8 essential HTC One M8 tips and tricks

14 April 2014

The HTC One M8 is a great device, but you can get even more out of it if you learn a few tips and tricks. Some of its more useful features and shortcuts are hidden away and could take months to turn up through general use.

We’ve compiled a list of useful tweaks for both functionality and aesthetic aspects.

Lock screen shortcuts and widgets

The One M8 combines HTC Sense UI tools with standard Android features to make the Lock Screen much less of a barrier than it traditionally has been.

You can use tray icons to jump straight in to specific apps, manage what widgets are shown while the screen is locked and even bypass the lock screen all together using specific gestures.

Tray icon shortcuts:

On any Android device, the icon tray is located at the bottom of the Home Menu, and stays there as you swipe sideways between different home screens. HTC takes it further and displays it right on the Lock Screen.

This way you can see any missed notifications and go straight in to the apps by tapping on them and swiping upwards. You can even add folders to the tray to cram even more apps on if you wish.

New gestures:

On the One M8, you can skip the lock screen all together. While in standby mode, swiping from right to left will take you to the default home screen, while swiping in the opposite direction opens up BlinkFeed.

Alternatively, you can double-tap to wake the screen up, and then use the left and right swipe gestures once the Lock Screen is showing.

Swiping up from the bottom of the display opens up Google Now and down from the top is the notification tray. These are standard Android features.

Lock Screen widgets:

If you miss the prompt when first using your phone, you can still change the lock screen widget by tapping on the clock and swiping downwards. Then, tap and hold the widget and either slide it up to Edit or to Remove. Edit allows you to include more information without ditching the clock and weather display. Remove is pretty self explanatory.

Answer calls more easily

The One M8 makes answering calls a bit easier. When a call is incoming you can swipe downwards on the lock screen. Alternatively, just holding the phone to your ear while its ringing will answer the call.

Quicker quick settings

Quick Settings are an awesome way to manage your phone while on the go. Most people access them by pulling down the notification tray and then tapping in the top right corner, but you can get to them even more quickly.

Instead of using one finger to pull down the tray, use two. This will take you straight in to quick settings, making things just that little bit more streamlined.

Customise BlinkFeed and Sense colour theme

The default green theme for the One M8’s user interface isn’t the only option you’re stuck with. Go in to Settings > Personalize > Theme and there are four options to choose from.

Changing the theme will alter your BlinkFeed and top nav bar, as well as a few other little highlights. Apart from green, you can go with purple, orange and black.

Remove BlinkFeed

If you’ve given BlinkFeed a chance and decided it’s not for you then you can remove it pretty easily.

Swipe over to BlinkFeed and pinch the screen to zoom out. You should be presented with a top-down view with your home screens along the top and a widget menu underneath. Tap and hold BlinkFeed and drop it on the Remove tab in the top right. You can always add it back later if you change your mind.

Hide unwanted bloatware

If you get an Android phone through a carrier, it’s guaranteed to have a bunch of un-deletable apps on it that you don’t want and will never use.

Happily, the One M8 lets you hide any app you want, even if you can’t completely trash it. Tap the menu button in the top right (the three dots) and select Hide/unhide apps.

Replace your TV remote

The One M8 has an IR blaster built in to the front. This, combined with its HTC TV app, lets you control most televisions on the market, as well as a few home theaters and set top boxes. You’ll never have to look for your remote again.

Open the app and follow the setup prompts. Make sure your TV or other device is in front of you when you do. If it’s an older model, have your remote at the ready just in case the One M8 needs to copy its IR commands, but it shouldn’t be necessary.

Give Swype a go

In most regions, Swype is pre-installed on the One M8. It’s a third party keyboard app that lets you run your finger around the keys instead of bothering to tap them. It takes some getting used to, but we highly recommend you give it a go. You can even opt to give it access to other apps so that it can analyse your language use and become more accurate, but it’s not totally necessary.

After a couple of weeks you’ll have the muscle memory down. By that stage, Swype should be getting a pretty good idea of your language style and adjusting its prediction algorithm accordingly.

Swyping to type is such an easily method of typing on a small screen that we think it’ll completely take over eventually. In the meantime, give it a go and see what you think.

If you're in the US, check out HTC One (M8) plans.



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