It's been nearly four months since the Samsung Galaxy Nexus arrived, bearing the latest version of Google's mobile OS, known to most of us as Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich. In this span of time, only a handful of smartphones and tablets have been blessed with an upgrade to this iteration. Why? One word: differentiation. The majority of mobile manufacturers are determined to come up with their own brands and tweak the open-source OS to their whimsy as a means of standing out from the rest of the crowd. But doing so involves several months of designing, programming and testing -- for each individual device. Sadly, this means we're left waiting impatiently for most outfits to come out with their own customized skin.

Sense 3.6 rolls out to Nordics
Stock Android 4.0 review
HTC Sensation XE review

Since the latest iteration of Android meant a considerable adjustment to the OS' design -- as well as an endless list of new features, bug fixes and other improvements -- the lengthy wait has left us only able to speculate and theorize what types of adjustments HTC will make to its own adaptation of Android's user interface, nicknamed Sense. What's more, it was recently revealed that there would actually be not one but two versions of the UI running on ICS: Sense 4.0, the skin of choice for the One lineup, and 3.6, the option for whichever legacy HTC devices are lucky enough to be on the upgrade list. Even though both run Android 4.0, the two builds look drastically different. We only had a very limited amount of time to spend with the former at MWC, but we were given the opportunity to experience the latter on a Sensation XE. Now we can finally have our questions answered at long last: how will HTC integrate ICS into its Sense UI? How different will it look and feel? What features will the company dish up or throw in the trash? Uncover the mysteries with us as we offer an extensive preview of Sense 3.6 after the break.
Gallery: Sense 3.6 screenshots

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HTC Sense 3.6 preview originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Mar 2012 17:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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