The next version of HTC’s Sense user interface for Android, Sense 4.1, has leaked out. Early reports claim performance of Olympic proportions.
Anyone who owns an HTC One X will know it’s a pretty swift piece of kit, with HTC Sense 4.0 standing as the leanest and quickest version of the custom Android skin yet. Of course, it’s still not as speedy as the stock Android 4.0 OS it’s built on, leading many to download leaner custom launchers like Apex or NOVA.
That might all change with the release of Sense 4.1. It’s not officially out yet on international HTC handsets, but - as is so often the case - a version has leaked onto the web. Geeksaber got its hands on the update and has been reporting very good things indeed.
The new UI was tested on the current HTC flagship, the HTC One X. It’s built on Android 4.0.4, and so benefits from the core improvements Google has made to Ice Cream Sandwich (Sense 4.0 is based on Android 4.0.3).
The result is a hefty speed boost. Previous Quadrant results with Sense 4.0 were around the 5100 mark, but with the new 4.1 UI in place that apparently jumps to an impressive 5900. That’s fast.
Despite this speed jump, battery life is said to have changed for the better. From the initial three hours of screen-on time, the new version of Sense can stretch to five hours.
All 3D elements have been removed from the launcher, which has the primary effect of removing those last traces of lag from the app menu.
Another welcome addition to Sense 4.1 is the ability to remap the multitasking bar to act as a dedicated menu button. This removes the much criticised virtual menu bar that hogs the the bottom of a number of Android 4.0-adjusted apps.
Expect all this and plenty of bug fixes when Sense 4.1 finally launches on the worldwide HTC One X. It’s already started rolling out on US AT&T models, so we shouldn't have too long to wait.