Until very recently, the HTC Sensation XE was the manufacturer’s flagship Android smartphone. Among its key features are an 8 megapixel camera with HD video capture, a high resolution touchscreen and powerful dual-core processor. These features make it a versatile device, but in this article I will focus on how the phone performs as a social networking device.
FriendStream is a widget which is optimised for the HTC Sense user interface. The idea of the widget is very simple; it shows data from both your Facebook and Twitter account on a single feed, so you do not have to use each app. Everything is displayed in chronological order, and you can interact with most in the same ways as when using the dedicated app for each site. For example, you can like, or comment on a Facebook post, or retweet a Twitter post. To carry out such tasks, simply touch the post you wish to interact with, and you will then be taken to an interface which offers all the options, most of which are the same as you can carry out on a computer. FriendStream can be used to simply display just Facebook posts or just Twitter posts, if you only use one of the two. This way, you can instantly see your Facebook news feed for example, using the widget on one of the seven customisable homescreens of the HTC Sense UI, so you do not have to open the app every time.
While it is very convenient, there will be some who still prefer to use the dedicated apps for Facebook or Twitter. The Facebook app lets you view your news feed, profile, messages, and the profiles of all your Facebook friends. Also, you can view events, check in at a location using the GPS functionality of the HTC Sensation XE, and of course you can post status updates. There is an Android app for Twitter, as well as an HTC Sense optimised version called HTC Peep. The latter is already installed on the phone and can be found under the ‘all apps’ menu. On both of these apps, you can view all your followers, as well as the people you are following, with full search functionality using the search bar at the top of the app interface. You can post new tweets, or retweet a post from someone else. Of course, if you post a new Tweet, the task is very simple and quick because only 140 characters are allowed, and with the on screen QWERTY keyboard, can be posted in seconds.
Of course, the HTC Sensation XE offers more social networking features than just those outlined above for Facebook and Twitter. MySpace, Bebo and Friendster also have dedicated apps, and there is a LinkedIn widget available from the HTC Hub, which works in a similar way to FriendStream.
The HTC Sensation XE is the perfect showcase for the social networking functionality of Android smartphones. The stock Android apps, as well as HTC’s own widgets customised for its Sense interface are easy to use and convenient or staying connected on the go.