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Old October 20th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Android Version Debate: Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich vs Touchwiz vs HTC Sense

First, the demo of Ice Cream Sandwich from the other night looks amazing! Looks like that they took a lot of the things that people liked about Touchwiz and Sense, and added them into the mix. Which begs the question, what is next?

I'm currently on iPhone, and want an android. Only would be looking at best phone running one of the three, sense, touchwiz, or vanilla ICS. Correct me if i'm wrong, but these would be respectively, Sensation, Galaxy SII, and Galaxy Nexus.

What are people's thoughts? If you have experience with Sense, given the demo of ice cream sandwich, if you were thinking of getting a new phone, would you be going vanilla for ICS? or would you wait for HTC's new sense adaptation of ICS?
Same question to those of you using touchwiz?

wait? or dive right in?

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Old October 20th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sense is prettier than vanilla ICS. Vanilla is probably going to run smoother, but won't look as pretty. It's all about personal preference. Do you want something that sleek and snappy but not as flashy or do you want something that is flashy and has a little more features but not quite as snappy and sleek? It's a personal preference.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would love to ditch Sense for Vanilla Android. Just currently the CM7 build for my device is still in alpha, and I rather like some of the features that are not working in it, yet. Else I'd be happy to ditch all my HTC crap for CM9.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 04:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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HTC Sense:
In my personal opinion, really ugly. I just don't like the style. But the phones HTC makes are still really good. You can always pick a different launcher (different styled homescreens) or root your phone and get rid of it altogether, like I did.

Touchwiz:
Too minimalistic looking. This can also be fixed by just picking a different launcher, or rooting your phone.

ICS:
The best looking IMO, but I found the Gingerbread launcher to be somewhat glitchy. I can't say anything about the ICS launcher though =/ I've replaced the standard Gingerbread launcher with LauncherPro from the market.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 04:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I flashed CM7 on my phone. The ROM is stable and works, but has none of the widgets that I like. I can't use it as a daily driver.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you tried Launcherpro? The plus version has widgets that are almost the same as the ones HTC provides. You can also try Beautiful Widgets for some nice weather forecast widgets.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Honestly I haven't because I don't feel I should have to. If I'm trying to duplicate the look/feel of Sense, why not just use Sense?
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Definitely not going to bother waiting for TouchWiz integration. It's just so menial to me... and I love the vanilla Battery notifier... and Samsung always manages to make them ugly... Like the big blue one with Froyo.

However, Sense I'd wait for... but being the tech nut I am... I just want to dive right into anything new.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I like Sense. I find that the widgets that come with sense are very good compared to most other widgets. I think that ICS will probably negate some of this advantage. I have a Honeycomb tablet and I find that some of the widgets resemble what I like about the Sense widgets. From looking at ICS, some widgets on the Galaxy Prime resemble those on my Eee Pad.

HTC will no doubt work on a new version of Sense. I am interested in what they can do that would improve upon vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I love the way Sense looks and functions. I can't live without those full-screen Sense widgets.

And since I'm not into rooting/rom'ing, I tend to stick with HTC phones. I'm just hoping that they come out with an awesome ICS phone at some point in 2012.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire_Bird View Post
F
What are people's thoughts? If you have experience with Sense, given the demo of ice cream sandwich, if you were thinking of getting a new phone, would you be going vanilla for ICS? or would you wait for HTC's new sense adaptation of ICS?
Same question to those of you using touchwiz?

wait? or dive right in?
And to answer your question, I'm waiting on HTC's version of ICS. If I like it as much as I've liked past versions of Sense, I will stick with HTC. If not, I will explore other options. I'm not itching to get a new phone so I don't mind waiting to see what HTC has up it's sleeve.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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so one of the very possible options would be to wait for a new HTC or Samsung device built on ICS. Then root it and flash the vanilla rom on the phone, but i guess keep a backup so you could always go back if needed, right?
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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However, Sense I'd wait for... but being the tech nut I am... I just want to dive right into anything new.
Ya that's my issue!! I am still using my iphone 3gs and GOD ITS SO FREAKING SLOW FOR ME!!!

