HTC One S Owners, Do You Like How Sense 4 Handles Multitasking?

Judging by both the “professional” and amateur reviews floating around the web, HTC One X and HTC One S owners are very happy with their devices overall. There is a lot to love with HTC’s new One series, though one “tweak” is seemingly causing a bit of a rebellion. So what is that tweak? How Sense 4 handles multitasking. If you’ve had your hands on HTC’s newest hardware, you’ll notice the most obvious change is aesthetic as the multitasking screen presents a horizontally scrolling list of ‘open’ apps, and not a vertical list of tiles. The visual change is something we don’t have any problem with, but apparently the underlying reason is causing some HTC One X owners some aggravation.

A number of forum members over at XDA Developers have complained that the way Sense 4 handles multitasking is “over aggressive” in closing background apps, resulting in a less than optimal experience. While the multi-tasking implementation changes may lead to improved battery life, the changes themselves are frustrating power users.

HTC, for their part says that Sense 4 is “operating normally,” and that while this is different from stock Android, it’s perfectly normal. HTC had this to say:

HTC is aware of some questions in the enthusiast community about how the HTC One X handles multitasking and memory management for background apps. We value the community’s input and are always looking for ways to enhance customers’ experience with our devices. That said, right now multitasking is operating normally according to our custom memory management specifications which balance core ICS features with a consistent HTC Sense experience.

We can take note of HTC’s promise to look “for ways to enhance customers’ experience” as an indicator that changes could be afoot if the feedback gets louder and louder. For the moment however, HTC isn’t marking this down as something requiring a fix, so we ask you — does the way Sense 4 on the HTC One S handles multitasking bother you or do you like the new aesthetics and accept a bit of tradeoff for it?

The Verge

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  • Guest

    Personally it would bother me if multi-tasking was handled that way on my phone.

  • It’s good! Unfortunately, I had to return it since battery life is really bad! Tried all options, app killing apps but couldn’t make it last after 4 PM without charging it. Nice phone, bad idea not to give us the chance to switch batteries, which is the think I loved about all android phones vs. the iPhone.

    • Ashshlay

      We’re talking about the One S, right? Although it doesn’t have a removal battery the overwhelming majority have praised it’s battery life including me. I don’t like how it closes apps but have enjoyed charging only once a day after heavy use and syncing up at night with dropbox and drive via wifi at night while charging. I’m starting to see some slow downs when sense loads and other launchers sometimes fail and it reloads sense. Probably part of the memory management as well…

      • I’ve also experienced incredible battery life (15-16 hours of heavy use or well over 24 hours of moderate/light use).

  • I’ve been fine with it if the benefit is actually better battery life. The horizontal scrolling actually bothers me more (but I understand that’s a subjective aesthetic).

  • mreveryphone

    I understand why we have multitasking on our smartphones but how much multitasking are we really doing on these things? A few emails, text, websites……. Pretty soon people are going to start connecting bluetooth keyboards and try to start using it as a laptop

    • Spanky

      Look up Asus Padphone – pretty soon is already here.

  • Jake88

    I checked the One the other day..Sense sucks. Too much nonsense and stupid animations and eye candy. With ICS you do not need a GUI overlay. But I guess tha’s what the masses want to be more iPhone-like.   

    • Cycad007

      Sense is perhaps the *BEST* OEM GUI overlay.  Certainly better than the current version of TouchWiz in my opinion.  There’s nothing wrong with the default ICS GUI but Sense does have its share of “enhancements”.  The Sense camera app, for example, is considered superior to the one in ICS.

      There are always going to be pros/cons to using any GUI overlay.  Most commentators/reviewers *DO* like the features of Sense 4.  PC Magazine and many other reviewers consider the HTC One S to be the *BEST* phone currently offered on T-mobile.

    • None

      I like my massive clock.  You will have to pry it outta my cold dead hands.  lOl

    •  This doesn’t sound like you’ve actually checked out anything in the One series.  Sense 4.0 has largely done away with animations.  Their lockscreen is far better executed than Google’s and very configurable. 

