HTC needs to throw this “tihs” in the garbage and get new developers who aren’t too lazy to create something from scratch.

  19. Given that this is just a single screenshot with standard wallpaper that we already have, there isn’t a lot of newness on show here. But if you think a lot of what’s cool about ICS is already available on sense, I’m hoping (if not expecting) a lot more of this digital “polish” we’ve been hearing so much about. Thus I wouldn’t be so quick to judge HTC given this tiny sample of what’s on offer. I reserve judgement until they release an ICS stock phone, or offer ICS ota and I see a video

  20. I think they should change it up more and make it look more like it has icream sandwich.

    1. Or just use vanilla ice cream sandwich.

  21. This is the reason I sat on an upgrade for four long, tedious months. Vanilla ICS is quite pretty.

    1. It really is. I wouldn’t change anything about it design wise.

  22. Wow, just wow.  That is just awful.  I will never buy HTC unless they dump Sense.

    1. based on the recent court ruling, you might not have to worry about that.

  23. ICS makes all these skins look old. I don’t like this at all.

    1. Yeah, not much of a point to sense, especially once the contact aggregation API gets facebook involved.

      1. Definitely. I think that’s a Facebook API problem. I do miss that from gingerbread but I’m sure it’ll get fixed

  24. Love my sensation, but one of the first things I did was de-sensitize it…

  25. It does get rid of the customization button and adds more functionality. I just hope this isnt the final build.

  26. Im only excited for this cause it could mean drivers that can be used in aosp ics

  27. I’m actually a fan of HTC Sense, it is one of the best (aside from the nexus) UI out there right now, and I will definitely would rather have it than the hideous TouchWiz or Motoblur….

    1. or worse the Sony Ericsson skin. god that thing is the worst.

  28. I suppose I was expecting too much. They really need to overhaul the whole sense UI and create a new one from scratch.

    1. Or just scrap it all together

  29. I’ve never had an issue with Sense but I definitely expected to see some sort of change. Guess it kind of makes the update a bit less exciting…

    1. i guess we will see true integration of sense and ics in 2012 htc phones with sence 4.0/ics

      1. Ugh, Sense 4.0… Yea I won’t be buying that garbage. HTC Sensation – First and last HTC Sense device I ever buy. 

  30. HTC needs to buy out webos and merge it with sense!

  31. That looks like a sense ripoff from the free apps section on the market… Ugly as sin and underwhelming

  32. Sense is by far the most fluid manufacturer skin there is. That being said I think its biggest advantage over stock and all the others is integration. I gravely miss my sense contact and Facebook integration. I know ics is supposed to be updated to include some level of integration but i doubt it will be as detailed. GOD DAMN TEXT ENTRY LAGS LIKE A MOTHER FUCKER ON THE GALAXY NEXUS!!!! Almost bad enough to make me return it.

    1. Text entry on Disqus with my thunderbolt does the same.. I think its a bug on the website.

    2. Facebook is already integrated with Android has been for quite some time? Not sure what benefit the Sense Friend feed crap gives. I don’t use the widget, don’t use the Friend feed app, and generally speaking dont use a single feature that Sense brings. All it does is lag the phone, make it reload the UI constantly, and all for some 3d spinning and clouds that fly in. It’s over all completely worthless.

      The app tray animation is one of the things that agitates me the most… such a simple thing, but stock android does it so much better. HTC Kept the android 1.5 slide up effect, and it glitches and lags when it does it. Plus all the app opening and closing transitions look weak as hell in comparisson to stock Android. Sense basically removes all the goodness that new versions of Android brings, and forces you to have the same old garbage that they put on Windows 6.5 4 years ago. I think Sense is garbage and can’t wait to pitch this Sensation into the mud and get a Vanilla android phone again.

  33. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZYJ5jzvn1g here's the youtube video of it. I’m happy that it has the new “recent / running apps” screen that the galaxy nexus has and resealable widgets 

  34. Ive gotten use to sense but I have to admit that I would like to see an overhaul, something more subtle and blends better with ICS. Well i guess we all can wait for anofficial build from HTC

  35. coming from a guy that ran stock android on an OG Droid for 2 years, i have a thunderbolt now and love sense. You guys act like its the devil, but forget what its brought us.  Every weather widget in the market is just a bad copy of sense weather; and the widgets such as stocks, twitter, and messaging are worlds better than any of the native android or official company widgets.

    1. I disagree.. I too came from the Droid and than to the Droid X. And now with my thunderbolt im stuck with whatever Widgets sense has. And they are not resizable.. :/
      3rd party apps saved me.

    2. I came from the N1, and the Sensation with Sense has nothing but drove me up the wall. The damn thing has a dual core and runs slower than my N1, and CONSTANTLY reloads the UI because its such an insane resource hog. I don’t care what it adds, none of it is worth it at the cost of blowing through resources and leaving me staring a “Loading…” screen 5 – 20 times a day because once again the bloated UI was dumped. I will never buy another Sense phone, and I really was praying that they would back down and just give us ICS. However, I didn’t expect it, I knew we’d just end up with more bloat on top of ICS. 

      I would just root and install a mod, but i’m in the middle of returning my 9th Sensation because the screen keeps coming unsealed and dust blasts under the glass. The one I have now is completely covered with dust on the inside, and in day light its so bad it blocks out text in some places. Worst phone ever.

  36. I grew tired of Sense on my thunderbolt, I’m currently on Go Launcher, where I can actually resize my Widgets!

    And I really dislike that app folder. Very ugly.

  37. I hope that in this era of android 4.0 ICS, the vendors want to give users the option to android, the option to use the original default view android4.0 ics other than their own skins appearance.

    Vendors: give us a choice and give us two launcher.

    1. customation launcher from vendors (touchwiz, sense etc), and
    2. The original launcher AOSP android 4.0

  38. I was hoping they would just give us ICS… but I knew they wouldn’t. It honestly removes all excitement for ICS, because I won’t get to enjoy any of it. They’re going to port this pathetic little Sense skin onto ICS, and i’ll be stuck with what is essentially the same phone, bloat, reloads, crashing and all the fun stuff i’ve come to loathe about HTC Sense. 

    I guess the only benefit is their official version will provide drivers that will make it easier for the dev community to create a Vanilla version. Sense is trash, and has almost ruined Android phones for me. I’ve been so disgusted with my HTC Sensation that I almost turned to the dark side and bought an iPhone full price. I’m tired of all the glitches and lag. I miss my N1 and its vanilla goodness. I’m too lazy to deal with rooting, I spend too much time coding all day as is, I don’t have patience to come home and do it to my phone as well. I guess i’m going to have to though before I throw this Sensation against the wall.

  39. Will this work on the 4G?

  40. It would be nice to at least have the option of reverting to stock on 4.0 devices, because stock is actually beginning to look quite pretty.

    I don’t know what all the moaning is about. They’ve finally got rid of that horrific “Phone” box at the bottom that was such a ridiculous waste of space. I use Launcher Pro, I’m glad to say I don’t think I’ll have to when I get 4.0.

  41. Did no one go to the source link?  It’s an XDA ROM.  They just made Sense3.5 work on ICS


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