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HTC One tips and tricks - Interface, BlinkFeed and Camera

Andrew Williams




The HTC One is the most desirable new phone in the world right now. Metal-bodied, great-looking and a seriously powerful gadget, this is the mobile that could turn things around for HTC.

We've spent weeks fiddling with the phone, and here are best tips, tricks and hidden features we've found.


How to change keyboards

One of the few software criticisms we made about the HTC One was that its keyboard isn’t exactly the slickest in town. However, one of the neatest bits of Android is that you can swap-out things like keyboards. The first thing to do is to head to the Play Store to find your perfect Android keyboard. The most popular third-party one is Swiftkey.

Once you’ve downloaded your keyboard, you need to select it to act as your main keyboard within the Settings menu, from the Language & Keyboard submenu. However, many third-party keyboard apps have their own setup wizards anyway.

Enabling Swype-style input on the keyboard

There are ways to customise the standard HTC keyboard too, though. The most important is gesture-based input, which we find speeds-up typing no end. Instead of tapping away on keys, you draw a line between the characters and the HTC One calculates which word you want. It works a charm too. To turn this mode on, go to the HTC Sense Input menu within Settings > Language & Keyboard and tick the Trace Keyboard checkbox.

How to customise the apps menu

The HTC One lets you fiddle with the look of the apps menu a little. You can choose how icons are organised, and how many appear in each row. As standard, it displays just three in each row for a chilled, spread out look. To bump this up to four, drag the apps “scroll” down to reveal the app menu’s Settings bar. Tap the 3-pip icon and you’ll see an option for Grid Size. The organisation options are found in the drop-down menu to the left of the 3-pip button.

How to change icons in the HTC Sense dock

The easiest-to-access app shortcuts of all are those in the shortcut dock, which stays on-screen in both the apps menu and your home screens. You can choose what’s in this dock on the apps screen. Just hold a finger down on an icon, whether in the dock or not, until the screen zooms out a little then drag it on, or off, the bar.

You can add app folders to the Sense dock

Folder functionality lets you keep boxes of apps on the apps menu – just like those of the iPhone iOS software. These folders can sit in the main shortcut dock just like a single app shortcut. They’re added in the same way too.

How to take a screen grab

Unlike most older Android phones, the HTC makes it dead simple to take a picture of whatever’s on-screen. It’s the perfect way to capture an amazing score in a game that doesn’t have some of form of brag function as standard. To take a grab, press the power button and the Home soft key at the same time. The pic will be then saved to the phone’s gallery.

Installing a custom UI

Do you outright hate the Sense UI? Do not fret as you can swap it out for another one. Whenever you press the Home button, it’s actually directing you to a home screen “app”. Install another and you’ll get the option to be directed to one other than HTC’s. Top candidates include Nova Launcher and ADW.Launcher. To find a bunch, just search for “Launcher” in the Play Store.

Adding widgets to a home screen

Here’s a nice basic one that most of you probably know already. To add a widget to a home screen, just find a bit of empty space on a screen and hold a finger down on it. This will bring up the widget control panel. Two-thirds of the screen will be made up of a box of widgets, with the other bit left for teeny versions of your homes screens, onto which you can drag widgets.

How to customise the lock screen

The HTC One lets you control what your phone’s lock screen looks like, but you don’t do this from the lock screen itself. Instead, dive into the Personlize menu within Settings. Here you’ll find options for home screens that incorporate music players, your calendar or photo album. You can even turn off the lock screen entirely.

Modifying LED notifications

A neat little hardware feature that barely gets any attention is the HTC One’s LED notification light, which sits behind the top speaker grille. You can control which types of notifications earn the notification LED flash within Settings > Display, Gestures & Buttons > Notification Flash. You can’t control its colour though, sadly.


How to get rid of Blinkfeed

You can’t get rid of Blinkfeed entirely on the HTC One. HTC is clearly that bit too proud of it. However, you can hide it from view. To do this, you need to create another home screen to use as the face of your phone. HTC veterans may want to include the classic HTC clock, which you’ll find in the HTC One’s treasure trove of widgets.

Next we need to set this screen as the default home screen. Hold a finger down on an empty bit of home screen, waiting until the widget drop screen pops up. At the top of this screen you’ll see teeny versions of your home screens. Hold a finger down on one of these and a Set as Home Screen option will appear. Tap it and Blinkfeed will be gone. Well, more or less.

Adding sources to Blinkfeed

Like Blinkfeed? It works best if you customise it with the sorts of info you want – whether that’s tweets, Facebook updates or articles from the internet. To do this, head to your Blinkfeed home page and drag down on its panels to reveal the settings bar. The triple dot button here takes you to an area where you can add Blinkfeed sources, while the drop-down bar to the left lets you pick between types of active source.


The filter button

The HTC One’s camera filters selection is so up-front that it’s actually pretty easy to miss. The filters button is the icon that looks a bit like a colour venn diagram, sitting below the camera/video select buttons within the camera app. HTC offers a bunch of filters, including creative ones like a distorting warp and customisable vignetting.

How to turn on Zoe Mode

Zoe mode is one of the key features of the HTC One. It takes a short video clip that can also be sliced up into twenty still images. One of the neatest parts of Zoe mode is that once it’s shared through HTC Share, a short URL is produced that makes sharing the video with friends dead simple. It also allows re-touching, including removing objects from the video. We’ve had trouble getting this to work properly, but you can find the feature by inspecting a Zoe vid in the gallery, tapping Edit and then Retouch. You’ll find Object Removal in this menu.

