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Leaked HTC Sense 4.0 previewed: new UI, new features, no onscreen buttons

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PocketNow has posted what it claims are hands-on impressions of HTC's Sense UI for Android 4.0. The skin reportedly has a new look, with features including Dropbox integration, landscape mode, and a three-dimensional task switcher.

HTC Vivid
HTC Vivid

PocketNow is claiming to have spent some time with a near-final build of HTC's Sense UI for Android 4.0. Sense has traditionally been one of the heavier skins around, so many have been wondering how it would gel with Google's stylish, minimal approach to Ice Cream Sandwich. If PocketNow is to be believed, it sounds like HTC has gone some way to answering the complaints with a "mature, functional and more approachable" take, though it's hard to evaluate that without seeing it for ourselves.

Some of the features detailed definitely sound notable, however — Sense 4.0 will feature a full landscape mode, a completely reworked mail app, tight Dropbox integration with 50GB of free storage, a Safari Reader-style function for the browser, and universal Beats audio for supported phones. One thing that it apparently won't have is an onscreen area for virtual buttons like the Galaxy Nexus, meaning that HTC devices on Android 4.0 will likely maintain the inputs on their hardware — despite Google's recent directives. Another notable new feature is the three-dimensional task switcher, which suggests that HTC couldn't quite resist laying on some heavy-duty effects somewhere.