Experiencing HTC Sense
The iPhone 4 was the first mobile device that raised my pulse, with its combination of performance, its remarkable display, and the singularity and focus of the user interface. A dystopian masterpiece with clarity of vision and nearly absolute control. Given the design of One X and Sense UI, one must wonder are HTC designers and engineers fans of Eero Saarinen's work.
The HTC One X comes with the latest incarnation of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich and the Sense 4 user interface from HTC. Before the critique, understand that Sense 4 is a very good overlay on ICS. It adds usability features, nice widgets, good customization, and most importantly it integrates naturally with ICS and does not seem separate at all. Both are a significant improvement and refinement over Honeycomb and there is no way I am ever going to touch a Honeycomb device again.
You may have heard the critique that Android is open and more configurable and therefore less stable and inelegant. Unfortunately, once you are within the OS itself it remains difficult to manage the experience, and the experience is getting complex enough that it needs to be managed. Lower level OS tools are increasingly needed to navigate complex applications capable of desktop class experiences. I want more direct control points. I am always hunting for an icon or trying desperately to get the settings panel to descend from the top of the screen with the right swipe. I want control and I want a vision for how I control my experience.
The use of HTC's and 3rd party widgets and customized application panes is well execute on the One X but remains a work in progress. More vision for accessing core functions of the phone and low level controls is necessary. Too much time hunting through icons; we need an evolution of that paradigm. Not Windows Metro design
, mind you, but we need a control center at the top and bottom levels, a rethinking of the central screens which permits all major function access with some customization, then allows us to seamlessly move to specific applications or major functions such as the phone, camera or onboard storage.
It is too hard to select a Wi-Fi hotspot, manage and shut down applications, and modify preferences and device settings. I want improved control and resource management. Add it to the design specification for what’s next.
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