The HTC One S has caused quite a stir in the smartphone industry, with many people drawn to its cutting edge manufacturing process, along with an abundance of high end features, which along with stablemate the One X introduces the world to HTC’s new generation of premium Android smartphones. As well as being one of the manufacturer’s first Android ICS powered devices, it also sees the addition of a heavily updated version of HTC Sense, the manufacturer’s custom Android interface, which is developed specifically for the new platform. In this article I will look at some of the changes made to the Sense UI.
Many existing HTC users will agree that at its last v3.5 incarnation, the Sense platform may have become a little complicated, which is goes against the whole point of a custom Android interface in the first place. With the HTC One S, the new v4.0 version is introduced, and sees a significant number of changes made.
For starters, you will notice that there are now three capacitive Android shortcut keys instead of four as found on the likes of the HTC Sensation XE. The Home, Options and Back buttons remain, while the Search function has been removed. This is due to customer feedback, and HTC realised that this feature was actually of little use on previous handsets, and can be mirrored by installing a Google widget, which is readily available from HTC Hub. The process of installing widgets has been made much more user friendly. In handsets with the older versions of Sense, one had to repeat a rather lengthy process in order to install multiple widgets. Now the process has been made much more fluid. With the HTC One S, you simply tap the screen and a window will appear where you select the option to add widgets. This will remain open until closed, and you simply drag and drop as many widgets as you want onto the screen.
HTC Sense is well known for its customisation attributes, thanks largely to the multiple homescreens. You are able to assign up to seven homescreens to which you can add the apps and widgets of your choosing. The HTC One S sees the removal of the option to ‘spin’ through all the homescreens, as this was largely for show and took up a lot of processing power. Now, you simply swipe through each individual screen, but you can of course still get an overview of each one by pinching the screen, which will reveal a preview of all your homescreens. Simply tap one and this will expand to fill the screen. This feature shows how capable the 1.5GHz processor of the HTC One S is, as it is very fluid and quick.
As well as the alterations to the Sense UI covered in this article, you will also find that there are numerous other minor enhancements made which when combined, create a drastically different user experience. As well as showcasing the new version of Sense, the HTC One S, despite essentially being a mid range smartphone is able to compete with the high end offerings of many other manufacturers and the addition of the new interface certainly helps to achieve this.