HTC has announced via a blog post that they’re opening the U11 smartphone’s Edge Sense feature to third-party apps and functionality within them. With the expansion, users will be able to squeeze their phone’s sides to perform actions from within different applications that would normally require a single to double tap on the screen. HTC says the Edge Sense update will roll out to all U11 users and is currently in a preview stage to collect user feedback.
According to the company, possible functions of the feature include switching between the front and rear cameras in Instagram and Facebook via a squeeze, zooming into maps on Google Maps, and even controlling music playback in all music apps that support Android’s music control standard. At launch, HTC is including support for 6 popular apps, but you can also customize the experience for any app you may want to use the feature in.
This comes as we expect to see a similar Edge Sense feature in Google’s upcoming Pixel 2. HTC is rumored to be the manufacturer of the handset, so it makes sense that the technology would be on board. And now that the feature has had time to expand and evolve in the U11, it’s just about the right time to launch it in such a big smartphone as the next generation of Pixels. Google is expected to announce the new devices next month during an event.