Let’s face it. Despite being bloaty and heavy on resources and battery life, there’s no interface quite as pretty as the HTC Sense graphical user interface promoted by HTC in all of its phones. The majority of this prettiness is contributed by a bunch of widgets, each more beautiful than the other. A large number of app developers have tried to rip off the HTC look in the past and some have managed to do a pretty decent job of it. But somehow or rather, they’ve slipped up and have not been able to provide the kind of user experience that HTC provides to its users via the Sense UI widgets.
Most non-HTC users have craved for those HTC Sense widgets at some point of their Android-touting lives. If I were given a dollar for every time a user asked me how to get Sense UI widgets onto a non-Sense device, I’d be a millionaire. However, being HTC’s proprietary UI solution on Android, none of the users have been able to get a workaround for their Samsungs, their Motorolas, or any other Android devices.
However, all that is set to change.
A new app, called Android Pro Widgets claims to bring the magic of HTC Sense widgets to your Android phone. Available in both light (Free) and pro ($1.99) versions, it brings a slew of widgets to your Android, which look and feel exactly like their HTC Sense counterparts. What’s more, you don’t need to necessarily own an HTC device to run any of the widgets. We took it out for a spin and felt that it really lives up to the hype that it has generated. Here’s how you can get that HTC Sense love.
Install Android Pro Widgets from the App Market.
Running the app itself will show you a basic screen telling you about the kind of widgets that you can use. It does contain a settings screen from which you can select which widgets you want to be available on your phone.
Follow the usual procedure for putting widgets on your home screen. This means that you need to long-tap on some empty area of your home screen, click Widgets and finally select Android Pro Widgets to select the widget of your choice.
The light version has the following widgets available (listed below). You can interact with them as you would with any normal widget with the exception that they now look and feel exactly like the HTC Sense widgets that come bundled along with only HTC phones. Also, each widget has its own options screen, which enables you to configure it in whatever way you like.
Calendar & Agenda: This widget (as its name suggests) displays entries from your Calendar on your home screen and helps you keep a track of your appointments.
People: This widget helps you to keep a handy list of your favorite contacts on your home screen. To set a contact as a favorite, you need to open the contact, and press the “star” icon to the top right of the contact card.
Bookmarks: The Bookmarks widget presents an easy way to access your Browser’s bookmarks so that you don’t have to go digging through all of your bookmarks each time you need to visit your favorite site.
Messaging: The messaging widget provides you with the convenience of reading and replying to messages right from your home screen.
Facebook and Twitter: Although part of the “Friendstream” widget in HTC Sense, Android Pro Widgets offers its own implementation of the Facebook and Twitter widgets, which are completely functional versions and help you keep in touch with your social circle. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get these to work on my device, although I’ve heard numerous reports of it working perfectly from the community.
As is clear from the screenshots, the developer has done quite a good job of mimicking the HTC Sense graphical user interface experience on stock Android phones. If you are one of those Android users, who has been craving to get the HTC look on his/her Android, then this is the app for you. Android Pro Widgets is the closes thing to HTC Sense and boy, does it pull it off well.