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Guide To Android: Custom UI’s,HTC Sense

Sense is another custom UI for Android. Like MotoBlur and Touchwiz, it brings a new and different flavor to stock Android to enhance user experience. Many of HTC’s Android power phones include the Sense experience to make it easier for user to stay in touch on the go. Sense is described by HTC as three main principles “Make It Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected”. All three describe different areas to the Sense experience that gives the user more power and control over their device to make it theirs. HTC released the Hero to Sprint in October of 2009. It was the first HTC phone to use Sense and give users a new experience with Android. Since the release of the Hero we have seen several HTC Sense powered phones such as the Desire, Legend, and Evo.

Sense, unlike Blur, does not have you create an account upon starting up your new Android phone, by doing so you are not forced to use Sense on any device that offers it. However, it does give you the options to link to several different social networks to make it easier to stay in touch on the go. With their include applications such as Friend Stream and Peep users have many options when it comes to personalizing their phone with what is important to them most.

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The Friend Stream application lets you easily setup and follow your Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks so you can stay in touch with what matters. Also included with the Friend Stream app is a widget that you can easily place on your home screen so you can see what is going on at a glance. The widget is also able to be scrolled through so you can click on the one you want to see and like or post a comment. In addition to the Friend Stream you are able to organize people into different groups such as Friends, Family, and Business. Not only is it easy to stay in contact with the people in you life but you can also share your thoughts by selecting “What’s On Your Mind” so your friends and family can stay in touch with you.

Peep is HTC’s Twitter application so it is easy to stay up to date on your tweets with out the need to download a second app from the market. This application also comes with a scrollable widget so you can select what you want to see and re tweet or reply to it and also send and receive direct replies. Another added addition is the ability to filter your tweets according to replies directed to you and favorites, along with the ability to search for new people to follow.

The News Reader application and widget is a nice touch for the many of us that like to stay up on the current events going on in the world. With the News Reader you have the ability to add custom feeds or select from a list of feeds. The added widget makes it easy to read the articles you find important while bypassing the ones you may not. I find this a big bonus for everyone who has certain topics and events they like staying  up on.

A unique feature that Sense includes is Leap. Leap is a way for you to easily preview and move quickly between your home screens. By simply pinching the screen you are shown previews of all of your screens so you can easily jump from one to the next. This is a unique feature that I myself find very useful due to my over use of widgets.

HTC Sense is just one of three custom UIs for Android so far. Given time I am sure we will be seeing new and improved UIs to enhance user experience on Android devices.