New HTC Sense UI: 10 things you need to know

Best features of HTC's new Sense overlay

With the Desire HD and Z set for a Sense UI overhaul, we take a look at what HTC has in store for its Android overlay. Is it the way Google's mobil eOS was meant to be seen?

After months on months of speculation, HTC offically unleashed the Desire HD and also threw in the Desire Z for good measure. If tempting us with two slick-looking handsets was not enough, the Taiwan-based manufacturer also treated us to a new look Sense UI. The revamped overlay is set to feature only on the new Desires, but we hold out hope that HTC passes down the new features to the Desire and the Legend soon.

For a look at what prospective Desire HD and Desire Z owners can look forward to, see below for the best features of the new HTC Sense UI

1/ HTC Smart Boot
HTC phones of the past have taken a mini-age to get running, so boot times have now been cut from 45 seconds down to 12 according to HTC. That should comforatbly make it the fastest ever for a Sense UI phone to get powered up.

2/ HTC Locations
Users will now be able to download and save maps through the application which means you don't have to be connected to the internet to get around, and should also eradicate problems of lag while zooming through maps. HTC has also added digital compass orientation which essentially means maps will automatically adjust to ensure you are facing the right direction.

3/ Friendstream
HTC’s social networking widget has been updated so you can share pictures, locations and apps straight from Friendstream.

4/ Email
With some minor but worthy adjustments to the important area of electronic correspondence, you can now have VIP contacts which are can be selected simply by checking or unchecking a box. This ensures that emails are prioritised so that you receive emails from the most important people first. Additionally, you can now also decide which accounts you want to see, and split your email into favourites, unread and all.

5/ Camera
As well as being able to shoot HD video, you can now add an array of effects to your still images from fisheye to sepia. It might not sound as flash as Apple's HDR picture technology, but it should give owners of the new Desires plenty to play with when they are not chatting away.

6/ Facebook
The friend-collecting social networking site is now more integrated into the Sense UI, letting you tag pictures on your phone before uploading them to the site, and seeing a Facebook friend’s status update as they call you.

7/ Ebook reader
Following in the iPhone 4's footsteps, HTC has now added an on-board ebook reader that allows you to highlight, annotate, and quickly search for definitions. There's also access to an e-book store which arrives courtesy of Koboä.

8. DLNA support
If you've got a DLNA (Digital Network Living Alliance) TV in your house, the new HTC Sense UI can send all the media from your handset onto the screen via a wireless internect connection.

9. HTCSense.com
Possibly the most notable new feature of HTC's new Sense UI is the launch of its cloud-service that can trace your phone using GPS or contact your phone remotely from your computer. If your phone decides to go walkabouts, you can remotely lock the phone, trigger the phone to ring loudly (even if you've left it on silent) and locate it on a map. You can also archive your contacts, texts, and call history just in case your handset never returns.

10. Customisation
Wallpaper and skins now have a more coverflow feel to them, and while you can choose from the ones available on the handsets, you can also browse and download more from HTCSense.com.