Verizon Wireless today made a system update available to the HTC One (M8). The update adds several minor features to the Gallery app, including a copy/paste function, and resolves a number of bugs, such as web connection errors and data syncing when the Dot Matrix case is attached. The system update is free to download and install.
HTC today made available a preview of its dual-camera software developers kit. The SDK will allow developers to tap into the two-camera setup on the HTC One. With these tools, they can create their own apps that take advantage of the perspective information captured by the second camera on the One. The SDK is free to download for all developers.
The CTIA Wireless Association today said a number of handset makers and wireless network operators have agreed to a basic framework that will eventually provide consumers with better anti-theft tools for their smartphones. The Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment is meant to deter theft while also giving phone makers and carriers room to innovate. All the companies agreed to implement a baseline anti-theft tool preloaded on (or downloadable to) all wireless smartphones manufactured after July 2015. This tool will let consumers: remotely wipe their data; render the smartphone inoperable to unauthorized users; prevent reactivation without owner's consent; and reverse the inoperability of the device as well as restore the data to the device in the event it is found by the owner. Consumers will also be free to use whatever third-party anti-theft tools they wish in addition to those provided by the phone maker. All signatories will make the baseline anti-theft tool available with all its core features. The initial batch of companies signing the commitment include: Apple; Asurion; AT&T; Google; HTC America; Huawei; Motorola; Microsoft; Nokia; Samsung; Sprint; T-Mobile; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless. Some of those who haven't signed include Kyocera, LG, Sony, ZTE. A number of lawmakers lauded the commitment, which arrives several months after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler mandated that wireless companies come up with such a solution or face regulatory intervention.
Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC America, today said via his official Twitter account that the company will update the One (M7) smartphone to Sense 6.0 by May. Sense 6.0 is what shipped with the this year's One (M8). It includes an updated version of Blinkfeed, new camera software, and other features.
HTC said the One (M8) should be available in carrier retail stores (AT&T, Sprint, etc.) around the country beginning today. It was previously only at Verizon stores.
Sprint today said it will update its Windows Phone smartphones, the HTC 8XT and Samsung ATIV S Neo, to Windows Phone 8.1 this summer. It will provide more specifics closer to the availability date.
AT&T today said the Android 4.4 KitKat update is now available for the HTC One mini. The update can be downloaded and installed via Wi-Fi. In addition to the system update, the revised operating system adds Sense 5.5. Some of the improvements include: new user interface for the email app; lock screen access to the camera application; immersive viewing mode for media such as books, videos, and games; new clock interface; and more options for BlinkFeed. Android 4.4 KitKat with Sense 5.5 is free to download an install.
HTC plans to release versions of its BlinkFeed and Zoe Camera applications that are compatible with Android devices made by other manufacturers. The news about BlinkFeed appeared in a footnote from the company's press release about the One. BlinkFeed is HTC's social reader app. It pulls content from social networks and news sources to create an ever-updating feed. According to HTC, BlinkFeed is fairly popular, and that's why it plans to extend its availability to other Android handsets. The company will release an API for BlinkFeed to developers shortly. HTC also confirmed to the Verge that it plans to make a stand-alone version of its Zoe Camera application available to other phones. Zoes are a combination of still images and short video clips. It is a feature built into the camera app of the One, One max, One mini, etc. HTC plans to release a Zoe app that lets multiple people collaborate and create lengthy Zoes that share the same time, subject, or event. The Zoe app will launch later this year.
T-Mobile today said that its variant of the HTC One will be available online and in stores on April 11. T-Mobile is asking for $0 down followed by 24 monthly payments of $26.50.
Ciao, an MVNO that resells Sprint service, kicked off today with low-cost, no-contract plans. Ciao is offering monthly service options that fall in line with other Sprint prepaid properties, such as Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile. The entry-level plan costs $35 per month and includes unlimited voice minutes, unlimited text messaging, and unlimited MMS. The mid-tier plan costs $45 per month and adds 500MB of data. The top-tier plan costs $60 per month and boosts the monthly data allotment to unlimited. Ciao will soon, however, offer an unlimited smartphone plan that costs just $10 per month. The catch is that Ciao will install an app that displays advertisements on the lock screen. Ciao sells a single phone, the HTC EVO, for $199. Ciao Mobile is owned and operated by Ciao Telecom, which is based in Dallas.
HTC said today it will offer both Google Play and developer editions of the HTC One, in addition to the carrier variants. The Play Edition One will be sold directly from Google. It can be preordered beginning today only in silver. It will cost $699 and is sold without a contract. HTC believes the device will ship within 10 to 14 days. Importantly, HTC has made its camera API available to Google, so the Play Edition variant should be able to take advantage of the two-camera setup employed by the One for 3D shots. Google hasn't specifically said what it will do with the HTC camera API, however. The Play Edition will support quad-band GSM/EDGE, as well as HSPA+ in the 850/AWS/1900/2100MHz bands, and LTE in the 700/850/AWS/1900MHz bands (LTE roaming in the 1800/2600MHz bands). HTC itself is selling an unlocked developer edition of the One, also, which can be ordered from HTC.com beginning today for $649. It is a GSM model, though HTC didn't specify what 3G/4G bands it will support.
The HTC One can be purchased in the U.S. beginning today. The new smartphone from HTC will be available in Verizon Wireless retail stores beginning at approximately 1PM Eastern time. At the same time, the One will go on sale through the web sites of AT&T, Sprint, and HTC itself. T-Mobile is not offering web orders today. The One will not reach AT&T or Sprint retail stores until April 11, but can be ordered online today for delivery within several days. The One will become available from T-Mobile at some point in early April. The device retails for $199/$249, depending on the carrier, and has a full retail price of $649.
HTC today said it will offer developers APIs that hook into the new Blinkfeed application as well as the new camera on the HTC One. These APIs will let developers take advantage of the new duo-camera setup of the One, which can add 3D and other info to photos, to enhance their own apps. The BlinkFeed app has been improved in Sense 6.0, and the APIs should make it easier for One owners to seek out and add content to their feed. These APIs will be available to developers soon.
HTC today announced that it will release Sense 6.0 for existing One series phones (including the max and mini) this spring.
Here are some quick and dirty thoughts about the HTC One, which has an all-metal design, 5-inch HD screen, and a rewritten user interface.
HTC today announced the One, an update to its top-of-the-line smartphone for 2014. The new One uses more aluminum in its design and increases the screen to 5-inches with full HD resolution. The One features a two-camera design that lets users create 3D images and add other effects after the image has been taken. The main camera uses the same 4-ultrapixel configuration last year's device did, but uses a dual-LED flash, upgrades the ImageChip, and boosts the user-facing camera from 2-megapixels to 5-megapixels. The camera boasts an improved Zoe mode, HDT mode, the ability to take images using both cameras at the same time, as well as save camera presets for later. The One is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, which is accompanied by 2GB of RAM. The device will be offered with 32GB of storage in the U.S., and supports microSD cards up to 128GB. Despite the all-metal design, the HTC includes NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi, and support for U.S. LTE 4G networks. In addition to the hardware updates, HTC revealed Sense 6.0, its Android user interface overlay. The new version of Sense makes it easier to add content to Blinkfeed and manage home screens; adds lock-screen gestures that anticipate what the user wants; simplifies the camera and video camera software; and improved TV guide/remote software. HTC says the battery is 40% bigger than last year's phone, and it comes with "extreme power saving" mode, which shuts down all but the most essential apps when the battery reaches 5% and still provides for another 15 hours of battery life. Along with the One, HTC announced the Dot View case, which is a wrap-around case for the One. The front of the case is speckled with dots. Using the case puts the phone into an alternate notification mode that will use the dots to display notifications for incoming calls and text messages. The Dot View cast will be available separately for $50. The HTC One bears a full retail price of $649 and will be available soon.
Google today formally introduced its effort to port Android to wearables. The company announced Android Wear, a version of the Android operating system that will start with watches and eventually move on to other form factors. Google's immediate vision for wearables - and watches in particular - include some basic functions. Google believes smart wearables should provide useful information when the wearer needs it, such as posts, social network updates, and messaging notifications. Google thinks wearables should be able to answer questions, such as "OK Google." Google's Android-based wearables will include Google Now, its voice-based assistant, for performing searches and issuing commands. Android Wear will give people a better way to monitor their health and fitness, such as help with exercise goals and provide fitness summaries. Last, Google sees wearables as the key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear will let users access and control other devices - music players, phones, TVs - through Google Now. Developers interested in Project Android Wear can sign up to participate in a preview. Developers will be able to customize their app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear, for example. Google said that more resources, including APIs, will be available to developers soon. Google also noted that it is working with Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung to create Android Wear-based watches, which should arrive later this year.
Google recently indicated that devices running Android 4.3 and older will not be allowed to make tap-and-go payments via Google Wallet. The change goes into effect April 14. Moving forward, Android devices will need to run Android 4.4 KitKat and up to make NFC-based mobile payments. Additionally, Google said mobile payments will no longer be possible from the Samsung Galaxy Note III, HTC Evo 4G LTE, and the Google Nexus 7 (2012). Google did not provide a reason for making the change.
The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that HTC, Huawei, and ZTE did not infringe on camera-related patents owned by FlashPoint. The ruling was a review of an initial decision made by an administrative law judge last year. The full panel changed the initial ruling (which had found HTC guilty), exonerated all three companies, and dismissed the case. Companies often use the ITC to try patent cases as the agency has the power to ban sales of products found guilty of violating intellectual property.
HTC's first new mid-range phone of 2014 is a phablet, with a design that echoes the HTC One. The Desire 816 is almost as big as the One max in size (but not quite) yet thin and light, with a relatively premium design, 13-megapixel camera, and BoomSound speakers, for a low price. We check out the hardware in this hands-on.
HTC announced the Desire 816 at Mobile World Congress today. Here are some first impressions based on a quick look at the new phone.
Sprint today announced that its juiced-up 4G network, called Sprint Spark, is now available in Salt Lake City and Jacksonville, Fla. Sprint Spark uses tri-band LTE to help improve access to, and the performance of, its 4G network. In order to use Sprint Spark, Sprint customers must have Spark-compatible smartphones. Only a handful of Sprint's smartphones work with Spark, including the LG G2, the HTC One max, the Samsung Galaxy Mega, and a newer version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Sprint Spark is available in 16 markets, and Sprint plans to cover 100 markets by the end of the year. Sprint claims Spark enables peak download speeds of 60Mbps. Sprint also said that its LTE network has expanded to a total of 382 markets, including Detroit; Rochester, N.Y.; Manchester, N.H.; and Winston-Salem, N.C.
HTC today announced the Desire 816, a mid-range device that offers the best features of HTC's One series devices in a less expensive package. The Desire is made from a polycarbonate shell and has a 5.5-inch 720p HD display. It comes with some of HTC's more advanced features, such as BoomSound, BlinkFeed, and Sense 5.5. It has a 13-megapixel main camera with an aperture of f/2.2, and a 5-megapixel user-facing camera with back-side illumination. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The Desire 816 supports microSD cards up to 64GB. It uses a nano SIM card and has a 2,600mAh battery. Connectivity options run the norm, with LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and GLONASS all on board. The device runs the latest version of Android and will go on sale first in China in March and worldwide in April.
HTC is widely expected to reveal new phones at MWC this year. They already have a big dedicated event on the calendar in a few weeks, where we expect to see their new flagship. But today we're expecting some interesting new mid-range phones. Tune in here to get the news as it's revealed.
HTC Americas today announced HTC Advantage, a new commitment to its U.S. customers that includes repairs and operating system updates. Under the terms of the program, HTC will offer a one-time free screen replacement to all One series devices sold after February 18, including the One, One mini, and the One max, during the first six months of ownership. The repairs will be performed in Houston. Further, the company is committing to provide all One series devices core system level updates for a period of two years after the initial launch date for each device. Timing of updates will vary depending on carrier, but HTC will deliver them as soon as it is able. HTC Advantage also offers customers free online storage for back-ups. Owners of One series phones will enjoy 25GB of Google Drive storage at no extra cost for a period of two years. Last, HTC is offering free backups through its own HTC Backup program. HTC Advantage is only available in the U.S.
Sprint today announced that its juiced-up 4G network, called Sprint Spark, is now available in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Sprint Spark uses tri-band LTE to help improve access to, and the performance of, its 4G network. In order to use Sprint Spark, Sprint customers must have Spark-compatible smartphones. Only a handful of Sprint's smartphones work with Spark, including the LG G2, the HTC One max, the Samsung Galaxy Mega, and a newer version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Sprint Spark is available in 14 markets, and Sprint plans to cover 100 markets by the end of the year. Sprint claims Spark enables peak download speeds of 60Mbps.
HTC today indicated that it will offer a more diverse lineup of handsets throughout 2014. The decision effectively reverses the course set by the company in late 2012 to focus only on the high-end of the smartphone market. "The problem with us last year was we only concentrated on our flagship. We missed a huge chunk of the mid-tier market," said HTC co-founder and Chairwoman Cher Wang in an interview with Reuters. HTC told investors the new entry-level and mid-tier handsets would help increase its revenues after the first quarter. HTC, once a leader in the smartphone space, has seen its share eroded by fierce competition from Samsung and other handset makers. A successor to the HTC One, HTC's main smartphone for 2013, is expected soon.
Nokia and HTC have settled all patent litigation between the two companies. HTC said it will make some payments to Nokia regarding the standard essential patents in question. Further, Nokia and HTC have agreed to collaborate on certain LTE 4G technologies moving forward. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
HTC today indicated via one of its Twitter accounts that Verizon Wireless has approved the Android 4.4 and Sense 5.5 system update. HTC said the over-the-air update should be available to One owners shortly.
