HTC One Software Hands-On: Sense 5, Blinkfeed, Sense Tv And New Sync Manager
Now that you are completed drooling over the HTC One’s shiny body, let’s have a look at the telephone’s generous bundle of software options. Sense 5 on Android 4.1.2 is quite probably the boldest step HTC’s ever taken in terms of Android interface, within the hopes of providing a radically simple expertise out of the box. First off, the telephone comes with just two soft keys: Back and Home. You’ll be able to still access the app-switching page by double-tapping the house key, but as a substitute of the outdated 3D interface with dozens of app cards, you may now only get a grid of 9 app cards to keep things easy. And like earlier than, merely flick the cards as much as dismiss the corresponding apps. Read on for extra. By default, there will only be two house display panels out of the box: a “BlinkFeed” web page and a traditional Android home display screen on the suitable. Yes, just two panels, as HTC came upon that 80 p.c of users have three panels or less, and surprisingly, 35 % of the identical group use just one panel!
The perfect a part of that is that you would be able to set to have upcoming episodes of your favorite Tv exhibits to point out up in BlinkFeed as a reminder. Pretty neat for sofa potatoes, huh? Now, listed below are a few software program options that help new homeowners arrange their HTC gadgets. In any case, it is most likely easier to kind out your credentials for your varied email and social network accounts utilizing the desktop keyboard and show. The second characteristic to support new customers is a beefed up version of the HTC Sync Manager. Additionally, the service also allows you to configure your feeds, apps, sounds (together with an MP3 ringtone trimmer), bookmarks, wallpapers and lock screens; so this is sort of a nice improvement from the existing version of Get Started. Where beforehand you would solely transfer iOS contacts to an HTC gadget over Bluetooth, now you should utilize the brand new Sync Manager to seize your varied sorts of iOS content: contacts, calendar, photos, DRM-free videos and DRM-free music.
But fret not, as power users can always add extra. Similarly, the app tray is ready to a leaner 3 x four grid by default (which we discovered to be somewhat pleasing to the attention), however it’s also possible to change again to the usual four x 5 version for nostalgia’s sake. Now, BlinkFeed. This is just a Flipboard-like tile interface that sits permanently on the main house web page. Created in collaboration with Mobiles Republic, this instrument pulls in content from varied publications and social networks (Twitter, Plurk, LinkedIn, Flickr, Zoe Share and extra), in addition to your calendar and Tv reveals from the Tv app (more on that later). Regardless, the feed will be personalized to suit your needs, although the first version will not let you add customized RSS feeds just yet. You won’t be seeing emails here, as HTC positions BlinkFeed as a place for more ambient info reasonably than important updates. On a related note, an SDK can be provided for developers to let their apps publish to the BlinkFeed.
Continuing the multimedia theme we have the Sense Tv app on the HTC One, which is actually a Peel-powered common distant software that combines a good-looking electronic program information with the IR blaster embedded throughout the telephone’s power button. We’ve heard that different areas will provide comparable EPG assist for the One’s Sense Tv app, so keep a watch out in your local announcements. At launch, the app will help all main US cable providers along with Hulu integration, whereas the UK will get some love from the likes of Virgin Media, Sky, Freesat and Freeview. Alas, there’s no Netflix support at launch, but we assume HTC continues to be engaged on that finish. The Tv app’s interface needs little rationalization, and it’ll include an enormous library of remote management IR codes to ensure maximum compatibility together with your Tv or set-prime box. Once the app is activated, you may entry the essential controls and current channels within the notification tray, and also you can even use the controls on the lock display screen.
As you’d anticipate, fresh content automatically is available in from the highest, and it does so each two hours over Canada knowledge, but more often over WiFi. Either manner, HTC’s performed many assessments and is pretty confident that battery life will not be an enormous issue here. The good news is that do you have to ultimately find this characteristic barely stale, you possibly can disable BlinkFeed altogether and just have the plain outdated Android dwelling screens. Visually, Sense 5 benefits from a new selection of font — Roboto, in a specific weight — along with a simpler keyboard with little hole between keys (however performance unaffected, in fact) and cleaner widgets (though the basic HTC flip clock widget continues to be accessible). Likewise, the new music player has obtained an interface redesign, as well as a visualizer and automated lyrics scroller. Here’s hoping that HTC will ultimately add a vocal suppressing characteristic to fulfill the karaoke freak inside you.
The trick? This is definitely performed via iTunes, so you will need to verify it has the most recent backup of your iOS system before you start the migration. Sadly, there is no solution to sync text messages and matching apps throughout the two rival platforms just yet, but it is in all probability just a matter of time. Things are extra easy with Android-to-Android migration: with telephones as old as HTC gadgets carrying Sense 3.6, you can instantly transfer the same set of data plus textual content messages, bookmarks and a bunch of Android settings instantly from one to another, all done without going by the Sync Manager; whereas older Android devices can still only switch contacts over Bluetooth like the nice previous days. Here’s what you’ll be able to again up: BlinkFeed, Tv, dwelling display structure (together with folders), accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Exchange and Hotmail), person dictionary, alarm clocks, widgets, apps (sans knowledge) and over 150 system settings. When you get the ball rolling, you should use the cloud backup feature in Sense 5 to dump an encrypted backup on either Dropbox or Sina Vdisk (in China, where Dropbox is blocked), and these are tied to either a Facebook account or a Sina account (since Facebook is also blocked in China), so sooner or later you can restore by simply logging in utilizing either credentials. To summarize, this is definitely a generous and much improved package deal HTC is offering with the One, but in case you missed it, do also try Zoe in our HTC One camera submit. That’s the actual wow factor of the present. Mat Smith contributed to this report. Pictures and movies aren’t included, as HTC believes that many users already use different strategies to again them up, which is truthful sufficient. Some of our tales include affiliate links. All products really helpful by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, impartial of our dad or mum company. If you buy one thing by means of one of those hyperlinks, we could earn an affiliate commission.