It’s difficult not to think ‘fragmentation’ when we mention Android. Different flavours, OS versions, hardware, bundled apps. If you think the layman would get confused in the sea of Android devices, well, you have every right to think that way. Fragmentation, though, means choice. And differentiation. While some may like a plain vanilla Android experience like on the Galaxy Nexus, some may prefer skinned options like Samsung TouchWIZ, Motorola MotoBLUR or HTC Sense.
[ad#Google Adsense 336×280]
HTC Sense may be considered a heavily customized Android user interface/experience. That all familiar giant clock that greets you on the home screen, or the curved tabs at the bottom. PocketNow had the liberty to play with a non-final build of HTC Sense 4.0 recently, which is rumored to be featured on the upcoming HTC Ville and HTC Edge smartphones. HTC Sense 4.0 has improved typography and reduced visual clutter. Reworked UI like optimized screen in landscape orientation, including on the home screen are notable changes.
HTC Sense 4.0 is expected to not have on-screen keys found in Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus. All devices will have a 3-button configuration for ICS devices, instead of current 4. I’m slightly baffled by this as I assumed that ICS would be a streamlined version of Android (read: less fragmentation, more consistency) and would mean no hardware buttons on all devices (including tablets). How HTC has managed to convince Google otherwise is beyond me.
Email in Sense 4.0 has been updated for the better. As PocketNow has quipped, “It is possibly the best-looking and most functional email client available for Android.”
Another notable feature is Guest Mode, where it allows a user to specify which apps to display if a guest wants to use your phone. Within Guest Mode, the phone is disabled and the guest cannot access your data.
HTC Sense will have deep integration with Dropbox. Setting up the phone for the first time will give you 50GB of space for free! How nifty.
Will we be seeing a preview of HTC Sense 4.0 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012? Perhaps an official announcement? We’ll see.