      I used to run almost stock ICS on my Vibrant and while I really did like the cleanness of it, I definitely feel like HTC has added to the experience with Sense 4, rather than detracted from it.  It’s not a massive GUI overlay, it’s really more akin to having a custom launcher on top of ICS, in my opinion.

      I like it on my One S and multitasking hasn’t been a problem for me. I think it handles processes very well.

      As said before, the Sense camera app, taking advance of the separate camera chip in the phone is streets ahead of Google’s camera interface and capabilities.

      • Beanz0nToast

        I actually think they’ve toned down the overlay in Sense 4.0 as compared to the earlier Sense versions. It’s much more of a stock FEEL than any of the previous versions. I enjoy sense 4.0 more than i have any previous versions of Sense.

    • Ingram1225

      Than your going to hate the Samsung galaxy sIII

  • MarcusDW

    This would piss me off if I had one of these phones.

    It’s my understanding that if I had a One phone and I’m playing Draw Something, hit home, open up Redbox to grab a movie and then “multitask” BACK to Draw Something it will reload the game again and lose what I’m doing.  Is this right?

    • Cycad007

      It looks like it may depend on the app’s memory footprint.  I can play ‘Where’s my Water’, hit home, open up Chrome Beta and browse and then “multitask” BACK to ‘Where’s my Water’ without any issues.

      • MarcusDW

        I’m just investigating here but is this not happening to you?

        Someone uploaded the issue.

        • Cycad007

          I don’t have ‘Pulse’ or ‘Draw Something’…so I can’t quite test the multi-tasking feature to the scenarios specified.  ‘Where’s my Water’ will work correctly even AFTER I hopen up Chrome Beta and start browsing.  This is why I think it may depend on a specific app’s memory footprint.

        • MarcusDW

          Thanks for the info Cyad007.  

        • Beanz0nToast

          I was getting that issue with Draw Something on my Gingerbread CM7 HD2 so when I switched to One S i didn’t think anything was different.

  • Gary

    I feel like I am in the minority, but I really like it.  I had a SGS2 previously and despised the TouchWiz overlay.  I have the One X now and I’m loving the clean interface and the battery life is fantastic.  Everything is functional as far as I can tell!

    • TommyOI

      clean interface?? try the Galaxy Nexus. ICS the way Google designed it.

      • Rob Wilkens

        By that do you mean samsung put absolutely zero work into the software?


    I’ve had the One S since day 1 and I love it except I can’t get good battery life out of it. the task switcher is awesome. the only problem I have with it is that I accidentally hit the button on the phone a lot which may be in part due to my grubby fingers. I want to get rid of the bloat ware and then it would be a spectacularly perfect phone IMO

    • You can disable a lot of pre-installed apps under settings and Apps.

    • Ingram1225

      I get about 9 hours with a 5.5% discharge per hour average. I get 16 hours if I leave the phone off the charger overnight while I sleep. only 3% discharge in 8 hours while sleeping.

  • Ian Harrington

    I have owned in my time work at T-Mobile 80 of there high end phones. That being said only 2 phones have ever truly impressed me The samsumg GSII and now the HTC One S. Right now I am using the One S and well Battery life is amazing, Sense is badass, multitasking is good. Overall I can’t find a single thing to complain about when it comes to the phone. Whatever HTC did to fix the line of devices works with me

    • Mark

       The biggest thing I’ve found to complain about, and I guess it’s endemic to HTC, is that I’d have to hack it to add my home city to the weather database.  I like the clock-and-weather app and the weather animations (windshield wiper when it’s raining, etc.),  but with neither my home city nor another that I care about in their database I am a bit perturbed.  The Weather Channel app gives you the entire US ZIP Code database to choose from; why can’t HTC do the same?

      • BrianTessier

        I have the Sensation running ICS, and my hometown isn’t listed by zip code either. I find if you have it set to “current location” it uses the GPS and finds my hometown no problem. I live near Orlando, so I just have that saved as another location so I can check the weather at home while I’m out of town since it’s close enough that they usually have the same forecast.

        • Markhb

           Thanks.  I do have it set to “current location, and I’m impressed by how well it typically keeps up as I move from one town to the next, but unfortunately the nearest city in the database is 100 miles away so if I’m traveling, no love there.

