It’s been a rocky couple of years, but you’d be daft to count HTC out. The beleaguered company is setting the standard in virtual reality with the HTC Vive, and now there’s a sexy new smartphone on the scene, in the shape of the HTC 10. This could be the beginning of a comeback. If you’ve been lured in by this gorgeous smartphone, then you’ll want to know exactly how to get the best out of it. It’s time for some HTC 10 tips and tricks.
Basic intro tips for the HTC 10
How to wake up your HTC 10 without buttons
HTC included a variety of options to help you wake up your HTC 10. Our favorite option is simply tapping the fingerprint sensor. You can turn it on by ticking the box in Settings > Fingerprint scanner > Wake up screen.
Related: HTC 10 review
You can also use the common double tap method on the screen to bring your HTC 10 to life on the lock screen. You can swipe up from the bottom to bring up whatever you were doing last. You can swipe left to right to bring up the Home widget panel, or right to left for Blinkfeed. There’s one more option we deal with later. These gestures can all be turned on or off in Settings > Display & gestures > Motion Launch gestures.
How to use Smart Lock
This isn’t unique to the HTC 10, but it is really handy. Go to Settings > Security > Smart Lock and you can set up Trusted devices and Trusted places. This means that, for example, the lock screen security will automatically turn itself off when your HTC 10 is at home or connected to your Bluetooth system in the car.
How to boost your battery
Take a look in Settings > Power and you’ll find Power saver and Extreme power saver options that will prolong battery life by turning down performance. You can tap on Power saver and Extreme power saver to have them automatically turn on when your battery reaches a specific level. If you want some general tips, check out how to save smartphone battery.
How to use motion gestures
You can use a few actions to quickly prompt your HTC 10 to change volume. Go to Settings > Sound & notification, and you’ll find the option to Flip to mute, Quiet ring on pickup, and turn on Pocket mode. The first two are self-explanatory. Pocket mode will detect when your HTC 10 is in your bag or pocket and automatically raise the volume of the ring to make sure you can hear it.
How to change your display color
If you decide that the screen is too warm, or it feels over-saturated, you can change your color profile. Go to Settings > Display, gestures & buttons > Color profile, and you’ll find Vivid or sRGB options. Vivid is more saturated, but you can actually tweak the profiles to suit you, by tapping the three horizontal dots at the right hand side of each option to reveal a Warmer/Colder slider.
Customization tips for the HTC 10
How to break free of the grid
If you get irritated by the grid layout on Android, then you’ll be delighted to know that HTC has created a category of themes called Freestyle. These themes allow you to position app icons and widgets anywhere you want on your home screens without any constraints. If you want to try it out, then tap and hold on an empty portion of your home screen and choose Change home screen layout > Freestyle layout. Find one you like and tap Download then Apply when it’s ready.
How to hide apps
When you use a Freestyle theme you assign stickers, or large icons, to different apps. They look like part of the background wallpaper, but generally have text underneath to show you what app they link to. You can tap, hold, and drag it up to Relink to change the app, but you’ll also find that there’s an option to Hide Label. Tapping the icon will still open the app, but it will not be obvious that it relates to an app because it looks like part of the background.
You can also hide apps in the app drawer by tapping the menu (three vertical dots at the top right) and tap Show/hide apps.
How to create a theme
You can actually have your HTC 10 create a theme for you based on your wallpaper. Long press on the home screen and tap Change theme then tap the plus icon at the bottom right. If you don’t want it to create a theme based on your current wallpaper, then tap on Choose Home image and pick a photo or another image. It will give you a few choices where it has matched icon packs and colors to the image you’ve chosen.
How to tweak your theme
What if you find a theme you really like, but there’s some aspect of it that turns you off? All you need to do is go to Settings > Personalize and you can tap on Edit current theme to see a list of things you can change. You can also get the Edit current theme option by just long pressing on an empty portion of home screen.