I just want to get a sweet SWEET phone, and roll with that for a couple years.
i don't see the point of getting a phone even 4 months after launch, i just get it day one, so i hope they do a lot of previews for the new sense and touchwiz versions


when i started my android search, i was dead set on the galaxy s3 whenever that comes out next year, but now after talking to lots of people, and how people really REALLY like sense, that may be the way to go actually...
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i'm not itching to get a new phone
i am!!!
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Vanilla Android is always going to run better than Android with a skin on top.

ICS took a lot from custom ROMs like CM7. It took the best of everything that everyone liked about modified versions of android and incorporated it into a great upgrade for Android. Also the launcher is a lot more like LauncherPro Plus, so I might even stick with the stock launcher for the first time in years.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire_Bird View Post
when i started my android search, i was dead set on the galaxy s3 whenever that comes out next year, but now after talking to lots of people, and how people really REALLY like sense, that may be the way to go actually...
there are just as many people that HATE Sense, including me. It doesnt add much functionality (even less with ICS) and it slows the system down A LOT!! I will never own a HTC phone with Sense.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i am!!!
lol, most people on forums like this are PERPETUALLY itching for a new phone. I used to be like that.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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lol, most people on forums like this are PERPETUALLY itching for a new phone. I used to be like that.
I am usually ok with a new phone for about 6 months then I start getting the itch for a new one. I have been good with my Nexus S for about 10 months, so better than most. I can't manage to keep a phone longer than a year though Before I have to get a new one
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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anything will be better than my current phone, so thats the first step.

as far as sense and touchwiz are concerned, I have watched hours of comparisons, and demos, and other videos trying to get an idea of what i prefer more, but its not an easy thing to grasp. I have had a lot of opportunity to play around with touchwiz at my local best buy, but they don't have a functional demo of any htc phone, so i can't get a first hand feeling. to me, all of them look pretty sweet!!
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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there are just as many people that HATE Sense, including me. It doesnt add much functionality (even less with ICS) and it slows the system down A LOT!! I will never own a HTC phone with Sense.
Really? I couldn't disagree more. I find the widgets and the other little quirks about Sense to be extremely functional and, like I said before, I can't live without those Sense widgets. I've tried other widgets but they're just not the same. And my Droid Incredible 2 is CRAZY fast and fluid. No lag whatsoever. I had a D1 for over a year and a half before getting my DINC2 (which I've only had for about a month) so I've got plenty of experience with vanilla Android and I'm just not interested (vanilla ICS does look good but I'm still willing to wait and see what HTC does with it).

I think Sense is perfect for people like me who don't have the time (or just don't care) to get into extreme personalization (such as rooting/rom'ing and downloading launchers like LPP). I just want to be able to change my wallpaper and use some cool widgets and I'm good.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #21 (permalink)
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there are just as many people that HATE Sense, including me. It doesnt add much functionality (even less with ICS) and it slows the system down A LOT!! I will never own a HTC phone with Sense.
(i know i'm just going to stir the pot by saying this lol)

so you would argue that the touchwiz interface adds more functionality? in what ways?

(keep in mind i'm not judging in any way, i have really no clue, just wondering about opinions)
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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people like me who don't have the time (or just don't care) to get into extreme personalization (such as rooting/rom'ing and downloading launchers like LPP). I just want to be able to change my wallpaper and use some cool widgets and I'm good.
so to you, personalization is more available right out of the box as opposed to other UIs?
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:32 PM   #23 (permalink)
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so to you, personalization is more available right out of the box as opposed to other UIs?
Overall, I feel that HTC Sense gives the best "out of the box" experience over any UI, BY FAR. Vanilla Android and Moto Blur don't even come close. I've only used TouchWiz a little, but just based on the hundreds of videos I've seen of the SGS2, I doubt that it's better "out of the box" than Sense (but I could be wrong).

If you're gonna root and rom (which I doubt I ever will again), then I suppose it doesn't matter much which UI comes with the phone. Also, a lot of people like vanilla android because phones with it tend to get updates first.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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(i know i'm just going to stir the pot by saying this lol)

so you would argue that the touchwiz interface adds more functionality? in what ways?

(keep in mind i'm not judging in any way, i have really no clue, just wondering about opinions)
I don't have enough experience with touchwiz to make a comparison.

