custom launcher does not mean no Sense


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  1. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    This was once a point of confusion for me, and I see that it is still misunderstood all over these forums. So I will attempt to clarify what is Sense, what is a launcher, and what your real options are.

    Most people think they can get a "no Sense" environment simply by installing a custom launcher app, like LauncherPro or ADW Launcher. Completely false. The launcher is only one out of many components that comprise Sense. To really understand what Sense is and isn't, flash a custom ROM with Sense completely stripped. What you're left with raw Android functionality, commonly referred to as AOSP: Android Open Source Project. Only when you've used an AOSP ROM will you be able to decide whether you can live with or without Sense.

    Out of the box, every piece of UI you see is Sense. The phone dialer. Voicemail. Music player. Calendar. Contact list. Clock/Alarm. Lock screen. Lock pattern/pin/password. Sense "widgets." Camera/camcorder. And tons more stuff. It's all Sense. More importantly, the ability for these components to interact with each other is what Sense is really about. When you install a custom launcher, you're only replacing Sense's launcher. And while you do lose the ability to run HTC's widgets, all the other components of Sense are still there.

    So when people say: "Sense sucks. Use LauncherPro instead," they really mean "Sense's Launcher sucks."

    Once you're on an AOSP ROM, you'll likely find that the default Android replacement apps are quite poor or boring. So you'll need to find replacements for pretty much everything. For some people, this is exactly what they want. For others, they just want a better launcher, and they like their other Sense components, even if they don't realize those other components are part of Sense.

    So what is a launcher? It's an app that manages your home screens and your app drawer. Whenever you need to run an app/widget on your phone, you're doing it through the launcher. So it is definitely the most commonly used app on your phone, and custom launchers are highly customizable. Hence their popularity over the fixed, rigid Sense launcher.

    But Sense's advantage is that everything works well right out of the box, and all of Sense's components work and look a consistent way. As I discovered, when you try to strip out a single component, things start to break (like deleting the HTC lock screen). So Sense is all or nothing.

    Running a custom launcher on top of Sense is a far cry from replacing Sense, and that's the main point I wanted to make.
     

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    yousurf, h2oluver, cabbie and 2 others like this.
  2. exclamation_mark

    exclamation_mark Well-Known Member

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    Good explanation. I use LP but mainly to have the customization of my launcher and really enjoy it over Sense's launcher, but there are many aspects to Sense that i do like over AOSP. With so many app's to use to customize your EVO, it makes sense that some would venture away from the Sense platform and use AOSP, however the distinction between Sense's Launcher and an alternative is very often lost.
     
  3. Hazy

    Hazy Well-Known Member

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    Just a couple of questions to you wise novox77...
    Does installing a different launcher over sense affect performance significantly?
    And is there a way to sync FB contacts with your contacts if you're running an AOSP ROM?
     
  4. wake69

    wake69 Well-Known Member

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    this is where I am, I love the sense dialer and dislike the sense launcher, so i go with fresh 3.2 with launcher pro, and my phone is exactly how i like it! Way to articulate!
     
  5. Headcase_Fargone

    Headcase_Fargone Well-Known Member

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    I've been curious about running a more vanilla ROM but one thing that's stopping me is losing my Sense widgets. I use them entirely too much. And it's not just the functionality of them that I like, but the aesthetics as well. They work well with the overall theme I want to use on my phone.

    Any way to use another ROM and still have these widgets?
     
  6. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    I run a stock ROM with ADW Launcher, so I also don't have access to HTC's widgets. For my toggles (2g/3g, wifi, gps, bt, 4g, airplane, etc), I use SwitchPro (top of my screenie). Beautiful Widgets is another popular one. Looks like Sense too.

    For the clock/weather replacement, I use "Weather Widgets (yr.no)" on the market. Looks awesome and comes in various sizes (middle of my screenie)

    Another good clock is "Digital Clock Widget."

    Handcent SMS for an iPhone-like text message client

    RealCalc Scientific Calculator in place of HTC's calc. I deleted the HTC calc app from my phone

    BatteryLife by CurveFish for a battery widget. Reports temp, charge percentage, voltage, charge mode (USB vs A/C) and has a pretty battery indicator with customizeable colors.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. cabbie

    cabbie Well-Known Member

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    excellent post. we need more of that around here.
     
  8. Hazy

    Hazy Well-Known Member

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    Anyone can give me some info on this?
     
  9. wake69

    wake69 Well-Known Member

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    I use Launcher Pro and other than losing sense wigets, my performance is not affected at all. And as far as syncing contacts and such i really do not know
     
  10. exclamation_mark

    exclamation_mark Well-Known Member

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    I can only tell you my experiences as far as performance, it seems to me that mine has increased after starting to use LauncherPro, it may be a placebo effect but it seems faster and more responsive to me so i'm ok with it.

    I dont know about the facebook sync with AOSP, but it seems plausible that there is an app out there that would do it, like i said though, i dont know on this one.
     
  11. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Both ADW Launcher and LauncherPro operate more smoothly when homescreens and app drawer are scrolled. The phone isn't necessarily running any faster. These launchers, for whatever reason, don't require as much CPU usage when rendering the animations.

    I don't have my AOSP rom up and running atm, but is there not an accounts & sync item under settings? If so, that would be where you do it. A facebook option appears after you install the facebook app.
     
  12. Hazy

    Hazy Well-Known Member

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    thanks... that's good, i just havent tried any alternative launcher. and when i was running CM6 i didnt install the facebook app so i dnt know if i could sync my contacts, all i know is that there is a FB specific for HTC Sense and so i thought maybe i could only sync with sense
     
  13. Drew5150

    Drew5150 Well-Known Member

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    yeah good post man.

    I have yet to try AOSP but am planning on it soon.

    when I first started using launcher pro I noticed it also uses less system ram then the sense launcher. I liked that, but now with froyo I never feel the need to take a look at where my ram is at.

    I like using sense for the most part, customizing with launcher pro makes it great for me. The one thing I really hate is the sense dialer or phone app, whatever its called. I really just don't like that it mixes in my call history into my phone book. drives me crazy as my favorites seem to be no longer favorites. I know I can set up direct dialing and what not, but I would really like my dialer app to be more straight forward.

    In the sense dialer there is a history button under the menu key, so why mix history into the phone book? and then there is no favorites. I really like how the AOSP dialer looks and is one of the main reasons I want to try CM6.

    is there some setting that I am missing to take care of the history?

    anyone no a way to get the AOSP dialer onto a sense rom? I tried to pull the apk file out of cm6 but it failed to install on the fresh rom. I've tried downloading different dialers from the market but they seem more like skins then anything. some wouldn't display all my contacts.

    this isn't the biggest deal, but it sure does annoy me.
     
  14. uniquenameEVO

    uniquenameEVO Well-Known Member

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    I'm using Vaelpak which is "almost" senseless. I love it. I can say there are a few sense things I prefer...but I ditched everything sense I could get rid of. Had to try it so I know which ones I want.
     

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