HTC Droid Incredible - Sense UI

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.

There are 19 comments

Feldhege says:

Although I would like to see the option of turning it off, as a windows mobile user who always buys a shell to put on top to make it easier and quicker to use, I think I will like the sense UI stuff. Guess only time will tell.

gbhil#AC says:

I see it this way -
If you're a VZW subscriber you can get the Droid if you want the Vanilla feel and a physical keyboard, and soon you can get the Incredible if you want the Sense experience. Yes, there are some differences, but both are still an excellent choice.

When/if the N1 ever gets thrown into the mix, you get one more great choice as well.

al_dizzle419 says:

Everyone just needs to stop worrying about disabling sense. If you dont want sense ui, then dont get the phone.

cronin1024 says:

If only it were that simple. I desperately want a Nexus One on Verizon. Google, however, has decided that the Incredible is close enough and has decided not to sell me one. The Incredible, specwise, seems like the next best thing, but when I went down to my local Verizon store to check one out today I was really put off by the Sense UI. I'd be OK if I could disable it and get the stock Android UI like the Nexus One has, but it doesn't appear to be possible.

John-Paul says:

I like the Sense UI and am looking forward to winning the Incredible from AC because of it. But while there are some improvements, it is not THAT much better than a Nexus. So the only real reason to get the Incredible over the Nexus is for the UI.

Sure, the Nexus One is not available on CDMA phones yet. But I would hazard a guess that since Sprint roams on VZW's network, Google has to coordinate the release with both carriers. So either VZW asked for a delay to prevent competition with the Incredible or [more likely] Sprint doesn't want it released until the EVO comes out.

I do have one concern with the Sense UI however. How much space is wasted with the additional scenes and can they be deleted? I can live with seven screens (odd number but otherwise a significant number...i.e. 7 days in a week) rather than a more ideal five (half of base-10 math?), but then to multiply that by a half dozen "scenes" when I probably won't use more than two, if that?

gbhil#AC says:

stored scenes take very little room in the /data partition. Think it's like 4kb each

threepio says:

I enjoyed the Sense UI when i played with the incredible yesterday. it doesnt hinder the phones ability at all.

And if you dont like the widgets that are part of the sense UI...take them off. simple.


m3commish says:

Update: "Yep, you can use Helix Launcher 2 on it. So you're running a launcher on top of Sense. Have fun with that."

Is this update comment riddled with some sarcasm, or is having the ability to use Helix Launcher 2 on the Incredible -- truly, a good thing?

Sorry if I'm not understanding -

It works. If you want to run it, go ahead.

Execute says:

I got used to Sense on the Eris and really grew to enjoy it. Although I like to have all the options possible, I'm looking foreward to the new Sense on my Incredible, and don't plan on replacing it anyway. I know a lot of people like the stock Android/Google Experience, but give Sense a try as it really is a nice UI, especially the new Sense.

I have kind of a LOVE/DISLIKE thing going on with HTC and Sense -- one one hand, I realize that while stock Android 2.1 can be rolling out the door to those phones that use it (like the Droid or the Nexus One), v2.1 will take longer to implement on an HTC Android phone because of the Sense layer.

On the other hand (and more to the point), I have always and still *really* do like and prefer the Sense layer over stock Android. How much? Well, I rooted my HTC Hero on Sprint a few weeks ago, and installed the Fresh 2.0d ROM, which maintains the presence of HTC Sense. I have the option of disabling Sense on the Fresh 2.0d ROM to try the stock Android 2.1 launcher (and Live Wallpapers), but every time I've disabled it, I've turned it back on after a short while. Why? The additional Sense widgets are just top-quality stuff, and I can't help myself -- dear Lord, I love that flip-clock with the integrated location, current weather conditions and forecasted temps. It just designed so cleanly and looks so nice.

So...I know that Sense will likely slow down the arrival of my updates, but I still prefer it. Great stuff.

cb022980 says:

Btw guys just wanted to let Incre fans know that I just received an email from verizon saying that my Incredible was shipped and I will be receiving it on 28 APR :)

hotkoko says:

What the hell is a SENSE UI??

Noctis#AC says:

UI means "User Interface". "Sense" is the name of HTC's User Interface. The software the phone is using if you prefer.

There's the Stock Andoid
Sony's Racheal
HTC's Sense
Motorola's Motoblur.

jsilvers525 says:

sorry if asked already. so if i download the helix launcher will i also get the 3-d app drawer? thanks in advanced. also i got a screen protector but it only covers the screen, will the front and sides of the phone scratch easily? thanks in advance

Jak Crow says:

Running another launcher app should override the sense ui launcher app from running. That's how it's always been with regular android and previous instances of sense ui.

I love the Sense UI except for one area. I hate the photos app compared to the stock gallery that comes with 2.1. The gallery will automatically show all my picasa albums as well and the photos app has no way of doing this.

does anyone know of a way to get the stock gallery app on my Incredible?

Daktron says:

Great article. Wish I read it earlier. Tried to turn the sense UI off by clicking "clear the defaults" in the Sense UI application, but nothing happened. Now I can't seem to turn it back on.

Does it matter?

Any suggestions?