HTC’s BlinkFeed got a major revamp in Sense 6, which launched on the HTC One (M8) earlier this year. If you’re unfamiliar with BlinkFeed, it’s a social networking and news aggregator that pulls information from a wide range of news and social media outlets and displays this content in one handy location on your homescreen.
Although HTC has announced its intention to bring BlinkFeed to non-HTC devices, currently the app is still exclusively for HTC devices. If you’re eager to try BlinkFeed but don’t own a HTC device, it is possible to port BlinkFeed to a non-HTC device running Android 4.4 or higher.
If you just want to use BlinkFeed as a news aggregator, all you need is the BlinkFeed launcher and HTC Service pack. However, if you want BlinkFeed to display updates from other apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, you’ll need to flash the HTC Sense versions of these apps.
This article shows you how to get BlinkFeed up and running on a non-HTC device, and how to integrate it with Facebook, by flashing Facebook for HTC Sense. You can also add more content to BlinkFeed by installing HTC Weather and HTC Zoe, a video editing and remixing app.
This tutorial requires a rooted device and ES File Explorer, which you can download for free from the Play store.
For more in-depth tutorials, make sure to check out the new issue of Android Magazine.
On your device, visit http://bit.ly/YMqPf9 and download the BlinkFeed launcher. Use ES File Explorer to navigate to the file, tap it and grant the necessary permissions. Once BlinkFeed has installed, set it as your default launcher by opening Settings>Home and selecting HTC BlinkFeed.
Set BlinkFeed as your homescreen, so you don’t have to swipe to it. Press on your homescreen until the Home screen pop-up appears, then tap Manage home and select BlinkFeed. Next, head over to http://bit.ly/1zybmOY and download the HTC Service pack.
Install HTC service
Use ES File Explorer to navigate to the downloaded Service pack. Tap to install and grant it the permissions it needs. Once HTC Service pack is installed, you can start using BlinkFeed’s news aggregation functionality. Follow the onscreen instructions to add news content to BlinkFeed.
If you want Facebook updates to appear, you need to flash Facebook for HTC Sense. Now go and download Facebook for HTC Sense from the XDA Forums. Back up, then boot into recovery. Select ‘choose zip from /sdcard’ and navigate to the Facebook zip file.
Flash the Facebook app
Select the zip file and confirm you want to install it. Once it’s installed, select ‘reboot system now’. Open BlinkFeed and right-swipe to open its side menu. Tap the three-dotted menu icon, select Services & Apps and then tap Facebook. Facebook updates will now start appearing in your BlinkFeed.
The next few steps cover getting weather updates to display correctly in BlinkFeed. This feature appears to be a bit temperamental, so you may get it to work without having to follow all the steps. Start by downloading the weather app from http://bit.ly/1uAXfYa.
Launch ES File Explorer and open its side-menu by tapping the icon in its upper-left corner. In the side-menu, select Tools and set Root Explorer to On. Next, navigate to the weather zip you just downloaded, tap it and unzip. Long press on the resulting weather.apk, and select Copy.
Paste into priv-app
In the ES File Explorer toolbar, tap ‘sdcard’ and give the ‘’ symbol a tap. The toolbar should now show Device. Find and open the System folder, then tap the ‘priv-app’ folder. Tap the Paste icon, and the weather.apk will appear in the folder shown above.
Long press on weather.apk, then tap More>Properties. Find the Permissions section and tap Change. Grant the following permissions: Read, Write, Set UID, Set GID, Sticky bit. Exit ES File Explorer, launch your device’s Settings and tap Add account. Select HTC Weather Service.
Reboot and enjoy
Reboot, and BlinkFeed will start displaying weather info. If you want to add more content, it’s worth checking out HTC Zoe, which works on non-HTC devices too. Download it from Google Play, then open BlinkFeed’s menu, select Services & Apps and ensure HTC Zoe is selected.