Very few Android phones are offered with vanilla Android on board and so we have to use different skins and tweaks that the manufacturers add to their devices. This often works out well and can greatly enhance the experience for new users, but at times can be confusing.
HTC has been at the forefront of skinning Android and literally hidden every aspect of the operating system on previous phones, but with the One series has stepped back substantially and Android shines through in almost every area. The software changes it has made work well and are almost all more than mere skins for the sake of it, with practical benefits included, but there is one area where I personally feel the company has jumped the gun.
Where is the menu button?
The idea of removing the menu button for phones running Ice Cream Sandwich is something we will have to get used to, but not all apps have been updated yet to deal with this. I have found myself at times struggling to interact with an app properly and having to search for somewhere to change settings etc. This is sort of manageable, but can be fiddly and inconsistent.
The other problem, and one that I notice more, is that some apps place the virtual menu button at the top of the screen. That is not a problem unless you are using a phone that is quite large, like the One X, and this causes the user to immediately jump to two-handed use. You physically cannot tap a menu button that is placed at the top of the screen with your thumb. That is unless you are an octopus of course.
This is not a huge problem and the HTC One series phones are impressing me in so many other ways, but it is an issue with Android moving up to the latest version along with the hardware design and the apps not catching up. What I would personally like to see is apps put the menu buttons at the bottom because even some of the Google offering in ICS are not doing that. I believe that Google needs to mandate this to stop people with larger Android phones struggling.
Besides the menu problem, however, HTC has managed to tweak Android sensitively and created an experience that is fast, efficient and easy to use