How to customize your keyboard
You can turn your HTC 10 to landscape to get a bigger keyboard. You can also tap the menu icon at the top left of the keyboard and choose to Split it for easier typing in landscape, or Resize it to make it bigger in portrait. If you want to change how the keyboard looks, tap on the Themes option and pick a new skin. You can also ditch HTC’s keyboard. You’ll need to download an alternative from the Play Store. One you find one you like and install it, go to Settings > Language & keyboard > Current keyboard and select the one you want.
Camera tips for the HTC 10
How to quick launch the camera
It’s good to have a quick way of launching into the camera to boost your chances of capturing great moments spontaneously. Swipe your finger down the screen twice, and the display will blink to life in the camera app. Turn it on in Settings > Display, gestures & buttons > Motion Launch gestures.
How to voice control the camera
It can be difficult to get the perfect selfie or group shot, but thankfully, HTC included a voice control option for the camera on the 10. Open up the menu in the camera app and go to Settings > Camera options to enable Voice capture. Now you can say “cheese” or “capture” and the camera will take a shot.
How to shoot like a pro
If you drag the menu open from the left side in the camera app, you’ll find a Pro mode. The automatic settings are pretty good, but if you have some photography experience, or you just want to experiment a little, switch to Pro mode and try it out. You’ll find things like white balance, ISO levels, and shutter speed listed along the bottom. You can tap on them to adjust and see the impact each change has on the subject you’re shooting. Pro mode also allows you to save photos in the RAW format, which contains more detail.
How to look pretty in a selfie
We’ve seen some decidedly dodgy beautify modes on camera apps over the years, but HTC’s Live Makeup has a handy sliding scale that enables you to remove blemishes more subtly. When you’re in the camera app in selfie mode, simply open the drop down menu and select Live Makeup from the list to try it out.
How to record great quality audio
The sound quality is one of the best things about the HTC 10, and it also allows you to capture hi-res audio when you’re recording a video. Open up the camera app, choose video mode, and then open the drop down menu and tap High-res Audio. Just remember that it will take up a lot more storage space.
Five hidden HTC 10 options
How to tweak Recent apps button
The menu button has been gradually phased out of Android, but some people miss it. If you’re one of them, then you’ll be glad to know that you can tweak the Recent apps button to work as a Menu button. Simply go to Settings > Display, gestures & buttons > Recent apps button and decide how you’d like it to work. There are three options to choose from.
How to free space and explore files
You can take a look in Settings > Storage to find out exactly how much space you have on your HTC 10. If you tap on Phone storage, your phone will automatically calculate how much space is being taken up by each category. If you want to quickly free up some space, then select Cached data and tap OK to delete it. You can also sift through your files and see exactly what’s there by tapping the Explore option at the bottom.
There’s also an alternative way to clear space, via the HTC Boost+ app. There’s a Clear junk option in there that gets rid of cached files, temporary files, and some other unnecessary bits of information all at once.
How to customize your LED
Maybe you don’t like the distraction of a flashing LED for every new notification that rolls in on your HTC 10. Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with that light blinking at you. Go to Settings > Sound & notification and scroll down to the Notifications section. You can tweak Flash LED for notifications to be only When screen is off. Even better, you can tap Manage LED notifications and choose which apps you want to spark that flashing LED.
How to extend your gaming sessions
The Boost+ app also has a Game battery booster option in it, which can be used in conjunction with any game you choose. It “automatically optimizes system resources,” so your battery will last longer when you’re playing a game. What it actually seems to do, though, is drop the resolution to use less power.
How to lock sensitive apps
We’ve already taken a look at how to hide apps on your HTC 10, but what if you want an extra layer of protection? The ability to Lock apps with a pattern will likely appeal to some people who want to prevent snoopers from getting into specific apps. You can find it in the Boost+ app. Simply set a pattern and toggle which apps you want to lock.
This article was originally published on April 24, 2016, and updated on May 19, 2016, by Simon Hill to include new tips regarding how to use the recent apps button, free space, customize LED notifications, lock apps, and optimize the battery when gaming.