Your HTC One’s Extended Home Screen

By Bill Hughes

If your HTC One is your first smartphone, take a moment and get familiar with the idea of the Home screen. After all, the first screen you see on a feature phone is usually the dial-pad. You typically need to tap a button to get to the games and other non-calling options, such as your list of contacts.

Smartphones are different. You will use the HTC One phone as a phone as often as you did with your old phone, perhaps even more. However, you will probably find that you will call someone by dialing their number from a dial-pad less often than having your phone dial from your contact list, an email, from voice commands, or any of a bunch of new ways.

In recognition of this reality, you do not come to a dial-pad when you turn on your phone. You come to what is called the “Home screen.” You can get to the telephone dial-pad from the home screen, but you can also get to your favorite tools on the phone from here.

In addition, you will find that a single page will not hold all your favorite icons, links, and gadgets. The first screen that comes up is really a bunch of screens tied together to create the Extended Home screen. HTC has set it to be four screen-widths wide and one screen high. You can practice your “drag” and “flick” motions on this page to navigate around.

The Home button

The biggest button on your phone is the Home button. It’s on the bottom of the front screen and looks like the outline of a house. (Clever. No?)

The Home button brings you back to the home screen from wherever you are in an application, game, or phone.

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If you’re working on applications and feel like you’re helplessly lost, don’t worry. Press the Home button, close your eyes, tap your heels together three times, and think to yourself, “There’s no place like home,” and you will be brought back to the Home screen. (You don’t really need to do all that other stuff after pressing the Home button. Just pressing the Home button does the trick.)

Four screens is the default setting. You can adjust this number, but there comes a point when so many screens become difficult to manage. Do yourself a favor and limit yourself to seven or eight.

The Extended Home screen is where you can organize icons and other functions to best make the phone convenient for you. Out of the box, HTC and your cellular carrier have worked together to create a starting point for you.

Beyond that, though, you have lots of ways you can customize your Home screen for easy access to the things that are most important to you. Much of the book covers all the things that the phone can do, but a recurring theme is how to put your favorite capabilities on your Home screen if you wish.

To start, check out the layout of the Home screen and how it relates to other areas of the phone. Knowing these areas is important for basic navigation.

Other important buttons on the Home screen

The following figure shows a typical Home screen and highlights three important areas on the phone.

  • The notification area: This part of the screen presents you with small icons that let you know if something important is up, like battery life.

  • The primary shortcuts: These four or five icons remain stationary as you move across the home screen. HTC and your cellular carrier have determined that these are the five most important applications on your phone.

  • The Device Function keys: These three keys control essential phone functions, regardless of what else is going on at the moment with the phone.

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Adding shortcuts to the Home screen

You have a lot of screen real estate where you can put icons of your favorite applications. You can add shortcuts to the apps to the desired page on your Home panorama by following these steps:

  1. From the desired Home screen, tap the Apps icon.

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    The apps icon brings up all the apps you have installed on your phone.

  2. Press and hold the apps you want to add.

    Your screen will revert to your last Home page with an icon randomly placed on the screen. Now you just drag the app shortcut to where you want it. Done.

Taking away shortcuts

Say that you put the shortcut on the wrong screen. No problem. You can press and hold it, and then drag it left or right until it’s on the screen you want. Taking a shortcut off your Home screen is simple too: Press and hold the shortcut on the screen. In a moment, a garbage can icon appears at the top of the screen. Drag the doomed shortcut to the garbage can, and off it goes to its maker.

It’s gone, but if you made a mistake, you can get it back easily enough. To re-create it, simply go back to the App Menu key and follow the process again.