HTC U11's hallmark feature may soon be worth the squeeze

In our HTC U11 review, we were clear on one thing: the phone's squeezable sides were innovative, but ultimately unimpressive. A key qualm of this standout feature was that you couldn't customize the presses to perform functions beyond the commands HTC had built in.

To be fair, HTC did promise customization would arrive one day. That day, it turns out, is today. 

The company is rolling out a software update that brings with it the ability to choose press-prompted shortcuts for any app, in addition to delivering new Edge Sense functions.

HTC already outlined some of the new Edge Sense squeeze actions a few months ago. They include squeezing to zoom in and out of Google Maps and Google Photos, maneuver around and exit your calendar, answer and end calls, turn off alarms, and pause video.

  • Speaking of innovation: Check out our HTC Vive review

That's all well and good, but as Engadget points out, being able to create your own shortcuts for any app on your phone is the main draw. 

You can customize what a squeeze does for each app you pick, though unfortunately you can't have multiple shortcuts across different apps active at the same time. 

While HTC U11's Edge Sense may not have set the world alight yet, customization is a big improvement, making the feature far more useful. It's still not necessarily a must-have, but it should be enough to please current U11 owners, and perhaps even woo a few more. 

And now that we've gotten more of what we wanted from the HTC U11, we're awaiting to see if the same customizable squeezing Active Edge feature comes to the rumored Google Pixel 2 from the get-go. We're expecting to learn all about that on October 5.