On the surface it appears HTC adopted the old “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude, because the One M9 sports a very similar design to its predecessors. But if you take a look under the hood you’ll find there’s plenty to set it apart. The full extent of what you can do with your phone is not always obvious, so we’ve compiled some tasty One M9 tips for your delectation.
Click a page to jump to it:
- Navigation, Themes, Sense Home Widget, Gestures, and Media streaming
- Camera modes, App pinning, Battery, Call volume, and Bloatware
- Remote control, Blinkfeed, Developer options, Browser shortcuts, and Help
How to streamline your navigation
Why live with the default layout when you can customize the user interface to suit you and speed up your navigation? Most phones have the option to move elements around and set up quick access menus, but HTC takes it further because you can add an extra entry to the standard buttons Back, Home, and Recent Apps. Go to Settings > Personalize > Change navigation buttons and choose from Hide navigation bar, Turn off screen, Auto rotate, Notifications, and Quick settings. If you select Hide navigation bar, you can get rid of the onscreen buttons to increase your screen real estate. A swipe up from the bottom is enough to bring them back.
It’s also worth noting that the 12 Quick settings toggles that appear when you swipe down from the notification shade. There’s an Edit icon at the top toward the right and you can tap and drag items into the Quick settings list or hide them.
How to customize your theme
There are lots of options in Settings > Personalize so you can get the home screen look you want and tweak other aspects of your One M9, but there’s another way to change the theme on your phone. Open up the Themes app and you’ll find lots of different themes to choose from that will change your wallpaper, textures and colors, icons, font, and even sounds. What’s even better than having a bunch to choose from is that you can edit existing themes or create your own.
Open up the Themes app and tap menu at the top left then choose My themes and tap the plus icon. You can choose a wallpaper or a photo in your gallery to build a new theme around. If you don’t like what the app comes up with, don’t worry because you can edit all the individual aspects of it. You can also create these themes directly from photos in your Gallery app by tapping the Themes button.
How to use the Sense Home widget
It’s nice that you can dive in and tweak every aspect of your One M9 to customize it, but wouldn’t it be better if your phone could predict what you want to see and change the home screen accordingly? That’s the idea behind HTC’s Sense Home widget. You can add it to the home screen, if it’s not already there, by tapping and holding on an empty space and choosing Add apps and widgets > Widgets.
It uses your location to decide if you’re at home or work and then serves up the apps you use most in each environment. If you get annoyed at the apps under Home constantly changing, then you can press and hold the icon to pin an app to the widget so it stays for that category. You’ll still get a different set for Work. Remember that you need to have location services turned on under Settings > Location for this widget to work properly.
How to use gestures
The One M9 supports motion gestures that you can use as shortcuts. Go to Settings > Display & gestures > Motion Launch gestures and you can turn on various options including the ability to wake the screen with a double tap or swipe up, swipe left to right or right to left to wake up the screen to Blinkfeed or the Home widget respectively, or launch the camera by holding the One M9 in landscape and pressing one of the Volume buttons.
There are four additional motions worth turning on. The Auto answer calls option in Settings > Call allows you to automatically answer an incoming call by holding the One M9 up to your ear. The Quiet ring on pickup option is found in Settings > Sound & notification and it drops the ring volume when you pick up the phone. The Flip to mute option is also in Settings > Sound & notification. The Media gesture in Settings > Display & gestures allows you to do a three-finger upward swipe to push the video or audio playing on your One M9 to a connected device.
How to stream media
In order to connect devices for that last gesture to work, and so that you can share media, you should use HTC Connect which you’ll find in Settings. Tap the three dots at the top right in HTC Connect and select Scan to find devices. You can also expand the menu and choose Scan options if you want to dictate what kind of devices to look for. It supports AllPlay, Blackfire, Bluetooth, DLNA, and Miracast.