And it only takes an extra 30 seconds to download LPP on a new phone before you set up your home screen to begin with, plus it is way more customizable.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 08:23 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Functionalities TouchWiz adds? Well the only one I can think off thats not present in Sense or vanilla Android is the ability to make 3G video calls right out of the box to ANY phone regardless of make (Samsung, Nokia, whatever), as long as the phone being called and the network supports it.

Other stuff it adds nice touches. A swipe to the left or right in the phonebook automatically calls or opens sms edit for that person immediately, and a number of other small stuff, mostly in Samsung apps, not really Tw itself. Although TW does have a number of nice widgets, and others available in the Samsung store. They used to give away games like NFS shift free there for Samsung branded phones.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 08:35 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I am usually ok with a new phone for about 6 months then I start getting the itch for a new one. I have been good with my Nexus S for about 10 months, so better than most. I can't manage to keep a phone longer than a year though Before I have to get a new one
It's usually a year and a half for me before I start getting that super strong urge for something new...lol!

If 6 months is your typical turnover time, then Android is the perfect platform for you because there's ALWAYS something 'coming soon' to spark any phone fanatic's interest.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 10:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I think of all the overlays Sense is by far the best. None of the others are close. Will Vanilla run faster? Sure. No arguments there. But running Sense next to Vanilla Cyanogen (which I've done) offers very little difference in how the phone runs. You can see the difference, but it's hardly significant IMO when you look at what you give up with Sense. Sense is a far, far slicker interface. The widgets look nicer. It looks like a very, very nice phone. Vanilla just looks blah to me. Can you spend time and money on different launchers and widget packages? Sure. But with Sense you don't have to and there's little trade off in terms of speed.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 04:38 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I had a Desire for 18 months and now I have an SG2. Sense at first seemed great to me but after the first couple of months the limitations started to annoy me (and I never really like the style of the Sense widgets), so i ran with variously LP Pro and Go Launcher. My biggest gripe with Sense is the shortcut bar.. I really really hate not being able to customise those bottom three buttons!

When I needed a change a few weeks ago I tried the Sensation XE and the SG2. Both were not perfect but I just felt that Sense 3.0 was still too limiting and too annoying and that the SG2 with TW 4.0 was just quicker and less obtrusive. Dont get me wrong there are quirks in TW4.0 that annoy me (Default homescreen has to be screen 1?! Really? Why!!?). Ive since tried LP Pro and Go on the SG2 and gone back to TW4 because I find that despite its niggles it actually gives a very nice user experience. The swipe left or right on contacts I absolutely love for instance. What I would like to see is ICS on my SG2 to compare it with.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 08:54 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I think of all the overlays Sense is by far the best. None of the others are close. Will Vanilla run faster? Sure. No arguments there. But running Sense next to Vanilla Cyanogen (which I've done) offers very little difference in how the phone runs. You can see the difference, but it's hardly significant IMO when you look at what you give up with Sense. Sense is a far, far slicker interface. The widgets look nicer. It looks like a very, very nice phone. Vanilla just looks blah to me. Can you spend time and money on different launchers and widget packages? Sure. But with Sense you don't have to and there's little trade off in terms of speed.
I totally agree. I've tried every home replacement and I'm not crazy about any of them. Maybe if I had the patience to seriously mod my phone, I'd be less beholden to Sense. But for me, I'm looking for the best out-of-the-box experience and, in my opinion, nothing else even comes close. I haven't used Touchwiz much but it does look like it could be a second runner up.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:09 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I totally agree. I've tried every home replacement and I'm not crazy about any of them. Maybe if I had the patience to seriously mod my phone, I'd be less beholden to Sense. But for me, I'm looking for the best out-of-the-box experience and, in my opinion, nothing else even comes close. I haven't used Touchwiz much but it does look like it could be a second runner up.
I tried Touchwiz and hated it. It came on my Galaxy Tab. The icons just looked large and cartoonish and the functionality did nothing for me. I love the Sense launcher. The phone button is right in the middle where it should be IMO. It's a phone first and foremost. Why put the phone button on the left hand side? Put it right square in the middle and big as day right where it should be. I've not seen any other launchers that do this. They all emulate the stock launcher in some way.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:13 AM   #31 (permalink)
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but they don't have a functional demo of any htc phone, so i can't get a first hand feeling.
Go to a T-Mo or Sprint store. They should have a few HTC models to play with.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:13 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Been using Android since I got a G1 on pre-order, from the beginning. I will never, ever use anything but vanilla. ICS just reinforces that conviction.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:15 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Been using Android since I got a G1 on pre-order, from the beginning. I will never, ever use anything but vanilla. ICS just reinforces that conviction.
Why may I ask? ICS introduced a lot of features that stock Android didn't have but skinned overlays did.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:23 AM   #34 (permalink)
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The phone button is right in the middle where it should be IMO.
This is where we differ, and is obviously something that would bother me about sense. I use sms thousands of times more often than my phone. on my iphone, the phone app is not only not on the dock, but its in a folder of unused apple apps!

