If you are fan of Windows Mobile devices, you'll certainly be familiar with the HTC’s TouchFLO interface. There are some slightly different implementations of it in all current HTC WinMo smartphones, but in essence it’s the same.
The new upgraded TouchFLO, which we already saw in the HTC Touch Diamond2 is not almost, but exactly the same as in the new Touch Pro2.
The new TouchFLO is so touch-optimized that even the slightest presses are detected and respond appropriately. Of course, when you eventually hit the underlying Windows Mobile, you’ll meet the same distinctly touch-unfriendly interface. Only this time, you’ll have to dig deeper than with the previous generation.
The TouchFLO 3D Home screen, as usual, offers a choice of full screen tabs, decked out with some impressive graphics. You can move through the tabs with a single finger sweep, or by scrolling the tab thumbnails at the bottom of the screen until you hit the one you need.
It’s the familiar list from the last generation devices but with a few new twists. The available tabs include the home screen itself (with a large clock), favorite contacts, text messages, email, Internet, calendar, stock, photos and video, music, weather, and settings.
Here's a short video demo of the TouchFLO 3D that we took:
Now, let's have a closer look at those tabs. A nice thing is that each tab comes with its own set of context keys, but the downside is that those are not customizable to suit your needs. With that TouchFLO 3D homescreen at hand, you’d rarely have to resort to using the underlying Windows (unless you are a hardcore fan that is).
Other than showing the clock, the Home tab gives you access to the HTC Call log, the revamped calendar, world clock and alarm. The context keys give you access to the dialpad and the camera.
Later on in the review, we’ll take a look at the call log and the new calendar.
The second TouchFLO tab is called People and it’s also an old one. Here you can set favorite contacts with an assigned image or, in the absence of that, a generic one provided by the software.
The Messages tab shows your latest SMS/MMS, and a single finger sweep will take you to your next message. A small shortcut in the top right corner will automatically start a new SMS/MMS with the default Windows message editor.
The Email tab shows your emails as a rather pleasing letter poking out of an envelope and, again, you can flip through them one by one.
The Internet tab launches the Opera 9.5 web browser or the slick preinstalled YouTube video client. You can also scroll your bookmarks and launch a webpage directly from there.
Similarly, there's no option for changing the default Opera browser. In the previous Pro we complained that there was no way to type a URL directly on the Home screen and open it in the browser. It seems that HTC took some of that on board and have put in a quick search bar which opens Google when you type something.
This is definitely some progress, but it would have been much nicer to have a quick address bar. We hoped in Pro2 there will be address bar, but unfortunately our hopes move again to the next HTC device.