A few months still stand between HTC fans and their ration of Ice Cream Sandwich goodness, but time be damned. The fine folks at XDA have done it again, this time managing to get their hands on a very early version of HTC’s Sense UI based on Ice Cream Sandwich.

As you can see below, not a lot has changed from the current version of Sense. But as I said, this build is as early as they get. We can expect the major UI changes — if any — to happen as we get closer to the final version. After all, it’s only been a few weeks since Google dropped the Ice Cream Sandwich source code.

Having said that, there are a few changes in the UI that show the new direction that Google is taking with Ice Cream Sandwich. Mainly, the new launcher with the app drawer in the middle accompanied by the two apps on each side. As for the rest of the UI, everything’s as glossy and plasticky as before — something we’ve seen Google’s Matias Duarte rally against so many times. Maybe the UI changes in Ice Cream Sandwich will convince the guys at HTC to pull back a bit on the highlights and gradients and focus more on clean lines and good typography.

As expected, this early ROM is full of bugs and shouldn’t be used by the faint of heart. Known bugs include not being able to set a wallpaper from the gallery, so if you’re into that kind of thing I’d suggest staying on the sidelines for now. However, if you eat buggy ROMs for breakfast and Kernel is a part of your daily vocabulary, you should go ahead and pay XDA a visit. Then come right back and let us know what you think.

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