the call still pops up no matter what when someone calls me. and if i need to call someone, its typically a contact, and most of the time i'll go into my contacts list and call from there.

not being able to change that bottom tray may bother me quite a bit.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:26 AM   #35 (permalink)
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@A.Nonymous: Because vanilla will always be faster, smoother, more stable, more compatible, quicker and easier to upgrade, etc. etc. And bloatware like Sense or Motoblur have never offered anything that appealed to me. I work by the KISS rule.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:37 AM   #36 (permalink)
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not being able to change that bottom tray may bother me quite a bit.
The current Sense allows four user-defined icons on the lockscreen which are activated by dragging them into the "ring pull" used to unlock. With dialer and contacts on there you'd rarely need to see your home screen.

My handsets are all currently running vanilla builds, but I do appreciate the "look and feel" of Sense. TouchWiz imo lacks the tight integration of Sense but has its own set of advantages. Like Android handsets themselves, we're fortunate to have a varied choice of UIs with which to make the device our own. The only 'right' choice is the one that works for you the user.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 01:03 PM   #37 (permalink)
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What I really wish I could do was tri-boot the damn phones. try vanilla for a month, try sense for a month, try touchwiz for a month, then decide which works best for me...
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Old October 21st, 2011, 01:17 PM   #38 (permalink)
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What I really wish I could do was tri-boot the damn phones. try vanilla for a month, try sense for a month, try touchwiz for a month, then decide which works best for me...
I know there are people multi-booting. As for any specifics I am clueless but my memory is pretty good and I know I've seen at least one person say they are able to do it.




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First, the demo of Ice Cream Sandwich from the other night looks amazing! Looks like that they took a lot of the things that people liked about Touchwiz and Sense, and added them into the mix. Which begs the question, what is next?

I'm currently on iPhone, and want an android. Only would be looking at best phone running one of the three, sense, touchwiz, or vanilla ICS. Correct me if i'm wrong, but these would be respectively, Sensation, Galaxy SII, and Galaxy Nexus.

What are people's thoughts? If you have experience with Sense, given the demo of ice cream sandwich, if you were thinking of getting a new phone, would you be going vanilla for ICS? or would you wait for HTC's new sense adaptation of ICS?
Same question to those of you using touchwiz?

wait? or dive right in?

I have loved Sense from the first day I started using my Incredible. The integration is great and their widgets are really nice.

After seeing ICS I am leaning heavily towards trying it vanilla. It seems like they made this with a lot of the user requests and wants in mind and if you look at the track record of the Google phones you know it will continuously get updated.
I know HTC will eventually figure out to put Sense and ICS together but, IMHO, I don't see it as happening very quickly. (That's not to say the devs won't have us up and running with it as soon as the code is released though).
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Old October 21st, 2011, 03:00 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I know there are people multi-booting. As for any specifics I am clueless but my memory is pretty good and I know I've seen at least one person say they are able to do it.







I have loved Sense from the first day I started using my Incredible. The integration is great and their widgets are really nice.

After seeing ICS I am leaning heavily towards trying it vanilla. It seems like they made this with a lot of the user requests and wants in mind and if you look at the track record of the Google phones you know it will continuously get updated.
I know HTC will eventually figure out to put Sense and ICS together but, IMHO, I don't see it as happening very quickly. (That's not to say the devs won't have us up and running with it as soon as the code is released though).
Yeah, I kinda agree with this. As much as I love Sense, ICS has me considering giving vanilla Android another try.

