In my previous post re: the Touch Pro, I talked pretty bad about the Touch Flo 3D (TF3D) software, and about the little zoom wheel on the phone. I think I may have used the word “useless” for both of them. I’ve come to learn that perhaps that’s too strong of a word. :) Although they still have a long way to go before they get a glowing review from me, I’ve found some subtle benefits to these two Touch Pro features:
TF3D Music Player vs. Windows Media Player: For a while I ignored the music player that was part of the TF3D, and instead used the default Windows Media Player (WMP) for listening to music. But I’ve found that there are two distinct advantages to the TF3D music player that I didn’t realize until I really gave it a good try. Check this out:
- An equalizer/Audio Booster: comes in handy when I want to make the bass hit a little harder. Besides that, there’s a full-blown equalizer that you can tweak, or choose from the standard presets like Jazz, Rock, etc.
- A better Library experience: Whenever I add a new song to my phone, I have to manually update the WMP library in order for the song to appear in the list for me to select it. Not so with the TF3D player. As soon as it’s in my storage card, it’s automagically in the TF3D player Library. Nice.
- Bigger buttons: Also, the Library itself is easier to navigate thru, thanx to smooth finger panning action, and bigger fat-finger style buttons:
The fatter buttons are extremely useful when looking for a song while driving…. I mean, while drinking a can of Sprite. ;-)
The disadvantage to the TF3D player – it doesn’t respond to my voice commands. The WMP seems to be the default player used when I issue commands like “Play Stevie Wonder” to play all the Stevie Wonder songs I have on my phone. Using the voice commands obviously makes finding music while driving a much better and safer experience. :)
The Zoom Wheel: A friend of mine once asked me if my phone was able to zoom in on web pages like the iPhone does. My response was that it zooms with a double-tap like the iPhone, but that’s it. Actually, I was wrong. Not only does it double-tap zoom, but the Zoom Wheel also works in Opera to zoom in on a page. This can be compared to iPhone’s multitouch finger swipe gesture for zooming, tho I prefer the Zoom Wheel because iPhone’s method insists that you use two hands rather than just one thumb.
So, here’s my initial
view of a webpage:
Here’s the view after a
And here’s the view after zooming in with the wheel (it’s just coincidence that it happened to zoom in on these words – I’m not trying to drive a point home or anything): :-)
Notice that the words wrap. Also, I find this comes in handy when I’m trying to click a small hyperlink. Instead of trying to get precise with my finger pressing, or trying to use my fingernail for pinpoint accuracy, I can just just make everything big and fat-finger the sucker!
As it turns out, there are a few other places where the Zoom wheel can be used (some of these are even documented in the manual – go figure!):
- Viewing photos (obviously)
- To forward or rewind during a song with the music player
- To zoom while using the Camera
- To change the size of text on-the-fly (like when reading e-mail or text messages). This is my favorite use.
- to scroll up/down in a list on certain apps
So, looks like had I not dug a little deeper into my phone’s functionality, I might have missed out on some pretty nice features. What can I say – you learn something new every day (hopefully). Maybe those guys over at HTC actually know what they’re doing after all. :)