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HTC U Ultra: Tips, Tricks and Hidden Features

The new HTC U Ultra is a big phone with a lot of promise, not least because it’s loaded with features. Here’s a short list of tips to help you get more from your Ultra.

Customising the second screen

One of the key hooks of the U Ultra is its secondary display, which relays all sorts of information, even when your phone is locked. If you want to tailor the experience at all, though, it’s wholly possible, simply by jumping into the secondary display section of the settings menu.

HTC U Ultra Tips & Tricks: Second screen customisation

You can choose when the second screen is active and by tapping on either option, toggle which tools show up and rearrange them using the handles on the right side of the screen.

Getting back to the original theme

HTC’s Sense overlay makes for an impressively customisable experience, especially with its use of classic and freestyle layouts, the latter of which lets you place custom icons that can be linked to any app, anywhere.

HTC U Ultra Tips & Tricks: Original theme

After all that tinkering, though, there’s a chance you might want to start afresh and take things back to how they were originally. To do so, you don’t have to piece together the right wallpapers and icon packs, but rather jump into the Themes app, tap the three dots in the top right and select ‘revert to default theme’. Job done.

Changing keyboard colour

Whilst TouchPal is technically a third-party keyboard it’s the pre-loaded option found on the U Ultra and as such customisation is built right into the settings menu. Head to personalise menu, scroll down to the section marked ‘keyboard’ and tap on ‘keyboard colour’.

HTC U Ultra Tips & Tricks: Keyboard colour

From there you’ll then be teleported straight to TouchPal’s keyboard theme store which has tons of options to give your keys a completely new look.

Locking specific apps

Whilst you might be happy handing your phone over to a friend to show them a funny cat video, you might not want them dipping into your personal pics whilst your back is turned. Thankfully the U Ultra has a native tool to protect the more personal apps on your phone from prying eyes.

HTC U Ultra Tips & Tricks: App locking

The Boost+ app not only features tools to optimise the phone’s software and hardware performance, but also has a section for locking apps. The first time you open it up you’ll be asked to create an unlock pattern after which you’ll see a list of all the apps installed on your U Ultra with toggles by each. Flipping them on means each time you try and open a selected app, you’ll have to re-enter that unlock pattern before you can get at its contents.

You can also create a new pattern and enable or disable fingerprint unlock support by tapping the three dots in the top right.

Battery optimisation

Battery Optimisation is a seldom talked about feature in stock Android, but a useful tool if you want to prolong your phone’s battery life by disabling background app activity when your phone is locked.

HTC U Ultra Tips & Tricks: Battery optimisation

To activate it on the U Ultra, dip into the power section of the settings menu and tap on ‘battery optimization’ underneath the big battery indicator. Flip the drop-down menu from ‘not optimized’ to ‘all apps’, then tap on any individual apps you don’t want to get culled when your screen is off and that’s all there is to it.

Read next: HTC U Ultra Review: In Depth