Since I'm not eligible for an upgrade any time soon, I should have plenty of time to compare vanilla ICS to Sense/ICS before I actually purchase another phone.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 03:57 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I am considering adding another line depending on my discount vs new line pricing
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Old October 21st, 2011, 04:43 PM   #41 (permalink)
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TouchWiz just doesn't do anything stellar for me, and this is coming from someone whose used only Samsung TouchWiz phones. I hate the blue battery and the ugly grayish status bar with MS Paint looking icons on the drag down menu.

Been looking for a vanilla rom for my Epic for some time.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 06:15 PM   #42 (permalink)
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@A.Nonymous: Because vanilla will always be faster, smoother, more stable, more compatible, quicker and easier to upgrade, etc. etc. And bloatware like Sense or Motoblur have never offered anything that appealed to me. I work by the KISS rule.
I've never found anything that "wasn't compatible" with Sense yet. My phone is stable enough for me. Is Vanilla faster, quicker and easier to upgrade? Sure. But you trade a lack of features for that. I would rather have a more fully featured phone. You'd rather have less features but slightly more speed. That's fine. There are advantages to both. Personally, I want the features.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 07:13 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I've never found anything that "wasn't compatible" with Sense yet. My phone is stable enough for me. Is Vanilla faster, quicker and easier to upgrade? Sure. But you trade a lack of features for that. I would rather have a more fully featured phone. You'd rather have less features but slightly more speed. That's fine. There are advantages to both. Personally, I want the features.
What features? I don't know of any features that sense has that I don't have
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Old October 21st, 2011, 08:14 PM   #44 (permalink)
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i'm in the same boat with many others. before ICS, i don't think i would have considered going vanilla. but ics looks pretty dope. but i cant imagine what companies will be doing to build on it! the feature set of ics as far as I can tell is awesome but what could be around the corner?!? AHH

I live in canada, world of the three year contracts, so i more or less have to make the right choice the first time then hold my breath... thats why i'm debating whether to get the galaxy nexus or the next htc/samsung flagship device... sad panda...
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Old October 21st, 2011, 08:31 PM   #45 (permalink)
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i'm in the same boat with many others. before ICS, i don't think i would have considered going vanilla. but ics looks pretty dope. but i cant imagine what companies will be doing to build on it! the feature set of ics as far as I can tell is awesome but what could be around the corner?!? AHH

I live in canada, world of the three year contracts, so i more or less have to make the right choice the first time then hold my breath... thats why i'm debating whether to get the galaxy nexus or the next htc/samsung flagship device... sad panda...
I'm sure the OEMs will find some way to screw it up like they have with previous versions of android.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 08:55 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Does ICS add:

- keyboard with arrow keys and long-press for alternate symbols?
- Mail client that can handle multiple IMAP/Exchange accounts, complete with calendar integration?

If not, I'll stick with Sense. Those are the two biggest reasons I chose a HTC phone. Not having to search for third-party apps/widgets that accomplish much of what comes standard with Sense also had value for me.

On the flip side, it's good to see Android getting a more unified design language, and the ability to uninstall any app (even carrier ones) will be a crowd pleaser.
 
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:18 PM   #47 (permalink)
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the ability to uninstall any app (even carrier ones) will be a crowd pleaser.
I didn't see anything about that. So bloat can be uninstalled without rooting?
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:46 PM   #48 (permalink)
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haha we have some VERY solid opinions here! you'd think we're debating against something like iphone :P lol!!

some hate sense, some hate touchwiz.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 10:17 PM   #49 (permalink)
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What features? I don't know of any features that sense has that I don't have
Better widgets
Nicer looking launcher
More colorful and nicer looking icons and menus
Easier set up for Exchange accounts
Better looking widgets
Visually the whole experience is snappier
Better lock screen
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Old October 21st, 2011, 11:03 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I didn't see anything about that. So bloat can be uninstalled without rooting?
Exclusive: Matias Duarte on the philosophy of Android, and an in-depth look at Ice Cream Sandwich | This is my next...

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But there are deeper changes. Matias tells me that starting with Android 4.0, users can uninstall any application they like, such as the native browser or email client — and that seems to go for carrier software as well.
The more unified look should be no surprise given the designer of webOS is involved.
 
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