This time around our friend and Android Central forums adviser PvilleComp is back, and he brought his trusty HTC Droid Incredible with him. He gives us a nice look at SkyRaider Sense for his Dinc, it's a solid Froyo based Sense ROM with a Gingerbread look and feel. Add in a handful of Sense 2.0 widgets and it certainly looks like a very nice mix. Hit the jump and see what he has to say about this one!
SkyRaider Sense 4.2 (August 2011)
SkyRaider Sense 4.2 by ihtfp69 is the latest release in the long-lived SkyRaider ROM family. Based on the latest Froyo OTA for the Droid Incredible this ROM incorporates a dark Gingerbread theme, many Sense 2.0 features and elements from CM7 to create a nice Sense ROM with some AOSP flexibility.
Installation was straightforward, standard wipes of data, cache and dalvik cache before installing the ROM led to a smooth install using Clockwork 184.108.40.206. The setup went smoothly prompting the user for a Gmail login at first boot as well as the ability to set up other e-mail accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other social apps as well. Again, this is another ROM where you don’t want to just click through the setup. You will also be asked about Verizon’s backup participation. If you don’t want this service you will want to pay attention during the setup.
Once complete the ROM looks like straightforward Sense. Seven screens, app drawer on the left, phone in the middle and apply shortcuts on the right. A little poking around though and you will find some added goodies like hulu, Astro File Manager, ROM Manager, DSP Manager, Wireless Tether and SkyRaider Settings. More importantly, you will not find the standard allotment of VZW Bloatware.
So what makes SkyRaider Sense 4.2 different? First, there are the updated Sense 2.0 widgets like HTC Twitter and the improved weather clock as well as the notification bar from Sense 2.0. These are all welcome additions especially since the Gingerbread update for the Incredible will not include an update to Sense. Then there is the lock screen.
The lock screen in SkyRaider 4.2 is an entire world unto itself. There are more options for the lock screen in this ROM then I think I have ever seen in any ROM, and the alarm clock functions still work if you choose a lock screen other then HTC’s. Do you want the HTC lock screen with music controls? OK. Want CM7 style Tab’s again with or without music controls and the ability to choose from 30 different icons, plus the ability to custom map apps to the tabs? OK. Want a Rotary lock? OK. Rotary with Music? I think you get the point.
Another playground of customization is the Notification Bar. In addition to the customizable Power Widgets bar, you can add a Recent Apps Bar to quickly recall the last five apps you used. You can change the color of the indicators, and you can long press the power widget buttons to directly access settings for that option. This long press feature is very handy, especially for the Wi-Fi settings if you connect to many different networks every day like I do.
If the already mentioned customizations are not enough for you, fear not. The Rosie settings have been enhanced; you can switch up the Dock buttons, remap the buttons and change the transparency of the App Drawer. You can disable the End Call button on the screen if you have a tendency to get “cheeky” during your calls. You can set the track pad button to wake the phone if you don’t like using the power button, choose from 15 different shutdown animations and so on. Bottom line, this ROM is chock full of settings to tweak.
So, how does all this tweaking work when it comes down to actual usability? Very well actually; there is a little lag here and there in the transitions between apps and elements of the ROM, but nothing that would be a showstopper. The Sense elements people love so much are all there, like weather animations and 720p video. There are enough customizations to keep even the most hard core ROMaholic busy for a weekend, and overall the performance was very good. I look forward to more updates and enhancements as the SkyRaider series continues.
As a daily driver, SkyRaider is another good choice for the Incredible. During my testing, I did not experience any crashes or anomalies. Calls were clear, GPS locked on quickly, Bluetooth worked, Wifi and Wireless Tether all worked. Battery life was well above average and Market apps downloaded and installed without issue. SkyRaider Sense 4.2 is available in ROM Manager and in the forums.