With the Windows Phone 7.5 about to officially be released, and that’s an any time now sort of thing. Tentative dates like September 15 where thrown around, but there are some omens that that date may be a little firmer than first thought. HTC is known for it’s skinning of devices with it’s own front end, HTC Sense, which as a combined suite of applications allows user access to many apps from the home screen. Email, Twitter [HTC Peep] Footprints [location sharing] etc, and it’s one of the things that defines HTC devices. HTC while being the most invested OEM, producing five out of ten first generation Windows Phones, it was not allowed the same sort of skinning privilege with the OS. HTC’s way around this was to produce complimentary applications for Windows Phone, 14 in all to date, it was a way to get some of the Sense styling’s onto the OS. Connection setup, Calculator, Compass, You Tube and the list goes on. HTC have maintained their commitment to the Windows Phone ecosystem, and in anticipation of Mango have updated their attentive phone application and introduced two new apps, HTC Locations, which is the WP footprints equivalent and Connected Media, a DLNA app to let you stream media to your phone.
Locations is a real basic thing, geo tagging, take a photo add it and tell people that’s where you are. Connected Media, is what it says, connect to a server and stream music, video and pictures to your phone. of course you need a DLNA enabled device and a wireless network connection. I get thrown out of the app as soon as I start it on the HD7.
Both apps adhere to the Metro design sensibility, and carry on a familiar HTC look for Windows Phone applications. Neither app is easily found in the Marketplace as yet, they are hidden, awaiting the “Mango update”. If you are on Mango on an HTC device and want to give either app a try, you can download “Locations” Here, and “Connected Media” Here.
You can see the general look and feel, from HTC is carried over, I did a video of the HTC HUB early on in my pre Nodo look at Windows Phone.
HTC have been able to keep continuity with their apps, and considering their OEM knowledge, has kept the apps light and free. Most exciting is the ability for HTC in “Mango” to deeply integrate it’s apps at a native, system level. Attentive Phone from HTC, is a really simple app, that allows some automation of actions via phone gestures,
HTC now have the ability to include simple apps like Attentive Phone into the OS, so rather than being in your apps list, it now appears in the settings menu, under system, not applications. It may seem a small thing, but it really shows the trust and strength of partnership of the OS maker and the OEM.
I expect to see more of this crossover happening as second generation Windows Phones hit the Market, OEM’s that are in for the long haul are now starting to find a few Easter eggs.