If you are an HTC Vivid user, by now you know that AT&T start rolling out Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich out to their devices. This update comes with Android 4.0 and HTC’s Sense 3.6 UI (though I wish it was 4.0, but guess I’ll have to wait for the HTC One X). This brings a lot of firsts for AT&T. The HTC Vivid was the one of the first LTE smartphones on AT&T and now the Vivid marks the first ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices for the carrier.
I purchased the HTC Vivid back when it first came out, well before AT&T turned on their LTE network in New York City. I figured though I would only be using HSPA+ initially, getting this phone would be future proof when they did turn it on. It was an added bonus when I seen HTC make the announcement that the HTC Vivid was on their list to get Ice Cream Sandwich.
Now the process for me getting Ice Cream Sandwich wasn’t as straight forward it will be for most of you. I like to hack and tinker with my devices, so when HTC released the code to unlock the bootloader for my phone (this is need to root your device or jailbreak as some call it), I jumped on this. So let’s just say I had to hack my phone back to its out of box state to get the AT&T update. Today is the first day with ICS so I thought I’d share some cool stuff I like and don’t like with HTC’s Sense 3.6 UI and ICS.
What I Like
First of the bat, is the first thing you seen when you unlock the phone, I like the redesigned Quick launch bar at the bottom. I like the fact that I no longer have to dig through the settings area to change what apps I want there, and it reflects on the lock screen too. Now it is just a quick drag and drop. I also like the new recently used apps area when you long pressed the home button. I can quickly switch between apps and remove others I no longer need from the list. I happen to have this Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 here with which is running HoneyComb (Android 3.0) were I believe this feature was taken from. On HoneyComb I didn’t like it, because it just showed all the apps there whether I wanted them there or not. I just try to remove it from on the Tablet and was unable, so I’m glad I have the option on ICS and the Vivid.
Also cool is the new redesigned settings area. While I do have to retrain myself on where stuff is, I generally like the new look. Some of the new features I like here would be the Usage area, which shows me how much data I’m using and how much data each app or feature is using. This would of came in handy when AT&T was throttling me. I will enjoy using this once my billing cycle reset on the 26th. I’ll get to see just how much data Spotify (my favorite app) is using. Another cool feature now would be App associations. This comes especially in handy if you have apps that do kind of the same functions. Say you have multiple browsers, you can now set which one is the default one for opening URLs. Or if you use a couple Map apps, you can now set one as primary. And finally for features I like the new Notifications window. Gone are the days where If I was to clear a message from the window, I had to either look at the item or clear the area. If I had items I wanted to keep in there, they had to disappear with the rest. Now I can selectively choose which alert to get rid of.
I also like Google Chrome Beta which currently is only available if you have ICS. I haven’t been the heaviest Chrome user on my Mac, but this might prompt me to use it more as I can sync what I looking at to the phone so I can be surfing something at home and can continue when I need to head out. So far it seems cool, but I’ll have to use it more to see how I feel about it. For now I have made it may default browser. Beyond Chrome Beta, I love the way Gmail, Calendar, and Google Voice.
What I don’t Like
First off the judgement is really out on the Beat Audio feature. From my initial use of it so far, I can say that it has really improve anything. In fact I might go as far as saying that I think they turn the normal Beats Audio off volume down some, as with it off my music sounds lower at the highest volume than it was before. When Beats Audio is turned on, the volume gets lower but I can say the quality of sound has gotten any better *Kanye Shrug*
That’s about it for the moment, but will see if there is any more I don’t like as time goes on. Do you have ICS yet? If so let us know in the comments which device you have it on, was it an official update or a root ROM, and what you like or don’t like currently about it. And what’s good with Jellybean…