Like it or not, the HTC Sense will be classified as a new user interface in the market, so don't search for it somewhere else. One of the biggest downsides to it is that it is not compatible with older HTC phones, which means if you're a Nexus One user, you can either wait for them to make it compatible, or buy the new HTC Desire.
Top Features of the HTC Sense
On to the good stuff, there are a number of positive features intended to make your life a lot easier. So, what are we waiting for? Let's get going and see what they are.
They have added the new pinch pull to put all the available home screens onto the screen, making it easier to jump screens. Just pinch-zoom in for all the screens to be visible and touch the one you want to be on. Or you can press the Home button twice. This feature will find itself divided by opinion. People may be either too comfortable with swiping across screens to use this feature, but the availability of seven screens (that's two more than the Google Nexus One) might just make them kick the habit. The main screen is your typical weather-and-date display. Tapping and holding on a screen will enable the "Add to Home" feature, adding any selected or tapped widgets or folders (or their shortcuts) to the home screen. This can also be done by tapping the '+' button at the bottom of the screen.
The lock screen is pretty nifty too. To unlock, you need to pull the ring to the center of the screen. You can also put four icons on your lock screen for quick access. The icons can be customized during the phone installation process, or modified anytime afterwards. To access these icons, you need to drag the icon into the ring. Almost no chances of this happening in your pockets, unless your pockets have fingers too.
By far my favorite feature, the friends stream basically connects the three social network giants, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, into a single 'stream' of posts. Display icons connect a post to the site it came from. You can also post a comment or a photo onto all three at the same time. The service needs to be activated during setup. Viewing or blocking posts works as per the site it came from. Here you need to be very careful with whom you want to follow, trying to get all the posts all the time will be a very tedious job using this service.
The new app for HTC Sense - HTC News, gives you all the news updates you can hope for. There is a home screen for all RSS feeds. Opening it will show you all you have subscribed for, listing all the latest feeds in them. You can even save a feed for offline viewing at your own comfort. Each news feed generally comes with a photo. You can subscribe to a new feed or cancel subscription any time you want.
The calendar on the HTC Sense is good enough to generate interest for people who need to do a lot of organizing. A time bar next to a date displays how much work you have in the day and when is that work during the day. Weather information can also be accessed here (up to four days).
There are more features that might interest you enough to get the interface, such as:
- the phone ringing louder when kept in a bag, or putting the phone on silent when you get a call by facing it down
- social information on a person when you receive his/her call (must already be stored in the phone book)
- a page zoom in feature that fits/adjusts the content
- answering a call with the GPS still on
- maps integrated with the phone compass, so that the map rotates with the phone
The user interface has enough features to keep you hooked till HTC comes up with something new. The only two problems being a no backwards compatibility and the exclusion of some sync options (like Outlook tasks and a PC-clock), the HTC Sense should still come out as a winner against most others.