Setting up a new smartphone can take a couple of hours as you enter your username and password for various accounts, try to find all the apps you like and get them installed, choose a wallpaper, select a ringtone, and customize to your liking. HTC makes this process much easier with its new HTC Get Started service that is available for the new HTC One.
Due to an unfortunate carrier move, HTC had to scramble to get HTC One evaluation devices out to the press and completely lift the embargo on the device. Thus, those of us who were lucky enough to get one have been spending excessive time this weekend testing the device. I have an international HTC One that has near-final firmware and will be writing up some of my experiences.
The first thing I wanted to try was the out-of-box experience that a "normal" customer might go through, so I went through the web browser-based HTC Get Started service and have screenshots in this gallery.
When you start up the HTC One — watch out for the shock of the BoomSound — you are asked if you would like to use the HTC Get Started service. A website URL, start.htcsense.com/#pairing, is shown along with a passcode that you enter on the website.
You then select the device you want to set up and since I currently have a T-Mobile SIM in this evaluation HTC One, I selected the HTC One at T-Mobile.
As you can see on the left-hand side of the site, you can view where you are in the setup process. The first step is to personalize your experience, and it offers seven preselected options to make things easy. Choosing one of the lifestyle-focused topics gives you feeds, apps, and wallpapers common to that topic.
When you select one of the options, then you can see how it will look over on the mockup HTC One on the right side of the screen. I recommend trying different ones out to see if any of the default ones work for you.
After choosing a starting point with the experience, you can click on Next Step in the bottom right to proceed.
If you have selected one of the themes on the first part, then when you go into each of these next sections you will see preselected content based on that theme. You can deselect it and select other topics and feeds, as well to fully customize your phone experience.
As you can see in this screenshot, you choose feeds you want to see that will appear in your HTC BlinkFeed. Unfortunately, there is no way to enter in your own RSS feed for sites and you must choose from content that is set up with HTC. I'll have more about the BlinkFeed in my first impressions article and full review soon.
You can also choose to select applications you want installed on your HTC One. Apps that you choose here will install in the background after the setup process is complete. While this is useful for new smartphone owners, if you already have an Android device, you may find it easier to just use the Google Play Store with your account to install your apps.
Don't you hate it when someone sits on the train or bus and listens to every single ringtone on their phone before selecting one? With the HTC Get Started site, you can listen and select sounds you like on your computer.
You can select sounds for your ringtone, notifications, and alarm. Using your computer also makes it very easy to set up custom ringtones, as you can see on the next image.
Custom ringtones have been difficult at times on some devices. HTC lets you select sounds and music files you have on your computer, and then helps you with a handy tool to trim them up for your phone.
If you spend a lot of time browsing the internet on your phone, then you may appreciate the bookmark setup page in HTC Get Started. At first, I thought it would be nice to have a way to import my desktop bookmarks, but then again, that would be way too many bookmarks that are really unnecessary on my phone. There are preloaded options and an entry line for your own bookmarks.
The new HTC home screen experience is powered by HTC BlinkFeed, but you will still see a lock screen wallpaper and one that appears when you swipe to the standard Android interface. There are several preloaded HTC options, and you can always choose a photo or image on your computer to use. It is very convenient to use this setup tool for wallpaper.
You can have different content appear on your lock screen and with this setup option, you can choose from one of four types. I chose Productivity, and, as you can see on the right, it shows what my lock screen will look like with the wallpaper I selected on the previous screen.
Another option in the HTC Get Started process is to set up your accounts. There is no option for Gmail, as that is handled on the device itself, so don't make the mistake I did and enter it as "Other email".
I did use this screen to set up my Dropbox, Live.com, and Exchange email accounts.
The last step is to choose how you want to log in and have your options sent to your new HTC One. I used my HTC account, but it is good to see it gives people an option with Facebook, too.
That's it, you now look at your HTC One screen and tap OK. Then sign in with your HTC or Facebook account and watch the personalization happen on your phone.