Oct 9th, 2013

HTC One blue 2

It’s been rumored that when HTC finally debuts the long rumored, often leaked HTC One Max, the device will come out-of-the-box not only with Android 4.3, but a newer version of HTC’s custom UI: Sense 5.5. Lately we’ve been seeing HTC push Android 4.3 out to their flagship One devices (well ahead of the competition, mind you), and while only a few new changes were made to Sense, this had more to do with changes introduced in AOSP than HTC’s own concoctions. That being said, we’re still looking at regular ‘ol Sense 5.0 on the HTC One… or are we?

Popular ROM developer Mike1986 of Android Revolution HD fame recently began digging through the latest Android 4.3 update (ROM developers regularly receive leaked software builds, tweak it, then release it to the general public for installation on their devices). What he found was that many of Sense 5.5’s upcoming features were present in the latest builds, they’re just currently disabled by the framework.

Digging deeper, he was able to screenshot some of these upcoming features we can look forward to once Sense 5.5 arrives on the scene. From the looks of it, HTC will address many of the criticisms some have had with Sense, making it a more solid, finely tuned experience throughout. Let’s take a look.

BlinkFeed can be turned on/off

HTC Sense 5.5 BlinkFeed toggle

Probably one of the biggest complaints many had about Sense 5.0 and its all new launcher was the controversial move to include BlinkFeed, HTC’s their flashy social and news reader directly into the homescreen. Not so much because it wasn’t any good (it really grows on you after awhile), but because it wasn’t a simple widget that could be discarded. It was always there, occupying one of your homescreens, and it felt forced upon users. Looks like HTC will finally address this in Sense 5.5, giving users the ability to remove the service from their homescreen entirely.

Quick Settings can be reorganized

HTC Sense 5 quick settings organizer

Quick Settings are all new for HTC One users in the US. Although they actually debuted in the 4.2.2 update, HTC decided to skip that update entirely in the states, jumping all the way up to Android 4.3. Unlike stock Android, HTC includes a few extra toggles in their “Sensified” take of Android’s quick settings, and in Sense 5.5, users will soon have the ability to actually sort them. Customizing options are always good.

Dual-Capture and Panorama+ added to camera settings, recent apps now have labels

HTC Sense 5.5 camera recents update

The HTC One’s camera software is one of the best in the biz, allowing users to tweak settings like ISO, choose profiles, and of course, snap Zoes. In Sense 5.5, HTC will be adding 2 new options: Panorama+ and Dual capture. Although details are scarce, it appears that Panorama+ will be the introduction of Android’s Photo Spheres in Sense, something sorely lacking from current builds. Dual capture is a feature we’ve seen in Samsung’s software, allowing users to snap a picture using both the rear and front facing cameras simultaneously. Also touched up is the recent apps multitasking menu, which will finally add labels atop thumbnails to easily identify apps at a glance (thank you!).

BlinkFeed adds new categories and custom topics tab

HTC Sense 5.5 update BlinkFeed

BlinkFeed isn’t going down without a fight and HTC is doing what they can to make it more functional than ever in Sense 5.5. A few extra categories will be creeping their way into BlinkFeed, as well as a new “custom topics” tab. The alarm clock and stock HTC keyboard (not picture) have also been touched up, and round out the list of changes in Sense 5.5.

Unfortunately, there’s no telling how long HTC One users will have to wait before they see Sense 5.5 hit their device but from the looks of it, it appears HTC has already done much of the groundwork. Given their current track record of providing timely updates to their customers of their flagship, we have faith they wont keep everyone waiting too long. If you’d like to see more from Sense 5.5, or keep up to date with ROM releases for your HTC One, you can follow Mike1986 on Twitter or at the source link below.

[via Android Revolution HD]

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