HTC Hub and Apps Review

The HTC Hub for the WP7 Surround looks a helluva lot like the HTC skin for Android. They probably use it because it looks good. Big clock at the top with changing background for the weather. Instead of pinned Android Apps below it, you have a list of HTC apps for WP7.

For the uninitiated, a hub is not a live tile in the WP7 universe. Tiles are apps or contacts that you open individually. A hub contains specialized apps within it, like the Xbox Live hub or the HTC hub. It opens and runs almost like a mini-OS, but the apps you access from within it can be run independently as well.

Attentive Phone: Free
This is a brief attempt at Android’s Tasker. If the phone is picked up while ringing it automatically mutes the ringer. There’s also a pocket mode, which uses the proximity sensor to detect if the phone is in a pocket or bag and will ring louder. The other two settings allow you to select whether flipping the phone face down will turn speakerphone on, or flipping it during ringing will mute the ringer. Works as advertised.

Need for Speed: $4.99
Holy Balls. Talk about load time. Then you get to watch the intro cut scene. Then you buy a car and get the chance to trick it out. Original, huh? It seems very similar to the PSP version of the game. Graphics are nice though.

Gameplay is odd. There’s no gas, just tap the screen for brakes. NOS is used by tapping a magic spot I haven’t figured out 100%. Steer by tilting the phone. The game is really responsive, which takes advantage of the processing power, and the battery gets a bit warmer. Soundtrack is typically tacky.

Photo Enhancer: Free
The main image for this app appears to be Lauren OConnel which is cool. The app is fairly limited, with only basic enhancements and a few antiquing algorithms. What I like about it is that it you can import images directly from the image viewer, as opposed to opening the app separately. Allows you to preview the effect. Saved images are stored separately from the camera roll.

Stocks: Free
Very basic. Pulls data for selected stocks, displays them cleanly on home screen. If you select a stock, you can swipe left or right for in depth information, charts or news regarding the stock.

Flashlight: Free
Very basic flashlight app. Displays a Maglite look alike on screen with a power button. You can control the Camera “flash” LED to 3 levels of brightness, and there’s an SOS feature, for when you have your phone and Morse Code is your only option, MacGruber.

Lists: Free
One of the better list apps. Allows multiple lists and auto saves them. It looks like yellow notepad paper, and you swipe across to line out completed items.

YouTube: Free
Unlike the Microsoft YouTube app, this one actually runs like an app, not just linking you to the mobile page and allowing you to play videos through the Zune media player software. You can’t log in to see your favorite videos, nor can you rate or review. But you can watch them in HQ, which is a plus for my Surround with the decent sound.

Converter: Free
For the American in all of us: Bad at math and unsure as to what a km really is. Works as advertised.

There you are. These are most of the apps offered under the HTC hub, and they can all be launched independently, or within the hub (That’s what hub means, dumbass) There are a few more, like Love, which apparently presents a flower that you pluck petals from, but I refuse to test it. There is also a Notes application, but between Lists and the MS Office pack, I don’t see a need for it.

2 thoughts on “HTC Hub and Apps Review”

  1. I was really worried that the HTC skin would really mess things up, but in all truth it looks usable and very handsome.

  2. This is just a review of one Hub within the Live Tile home page. I have many other apps that don't run within the HTC hub that I use as well, but these are probably the cleanest/best versions of each type of app that I've found.

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