Wednesday, April 8, 2015

HTC Sense 7.0 - Internet Browser


HTC has just started rolling out the new HTC Internet app update. Newest version is tagged as 7.1.2514183160 and it brings some Material Design touches. This HTC Internet browser is a part of the HTC Sense 7.0 interface. Let's take a look at some of the HTC Internet app features, but keep in mind that most of them were already available in the older version of the browser. The new HTC Internet is mostly about new design.

View mode

Within few clicks you can choose if you want to browse the Internet with the status bar on the top of the browser, or in the "fullscreen" mode with the status bar hidden. The status bar won't show up until you swipe down from the top of the screen. However, it will not appear and stay like in the regular mode, but it will cover up the URL bar (immersive mode).


Quick Controls

With Quick Controls the URL and 3 dots bar are gone. Anything you want to do (go back or forward, enter Settings, bookmark page etc.) you need to slide with your thumb from the left or right edge of the screen to open quick controls. Pretty hard to learn at start because it's very easy to slide over wrong option, but I'm sure it's possible to master it after short time of use.


Bookmarks

Well known place, where you can manage bookmarked pages. You can choose the view mode between "Thumbnails" (first screen) and "List" (third screen). By editing bookmarks you can also change the order on the list, change the bookmark's labels and addresses or add particular bookmark to the created custom folder.


Tabs and Incognito Mode

HTC Internet app allows you to work with multiple tabs - either regular ones or "Incognito Tab" The incognito mode drastically increases your privacy level because the site you view in that mode won't appear in the browser or search history, and it won't leave other traces (like cookies) on your device. You can have maximum up to 16 tabs open at the same time.


Menu

The 3 dots menu offers some typical features like "Go back" and "Go forward" arrows or "Add to" button, which you can use to create new bookmark, add certain site to the home screen or Reading List. With the "Share" option you can share current site via different social channels, Dropbox, bluetooth, mail and more.


With the "Saved" option you can view a list of sites you decided to read later (Reading List) or videos you decided to watch later (Watch List). To add a site to the Reading List click on the 3 dots menu ---> + (plus) icon ---> Reading list.

"History" and "Find on page" options don't need to be explained.


The "Downloads" takes you to the HTC Downloads app, where you can see all downloaded files, not only via the HTC Internet app. You can also choose to view certain pages in the "Desktop View" mode. The last position on the 3 dots menu is Settings.


Settings

Here you can adjust various privacy and security settings (such as cache, history, cookies, passwords and more), as well as accessibility options (text size, scaling and zoom), advanced settings (search engine, JavaScript, pop-ups), bandwidth management and Labs, where you can enable Quick controls.




Conclusion

The new, re-designed HTC Internet app matches the new HTC Sense 7.0 UI style as well as it looks a bit more "materialized" now. Can it compete with the Google Chrome browser? No, but I don't think it is suppose to. It is just a solid, stock browser with a common features browsers on the market have. It looks good and works as it should.

The HTC Internet app is available in the Google Play.

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