Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be the first version of the Android operating system designed to work on both phones and tablets. It features a new user interface that doesn’t rely on physical buttons at all, and support for a wide range of screen sizes and resolutions.
But none of that is going to stop smartphone makers from releasing custom skins to tweak the user experience.
Boy Genius Report has received some information about a new HTC smartphone called the HTC Ville. It’s due out next April and it will feature Google Android 4.0 and HTC Sense 4.0 software.
HTC Sense is designed to run on top of Android, offering a custom app launcher, home screen widgets, and a handful of additional apps. HTC also backs up some of your preferences and data online if you sign in with an HTC Sense account — so HTC smartphone users often wind up using Google and HTC accounts on their devices.
In the early days of Android, HTC earned a reputation for making the operating system prettier and easier to use with its Sense software. But as Android has matured, Sense has earned a reputation as one of the reasons it takes HTC several months to release a software update after Google releases a new version of Android.
There’s no word on what Sense 4.0 will look like, but it will be one of the first custom skins designed to run on Android 4.0. It’s likely that Samsung will also update its TouchWiz software to support Ice Cream Sandwich, and Motorola may also update its Motoblur software.
The HTC Ville will reportedly have a 4.3 inch, qHD Super AMOLED display and a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor.