HTC Home is a free widget that can display the time and 5-day weather forecast on the desktop. The stylish-looking widget emulates the animated clock and weather conditions displayed on HTC phones.
The widget features optional animations, such as raindrops coming down over the the widget itself and other parts of your monitor, as well as sounds such as drips, etc. Other display options include resizing, changing the placement at will, pinning to the desktop and an “always on top option”.
Do you like gorgeous eye candy? Imagine a large, beautifully animated digital clock on your desktop, with 5-day weather previews and other animated visual elements that suggestive of the weather outside, and you get HTC Home (actually, you don’t have to imagine, just have a look at the screenshots above and below).
I don’t typically like desktop-based widgets, but I have to admit this one looks great. Here are some more notes:
- Behavior: can be moved around and resized easily. Once pinned, it pretty much becomes part of the desktop background for all intents and purposes, and will not interact with any windows or programs that you may be working with.
- Skins: there are a couple in the version I tested (as illustrated by the two screenshots in this post), with width being the basic difference between them.
- The Weather: is downloaded via MSN or the Weather Channel (your choice). You can display temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius. You can also choose the time interval to refresh the data (5 minutes by default).
- Weather Animation and sound: can be turned on or off. These consists of animated visual elements that display the current weather visually (as, for example, clouds, snow, dry leaves, etc), and can be triggered by manually right clicking and refreshing the weather.
- Expandable: other widgets are promised in future releases, not just weather.
- Memory usage: is quite high, at 47 megs or so in Windows task manager. I will say that it seems that they could accomplish this at a much lower memory cost. It is probably the animation feature that’s responsible for this, which brings me to the item on my wish list below.
- A stripped down, low memory version: specifically, one without the weather animation or sound that would consume, say, half the memory (although I would want the digital clock animation to remain). As it is now, you can switch off the animation but the memory consumption remains unaffected by this.
The verdict: very cool widget, generally speaking, and the weather component can be very useful. However, the version I tested seems to use up more memory than it should, so suffice it to say that if your system is low on resources you might want to pass on this one. If, on the other hand, you believe “coolness” is its own justification then you might just go for it!
Version Tested: 2.0 beta
Compatibility: Windows Vista, Windows 7.
Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 501K).