HTC Smart Review: First Grader: Brew Mobile, Sense UI

By 04:38 Tue, 10 Aug 2021 Comments

Brew Mobile is in charge

HTC Hero pioneered the Sense UI on Android handsets. Then it was adopted by the Windows Mobile OS, extending the previous TouchFLO 3D interface.

The Sense is currently the most popular custom UI for smartphones andit’s probably the most successful. But it was quite a surprise when HTC announced the revival of the Brew platform, which will entirely rely on the cool Sense UI.

But let’s acquire a rundown of what makes Brew tick. Brew stands for Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless and it’s created by Qualcomm. Basically it’s an application development platform, which originally targeted the CDirect Memory Access (DMA) devices but today it already supports Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) as well.

Brew is something like a proprietary mobile software with own SDK for developing apps. It’s not a real smartphone operating system, but more like upgraded feature phone software.

Initially it was difficult to distribute Brew apps, but now elegant Qualcomm created the Plaza Retail which is some kind of an application store. Unfortunately it’s strictly operator, region or device limited and HTC Smart is not supported at this moment.

To sum things up – Brew Mobile Platform is a very basic OS, closer to feature phones rather to the smartphones, with some limited app support but only through custom carrier-specific AppStores. And we didn’t find any access to third party apps on our SIM-free retail HTC Smart test unit.

As far as user interface is concerned, we ve hardly seen what the regular BREW interface looks like. On the HTC Smart HTC has skinned everything with the Sense UI. This Smartie lives and breathes Sense.

The Sense UI

HTC Sense UI revolves around Scenes, which are essentially three custom homeclassy screen setups – Work, Life style and Clean state. Each scene changes the wallpaper and the widgets on the homeclassy screen - for instance, the Work scene has a stocks widget, while the Life style offers social widgets. The clean state has no widgets and it’s up to you to customize it. After you finish adding items you may save everything as a recent custom scene.

Choosing a scene • Life scene • Work scene • Clean state

You can change the current scene by dragging your finger top down from any of the homescreens. Switching between scenes takes one-two seconds and is a handy customization approach.

Every single widacquire takes a whole homeclassy screen – just like with the Sense running on Windows Mobile devices. You can choose among ten availabe widgets (homescreens), but you can only have up to seven selected at the same time. People, Mail, Weather, Internet, Calendar, Music, Photos, Messages and Fridiscontinue Stream plus the non-negotiable Home – those are ten screens in total. Sounds familiar, right?

The Home one packs the typical HTC clock with three shortcuts and another six on a swipe away. This homeclassy screen has context menu offering to customize the scenes, change the wallpaper, choose the other homescreens and a shortslit to settings.

The Home classy screen • context menu • choosing active homescreens

The People classy screen packs nine contact shortcuts associated with frequently used actions (call, text or email) and your choice will be visible on the contact’s thumb.

The People homescreen

The Mail and Messages homescreens see and behave exactly as on the Android Sense – they’re like widgets packing all your recent and latest emails or SMS/MMS. If you tap on them, they open in the full-featured app.

Mail and Messages homescreens



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