In the single product that didn't get leaked (too much) at today's launch event, HTC is refreshing its Sense UI, found on all its Android phones and the Windows powered HD2. The UI is getting an update that streamlines its emails and maps features, while HTC will also launch Sense.com, an internet backup service something like Apple's MobileMe. Here's the quick and dirty:
EmailsYou'll now be able to view multiple accounts in the same view, but just like the existing view for communications with each contact, four tabs at the base of the screen let you filter the view as well. For example, you can slide left to emails from addresses designated as VIP. You'll also save some time when reading long emails where only part of the text has been downloaded - the rest of the text downloads as you read.
MapsDigital compasses showing which direction you're moving in are old news - in the refreshed HTC Sense, touching a compass button, reorients the map so that it faces in the direction you want to be gong. Maps will also now be precached, so no more waiting for maps to download while you zoom in, or shift the map over.
For drivers, there's a particularly nifty integration with phone calls where maps simply peel up a tad to reveal the incoming call at the base of the screen - rather than the animation taking up the entire screen. And when the car stops, you can get a helicopter view of the roads ahead, so you know what's coming up. When it starts again, the map returns to normal view.
This backup and security feature is one is rather like Apple's MobileMe, only free. Along with security features like the ability to remotely control your phone - make it ring if you've lost it, lock it if you've left it, and wipe if you've REALLY lost it - all your text messages, web searches and directions will also be saved at Sense.com, letting you search through old communications and directions to places you've been. You can also remotely forward calls from the hub - incredibly useful f you've left your phone at home and need to forward calls to the office or a friend's number.
We'll have more details for you when we get seriously up close and personal with the HTC Desire HD and Desire Z, both launched today.