HTC, in their constant need to differentiate their devices from others via custom software, probably weren’t terribly excited when Microsoft said that Windows Phone was not going to be able to be customized. I mean, from their perspective, what incentive is there for your average consumer to buy a Windows Phone from them instead of another manufacturer when the software experience is the same. Well, they went to work and said, we might not be able to customize Windows Phone’s framework etc., but we can sure as hell make some apps for it. Let’s see what they did, and how well they did it in this walkthrough of HTC Hub for Windows Phone.
The Hub itself
- Displays the large clock from HTC Sense on Android and old Windows Mobile Devices
- Has a fun animation that displays the current weather (clicking on it actually gives you a forecast for the next few days with the ability to set multiple locations and swipe between them)
- Lists a few of their featured apps and can be used to jump to the HTC only section of the Windows Phone Market.
- Lists Games from other suppliers that I have no doubt had to pay something to get in to that section (way to get extra revenue streams, HTC!)
- Pretty accurate
- Integrated with Bing maps so you can select directions and it’ll jump into the Bing map from the compass.
- Since there is no HTML5 or Flash in the browser at the moment, this is a great way to view YouTube videos on your Windows Phone 7 device.
- Organized well and quick to load videos
- Great auto enhance feature which is good at color and light correction with one click
- Also has a bunch of other options so you can tweak your photos
- Option to turn SRS on or off. This increases the volume that the speakers are capable of putting out.
- When you have external speakers (something with stereo instead of mono like the device itself sadly), you can use the equalizer to adjust the sound further.
- Great way to keep track of your stock portfolio.
- Can view stock graphs by day, week, one month, 3 months, and 1 year
- Also has a direct link to Yahoo Finance website
- Great animation
- Write notes and place them on a cork board or line them up for a more traditional view
- Robust converter app
- Converts temperature, angle, area, currency, fuel, length, power, pressure, speed, time zone, volume, and weight
- Interactive way to shed some light
- Uses the camera’s flash
- What healthier way to obsess over a crush than to pick electronic flower petals off of your phone?
- You can even change the flower type if the fancy strikes you
- Functional app that allows you to create to do lists and then cross items off by swiping left to right
- Do I really need to explain this one?
- Bringing back a cool feature from old Windows Mobile and Android handsets, HTC has created the Attentive phone app. This app allows you to set moving the device to control certain situations. I.e. Quiet the ringer if you pick up the phone, increase the ring volume when the phone is in your pocket, etc.
- Most people won’t need to use this, but say if you travel overseas you might. It allows you choose the internet settings for the carrier you are going to be using (instead of the old fashion way of trying to learn the french way to say “access point settings” while in Paris).
- Now, these aren’t HTC apps, instead they look like they are companies who have maybe made a deal with HTC to be included in their HTC Hub for increased exposure, but who knows.