Going off the iReservation…

htc1The lure of the bigger screen finally got me to try a non-iPhone. So far, the pros outweigh the cons for my new HTC One, but there are a lot of little tweaks, hidden settings, and obscure apps that I thought I would document here for any other switchers. The annoying thing? Virtually all of the annoyances are due to AT&T removing or blocking functionality that is built into the phone.

  • If you are on AT&T, they have hidden a real nice HTC interface for driving, called HTC Car. To access it (it is already on your phone), get the app QuickShortcutMaker, then create a custom shortcut. Search for the application “Car”, then create the shortcut on one of your home screens.
  • The HTC Sync Manager program is pull-your-hair-out bad. DoubleTwist seems to be the best solution for syncing content to your phone. Because HTC or AT&T have eliminated disk-mount access through USB, you will also need AirTwist so you can sync through wifi.
  • Actually, Airdroid is amazing also. You get a desktop interface to your phone, including access to the filesystem, contacts, etc.
  • Battery life is a constant challenge. So why didn’t HTC/AT&T include the chipset manufacturer’s excellent battery management software? You want Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Battery Guru.
  • There is no good way that I have found to get lock screen notifications like the iPhone, especially if your phone is subject to a security policy where you have to enter the PIN before doing anything. Closest I’ve gotten is to set the lock screen to “none”, then swipe down for notifications right after unlocking the phone.
  • Ringtones, alerts, etc. Pain in the ass. You need to access the file system, which you can do on the atrocious HTC Sync Manager software, or better yet Airdroid (see above). There you can put copies of any sound files you want to use into multiple folders (Alarms, Ringtones, etc.).
  • Missing iMessages? Get MightyText. Cool desktop web interface and notifications for your texts. On the phone, I like Textra as my SMS app (be sure to set it as the default for notifications for texts.
  • Gonna need to get those emojis working if you are chatting with iDevices. Get this Textra add-on.

I will update this post on an ongoing basis as I learn more.

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