Best settings for general use

To get photos with the most detail, we recommend at least trying out using HDR as your go-to photo mode. HDR stands of High Dynamic range, and it combines three exposures to eke out as much detail as possible. As the HTC One is so powerful, the processing only takes a second or two – it doesn’t slow you down too much. Unfortunately, we can’t see any way to get the HTC One to save both standard and HDR shots at the same time, as you can with an iPhone.

How to auto upload photos to Flickr

If you’re a big photo sharer, you can set the HTC One to automatically upload your songs to the ‘net. You’ll find this option right down the bottom of the camera app’s Settings menu. As standard, the only option is to upload to Flickr for HTC Sense.

Wireless camera shutter

A neat hidden feature of the HTC One is that you can use a Bluetooth headset to take photos you’re when within the camera app. Hold down the central button on your remote and the camera will take a shot.


March 29, 2013, 12:10 am

One tip as mentioned in another thread, I use widgets to control Wi-Fi/Mobile Data/Brightness & GPS. Doing so I think really helps with battery. Haven't done this yet, but there is also some event based tasker app (not sure of the name), were for example if you plugged into power it could be made to turn everything on automatically for you etc, or if you placed the phone face down it could be made to go into silent mode etc.

Also not seen mentioned, BlinkFeed if your have TV remote App setup it also shows you TV programmes you might be interested in, and you can then get it to change your TV channel for you, I thought was rather nice. In fact I really like BlinkFeed, Facebook integration is very handy too, and I do find myself reading some of the articles it shows. I won't be removing any time soon!!

Of course not HTC specific, but Android. A nice live wallpaper I put on is -> Koi Live Wallpaper, looks amazing on HTC's screen. In fact I liked the Free version so much, went and bought my first App from the Play Store. :) Oh, and make sure it's the Koi Wallpaper from Kittehface Software, I downloaded another one by mistake, and it was super full of Advert popups etc, yuck.. Well at least I found out how to un-install software. Oh, and it's also possible for the wallpaper to show on your lock screen.

Talking of lock screen, if you set Photo as as your lock screen style, to set what pictures appear you go to Setting/Personalize/Lock screen style, and then select settings. Thought I'd mention, as I was a while finding that.. :)

Also you talked about Auto-upload to Flickr, you seemed to miss the fact it does it with DropBox too.

Also one thing I found, taking slow motion video is really nice, especially when it creates the Zoe video with them.

One thing I do hope HTC do, is re-implement the option for long Back button press to act as Menu, having the button bar on certain apps just to display this one button just seems silly.

Gavin Martin

April 6, 2013, 11:35 pm

Well, mine turned up today. Bigger than I'm used to and lots to learn with Android but it's a lovely bit of kit. Only problem...no output to the right channel of my earphones (both the bundled phones and my Shure SE535s). Sound is stereo from the speakers so just a headphone output issue. Dammit :(


April 21, 2013, 3:23 am

I seem to have gotten myself in trouble with the "changing icons in the sense dock" tip. When I tried to drag an item off the dock and onto the home screen, it made a copy on the
home screen but kept it on the dock. So I tried dragging a new item to the dock, and ended up with a folder containing both the old and new items. Now, I can't find any way to get rid of that folder which is stuck on the dock! Any idea how to correct this?


April 22, 2013, 8:41 am

open the app drawer and drag the apps in the folder to the drawer


April 30, 2013, 1:22 am

Is there a way to get the screen to turn on when you receive a text? I know you can get the LED to flash a few times, but what about the screen?

Meagan Williams

May 2, 2013, 11:25 pm

I can't seem to find it in the standard message settings either so I am using a different SMS app (Go SMS Pro) which has that option in the advanced settings.


May 9, 2013, 10:45 pm

Use app Awesome On/Off. You can download it on the Play Store

Steve Hunter

May 20, 2013, 9:10 pm

Thank you!!!


May 21, 2013, 12:05 am

Glad to help

Annira Avinash

July 4, 2013, 1:15 am

how do i completely remove shortcuts from lock screen ?plz help me out

Rawan Al-Wazzan

September 1, 2013, 7:46 pm

How can i disable auto-upload to flickr? I turned it off from the camera settings, but it's never off! Please need help!

Deepak Goyal

September 12, 2013, 3:38 am

stop "synchronization" of the device


September 13, 2013, 2:43 pm

is there a way on disabling the dock?


October 31, 2013, 11:54 pm

Does anyone have a problem with the stock keyboard, where, as you're correcting an error in the text using the backspace key, it suddenly magnifies the entire display with a yellow lined box around the periphery that can only be restored to normal magnification by flipping from portrait to landscape (and vice versa if you're operating in landscape)??

Ahmed Zakarya

November 15, 2013, 12:51 pm

I have a problem with my new HTC one , that lock screen
style dispread ( setting --- personalize ---- display ) it should be visible
under display but not as attached

I don’t know maybe a pug or system setting

Kindly advise


November 15, 2013, 6:38 pm

Try turning off the triple tap to zoom feature under accessibility...


March 11, 2014, 9:28 pm

Look under security instead of personlize


March 2, 2016, 2:11 pm

How do I make the accelerometer work when the screen is locked?

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