15 tips and tricks to get the most from your HTC 10

Make it the best phone it can be by making it yours.

htc 10 tips primary
Ryan Whitwam

Make a good phone even better

HTC knew it had something to prove with the HTC 10, and it's a very good phone. It has solid performance, excellent design, and the latest Sense interface is only a mild change from stock Android. Even with all its good points, you can make your new HTC 10 even better. We've got 15 tips and tricks to make the HTC 10 the best device it can possible be.

htc 10 tips fingerprints

Add fingerprints

The HTC 10 will offer you the option of adding a fingerprint to secure your phone during the setup process, but you can also visit the system settings at any time to add more. The 10 supports as many as five stored fingerprints. To add one, open the Fingerprint scanner menu. Pay attention to the part of the finger indicated by the diagram as you tap the sensor. This will ensure the HTC 10 learns all parts of your fingerprint. There's also an option to have the screen woken by touching the sensor, which you'll probably want to leave on.

htc 10 tips disable

Disable junk apps

Even if you have the unlocked HTC 10, there are going to be some apps you just don't want on your phone. The problem will be even more noticeable on carrier versions of the phone. You can't uninstall most of them, but you can disable them by going into the settings and finding the Apps menu. From there, simply find the junkware, open the info screen, and tap Disable. The app will still be there, but it won't run in the background or show up in the app drawer.

htc 10 tips gestures

Use screen-off gestures

HTC has chosen to deemphasize the screen-off "Motion launch gestures" in its marketing this year, but they're still included in the software and can be quite useful. These can be enabled and disabled in the Display, gestures, & buttons menu. There are a few that you should definitely use, including double-tap to wake and double swipe down to wake the camera. You can also jump right into Blinkfeed from the off state with a swipe right and wake to the home screen with a swipe left. You can turn all the gestures on and off individually as you like.

htc 10 tips app drawer

Customize app drawer

HTC's default organization for the app drawer is custom, which is fine if you want to meticulously manage it every time you install an app. If not, it can be changed easily. At the top left corner of the app drawer is a drop down that lets you select between custom, alphabetical, and recently used for the organization scheme. The overflow menu on the other side also deserves a peek. From here, you can change the grid size, wallpaper (only for the app drawer), and hide/show apps in the drawer.

htc 10 tips calling

Configure calling options

Unlike most Android phone makers, HTC went to the trouble of getting certification for Wi-Fi and Voice-over-LTE on all major carriers that support it, even for the unlocked phone. You can turn these features on and check your settings in the main system settings under Calls. VoLTE is only on or off, but Wi-Fi Calling does have some setting you'll want to investigate. You can turn it off if you don't want to route calls over Wi-Fi, but you can also set the HTC 10 to prefer either the cellular or Wi-Fi connection for calls.

htc 10 tips usb

Turn on USB 3.1

If you've got a ton of media to load onto the HTC 10, this device has you covered with support for USB 3.1 data transfers. You will need a computer with USB 3.1 ports and a USB 3.1-compliant cable. USB 3.1 also needs to be manually activated, which you can do from Settings > More > USB connection. Simply toggle USB 3.1 file transfers on and note the warning about interfering with calls and data. Make sure you turn it off after you're done blasting all your data over to the phone at warp speed.

htc 10 tips color

Tweak display color

HTC has stepped up to a quad-HD LCD this year, but the default color tuning looks a bit warm. HTC has included some fairly robust display calibration options, though. You'll find them in the Display, gestures, & buttons menu under Color profile. The default is "Vivid," which has the reds pumped up. The sRGB setting produces more realistic colors, but both settings allow you to modify the color temperature. In general, you'll probably want to nudge them a little more toward the cold end.

htc 10 tips blinkfeed

Customize Blinkfeed

HTC's Blinkfeed is one of the better home screen news readers included by Android manufactuers, but you should make some tweaks to get the most out of it. Blinkfeed is accessible on the far left of your home screen. Use the navigation slide-out to add services by hitting the "plus" button at the top. It supports Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter logins, which integrates your social content in the feed. Calendar events can be added too. The default news provider is News Republic, and it will throw a lot of stuff at you that isn't of interest. Just tap on it in the settings so you can tell it which topics you'd like to see. In your main Blinkfeed settings, also make sure you turn off interest-based ads under Manage ads.

