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Mobile World Congress In Barcelona, Spain saw the announcement of several new devices. One of the main release spectacles was that of the HTC One M9 which will feature the new HTC Sense 7 UI on top of Android Lollipop. And while the hardware aspect of this beautiful phone has taken front stage, the UI should receive some attention as well. While not a major overhaul of HTC’s user interface and features, there is a few new changes that make improvements over the previous HTC Sense that should be pointed out.
For starters, there is now going to be many customization tweaks that can be made that will improve the overall look and feel of the device. To kick it off, HTC announced theme support for devices running HTC Sense 7. The new app simply titled Themes, will allow users even greater customization over their device. With it you can change pretty much all visual aspects such as changing icon color, shape, and images. You can change the style and type of navigation buttons. But what is cool about the theme application is the fact that it will allow you to set your wallpaper and based on that the app will note the colors in your wallpaper and automatically adjust the colors throughout the device giving it an aesthetic uniformity that makes color coordinating your phone a breeze. When it comes to the navigation bar, users have had little options in the past. HTC has changed that. You can now change the order of the navigation buttons, and you can add other options such as notifications, a button to turn off the screen, or the ability to hide the navigation bar altogether from view.
For all you photo buffs out there, HTC has added some new photo editing tools to make your heart content. Along with the normal offerings in the past from HTC such as Face Fusion, customers of HTC will now have some additional options such as the ability to use double exposure, which allows you to merge two different photographs. There is also a prism effect, snow effect, and the ability to add shapes and colors to the picture. You can also hide areas in a photograph so that the main focus of your picture is front and center. HTC has also made a change to the Gallery app, where all of your onboard and cloud photographs will be in one place, however, it will not duplicate the photographs. That means if you have the same photograph in your Google Photos and the same Photograph on Flickr, the gallery will only show it one time thus reducing clutter. It also has Image Match, which allows you to select a person’s face and bring up pictures of that person. The app has been released on the Google Play Store but will be included in Sense 7. There will also be a camera/photo store that will also give you options such as professional specific features and the ability to add more options to your camera. These new features are bound to make any photo enthusiast happy.
With HTC’s new fitness tracker the Grip, made in partnership with Under Armor, HTC has of course added a fitness and activity tracker to Sense 7. Audiophiles will benefit from AllPlay integration which will allow you the ability to control multi-room speakers right from your phone running Sense 7. HTC has also added a new option to its BlinkFeed called the morning briefing that gives you a rundown of your day for quick viewing. Finally, Sense 7 will contain Sense Home, a widget that will make sorting your apps as simple as going to the store. That is because the Sense Home widget will automatically sort your apps depending on your location and time of day, to offer you the applications that you need that are specific to what you are doing now. This will make it easier to locate things such as productivity apps at work, entertainment and content apps at home, and apps like Yelp when your out on the town with friends or family. The widget will also offer app suggestions to help you discover new apps that you may find relevant to your needs that you may not have known about.
HTC has been working hard to improve their devices and it shows. These new features will no doubt make HTC fans happy and create a more enjoyable user experience. HTC was proud to show off some of the Sense 7 features during their showing at Mobile World Congress and want these new features to become part of an experience that will keep current customers, as well as draw new ones in. Hopefully the hard work that has been put into Sense 7 will payoff for HTC, but with a huge showing from Samsung during MWC, HTC may not have gotten enough attention to properly inform customers of their new products. We will have to wait and see once Sense 7 is released with the upcoming HTC One M9 and to older HTC devices if HTC’s hard work has paid off.