The HTC 10 is unofficially running Sense 8.0. We know it’s running Sense and we know that the HTC One M9 was running Sense 7.0. But the HTC 10 doesn’t actually disclose which version of Sense it is running. But through deduction, we can assume it’s Sense 8.0. So upon unlocking HTC 10 for the very first time, you’ll see your home screen. Technically, you’re viewing the Sense Home Launcher. If you swipe to the far left home screen, you’ll come across BlinkFeed; this is a section that caters to news and social media info directly to you in this little home screen here. It doesn’t take over the screen, it’s like one giant widget—you still have all your four iconic apps on the bottom here. News Republic is built into it so you can choose all sorts of different content that you like to see—all kinds of different news. What’s interesting is that you can add calendar support, Google+ support, LinkedIn support and Twitter support as well as some real time recommendations but no Facebook support so I’m not really sure why.
You can change the grid size of the app drawer but it doesn’t look like you can change the grid size of your home screens. With that said, you can change a lot of other aspects of the home launcher. If you long press a blank space on the home screen, you’ll see a personalized option that lets you change the wallpaper, add a home screen, add apps and widgets; all pretty simple stuff. But there’s also a section where you can change the home screen layout. You can choose from classic layout or freestyle layout. Classic is classic—from here, you can change each home screen wallpaper and have them changed at certain time points during the day or at night. Freestyle layout is much more complex. You can choose from themes, you can completely change the look and feel of the launcher and of your phone. In a lot of ways, it’s even more complex than Samsung’s themes because instead of icons, you can use stickers to act as icons. Large custom icons are essentially what they are as you can see here. This is a city theme where different monuments and structures act as big app icons. It’s pretty cool. You can long press them and move them around, which is pretty unique especially when compared to other themes like Samsung themes. Obviously the background is different and the font is too. Even the app drawer icon is different but the results will vary on the theme you have applied. And in addition to themes, you can even customize the icons and font and even the sounds. So if you just want to create your own look, you can do that for sure. What’s neat is that in the personalized section, you can customize the keyboard with its own set of themes. HTC has partnered with TouchPal and from here you can change a bunch of various themes for your keyboard that will not only change the background but the font and spacing as well. so that is themes.
Overall, the launcher is really what makes up the bulk of Sense UI. Nearly every other aspect of the device resembles stock Android and I think that’s a very good approach for HTC to take as a lot of people really love Sense, they love BlinkFeed, they love the look and feel of the home screens and app drawer. Then there’s a lot of people who absolutely hate skins of any kind. They just want pure unadulterated stock Android. Those people can slap on a Google Now launcher and be on their way. It’ll feel like they’re running a Google Play edition smartphone.
HTC has partnered with Google to replace a lot of the duplicate applications so you won’t see an HTC Calendar app in addition to the Google Calendar app for example. Or you won’t see two Gallery apps or a universal phone app and a separate Contacts app. With the launch of the HTC 10, HTC also released Boost+. It’s an app designed for the HTC 10 but available for other Android smartphones via the Google Play Store. What it does is it tunes the performance of your smartphone, it improves power consumption and cleans unused junk files and adds security on an app by app basis. You’ll see that there’s a nice view of how much storage is being used as well as how much memory is being used right up here upfront and center. Smart Boost will automatically clear memory to boost performance. Game Battery Booster will optimize certain games to extend the battery life of your device. You can manage your other apps straight from this app. It’s like an app-inception. This allows you to easily delete apps or irregular activities as well. The Clear Junk option is one of my favorites. It’ll load up your cache, temporary files, memory and app installers. You can select what you want to be cleared up to improve performance and then just press the junk button at the very bottom. Lock apps lets you lock select apps with a pattern. And then if we head onto the settings, you have the option to enable the app to automatically inform you when your junk gets out of control. You can even have it automatically clear your memory in the background to always allow it to optimize itself for the best possible performance. That’s Boost+, which like I said, you can download in the Google Play Store. It’s a very powerful app.
But that’s what really makes up the bulk of Sense 8.0 on the HTC 10.
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