When Google released Android 5.0 Lollipop, HTC were quick to announce that they would bring the new version of the operating system to the both existing One models within within ninety days. This includes the Sense-equipped and Google Play Edition versions of the HTC One, the 2013 flagship M7 and the 2014 flagship M8 models. Not that I’m counting, but that meant buyers of the unlocked device and carriers should receive the latest version by early February. Depending on your particular carrier, you could be receiving the update from a few days to several weeks, perhaps even longer. We’ve today received news that HTC have explained that they’re expecting to get the new version of the software to carriers for the One devices running with Sense in early January, that’s after around sixty days. Perhaps HTC’s original ninety day promise was to include the testing process by carriers? So whilst this isn’t exactly the speediest of updates to Lollipop – Motorola and LG have beaten HTC – it’s good to see HTC appear to be on track to keep to their promise.
As for how Lollipop will look and run under the Sense overlay, we’ve already seen some images of Sense 6 running over Android 5.0. In these images, it appears that HTC have continued to use their own icons and navigation buttons, but have adopted the Google way of handling multiple applications and notifications. As such, Sense over Lollipop appears to be a somewhat confused mix of the old and the new. These images may show an early version of Sense and it’s possible that Sense 6 / Android 5 will change between now and release. We expect Lollipop on the Sense-equipped HTC handsets to include the same benefits as it Lollipop delivers elsewhere, including better performance, animations, battery life and notification handling. I’d also expect HTC to continue to use their own software tweaks including their own power saving mode, but I’m especially interested to see how things pan out. It’s also possible that HTC Sense 6 will be quickly superseded by Sense 7, which we’re expecting to be launched with whatever HTC call their 2015 flagship (logically, the HTC One M9, but we’ll see what happens). If this happens, Sense 6 over Android 5 might be a stop gap software solution as HTC prepares HTC Sense 7.
I suspect the New Year is going to be interesting, then. I use a carrier-branded, Sense-equipped HTC One M8 as my daily driver and now I am wondering if it’ll receive Android 5.0 Lollipop before my Google Nexus 7 LTE! I also reckon that HTC will quickly supersede Sense 6 with Sense 7 towards the start of summer 2015 so if Sense 6 looks mixed up, I’ll only have it on my device for a few months. But over to our readers: what do you think? Are you excited to receive the Android 5 update for your HTC One? Or will you not be so fussed as you’ll be waiting for the 2015 flagship devices to be launched?