The mirror-like finish, smooth software experience, and impressive camera are among the things I like most about HTC’s U11, but in terms of uniqueness, one feature stands out from the rest. Of course I’m talking about Edge Sense, that feature that allows you to squeeze the U11’s sides to perform different actions.

While there are third-party apps that help bring more functionality to the overall experience, the stock version of Edge Sense is a bit lacking. Sure, you can do things like open up the camera and take a photo with just a couple squeezes, but there’s no doubt that Edge Sense has lots of room for improvement.

HTC is making Edge Sense much more useful

Lucky for us, HTC is about to make Edge Sense much more useful. A few months ago, HTC released a teaser video of new features coming to Edge Sense, including the ability to zoom in and out in Google Photos and Google Maps, dismiss alarms, hang up phone calls, and more, all while using Edge Sense to perform these actions. That update is finally rolling out to U11 users starting tonight.

Once you download the latest version of Edge Sense, you’ll be able to program short or long squeezes inside any app to perform a specific function. Let me explain.

I use the app Pocket Casts almost daily, but aside from launching the app with Edge Sense, there’s not really anything else I can do to save time when using it. With this new update however, I can now launch Pocket Casts and set a shortcut to resume playback for whatever podcast I was listening to at the time.

See also:
HTC U11 review

HTC U11 review

June 5, 2017

Here’s how it works: you’ll need to navigate to the page where you’d like to add Edge Sense functionality, hit the little red icon at the top of your screen, then tap on the exact area you’d like to activate when you squeeze the phone. That’s it! You’re basically substituting a tap in a certain location for a squeeze, which I’m thinking will be quite handy.

What’s more, you can program Edge Sense to virtually tap or double-tap on whichever area you choose, making the feature even more useful. However, you won’t be able to activate more than one shortcut in a single app at one time, meaning there’s a limit to how customizable and complex your custom squeezes can get. You can still enable Edge Sense’s Advanced Mode to squeeze and hold for an additional action though.

Here are some other use cases:

  • Squeeze to take a photo in Instagram
  • Squeeze to activate text-to-speech when the keyboard is pulled up
  • Squeeze to pause a YouTube video
  • Squeeze to compose a Tweet in the Twitter app

These new in-app customizations aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ll certainly be a welcome addition for power users out there. If you own a U11 and would like to give it a shot, the update to Edge Sense will be rolling out to the Play Store very soon.

Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee, and music.