HTC Sense 4.0 on Ice Cream Sandwich looks smooth in video

Jason has a good fiddle with HTC's new phones at MWC, to see how it's customised Android Ice Cream Sandwich in this video.

HTC's interface tweaks to Android have been the most interesting and useful of any manufacturer in the past, so we were dying to see what it had done to the latest version of the OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. Jason went to HTC's huge stand at Mobile World Congress and had a good dig around its new phones in this video.

Its Android skin is called Sense, and the latest version matches that of Android -- it's Sense 4.0. Let's take a closer look at its new tricks, currently appearing on the HTC One X, One S and One V.

The first thing you notice is that HTC's famous home screen clock is sleeker and more elegant, thanks to the higher resolution screens on its latest phones. You'll also quickly see that the hardware buttons have been replaced with three capacitive buttons below the screen.

Flick around a little more and you can pinch to 'zoom out' and see all your home screens, with your main home screen identified with a new home icon. The multi-tasking menu has been overhauled too, with 3D representations of every app you've got running, which can be killed with an upwards flick.

The dock at the bottom of every screen now supports folders, so you can keep a greater number of key apps just one click away. They appear on the lock screen too -- drag a folder into the circle and it opens as you unlock, displaying every app inside.

HTC's very pleased with its new deal with Dropbox -- everybody who buys a new HTC phone gets 25GB of cloud storage from the company for two years. A new Files program makes it very simple to send any file on your phone to the online service.

Elsewhere, the music hub has all your music apps and stored tunes in one place, and the car interface has had an overhaul too.

Jason was most impressed with the updated camera app. It lets you take a picture while you're shooting video, without interrupting your budding Oscar-winner. You can also take a snapshot from playback. If you hold down the camera button, it takes up to 99 consecutive shots so you can pick the best one when you're capturing something fast, like Arjen Robben zooming through the lumpen England defence, or a toddler dashing for cake.

Updates

The extensive nature of all these tweaks mean HTC phones will no doubt take longer than some others to update to future versions of Android.

But what about current phones? HTC says its phones less than 18 months old will be updated to Sense 4.0, but currently has no details as to when they'll see it.

Keep it CNET UK for news on that, and let me know what you think of the new Sense in the comments below, or over on the Facebook page. For more on the hottest new phones of 2012, head to mwc.cnet.co.uk.

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