Smartphones

Set the Scenes on your HTC device and make your mobile life easier

Jack Wallen takes a look at Scenes, which are a part of HTC's Sense UI. Find out how Scenes can help you become a much more efficient, task-oriented mobile device user.

For many of you who enjoy an HTC mobile Android device but do not take advantage of the Scenes feature, you are missing out on quite a handy tool. Basically, an HTC Scene is part of the Sense IU that offers a "desktop" set up that is geared toward specific functionality.

Switching between different Scenes is easy, so a single mobile device is able to offer a user multiple "personalities." For example, you can use the Work Scene while on the job, the Home Scene when dealing with the family, the Social Scene... you get the idea.

The thing is, most users don't take advantage of this outstanding feature. Instead, they try to manage their mobile life by cramming unrelated icons and widgets on the same screens, thereby wasting precious time hunting for the right icon or scrolling around for the right widget. HTC's Scenes will go a long way to help you become a much more efficient, task-oriented user. Let's take a look.

Default Scenes

Before we get into creating and saving new Scenes, it should be pointed out that, by default, HTC already has some pretty useful Scenes. For example:

  • Default provider Scene (as created by the mobile provider): This includes various widgets that are unique to your provider
  • Default HTC Scene: The default HTC Scene includes many of the widgets unique to HTC
  • Social: Widgets and icons dedicated to social networking
  • Work: Widgets and icons associated with work tasks
  • Play: Widgets and icons associated with tasks like contacts, camera, email, browser, etc.
  • Travel: Widgets and icons associated with travel

To change to a different scene, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the Settings button
  2. In the Personalize section, tap Scene
  3. Scroll through the selection (see Figure A) and choose the desired Scene

Figure A

Here you see the Verizon Mobile default scene.

Roll your own

After you've checked out the different default Scenes, you might decide to create one of your own. Here are the steps:

  1. Tap the Settings button on the mobile handset
  2. Tap the Personalize button
  3. Tap the Scene entry under Personalize display
  4. Tap the Menu button
  5. Tap New
  6. Give the Scene a unique name (see Figure B)
  7. Tap done

Figure B

You now have a completely blank Scene with which to begin adding widgets, icons, wallpapers, etc. Figure C shows a scene I created for my fiction writing (including apps to help me check formatting on Kindle, Nook, and more).

Figure C

In case you're wondering, the background is from my upcoming book "My Zombie My."

One final word on Scenes. Each of the included Scenes can be modified, and the modifications will stick -- so when you switch back and forth, you won't have to re-create your modifications. This way, you can tweak the included Scenes to perfectly fit your needs.

Wrap it up

Scenes are an easy way to help your HTC-powered Android device work for you (and not the other way around). I highly recommend anyone using an HTC device to take advantage of this feature. Your non-HTC Android friends will be jealous.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

2 comments
JJFitz
JJFitz

Well they say, "You learn something new every day." and it's true! Thanks

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

I have the first generation HTC Incredible, and it doesn't have the capability to create my own Scene. However, I noticed that the HTC Incredible 2 does. And here's a little warning to folks who decide to check out the different Scenes that are included by default. If it asks you if you want to save your Scene before previewing the others, do it. I tried to just back out, but all of my app icons and widgets were gone when the screen refreshed. I had to completely recustomize my phone, which was frustrated and time consuming.