It seems that a lot of folks interested in the HTC Droid Incredible want to be able to turn Sense (HTC's custom user interface) on and off at will. Previous HTC handsets (as recent as the HTC Desire) had the ability to do this pretty easily by erasing Sense as the default and throwing up a choice between Sense or the stock Android home screen after you hit the home button.
Not any more.
We tore into the system files of our Droid Incredible to see what we could find. After hours of hard work, caffiene and Excedrin, we found some interesting information -- the resources and artwork for vanilla Android seem to be absent, or at least aren't where we expect them to be. While we can't be 100 percent sure just yet, it certainly appears that the Droid Incredible was meant to only run the Sense UI.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing. HTC clearly has upped the game with the new Sense UI, as our video walkthrough shows. At this point, if you're on the fence, the best advice I can think of is to head down to your local Verizon Wireless store on the April 29 and give the device a spin. After a few minutes with it, if you think (like we do) that Sense enhances this particular handset, use your 30 days to find out.
Update: Yep, you can use Helix Launcher 2 on it. So you're running a launcher on top of Sense. Have fun with that.
Android's Facebook app got an update yesterday, bringing it to Version 1.2 and bringing native inbox support along with it. In exchange, you lose the option to take and upload a picture from within the main page you see above, but that's not really a big deal given how easy it is to do from the native Android or Sense (or Motoblur or whatever) camera apps, and you can do it from the news page. We'd still like to see Facebook chat, and maybe less reliance on the mobile site, but it's still a welcome update.
If you haven't updated yet, take a gander in the Android Market downloads section. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
One of the larger issues surrounding applications and the Android Market (OK, one of a number of larger issues) is the current inability to update more than one application at a time. The above screen shot, purportedly from Android 2.2 (which might or might not actually be Froyo; or might be Froyo and not Android 2.2) shows a checkbox for allowing automatic updating. We'll have to think about whether we'd rather see that or just the ability to update all our apps in one fell swoop. But either way, some sort of fix will be a welcome addition. [4chan via Android Community]
One of the biggest misconceptions users migrating to the Android platform have is that they will be sacrificing security compared to their previous flavor of smartphone OS. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Settle in with your favorite beverage, and follow along after the break and we'll talk about Android's security features, and what you need to know and do to keep things going smoothly.
Androlib unofficially has the Android Market surpassing 50,000 applications, quite a leap from the 38,000 figure Google used last week during its first-quarter earnings call. In fact, when we asked Google for an official figure, we were told:
"We're sticking to 38,000 for now. We'll announce when we do our next formal count."
That said, 50,000 items in the Market is a real possibility, but let's be honest here: How many of those "applications" are (a) actual "applications" and (b) something you'd actually want to download? We still think Steve Jobs is being overly childish when he tells people to go to Android if they want porn, but we still think there's a lot about the Android Market that needs to be fixed.
A few of you have asked about graphics benchmarking on the Verizon Droid Incredible, so here you go. It's right up there with the Google Nexus One, and it should be. In other news, that Gundam's pretty darn cool.
More details have become available for the Lenovo LePhone, and not all of them are pretty. Previously thought to be running Android 2.1, it now appears to be running a highly-customized version of Android 1.6 that is being called LEOS (LEnovo OS?).
Despite some quirks such as a proprietary data cable and a back with "striped texture feels like a touch rusty iron in the same chip," the reviewer seems to like the phone quite a bit. The source is all in Chinese, but it's worth a look even with a poor translation. [CNbeta.com]
We all know that E-Readers have grown in popularity over the past couple of months, and we have seen a wide variety of them, most of them rather non pocket friendly, much like that iPad thing. The LiSeng Vbook offers you two 5-inch screens, one E-ink and one 800x600 touchscreen that will be running Android 1.6. While still on the small side in form factor, the device will offer 128MB of RAM, 2GB of flash storage, and even offer Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, pricing and a timeframe of release of this unit still remain unknown, but hopefully now that we have seen this much, we will continue to see more about this unit. [Engadget via Engadget Chinese]
Oh, happy day. Almost. Sirius XM is working on an Android application for its satellite radio service. And while I enjoy Internet radio as much as the next guy, I needs me some satellite radio, too. Sirius XM has a signup page to alert you when the app's ready. Yep, they've got my e-mail now. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that uber-cookers extraordinaire Cyanogen and Kmobs had gotten the 802.11n version of WiFi (think the fastest you can get right now) up and running on the Google Nexus One -- notable because 802.11n initially was listed as a spec on the N1 but was later redacted. Above you see Kmobs' blurry video proof, and we've done some testing on our own and can confirm. Let's hope we see this in a new CyanogenMod build soonest (and hope that our battery life doesn't take a huge hit because of it).
Portions of this page are modifications based on work created and shared by the Android Open Source Project
and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License. AndroidCentral is an independent site
that is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google.