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|Initial release||24 June 2009|
HTC Sense is a software suite developed by HTC, used primarily on the company's Android-based devices. Serving as a successor to HTC's TouchFLO 3D software for Windows Mobile, Sense modifies many aspects of the Android user experience, incorporating additional features (such as an altered home screen and keyboard), additional widgets, re-designed applications, and additional HTC-developed applications. The first device with Sense, the HTC Hero, was released in 2009. The HD2 running Windows Mobile 6.5, released later the same year, included Sense. Following the release of the Hero, all future Android devices by HTC were shipped with Sense, except for the Nexus One, the T-Mobile G2, the HTC First, and the Nexus 9 which used a stock version of Android. Also some HTC smartphones that are using MediaTek processors come without HTC Sense.
At the Mobile World Congress 2010, HTC debuted their new updated HTC Sense UI on the HTC Desire and HTC Legend, with an upgrade available for the Hero and Magic. The new version was based upon Android 2.1 and featured interface features such as the Friend Stream widget, which aggregated Twitter, Facebook and Flickr information and Leap, which allows access to all home screens at once.
When the HTC Sensation was released, it featured HTC Sense 3.0, which added interface elements, including an updated lock screen that allows applications to be pinned directly to it for easier access. The HTC EVO 3D also features Sense 3.0.
Two versions of Sense were developed for Android 4.0. Sense 4.0, included on HTC's new devices beginning in 2012 (such as the HTC One X), was designed to provide a refreshed and more minimalist look closer to stock Android than previous versions, while integrating features provided by Android 4.0. Sense 3.6, which was distributed through updates to older HTC phones, was designed to maintain a closer resemblance to previous versions of Sense on Android 2.3.
The original version of Sense was first introduced by the HTC Hero.
Espresso was the codename for the version of Sense running atop T-Mobile myTouch devices. It debuted on the T-Mobile myTouch 3G (HTC Espresso) and the T-Mobile myTouch 4G (HTC Glacier). It features all of the widgets and apps of regular Sense, but the color of apps and certain interface elements are blue instead of green. "Pushed in" apps appear on the home screen.
Sense 3.0 debuted on the HTC Sensation. This version introduced HTC Watch, a movie streaming service, and updated the lockscreen with app shortcuts for easier access. Additional lockscreen styles included widgets that display content such as weather and photos. It also features 3D homescreen transition effects when swiping among homescreens.
Legacy HTC devices that received updates to Android 4.0 use Sense 3.6; an update integrating select features from Sense 4 (such as the updated home screen), but visual and design elements from Sense 3.5.
Sense 4.0 was first introduced by the HTC One series of devices with Android 4.0 unveiled in 2012; the One X, One S, and One V. Many aspects of the Sense interface were modified to closer resemble the standard Android interface (such as its home screen, which now uses a dock of shortcuts instead of the fixed "All Apps", "Phone", and "Personalize" buttons of previous versions), a new application switcher using cards, updated stock apps, and Beats Audio support.
Sense 4.1 was a minor update to the original Sense 4.0. It ran on top of Android 4.0.4 as opposed to Android 4.0.3, and included many bug fixes and optimizations. The only device of the original HTC One series not to receive this update was the HTC One V.
Announced in 2012 for the HTC One X+, updates with Sense 4+ was also released with Android 4.1.2 updates for the One X, One S, Evo 4G LTE, One SV LTE / 3G and Desire X..
Announced in April 2013 for the 2013 HTC One; it features a more minimalistic design and a new scrolling news aggregator on the home screen known as "BlinkFeed", which displays a scrolling grid of news headlines and social network content. By default, Sense 5 uses three home screen pages: two with the traditional grid for apps and widgets (as with previous devices, but using a grid with fewer spaces for apps by default), and the default screen with a redesigned clock and BlinkFeed, although more pages can still be added. Sense 5.0 was not only going to be exclusive to the HTC One; on February 28, 2013, HTC announced that it would provide updates for the Butterfly, One S (later discontinued), and the One X/X+ to Sense 5.0 in the coming months.
Announced in September 2013 for the HTC One Max; it adds RSS and Google+ support to BlinkFeed, allows users to disable BlinkFeed entirely, adds a tool for making animated GIFs, and additional Highlights themes.
Sense 6.0, nicknamed "Sixth Sense", was announced alongside the 2014 HTC One (M8) on March 25, 2014. Based on Android 4.4 "KitKat", it is similar to Sense 5, but offers new customization options (such as color themes and new font choices), increased use of transparency effects (particularly on the home screen, and on Sense 6.0 devices which use on-screen buttons), and updates to some of its included apps. BlinkFeed, Gallery, TV, and Zoe are now updated independently of Sense through Google Play Store.
Sense 7.0 was announced at the Mobile World Congress on March 1, 2015 alongside the HTC One M9. It is based on Android 5.0 "Lollipop", and is largely the same as Sense 6.0 as far as the default user interface is concerned, save for a few tweaked icons and a new weather clock widget. Perhaps the most notable new feature is the new user interface theming app (simply called "Themes"), which allows users to alter the color schemes, icons, sounds, and fonts throughout the operating system. Users can either create their own themes from scratch or download pre-made ones created by HTC or fellow users. Another major new feature is the ability to customize the navigation buttons across the bottom of the display; users can now change their order and add a fourth button, such as a power button or one that hides the navigation bar altogether.
HTC confirmed that advertisements will be displayed in the Blinkfeed. However, HTC has given the option for the user to opt-out from receiving these advertisements. In August 2015, owners of HTC M8 and M9 in the United States reported in reddit that they have received a push-notification promoting the upcoming Fantastic Four movie theme.
Sense 3.6 is exclusively obtained through Android 4.0 updates for existing devices.
Most HTC devices released since the introduction of Sense incorporate it, but several do not, including the Nexus One (released as the first device in the Nexus series), the T-Mobile G2 (a variation of the HTC Desire Z with stock Android), the HTC First (after Facebook Home is disabled), and a special edition HTC One released on Google Play in June 2013. In March 2014 HTC announced the Desire 310 running Android 4.2.2 with the addition of Blinkfeed and Video Highlights. Like predecessor the HTC One (M8) also got a Google Play Edition, running Android 4.4.2. The Nexus 9 Tablet was unveiled by Google on October 15, 2014 running Android 5.0.
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