HTC Sense software gets major MobileMe-like upgrade

HTC debuts new Desire HD and Desire Z smartphones

Taiwanese top 4 mobile maker HTC unveiled two new entries in the firm’s high end range of smartphones, the Desire HD and the Desire Z.

The Desire HD adds a massive 4.3-inch screen in a form factor familiar to the US market as the EVO 4G. The internals have seen a slight spring clean with the move to the new Qualcomm MSM8255 system on chip. This provides for European 14.4Mbit GSM HSPA+, 802.11n wireless and incorporates the Adreno 205 graphics part.

Adding a keyboard is the Desire Z which adds a qwerty keyboard via a new hinge action which the company said provides better access to the top row of keys. The new Desire HD is machined out of a block of solid aluminium and both new models are able to record 720p HD video. The Desire HD is equipped with an 8 megapixel camera while the Z sports a 5 megapixel snapper.

The company also unveiled new software features including face recognition and an updated version of the firm’s Android reskin of the Android front-end, HTC Sense. The new software adds cloud backup functionality normally only found in third party applications, as well as easy access to data on the phone via HTC’s new web portal

“We’re excited to be taking the HTC Sense experience beyond the phone to a whole new level with a series of connected HTC services we call,” said HTC boss Peter Chou.

The new Sense cloud will enable finding phones that are lost, lock them remotely and other features similar to Apple’s MobileMe service but coming free with every new HTC handset. The new Sense will also be caching maps rather than relying on the streaming images that Google Maps is currently based on.

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