Microsoft Origami Experience 2.0 on HTC Shift

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The HTC Shift is the first UMPC to ship with the as-yet-unreleased Origami Experience 2.0, a UMPC-specific software suite designed to provide a "smart, new way to manage your world while you’re on the go." The Origami Team Blog (via jkOnTheRun) reveals that the final download package will be available for public download soon, but why wait until then to see how it works and learn how to use it?

What follows are the contents of the 10-page HTC Shift With Microsoft Origami Experience 2.0 mini booklet (included with the Shift) sprinkled with some photos I took this afternoon to break up the text.

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About Origami Experience 2.0

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Origami Experience 2.0 is a software suite that includes the following applications:

  • Origami Central. Play your favorite media, browse the Internet, read news feeds, and access your favorite programs all from one location.
  • Origami Now. Get one-touch access to real-time information such as email, calendar, weather, to-do lists, RSS feeds, and more.
  • Touch Settings. Optimize settings such as the size of scroll bars, Start menu, and icons, or customize settings for a better touch screen experience.

Tip: Press the Control Center button on the upper-right side of the touch panel, tap Advanced Settings -> Origami Settings tab, and then choose whether to autorun Origami Central or Origami Now when Windows Vista starts. You can also select None if you do not want to autorun any Origami application.

Origami Central

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Origami Central is a central location where you can enjoy multimedia entertainment, browse the web, and read the latest news from your web feeds, as well as access your favorite programs.

MEDIA

Origami Central and Windows Media Player (WMP) share the same library. If your media files are stored in custom folders, open WMP first and add your media folders to the library before you use Origami Central to view or play your media files. For instructions on how to add media folders to the library, see WMP Help.

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You can also download media files from another computer to your HTC Shift and then view or play them in Origami Central. Before you can download, connect both computers to a wireless or wired network and then turn on media sharing in WMP on both computers. For instructions on how to enable media sharing, see WMP Help.

To download media from another computer

  1. On the Origami Central Home screen, tap Media.
  2. Tap the Music, Pictures, or Videos icon depending on which media type you want to download.
  3. Tap Library, and then select a category.
  4. A Down arrow icon indicates that a music, picture, or video selection is ready to be downloaded. To download, tap a music, picture, or video thumbnail that has this icon.

To play music

  1. Tap the Music icon under Media, and then tap Library.
  2. Tap a category such as All music, Albums, Artists, or Genre, and then browse through the list of music.
  3. Tap an item to play it. Use the controls at the bottom of the screen to control playback.

To create a playlist

Origami Central and WMP share playlists. You can create playlists using either program. Follow the steps below to create a playlist using Origami Central.

  1. Tap Library, and then tap All music.
  2. Queue several music files to the Now playing list. To the right of each desired item, tap the Plus icon. The icon changes to a checkmark icon for a few seconds to indicate that the music has been added to the list.
  3. Tap Playlists, and then tap the Now playing thumbnail.
  4. Tap Save this playlist, enter a playlist name, and then tap Save.

Tips: Playlists are shown on the lower-right side of the Now playing screen. Simply tap a playlist to play it. You must use WMP to edit or delete a playlist.

To play a video

  1. Tap the Videos icon under Media, and then tap Library.
  2. Tap a category such as All videos or Genre, and then browse through the list of videos.
  3. Tap a video to play it. Use the controls at the bottom of the screen to control playback.

To view pictures individually

  1. Tap the Pictures icon under Media.
  2. Tap Library, tap All pictures, and then tap the picture folder that you added to the library in WMP.
  3. Pictures in the selected picture folder are then displayed as thumbnails on the screen. Tap the first thumbnail to start viewing from the first picture.
  4. To view the next picture, tap the Next icon that appears on the middle right side of the screen. To go back to the previous picture, tap the Previous icon that appears on the middle left side of the screen. Tip: Tap once on the touch screen to display the picture controls and settings. You can change the rating of the current picture, and more.
  5. When you have finished viewing pictures, double-tap the touch screen.

Tip: The Now playing list is queued with pictures from the picture folder that you viewed. To view the same pictures again, tap Now playing and then tap View manually.

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To view pictures as an auto slideshow

  1. Tap the Pictures icon under Media.
  2. Create the slideshow. To do so, open WMP and create a playlist of pictures. Origami Central and WMP share playlists.
  3. Go back to Origami Central. Tap Library, tap Slideshows, and then tap the slideshow that you have created.
  4. Tap the first picture to display it in full screen.
  5. To start playing the slideshow, tap the Play icon that appears on the center of the screen. While the slideshow is playing, tap the Pause icon to pause the slideshow. Tip: If you don’t see the Play or Pause icon, tap once on the touch screen to display it. Other settings such as style of presentation, the order, and the spe ed of the slideshow will also appear at the bottom of the screen. Tap these settings when you want to change them.
  6. To end the slideshow, double-tap the touch screen.

Tip: The Now playing list is queued with pictures from the slideshow that you played. To play the same slideshow again, tap Now playing and then tap Start slideshow.

INTERNET

In Origami Central, you can add web favorites, browse websites, and view web feeds.

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Origami Central and Internet Explorer (IE) share favorites. You can add favorites using either program.

