It was reported yesterday that HTC had crushed the hopes of One S owners by declaring that the device will NOT be getting an Android 4.2.2 Sense 5 update after we in the community believed and posted some months ago that they would. So what now for the device owners? Obviously the only remaining upgrade path is via custom ROM’s and while we cannot suggest this is a path you take (you will invalidate parts of your warranty and there is also a risk of bricking your handset) if you feel that the draw of the latest version of Android or the new features of Sense 5 are a must then what are your options.
The standard custom upgrade path for any device beyond the OEM supplied one is to install an AOSP based ROM, usually CyanogenMod. The good news is that the One S is an officially supported device and as such receives nightly builds and as such all RC builds as well. The problem is that as great as these custom AOSP based ROM’s are they don’t have Sense 5 and all the features you have been waiting on, so what of the current state of Sense 5 ports?
Rooting around on XDA tonight I found two Sense ROM ports currently posted.
TRICKDROID 10.2.7 is a 4.1.2 based ROM with the new Sense 5 provided by torxx. The ROM is fully booting with many features working including BlinkFeed but has non-working Bluetooth, MMS, FM Radio, wifi tether and a few more smaller features.
PROJECT X is another 4.1.2 Sense 5 port. The ROM is the work of aditya and RockR172 and has been deemed by the developers to be worthy of entering beta stage. There is no change log on the thread so it is hard to see what is, and what isn’t working, but it seems to be on a par with TrickDroid for what’s missing.
There is however another contender in the race to get a working Sense 5 ROM on the One S and that is Virtuous Team. While I was checking out how torxx felt his build would end up he informed me that Virtuous had a fully working port. I have tried looking for it and have been unable to find anything but this could be because it has not been released yet rather than not actually existing.
Not owning a One S I can’t say how well these ROM’s perform but thinking back on my days with the Hero and the race to port Android 2.1 I would say that as things stand there is a pretty good chance that a fully working Sense 5 ROM will be available for the HTC One S sooner rather than later.