Yesterday, HTC started rolling out the Android 4.3 with Sense 5.5 update for the International variant of the One. The latest version of Sense 5.5 brings with it a lot of new features and enhancements, most of which can be already seen on the One Max.
The official change-log of the update does not list most of the new features and enhancements that users would be enjoying post the update. Worry not, as I have compiled a list of all the changes and enhancements that HTC has introduced for the One with Sense 5.5.
With Sense 5.5, HTC is making it possible to disable Blinkfeed altogether. The feature can be disabled by pinching on the screen using two fingers, and then tapping on the Blinkfeed Off option present on the top left.
That’s not all though, as the company has slightly refreshed the look of Blinkfeed by including a hamburger style navigation drawer. The company has also added some of the most requested features into Blinkfeed including Google+ and custom RSS feeds integration.
Blinkfeed now not only acts as a social media aggregator, but also as a RSS reader. There is also an offline mode so that the phone can pre-fetch articles while it is connected to Wi-Fi so that you can read it later on.
Updated Recents App UI
HTC has updated the Recents app UI with bigger tiles. This new implementation looks better and makes better use of the available space.
Updated Camera, Gallery and Music App
The Camera and Gallery app have both been updated in Sense 5.5 as well, with the latter receiving a fairly major UI overhaul. The only changes to the Camera app is the inclusion of a new mode – Panorama 360. The dual shot feature, as seen on the HTC One Max and on the leaked firmware, is missing from the final OTA update.
The Gallery app gets a brand new Holo look. Instead of tapping on the Action bar and then switching to Events, Albums etc., users now need to slide left and right to switch to different views. The Video Highlight feature has also got a UI and now adheres to the Holo guidelines. This change, in my opinion, is in the right direction. With the previous Gallery app, it was not really obvious that taping on the action bar would change to different views.
The Music app also gets a similar Holo update as the Gallery app. Apart from this, there have been no other additions to the app.
Do Not Disturb
Taking inspiration from Samsung and Apple, HTC has included a Do Not Disturb mode with Sense 5.5. In Do Not Disturb mode, the One will automatically silence all calls, messages, notifications for the specified time. Thankfully, HTC also provides an exception list, so that incoming calls and other notifications from the specified contacts will not be muted.
The Quick Toggles are now user-editable and they can be positioned as per the user’s wish. There can be 12 quick tiles, with HTC providing tiles for nearly all the frequently accessed options.
As a bonus, HTC is bundling 25GB of free storage space on Google Drive for all One owners with Sense 5.5. Sadly, this offer is only valid of One devices with a locked bootloader. Developer edition and units with unlocked bootloader won’t be eligible for the free 25GB of storage space for 2 years.
Apart from the above listed changes, there are a lot of minor UI changes throughout the Sense interface. Nearly all these changes are positive in nature, and will be appreciated by One owners.
One major regression in the update is the removal of lockscreen settings from Sense. All the pre-installed Sense widgets and various lockscreen themes have been removed. On the bright side, HTC’s new lockscreen implementation allows the use of lockscreen widgets without the Sense lock screen clock being present all the time.
Drop drop in a comment and let us know if I have missed any major enhancement or feature!