To visit a website, add a favorite, and browse a web page

  1. On the Origami Central Home screen, tap Internet.
  2. Tap Browser, and then tap the screen to show the browser menu bar.
  3. Enter the URL of a website, or search for a website.
  4. To save the current URL as a favorite, tap the Gear icon, tap Add to favorites, and then tap the folder where you want to save the URL. Notes: In Origami Central, you can add favorites only to the top-level folders. Use IE to manage favorites.
  5. The pen or mouse pointer becomes the Panning Hand Tool when you are using the Origami Central browser. Move the Panning Hand Tool up or down to pan up or down the current web page. When viewing a long web page, you can also quickly flick up or down the page using your finger or stylus.
  6. To zoom in or out of a web page, tap the screen to show the browser menu bar, tap the Gear icon, and then tap Zoom in or Zoom out.

To add a view web feeds

Origami Central and IE share feeds. You can use either program to subscribe to and add feeds.

You can add a feed only when the website you’re viewing offers one. An orange RSS indicator appears on the Gear icon on the browser menu bar when a website offers a feed.

  1. On the Origami Central Home screen, tap Internet.
  2. Tap Browser, and then tap the screen to show the browser menu bar.
  3. Tap the Gear icon, and then tap Add feed.
  4. If there are multiple feeds to choose from, select your desired feeds and then tap Next.
  5. Tap the folder to which you want to add the feeds.
  6. Tap the screen to show the browser menu bar, and then tap the Home icon at the upper-left corner of the screen to return to the Home screen.
  7. Tap the Feeds icon, and then tap a feed that you want to view.
  8. To flag items in a feed for later reading, tap a feed and then tap the Flag icon for each item that you want to mark for later reading. To read flagged items, tap the Flagged items folder.

Tips:

  • To update feeds manually in Origami Central, tap the Feeds icon under Internet and then tap the Update icon in the title bar.
  • You can enable automatic update of feeds only in IE. Tap Tools -> Internet Options -> Content tab, tap Settings under Feeds, and then select the Automatically check feeds for updates checkbox.
  • Use IE to import feeds from another program, remove (unsubscribe) a feed, or change its properties.

Have a look at the following video from the Windows Experience Blog:

PROGRAMS

In Origami Central, you can add shortcuts to your favorite programs for easier access.

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To add or remove a program shortcut

  1. On the Origami Central Home screen, tap Programs.
  2. Tap All programs, tap Favorites, and then tap Add or remove.
  3. Tap the Add icon that appears next to a program to add a program shortcut, or tap the Remove icon to remove a program shortcut.

Origami Now

In Origami Now, you can add tiles that display important information. The types of tiles that can be added include mail, calendar, clock, feeds, weather, notes, lists, and web images.

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The information displayed in Origami Now changes automatically depending on the time of day, the day of the week, and your current location so you always have the most up-to-date information available.

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To open and exit Origami Now

  1. If Origami Now is not running, open the program by tapping Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Origami Experience 2.0 -> Origami Now.
  2. When Origami Now has been minimized, tap the Now button at the top edge of the Windows Desktop to maximize the Origami Now screen. Tip: If the Now button is not shown, tap the Gear icon, tap Now options, and then select the Show the Now button at the edge of the desktop checkbox.
  3. To exit Origami Now, tap the Gear icon and then tap Exit.

SET UP LOCATION AWARENESS

Origami Now uses your network connection to determine whether you’re at home, at work, or mobile. You can set Origami Now to use different network connections depending on your location.

To set your network connections

  1. Tap the Gear icon in the title bar, and then tap Now options.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, tap Location awareness.
  3. Choose the network connection that you use at your home and the network connection that you use at work.
  4. Tap Save.

ADD TILES

Choose the information that is important to you and add them as tiles in Origami Now for quick, one-touch access.

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To add a tile

  1. Tap the Gear icon, and then tap Add a tile.
  2. Tap the type of tile that you want to add.
  3. Set the options that you want, and then tap Close.

Tips: You can add up to 48 tiles, including more than one tile of any type. For instance, you can add several tiles to display each of your favorite feeds. As you add more tiles, some will be hidden from the Origami Now screen. To access all tiles, tap Show all tiles at the bottom-right corner of the Origami Now screen.

To set the priority< /em>

You can set a tile to have priority over others and be moved up onto the Origami Now screen when you’re in certain locations, during specific days or times, and when there is important information available.

  1. Tap a tile that you want to customize.
  2. Tap the Gear icon, and then tap Main tile options.
  3. Tap Priority, and then select the appropriate checkboxes to boost the tile’s priority based on location, time, or when it has important information.
  4. If you selected the Location or Time checkboxes, tap Settings, and then further define when and where the tile has priority.
  5. Tap Close.

To remove a tile

  1. Tap the Gear icon, and then tap Remove a tile.
  2. Tap the X icon in the upper right-hand corner of the tile that you want to remove.

Touch Settings

Touch Settings allows you to optimize or customize settings to make it easier to interact with Windows Vista using the touch screen.

To open Touch Settings

  1. Tap Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Origami Experience 2.0 -> Touch Settings.

For more information about using Touch Settings, see the program help by tapping Learn more on the lower-left corner of the Touch Settings screen. There are a couple of minor differences, but you can get the gist of Touch Settings from the "Touchscreen improvements for XP-based UMPC" article I wrote last year.

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So that’s Origami Experience 2.0. It’s a nice finger-friendly interface, to be sure, but I never use it. The Shift’s 7-inch screen makes navigating Vista easy (no need for Origami Central then) and Origami Now essentially duplicates the function of SnapVUE, which doesn’t rely on Vista and has stellar battery life (about 2 days). If it had been an option on my Shift, I wouldn’t have chosen it. But that’s just me.

Will you add Origami Experience 2.0 to your UMPC when it becomes available?

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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