Many smartphone manufacturers like to modify the stock Android version and create a unique interface for their devices. You’ve probably heard of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, LG’s Optimus UI or Xiaomi’s MIUI, which were customized to have a different look and feel. HTC has the Sense UI and BlinkFeed is the launcher that arrived along with the HTC One smartphone. In a short time, it grew in popularity and the owners of other Android devices wanted it desperately.
HTC BlinkFeed was introduced in Sense 5.0 and it received a lot of attention only a few days after its launch. When unlocking your device, you are greeted by a screen that displays the latest updates from your social networking applications or other applications, without opening them. You will be up-to-date with everything that happened whilst not using your phone. This is a great time saving feature for people who can’t afford to be scrolling through their apps to get an update on the day.
BlinkFeed and Sense 5.5
HTC improved its HTC Sense 5.5 and its BlinkFeed supported additional sources such as Google+ and Instagram and it received a pull-out menu bar to give the user the ability to add or search for content with greater ease. The users were also given the option to disable BlinkFeed thus no longer having to browse through a list of updates if they so wished.
BlinkFeed and Sense 6
BlinkFeed received smooth scrolling and support for other services and applications, the social posts were displayed according to the users’ likes, restaurant recommendations were given through Foursquare and the users were able to change the color of the launcher. One year ago, HTC expressed its intentions to release BlinkFeed as a standalone launcher, and to make it available for other Android devices.
In this article we’ll teach you how to install BlinkFeed on your non-HTC device, without rooting it.
Get the installation files
To get HTC’s BlinkFeed on your Android device, you will need to download the four essential APK files which are uploaded on various websites, we can recommend you use droidviews as a trusted source. The four APK files that you need to download for your device are: HTC BlinkFeed, HTC Service Pack, World Clock and Weather, because without them, BlinkFeed won’t work.
We suggest you to create a special folder and copy all of files there. Before starting to install them go to your Android’s Security settings and enable the Unknown Sources option. In front of it there’s an empty box and you will need to check it in order to enable the option. If you don’t do this, you won’t be allowed to install APK files from the internet, because the system trusts only files from the Google Play store, where Google’s employees are checking every app, game and file before publishing it. After installing all four files, you can press the home button then you will be required to select the new default home screen launcher, pick HTC BlinkFeed, then click “OK”.
Install other plugins
Besides the four APK files, you will want to install plugins for social apps such as Facebook or Instagram to receive feeds on the homepage. Currently, you can install plugins for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn. If you no longer want these plugins because you stopped using them you can always exclude the services. But after installing a plugin, press the home button to get to the BlinkFeed.
How to configure the HTC Blink Feed
While you are on the home screen, to see the BlinkFeed screen you will need to swipe towards right. You will notice two options and by clicking one of them you will get feeds from online news websites such as The Huffington Post and by clicking on the other option you will receive a feed from social media apps such as Facebook or Twitter. To reach the additional menu you will need to swipe towards the right sidebar, then when you see the three button menu click on it. Once you get to the additional settings menu here’s what you can do:
– select the option to use data connection when downloading the new feeds
– select to download the entire content with photos, to read in offline mode
The second option is perfect for the early morning people who while drinking their coffee want to check the latest news. What they may not like very much is the hardcoded green color of the BlinkFeed, which can be replaced with a color that can match the theme of the device.
Now that you know that you don’t necessarily need to own a HTC device to enjoy using the BlinkFeed, you can install it on your Android device without a problem. Just search for the four APK files over the internet and install them on your phone, but not before enabling the Unknown Sources option. If you get bored of this launcher and want to remove it, first remove the associated plugins and applications, then select the previous default home launcher. Enjoy!!