Its raining lollipops for sure. The likes of Motorola Moto G II Generation, Nexus 5 have one way or the other received the Android 5.0 update and the likes of LG G3 and Motorola Moto X are slated the get the same in the coming days. Even Sony to their credit did showcase the AOSP build of their KitKat update, with HTC also committing to releasing the Android L Update, things are definitely moving forward and fast.
HTC’s Mo Versi, member of the HTC Product engagement team took to Twitter to confirm that HTC will also start rolling out the update for the Google Play Edition devices, including the HTC M8 and M7, starting next week. It is not clear whether both the M7 and M8 will get the update at the same time or one after the other, but it is clear that both the devices will be getting Android L. It makes sense that the rollout will be this quick given that all the Google Play Edition devices run Android 5.0 in unadulterated form.
In case you are not patient enough to wait for an OTA to your HTC M8 for Android L, you can use the firmware that developers have already uploaded on XDA for the device. The thread can be found here.
Right after the announcement for Android 5.0, HTC had updated its users that those who are using the HTC M7 and HTC M8 will receive updates to Android 5.0 or Lollipop now, within a period of 90 days of HTC receiving the final source code from Google. While HTC had set up a page for the same, where you can track the progress, what was not quite clear was when would HTC receive the final code.
HTC took to Twitter yesterday to confirm that they have now received the final code for Android 5.0 from Google and have begun the work on updates. These updates obviously will be OTA, and although HTC had only initially made the promise for its two flagship devices, i.e. the M7 and M8, it did later on take time to tweet that they will inform everyone of the Android KitKat update to their other devices soon too, keeping the hope alive for some of the not marquee devices.
With the same estimate of 90 days work, all the HTC M7 and M8 owners can expect the update to hit their devices sometime early February. By the exact calculation of 90 days, the update should be out on or before February 3rd, though that’s really being picky.
Despite rocking the most beautiful Android smartphones for two years in a row, HTC is yet to report any profits of substantial order. In fact, of all the major OEMs out there, HTC seems to always be fighting the battle of survival. Be it small marketing budgets or just bad pricing, there are several reasons as to why HTC devices haven’t done well. To fight the category fight though, HTC has since last year released several models with varied sizes of their flagship. We had the smaller HTC M7 Mini and HTC M7 Max to go with the M7.
This year, we have already had the Mini variant of the M8, in the form of HTC M8 Mini, but the Max version seems to be aloof as of now. New reports have surfaced which give out the details of the M8 Max, which according to the same is already in works. According to the report, the device will have a 5.5 inch display which will bring a 2K resolution.
We have already seen the likes of Note 4 and the LG G3 bring 2K display so this is an expected move when it comes to the Max. The device is also expected to feature the latest Snapdragon 805 SoC when it releases. The phone will also bring 3 GB of RAM as well as a 3,000 plus mAh battery. The camera on board is expected to be an 18 MP sensor with OIS. We should see the device launching soon, around the Q4 if the report is to be believed.
It is exactly like the HTC M8, but it runs Windows Phone 8 and therefore shamelessly can be proclaimed to be one of the best Windows Phone device yet. Welcome HTC M8 for Windows Phone.
What happens when you take the best Android smartphone and slap Windows Phone on it? Needless to say you get the best looking Windows Phone smartphone out there, and that is exactly what HTC has done with the M8 for Windows. The device has everything that we have come to love about the original M8 but runs Windows Phone 8.1 when it comes to OS. The smartphone has the Dual Camera rear setup and as a result has all the blurring effects or the defocus effects that the HTC M8 has been flaunting. The HTC M8 for Windows was announced as an exclusive to the US carrier Verizon for now, but we hope the phone will be available unlocked too.
Ever since the latest update for Windows Phone by Microsoft made it possible for OEMs to port Windows Phone for existing hardware devices, this is the first instance where an OEM has taken advantage of the feature and therefore extended the offerings when it comes to the existing line of devices. Just like the M8, the M8 for Windows has a 1080 P 5 inch display with Snapdragon 801 SoC at the heart of it with 2 GB of RAM and 4 Ultra Pixel primary camera. The internal memory here is 32 GB with expansion via Micro SD possible with 2600 mAh battery. You have all the Windows Phone 8.1 goodness here, and in addition you have some nifty HTC features such as Blinkfeed is included as a dedicated app. The phone is available as of now and will cost you $99 on a two year contract or for $600 unlocked.
HTC, while announcing the HTC M8 announced that it would be bringing a vast majority of the Sense UI elements to the Google Play Store so that the users would be able to update the apps as and when new features are available instead of having to wait for major Android updates from the OEM. This meant several system apps such as HTC Input, BlinkFeed etc were made available directly for download in the Google Play Store.
The latest app to join the list is the HTC Clock app. The app is now available directly from the Play Store so that users will be able to update the clock on their HTC supported devices as and when a new feature is added. This is a move that perhaps coincides with the rumored Android 4.4.3 update that the M8 users are receiving across the world. Needless to say that the application will be incompatible with just about every single other smartphone than the HTC M8 at this stage. We tried to update or install the app via Google Play on our M8, but the app showed that it was incompatible.
The only sense out of this is that the app will spring to action when an update is available. For now though, there are no updates for the app. But, we did receive an update to the HTC Service Pack which perhaps will prepare your device for the upcoming updates.
Google Play Link to HTC Clock App
I have been using the HTC M8 as my primary device for just over two months now. While the device is without a doubt, excellent and ticks most of the boxes you would want your daily driver to tick, there are a few minor things that annoy me. As revered as the build quality and designing capabilities of HTC are, they have always dropped big bombs when it comes to QC of their devices.
