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HTC Hero: HTC Sense Interface and Built-in Programs

Sense1

Android is tightly integrated with Web services – social networks, online photo albums, mail and other attributes of modern mobile life.

HTC was the first to release an Android smartphone, and was first to unveil a custom UI for its phones running Google’s OS. HTC Sense similar to TouchFLO for WinMo but way different in terms of user friendliness and polishing.

The first smartphone with HTC Sense was HTC Hero and with its success we can say for sure it will be used in upcoming models as well.

Standby mode

HomeScreen in Android is used to display different labels and widgets. With the help of horizontal scrolling, you can navigate to other pages. In contrast to the standard UI, the number of pages is increased to 7 in the Sense. You can switch between them with a horizontal swipe across the touchscreen in either direction, or using the trackball. There are three buttons: main menu, dialing and widgets.

The basic concept of the homescreen is that any label or widget can be placed on any page of the homescreen. This gives very broad options for personalizing your phone, setting it for your own comfort. This is the main difference between desktop interface Sense and TouchFLO, in which elements can be placed only on their tabs. However, many widgets are very similar to their counterparts of TouchFLO, so the transition from one system to another is simple. For example, consider the configuration of the desktop, installed by default. On the left side is displayed the weather forecast for selected city, large for the current day and the smaller of the following 4 days. You can select several cities and switch between them with a vertical sign with your fingers. Updating the forecast is done automatically on a schedule or manually. The second tab on the left is SMS-messages, the third – e-mail. Externally and functionally, these widgets are similar to each other. Messages and emails are displayed as windows. In the window you can read text messages, the sender and time sent, there are buttons to answer and delete the message.
Middle homescreen, by default, has a digital clock and 4 labels. Clock is the same as in TouchFLO 3D: the figures upside down, and a calendar. Under the clock is shown the date and a brief weather forecast. Labels are in the bottom of the screen and used to run the following programs: contacts, mail, browser and calendar. Between the clock and the labels remains free line, this also can be filled with shortcuts. On the next tab are assembled elements of different types. First, there are buttons to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Second, there are shortcuts to launch camera, album, Android Market and Google Maps. By default, there are links to Google, Wikipedia, Facebook and other popular sites.
Besides, there are also mini-application Twitter, Facebook, stocks, Footprints, tuning and many others. Moreover, many widgets have different types of presentation and sizes, so the possibility of their placement and combination is growing. Also on the Desktop tab you can make shortcuts to programs, contacts, websites and music playlists. Another possible element of the desktop – folder with contacts, here you can put some numbers from the address book for quick access.

Sense2

Main Menu

The main menu is presented in the form of a net, while the screen displays 16 icons in 4 columns. To see the rest of the labels you need to use the vertical scrolling. In HTC Sense, in contrast to the standard system, it is also available to view the menu in the form of a list. In this case, without scrolling will be visible only 7 programs. If you hold your finger on the label of any program, it is transferred to the desktop for quick launch.
There are programs that differ from standard system applications. In addition to the following, there are installed programs such as Google Maps, YouTube, Calculator, Browser, Android Market.

Address Book

In address book contacts are shown in a list; on the left side there is the picture of the caller; name is displayed on the right side together with the type of the contact. There can be three types: a contact on SIM-card, a contact in your phone and a Google-contact. The latter type is used to synchronize the address book in your phone with the service GMail – this is a very simple and convenient way to transfer contacts. At the bottom are shown selected contacts, groups, contacts in social networks and call history. Subscriber’s card also consists of multiple tabs. The first contains general information – photo, phone numbers, and notes, ringtones and name of the organization. The second and third tab lets you view the call history with the subscriber via SMS and email. Then there are pages with the history of activity in social networks and call history.

Sense3

Mail

Windows email program consists of three tabs. The first appears inbox selected account, on the second – the letters are grouped by sender, that is, before all correspondence with the addressee. The third tab is used to display all received investments. In the settings of mail, you can limit the upload size of letters, their quantity or urgency (for example, load letter only last week), as well as the refresh rate. In addition to text messages, and supports HTML-letter, they are displayed correctly, and with proper encoding.


Player

Music player has a media library with sorting songs by artist, album or title. These categories, as well as playlists, are presented in the form of horizontal tabs at the library. In the window with the current song is displayed the large album cover, under which it is shown the duration with the ability to move to any songs, and at the very bottom you can find buttons. Using the context menu you can set the tone on the call (after having cut out of it right fragment), add it to the playlist, and switch repeat mode, or mixing.


Calendar

Calendar has two types of view – month and day. The second mode is interesting, because under the events of the selected item displays the weather forecast for that day. When creating events it shows the time, location and description, time of the reminder. The main feature of the calendar is synchronization with a similar service Google. You can check your friends’ calendars and create joint activities. Now it is available in the mobile phone.

Sense4

Footprints

This program can be met in HTC smartphones running Windows Mobile. It allows you to create “fingerprints” attractions, including photos, text and audio note, as well as the geographic coordinates for later viewing on the map. For convenience, map (of course, loaded with Google), is displayed directly in the program.


Peep

This program is used to access another popular Internet service – Twitter. You can view the messages with friends, personal letters, most written any blog entries. New messages are delivered automatically, and notifications about them can also be brought in the notification window.

Teeter

This game is already familiar to users of WM- HTC smartphone. The idea is to roll the ball on the plane so that it fell into the correct hole, but in any case not in others. An interesting way to control – the slope of the “table” is made using the slope of the smartphone, and the motion passes in the game with built-in accelerometer.

Sense5

Weather

This program functionality is fully analogous to the widget, except that deployed in full screen. It displays the current weather, as well as weather for the next 4 days (with smaller font), and you can see weather in other cities with finger gestures up and down.

Conclusion

Shell of HTC Sense is an excellent addition to the standard functionality of the operating system, Google Android, giving the user even more options for configuring the desktop for himself/herself. In particular, a variety of widgets can be combined in different ways. In addition, improvements were done in a number of standard programs, including the address book and e-mail, which also have benefited in terms of convenience. Finally, a set of programs will satisfy even the most discerning user who can listen to music, and chat with friends online, using Twitter, Facebook, uploading images to Flickr, and videos – on YouTube, etc.

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