The HTC Sense user interface is one of the most popular skins for Android, and one of the main reasons why Android users become attached to HTC devices. Sense 3.5 works wonderfully under the Gingerbread operating system, providing users with a seamless link to all of their favorite features directly from their home screen.
So it’s no wonder fans are anticipating HTC Sense 4.0. And according to PocketNow, which has already gotten its hands on the release, it’ll be well worth the wait.
The Taiwanese company has reportedly improved the typography in version 4.0, and “reduced visual clutter,” which should be pleasing to hear for those who feel Sense is a little too intense in places.
There’s finally support for landscape orientation on the home screen, and lots of improvements to the notifications menu, including notification accumulation — reportedly similar to that in iOS 5 — the option to display task lists, and shortcuts to your “favorite” people. Sense 4.0 will also display your notifications on the lock screen, allowing you to access alerts without unlocking.
Email has been much-improved in the new version, with PocketNow labeling this “the best-looking and most functional email client available for Android.” Read and unread email will be identified with different colored strips on the left side, and selecting multiple messages will see them circled, rather than checked like in most email clients.
There are other improvements to mail, but one of the most impressive is called “Smart Sync,” which learns your usage habits and syncs your mail at a time to suit you. For example, it will learn that during the night you don’t read your email, so it won’t bother syncing your inbox and waking you up with new email alerts. Very clever stuff.
There’s another feature inspired by iOS 5 within the web browser, called Reader, which strips away adverts and some images to present you with a clean and clear UI for reading. The browser will also offer a “Read Later” and “Watch Later” function that will allow you to save stories and videos for consumption later.
Another interesting introduction is a feature called “Guest Mode.” Similar to a guest account on a computer, this mode disables certain features and allows you to specify access to selected apps, so that others can use your device without accessing your personal data.
The camera app will automatically detect faces and take five consecutive shots, then intelligently pick the best one out of the bunch to try and prevent those dreaded photos in which everyone has their eyes closed.
Finally, Sense 4.0 will have “deep integration” with Dropbox, with the inclusion of 50GB of free storage; and universal Beats audio support that will even work within third-party apps, like Pandora or Spotify.
Unfortunately PocketNow has no screenshots to accompany its report, but we have no reason to believe that these features won’t appear in the new release. They all seem like very plausible improvements, and we’re very much looking forward to the update.
Are you looking forward to HTC Sense 4.0?