Several of the M7 devices last year shipped with a camera lens that produced a weird purple flare when used under low lighting conditions and had an odd hairline space between the contact point where the metal and the non metal components on top of the device met. With 90% metallic construction of the M8, the hairline problem is a thing of yesterday and the purple flare has been sorted too, but a new problem has cropped up. The lens of the main rear camera of the device gets scratched up very easily now and that totally ruins the camera performances of the phone.
According to some sources, it is not the main camera lens that gets scratched, but a film on top of it. The only way out is to make sure you keep your device in a case and really carefully. Despite doing that, the lens on my M8 has some pretty clear scratches. In this situation, you can either convince HTC to replace your unit or go ahead and do a quick fix. Our good friend from Droid Now, Shemon Das has come up with a solution of removing the scratches from your M8 using some IP solution and cotton buds. The entire process can be followed right here:
We tried the method and while it does take time and persistence, it gets the job done. However, if this would have any long term implications on your lens, we are not entirely sure.
Google has decided to remove several smartphones from the Google Play lineup starting last evening. The axe has fallen on the likes of Sony Xperia Z Ultra, HTC M7 as well as the LG G Pad 8.3. The reason for this move has not been made public and discreetly the devices were taken off the shelf. However, an educated guess is that given the low sales number of the devices it made little sense storing the inventories when several new GPE devices on the horizon.
If rumors are to be believed then a whole new line of Android Silver devices is slated to release sometime early next year while there still remains hope that the Samsung Galaxy S5 would be available as a GPE device given countless sporting of the device in the last few months. Surprisingly, Google has decided to keep the Samsung Galaxy S4 in the portfolio and remove the HTC M7. This means the current line up of the Google Play Edition Devices includes the HTC M8, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Motorola Moto G with no indication on whether the LG G3 will ever join the ranks.
There are several questions that still linger on about the move, for example, what happens to the likes of the Xperia Z Ultra and the LG G Pad 8.3 from here on? Both the devices saw a lifespan of less than 7 months having released only in December. We hope for the sake of those few who did buy it that Google would continue to support the devices for at least a foreseeable future.
HTC M8 is the device to beat in terms of flagships this year. After a fairly lukewarm reception to the LG G3, it is clear that HTC has once again a winner on its hands. Taking what was best about the HTC M7, HTC has only made things better with the M8. Also, unlike last year HTC has already announced several variants of the HTC M8 namely the M8 Mini and the E8 which is the same smartphone but in a plastic chassis as well as the M8 in several color options too.
Today, HTC has announced the dual sim variant of the M8. This once again follows the strategy last year, where HTC had announced the dual sim version of the M7 after six months of the launch. The dual sim version was extremely popular especially in markets like Asia and South America. The dual SIM variant of the HTC M8 will go on sale in select countries like Germany and Switzerland next week onwards. It is obvious that the device would then be released globally just like last year.
The specifications as well as the internals of the dual sim variant will be exactly the same as the single sim version. However, for those who liked the golden and the silver version of the device will be very disappointed, since the M8 dual sim will be available only in gunmetal grey color. The device will cost 799 Euros when it goes on sales which approximately comes to about Rs 65,000.
HTC M8 is perhaps the best designed smartphone of 2014 taking cues from the immensely well appreciated HTC M7. For HTC’s sake, we hope that this appreciation would also convert into sales numbers would would help the company come out of its mini slump that engulfs it currently. However, the M8 is not all about beautiful hardware, it also has some really nifty features when it comes to the software side.
The HTC Sense 6 is definitely an improvement on the Sense 5 and perhaps one of the very few OEM designed skins that are worth trading for Vanilla Android. One of the features on the Sense UI that received major changes is Blinkfeed. The news aggregator section automatically is se as the first screen on your springboard. While Blinkfeed is without any doubt more comprehensive than ever, it may not appeal to those who just want to get to their device and get the job done.
With Sense 6, it is now possible to turn Blinkfeed off. To do this, all you need to do is follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go into Settings app of the device.
Step 2: In settings, you must look under personal, and click on personalize.
Step 3: When you are inside personalize, under homescreen, you will find ‘Manage home screen pages’. Click that.
Step 4: You will be greeted with all te home screen places side by side, simply go to Blinkfeed page and click on remove.
Once you do that, Blinkfeed will automatically be gone. That’s it, you are done and your phone will directly unlock to your desktop and not Blinkfeed.
The gossips in the tech town have been adrift about a Prime variant of the highly appreciated HTC M8 being readied for a launch in the coming months. The device is expected to be an even more premium version, if it was possible, of the M8. It has been widely reported that the device will combine premium materials like ceramics as well as Al composites with Silicon in a unique chassis.
According to the leaked gif of the device, the M8 Prime will have a protruding camera lens while the secondary depth analysing sensor too has been bought down a couple of notches. There are other design changes too as the Power button is now located on the right arm of the device just below the volume rocker making it a little more accessible than previously.
The ambient sensor too is now located on the bezel rather than on the speaker grille of the device while the boomsound speakers definitely look a little wider for perhaps an even louder sound output. The device is less curvier as compared to the M8 and has a band around it unlike the pure metal construction of the M8. This could well aid for a better gripping of the device. There is a dual slot on the left of the device which perhaps could well indicate a dual sim variant or could just be the Micro SD slot being moved just below the sim slot. There is no information on when the M8 prime would be released or for what price yet, but from the outset, the device definitely looks a stunner and an improvement on the beloved HTC One M8.