HTC today announced that Sprint is the first U.S. carrier to offer the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update to its variant of the HTC One. The update can be downloaded manually by HTC One owners via the settings menu starting today. Sprint will begin delivering the update over the air beginning February 11. In addition to Android 4.4.2, the update brings the One to the latest version of HTC Sense.
HTC today said it will miss its self-imposed deadline of updating the One within 90 days from the time Google released Android 4.4 KitKat. It originally committed to giving the One the latest version of Android by the end of January. According to HTC, KitKat is now undergoing carrier testing with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Though it will fall short of the 90-day cutoff, HTC expects the update will take only another week or two to complete for each carrier. HTC asked customers for patience as it finalizes the system update. More information should be available soon.
Rockstar, a patent consortium jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony, has dropped its patent infringement lawsuit against Huawei. The suit was originally filed last year, and included co-defendents Google, Samsung, and HTC. Rockstar believes the companies are violating its patents. Neither Rockstar nor Huawei indicated why the suit was dropped, nor whether or not Huawei signed a licensing agreement with Rocktar. The lawsuit still stands against the other companies. Google, in particular, is accused of infringing on seven different patents that pertain to internet search terms and advertising. Rockstar is seeking damages from Google, which it says is violating the patents willfully. Rockstar is a group of companies that together purchased thousands of patents from bankrupt Nortel. The firms spent a total of $4.5 billion on the patents.
HTC today indicated that the One X and One X+ will receive no more software updates. In a statement provided to Phone Scoop, an HTC spokesperson said, "We can confirm that the HTC One X and One X+ will not receive further Android OS updates beyond Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5. We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed both devices to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences." The X and X+ launched in 2012 and were sold by AT&T in the U.S. They were replaced with the HTC One in 2013.
HTC USA has launched a new software update status page, providing a new level of detail on Android software updates in progress. The page currently lists the status of the Android KitKat update for various versions of the HTC One. The site also includes a detailed infographic explaining the steps HTC takes in bringing new versions of Android to its phones.
HTC today announced a promotional plan that will allow consumers to finance the cost of the HTC One smartphone over a period of 24 months. The device is being offered at the full retail price, and thus comes unlocked (GSM only) and without a carrier contract. It is compatible with the networks run by AT&T and T-Mobile. Customers with good credit can order the One through HTC's web site for no money down and then make 24 payments of $25, totaling $600 over two years. The model comes with 32GB of storage and Android 4.4 KitKat installed.
Google announced that the Play Edition versions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 should receive the Android 4.4 KitKat system update in the coming days. The Play Edition versions don't have HTC's Sense nor Samsung's TouchWiz user interfaces, respectively. Instead, they run a stock version of Android, like Nexus devices.
Verizon Wireless quietly made the HTC One max handset available online and in stores today. Verizon is asking $299 for the max with a new two-year agreement or $25.22 per month with the Verizon Edge plan. The full retail price of the One max is $599.99.
HTC recently indicated via its official Twitter account that it plans to update the Verizon version of the One to Android 4.3 by the end of the year and then to Android 4.4 by the end of January. All other versions of the One will receive Android 4.4 by the end of January, too. HTC also indicated that it will update the Droid DNA to Android 4.4 and Sense 5.5 by the end of the first quarter, pending carrier certification.
FreedomPop today announced the availability of a new device, the HTC EVO 4G. FreedomPop is selling the EVO 4G for $99 with no contract. FreedomPop also said that it will accept a broader range of old Sprint devices on its network with its "bring your own phone" option. FreedomPop is an MVNO that uses Sprint's network. Rather than use traditional voice, FreedomPop's voice calls are sent over the data network through VoIP technology. FreedomPop offers 200 voice minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data free each month, and recently introduced a plan that includes unlimited texting and calling for $10.99 a month. Earlier this year FreedomPop announced that it is transitioning from Sprint's WiMAX network to Sprint's LTE network, but it is so far offering only one LTE-capable product (a mobile hotspot). FreedomPop said that it will offer LTE-capable smartphones later this year, though price points will be closer to $200. The EVO 4G uses WiMAX.
Virgin Mobile today announced the availability of the HTC Desire. The Desire includes features first seen on the HTC One, such as Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Sense 5.0, BlinkFeed, and HTC Zoes. The Desire has a 4.5-inch qHD display; 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM; 5-megapixel camera with back-side illumination and 1080p HD video capture; dual front speakers with BoomSound; and an embedded 2200mAh battery. It also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and support for microSD cards up to 64GB. The Desire (known in some markets as the Desire 601) can be purchased today for $279. Virgin Mobile does not require contracts.