htc 10 tips themes

Switch it up with themes

HTC's theme engine for the HTC 10 is still one of the best you'll find on a flagship Android phone. The theme store (in your settings and app drawer) includes plenty of solid options with their own icons, wallpapers, and color palettes. You can also edit your current theme or build a new one. That includes choosing wallpapers for the home and lock screens, interface colors, app drawer background, icons, and sounds. The Personalize menu in settings includes handy links to both changing and editing your current theme.

htc 10 tips freestyle

Try Freestyle layout

The HTC 10 is the first device to feature HTC's new Freestyle home screen layouts. These designs feature large stickers that can be configured to open any app and moved anyplace on the homescreen without adhering to the conventional grid. To switch from standard to Freestyle, long-press on the home screen and tap Change home screen layout. After selecting Freestyle, you'll be presented with all the currently available Freestyle themes. After applying, you can long-press and tap "Add stickers" to create new custom shortcuts, or you can simply edit/move the default ones. Should you decide you don't like Freestyle, no problem! Just change the layout option back, and your standard icons and widgets will be restored.

htc 10 tips connect

HTC Connect gesture

Many Android devices have quick access to screen mirroring, but none of them as fast as the HTC 10. At any time, you can use the HTC Connect gesture to search for streaming devices. Swipe up with three fingers, and Connect will pop up and start searching. Full screen mirroring includes devices like Chromecasts, Android TV, and Roku boxes (Miracast). When you want to shut off mirroring, just use the ongoing notification. Connect includes screen mirroring as well as simple audio streaming to Bluetooth devices. That's handy if you need to switch between speakers or earbuds frequently.

htc 10 tips audio

Set up a personal audio profile

The HTC 10 has a high-res 24-bit audio DAC, and you can take full advantage of it by setting up a personal audio profile. The audio profiler will pop up the first time you plug in headphones, offering the option of either quick or detailed audio tuning. The quick option simply matches presets to your listening preferences, but the detailed mode plays a series of tones in each ear to determine your hearing threshold. You can edit your profile or add new ones at any time from the Boomsound menu in settings.

htc 10 tips adoptable

Adoptable storage

Unlike flagship phones from Samsung and LG, the HTC 10 has support for Android 6.0's adoptable storage feature. You can choose to use a card as either portable or internal storage in the Storage menu. Formatting as internal (i.e. adopting it) allows the phone to treat a card like built-in storage. That means it can be used for apps and app data, but it won't work in other devices until it's formatted.

htc 10 tips power saving

Configure power saving modes

The HTC 10 benefits from the power saving features of Marshmallow, but you can plan for the worst with HTC's customized power saving modes. There are two power saving modes on this phone, both accessible from the Power menu in settings. Power Saver is the more modest option, which will slow the CPU, disable location services, lower brightness, and turn off vibration. Extreme Power Saving disables almost all apps on the phone in addition to shutting off background data. You'll only have a minimal home screen with basic functions as well. You can set automatic activation for both modes, or turn them on manually. Consider putting Power Saver around 20% and maybe leave the extreme mode for 5-10%.

htc 10 tips pro photo

Pro photo mode

HTC has struggled with cameras in recent years, but the HTC 10 is packing a solid sensor this time. You can take full advantage of it with the aid of Pro mode. It's accessible from the slide-out menu on the left of the viewfinder. When in Pro mode, you have sliders for all the camera settings in a line across the bottom of the screen (white balance, exposure, ISO, shutter speed, and focus). Tap on any of them to expand the full slider UI so you can toggle between auto and manual. The mode selector also lets you set the Pro mode to capture RAW files instead of JPEG, allowing you to edit them more effectively in an app like Lightroom or Snapseed. Unfortunately, there's no option to save both JPEG and RAW.