  • jerry

    Thats the third problem, probably the biggest problem I have with the one series.

  • Ravercwb

    Bought the phone and hated Sense 4.0. Went back to my G2X with stock Android. Sense never again. Waiting for a good impressive Nexus to come out.

  • RJ

    Is anyone having problems with the phone heating up? With either 4g or wifi on, my phone tends to always overheat while I’m using it, so I would often have to turn off my internet and let it cool off. Is there a way to fix this or should I call customer service to see if there’s something significantly wrong with it?

    • Cycad007

      RJ – I’d call customer service.  I had no problems with this phone.  I haven’t notice any heat problems with my unit at all.

      • Rob Wilkens

        i had called customer service, and they told me, and it appears they were right (or so it appears), that it was something i downloaded from the app store.  I had 2 weeks to return it and i called them at the 10 day mark, it’s been almost another 10 days now and i haven’t noticed the problem returning.  A hallmark of when it was getting hot is that the battery was being eaten up a lot quicker, and now, so far, on average use (not playing with the phone too much) it actually lasts well more than 14-16 hours which is for me about 1 day (I take it off charger around 9 am, and it’s back on charger about 10pm – sometimes with over 50% battery remaining at that point) – this is a big improvement over my previous android phone (mytouch 4g) which on average was giving me a low battery beep about 7pm-8pm.

    • Rob Wilkens

      Mine gets hot — or was for a while.  It seems to have stopped, or i haven’t noticed since i put a protective case around the back.  I think it was when i had an incompatible app installed that ran in the background (newsday, before they fixed it, which they have now)..  I uninstalled the incompatible app, and watched the temperature drop about 5-10 degrees in 10 minutes.  With a battery monitor (available in play store) you can watch battery temperature, and it’s the battery which gets hot.  It seems on average to operate in the 90s but when it was getting hot it was somewhere over 115 degrees.

  • Rob Wilkens

    I may not be a ‘power’ user, but i prefer a phone that is *not* a _power_ user.  The battery life on this phone is amazing compared to my old mytouch 4g — and they both had 1650 strength batteries (I had upgraded the mytouch4g from its initial 1500)…  

  • It is causing problems… my clock widgets on alternate launcher fail to update at times. Widget locker fails to load sometimes.. Both the above things get to work after reopening the apps.

  • Ben-Oni Jean-Pierre


  • Ben-Oni Jean-Pierre


  • ACNJR28

    I walked into T-mobile just looking at the phone and I unintentionally upgraded and coming from the Sensation, I do like the new lighter sense with some of the stock android functions. The battery is awesome, I can go a day and a half without charging. I don’t really care so much for pentile display (one of the reasons why I don’t like Samsung besides feeling cheap). I prefer stock android but HTC UI grew on me and is much more appealing than the others. I would love to see a successor to the G2 with a little bigger screen. To bad they stated that they are not making anymore qwerty phones. Overall with or without sense HTC is great in my opinion and really did well with the One series phones. No problem with multitasking or anything whatsoever with the phone.

  • Nkhaytin

    love it, you van open recent apps and zoom through everything

  • Sh

    This phone is a proof why HTC market share is going down and sales are poor, it’s a high quality metal  built, but doesn’t work; who cares about the phone signal as long as it’s metal. I still randomly go without signal till I notice and will have to restart the phone to get the signal back even in the best outdoors areas; changed sim card, updated, factory reset, and did everything (more than once) according to both HTC & T-Mo tech support without any progress; this phone is a great Camera & MP3/4 player but sucks as a phone. My Nexus One works better as a phone. I’m on my second unit and shipped it today for warranty repair which will take up to 2 weeks. I’ll probably get the Galaxy S3 before I get my 3rd defective HTC S-1 back. What a shame, I truly wanted to like and use this slim phone.

    • Sublimeisbeast111

      Why are u hatin its a great phone…piece of shit

  • Hawkeyes53

    this phone is awesome. fuck you douchebags that are “power users”.

  • Andrew

    Any news on a fix for the multitasking? It’s just power users, switching from the internet to a text and back shouldn’t require constant loading of both

  • Sublimeisbeast111

    Stupid..this is a great phone the multitasking switcher is a good tool