HTC Addresses Multitasking Concerns For One X and S – Calls It “Sense” Optimized


Before the release of the HTC One X, S and V, HTC was making the rounds, touting Sense 4.0 as the lightest, leanest version of their Android skin ever. We were inclined to believe them after seeing how zippy and kicky fast Sense was, not only real world usability tests, but in benchmarks as well.

As it turns out, Sense may not be as lean as we once thought. The internet has been abuzz recently, after a user uploaded a video showcasing a uniquely Sense 4.0 multitasking issue, in which the HTC One X will keep only a very minimal amount of apps paused in the background. The result are apps that fall out of RAM, and need to reloaded when revisiting them each time.

HTC’s response? It’s “Sense optimized.” And that’s just the way they like it. The boys at HTC issued this official statement on the matter:

HTC is aware of some questions in the enthusiast community about how the HTC One X handles multitasking and memory management for background apps. We value the community’s input and are always looking for ways to enhance customers’ experience with our devices. That said, right now multitasking is operating normally according to our custom memory management specifications which balance core ICS features with a consistent HTC Sense experience.

You may remember Android’s early development years in which devs attempted to port Sense to less.. RAM worthy devices. Homescreen reloads plagued those ROMs, and I’m sure this was something HTC was looking to avoid when tweaking the software on their new One series devices. Sense gets first priority, and that’s the way it’s going to stay. Just goes to show that 1GB of RAM isn’t as ample as we once thought. Bring on the 2 gee-bee’s!

TheVerge | AndroidAuthority | YouTube

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. HTC needs to just make memory management less aggressive, I love everything about my HTC One X, except the multitasking, it’s ridiculous.

    1. Agreed. Having apps in the background — that STAY in the background — is one of my favorite features of Android.

      Having an app reload upon reopening it is ridiculous. =/

    2. Is it really aggressive memory management or does Sense UI just take up most of the RAM?

      1. Both actually. There’s a “fix” for this problem if you root your phone. but HTC just needs to fix this.

      2. With dedicated memory monitoring programs you can see that there are always 100-150MB free in every situation. So the answer is NO, it’s not a “not enough RAM” problem caused by the new Sense 4. It’s really a nonsense this decision by HTC.

  2. How about HTC let us decide what apps are killed? Stock ICS memory management is perfectly fine. Oh wait, HTC is turning into Apple. Not letting us even get full root with system access. Can’t make those decisions! Hopefully someone figures out S-Off soon and tweaks memfree

    1. Wow I’m being really hateful at manufacturers on Phandroid today. I’m sorry…

      1. Now say something nice.

        1. I adore HTCs current sttle in terms of aesthetics. As a Samsung fanboy, I must say the One X is the sexiest phone on the market.

          1. Much better :P

        2. Also, your hair is EXQUISITE!

          1. Okay, now you’re just being facetious O_o

  3. They are really pushing hard to be the next Apple.
    Nice closed off battery door & no microsd.
    Nice iOS style multi/single tasking OS.

    1. They seem to be alienating a small percentage of the user base for a more mainstream demographic. I genuinely don’t think the vast majority of people care about MicroSD’s and Removable batteries. 16GB to 32GB seems sufficient for most bar those with large movie or music collections. I’m not sure about Multitasking to be honest.

      If these measures contribute to their profits increasing then it could be argued that they were correct, of course this remains to be seen.

      1. That doesn’t make sense (see what I did there?). The “mainstream demographic” has no idea at all of these under-the-hood effects, so any positive connotations this has is lost on them.

        Meanwhile, HTC loses points with the “enthusiast community”, ie the people who actually know and actually give a damn about such stuff…

  4. Wishful thinking here, but it would really be nice, if upon buying an Android device, we had the choice between a pure Google experience, and a OEM skinned experience.

  5. You can’t run slacker radio or runkeeper. I’m returning mine

    1. Me too, I really…REALLY…wanted to like my One X. Even with their “aggressive” memory management, the home screen takes 10 to 20 seconds to load, seemingly randomly. I could live with that, but reloading my web pages when I just popped out to check an email is just too annoying.

  6. My one S hasn’t had this problem thus far.. I run spotify, a game, and all my FB, email etc and it picks it back up fine… My old phones always restarted spotify when I would try to reopen it… With that said I rooted and did some serious cleaning to free up tons of memory.

    1. can you tell me what you were able to throw out? Owning One S (1.78 RUU) I have the same issue. I have 100-150MB free memory and despite it, Sense is reloading and killing my apps in background.

      Even on fresh start (cca 360MB free) it doesn’t do well with 3-4 apps that takes maximum 100MB of memory. Hate it. Krait is new kid on the block, kernel sources not released, CM in alpha3, so I guess I will go your way.

      would welcome your advice on my email ([email protected]).

  7. Root, freeze sense, 3rd party launcher, supercharge, profit.

  8. This isn’t a new problem. After having run CM for nearly 3 years, I recently decided to try a Sense rom for a while on my Sensation. The Sensation, rather shockingly, doesn’t multitask as well as a MyTouch 3G running CM and swap, or as well as a Nexus One running CM with no swap. The comparison test I used was to stream radio then open any other large app. Also tried it on a stock Rhyme running Sense, and that has the same issue.

  9. We value the community’s input, so here’s our statement telling you we’re doing nothing about it, so STFU.

  10. Not too sure why everyone is so upset… they’ve basically included “zram” from the factory. is rather have a smaller amount of apps open than wait 30 seconds for the homescreen to show up. just my opinion though.

    1. Orrrrr, have lot of apps open and a home screen that loads fast.. this is 2012. My Gnex can have 10 applications running and switching between them and the home screen creates ZERO lag.

  11. God I hate HTC and Sense. I can’t wait until they just go bankrupt. Thank god for Galaxy Nexus!

  12. You really want a phone manufacturer to go bankrupt?

    Without competition, a sole manufacturer of phones would have zero incentive to come up with new ideas, to push the tech envelope, to keep prices in check.

    Who would you switch to if they kept selling the same phone for 5 years? No one, there would be no one else. And you would be stuck with the same pos phone.

  13. Sense is a bloated, ugly, outdated POS that apparently also thinks it’s more important than the apps on your phone. I had sense on my last phone and I won’t go near it again.

  14. Well they didn’t lie, this is consistent with the “Sense” experience. Hell even after the ICS update i’ve watched the HTC Sensation dump the sense UI 8 or 9 times in 1 day. Sense will forever be bloated garbage.

  15. While I’m aware that the “enthusiast community” is rather small, I’m the person friends and family come to for phone advice. This may be the same thing for a lot of others on here. If we start telling people to not buy them they’re losing more than just a few enthusiasts.

  16. Wow, after reading this article earlier I have kept an eye on my multitasking…. The one major problem for me seems to be webpages. I’m not sure if that’s due to the memory, or the connection… But everytime I reopen an internet page through multitask, it needs to completely reload the page.

  17. Happens the same “mtasking” problem on One S :(

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