HTC Sense Updated, New Online Service

HTC announced a major update to HTC Sense, including a new service that lets you manage, backup and track your phone online.

HTC Sense now has additional features on the handset. One is HTC Locations is a new mapping feature to give you instant maps on the phone without a need for downloads – excellent when roaming or where data simply isn’t available. Another is a new e-book reader tied into the Kobo e-book store.

HTC handsets will also get a new ‘Fast Boot’ feature to get you quickly into calls and emails without the long wait each time you turn on your phone after a full shut down.

But is the key new feature, allowing easy online management of your phone either from the handset or from any browser. Basic features let you force your phone to ring if you’re having a hard time finding it, even if it is set to silent, or to flag its location on a map. If lost or stolen, you can remote lock the phone, forward calls or texts to another phone, send a message to the phone or perform a remote wipe. You can also archive and retrieve contacts, text messages, call history, and customise your phone features through a browser.

It’s a smart play in a competitive space where enhanced online services can help encourage users to stick with the brand on their next upgrade.