Over the past couple of weeks, there's been a steadily increasing drama surrounding how multitasking works on the HTC One X. HTC introduced two tweaks to how multitasking works on Android 4.0 with Sense 4.0. The first and most obvious is that rather than the vertical list of tiles, it presents a horizontally-scrolling list of app screens. That visual change is one thing but apparently there has been a behavioral change as well: users in our forums and on xda-developers have complained that it is over-aggressive in closing background apps, resulting in a sub-par experience. The change presumably contributes to the stellar battery life we've seen on the One X, but it has been frustrating for power users.
We reached out to HTC to see what its side of the story is and the company tells us that it is "operating normally," but the normal here is different from stock Android: HTC has definitely altered the multitasking behavior to make room for Sense 4.0.
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.
Power users with the HTC One X looking for a better (or, shall we say, different) multitasking experience could hold out hope that HTC's promise that it is "always looking for ways to enhance customers' experience" is a hint that it could alter the multitasking behavior on the One X — or check out some of the custom ROMs and tweaks that are already emerging despite the bootloader issue. For the rest of us, just know that for the time being HTC is filing this one as a feature, not a bug.