The U11, HTC’s second flagship phone of 2017, stands out from the crowd with its squeezable frame. The phone’s software can perform custom actions based on how intensely you squeeze the phone – something that this year’s Pixels might get too. Now the company is testing a beta update for the Edge Sense app, allowing users to set their own custom actions.
The Verge evaluated the beta early, and shared details about the new functionality. There are new presets for various apps, like one for Google Photos that zooms in/out of photos with a squeeze. But the most exciting new feature is being able to set areas of the screen to emulate taps with a squeeze.
For example, Verge reporter Vlad Savov was able to map it to the play/pause button on the BBC iPlayer app, but it didn’t quite work with the send button on Slack and Telegram. But since this is a beta, HTC may be able to solve these problems in the near future.
Unfortunately, the post didn’t explain how normal U11 users will be able to sign up for the beta program. I don’t see anything official from HTC, and the Edge Sense app on the Play Store doesn’t seem to have a public beta program available. We’ve reached out to HTC for instructions, and we’ll update this post when/if we get them.
HTC has officially announced the new features in a blog post. The company said that the Edge Sense beta, “is an opt-in program that will continue to grow as we look to perfect this experience.” HTC also uploaded a video showing off the new features: