HTC's Sense launcher for non-HTC smartphones is in the beta testers' hands: first screenshots appear

HTC's Sense launcher for non-HTC smartphones is in the beta testers' hands: first screenshots appear
HTC's phones are well known for having their distinct in style and easily recognizable Sense skin on top of Android, yet it is not heavy or overbloated, allowing the OS to still feel close to stock. However, due to the company's less-than-stellar sales in recent years, it's very probable that the newest build of Sense have remained largely unseen by most smartphone users out there. So, it seems that the company has decided to share the beauty of Sense with a wider audience.

About a week ago, we heard news from members of the HTC Preview program, who reported that they have been invited to test something new. It's called HTC Sense Home 8 Beta and, get this, in order to participate in the beta test, the member in question needs to own a non-HTC smartphone with Android 4.4 or above. So, putting two and two together – it's quite obvious that HTC is making a Sense launcher for the masses.

Today, we get to see the first couple of screenshots from the launcher. While not much can be concluded just yet — we only see the app drawer and widget meny — it definitely looks like the same software on our in-office HTC 10. What should we expect from such a launcher? HTC's signature BlinkFeed (news and social media aggregator) will surely make an appearance. We are also hoping to get some of the Sense 8's advanced customization features, such as Freestyle layouts (place icons or widgets anywhere on the homescreen, untethered to any sort of grid). And we do expect the launcher to be overall on the light, snappy side.

On the question of availability — there is currently no information on when the HTC Sense Home 8 would hit the Play Store. Would you install it as soon as it does?

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9 Comments

1. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

This is Amazing! 10/10 would download it across all of my phones! (except my iPhone... well, duh?!)

2. TBomb

Posts: 1489; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I would NOT download it on my phone....... cause i already got it on the HTC10 :P

3. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

hue hue hue hue.

4. elvis_17

Posts: 32; Member since: May 26, 2016

Well Sense 8 is awesome its more interesting then stock i guess

5. superguy

Posts: 453; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

Looks like a great choice for people who like more than a vanilla AOSP feel on phones like the Nexus series, Moto X, etc. My question is if the other HTC apps in the store would work on other phones. Like the Dialer - I hated the AOSP and Google dialers for the lack of a one button speed dial.

6. Ezio2710

Posts: 548; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Is there any port available now?

7. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I loved Sense in my HTC and I think the users of other Android brands will love it too. I am still missing it's great dialer as iPhone's is not as well built.

8. dadip68

Posts: 20; Member since: Jun 30, 2016

I became tired of waiting for HTC to bring back the carousel effect as in Sense 4+ so I bought a Nexus 6 and installed the Nova Launcher, a weather clock app and never looked back. HTC lost me because I don't like the blink feed and lack of infinite scroll as the carousel is called on the Nova launcher.

9. rsiders

Posts: 1956; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

If Blinkfeed comes with it count me in.

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