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HTC Sense 6 ROM for Nexus 5 now available

Posted by wicked April - 16 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The Nexus 5 was made to be played around with and nowhere is that fact more evident than in the number of custom ROMs available for the smartphone. Now another one joins the ranks, bringing along with it a so far rare feature: HTC‘s custom Sense UI, version 6.

The HTC Sense 6 is barely out the door, making its debut with the HTC One M8 last month. The update to HTC’s custom Android interface brought in a new look, new features, and a new way of rolling out updates to key Sense components. However, availability of Sense 6 is, of course, limited, currently only on the One M8 but will still be constricted to HTC devices. That is, unless you own a Nexus 5.

This latest ROM from XDA Recognized Contributor GalaxyUser takes the HTC Sense 6 and dumps it on Google’s latest smartphone. It is very much a work in progress but a good number of basic functionality is already present, such as touchscreen, SMS and phone calls, WiFi, internal storage, Bluetooth, and some sensors. Unfortunately, sound still isn’t working and neither is the camera. It is still in the very early stages of development, so there might still be some future updates that will fix these issues.

One big disclaimer is that ROM is still in alpha and while the author is grateful for people giving it a test, he isn’t yet interested in bug reports or feedback and would prefer developers to sign up for some of the tasks lying around. Installing the ROM, of course, requires booting into recovery and flashing some downloaded ZIP files, which is one of the things Nexus devices are great for.

htc-sense-6-nexus-5-1
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htc-sense-6-nexus-5-3

VIA: XDA

Five things the HTC One (M8) just gets wrong

Posted by wicked April - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Though we like the new HTC One (M8), there are a few things giving us headaches. The device is still top-end and wildly popular, and like anything else, has some features and settings that frustrate. Things you may not notice in-store while you’re fondling your potential new handset aren’t always immediately evident, so keep these things in mind when you’re ready to hand your credit card to the cashier.

Keyboard

The HTC keyboard can be maddening, plain and simple. The keys don’t register, which is likely due to sensitivity issues. Often times, a space key press doesn’t register, giving run-on words. From there, the keyboard often has no way to figure out what you meant when you typed “idontknowificanmakeit”, so you’re stuck doing it all over again. A calibration may help (found in settings), but it’s still not great in our experience.

The layout is also not quite intuitive, with question marks and commas hidden behind letter keys rather than cobbled behind one key as the stock Android keyboard offers. It’s kind of a pain, and switching to Google’s keyboard is almost necessary. The easiest way to do that is to drag down the notification bar when you see a keyboard icon up there, and select the Google keyboard.

HTC One Keyboard AC

Screen

Don’t get us wrong, the screen is gorgeous. Color reproduction is sharp, and the touch capacity is usually stellar. When you consider what’s actually being displayed, the screen is marvelous.

What isn’t marvelous is the bezel around the whole of the display, which smacks of unnecessary in 2014. The sides, the top and bottom — all have a noticeable black bar that never seems to blend into oblivion. It’s just kind of always there unless you’re watching a movie trailer or something, in which case it just makes the screen look like it’s shrunk the image. The prominent HTC branding on the front also annoys us quite a bit.

HTC One Bezel AC

Aluminum

Another thing many don’t consider about the One (M8) are the cons faced with aluminum. It absolutely gives the device a more polished appearance, and it’s definitely classy — there’s no debating that. It’s got quite a bit of downside, though, and you should really consider this aspect before purchase.

The One (M8) is really slippery, there’s just no getting around it. The redesigned aluminum casing is a bit more rounded, and a lot sleeker than the original One, but there have been several instances where I cringed because I nearly dropped it. The One (M8) takes a firmer grasp than you might think. Thankfully, HTC has a one-time, free of charge screen replacement for new owners.

The aluminum, in being so svelte and sleek, makes even the tiniest abrasive elements noticeable. Set it down on a desk, and it may end up sending chills down your spine because it’s grinding against tiny particles you don’t see. It can be mitigated with a case, but if you don’t like cases (I don’t), this is something to consider.

htc-one-m8-camera

Icons

Icons on the home screen and app drawer are spaced quite a bit, making it necessary to have more screens than you might like. If you’re a fan of folders, it might not matter too much. If you like having all your apps out and strewn around, it’s a bit sparse for our liking. They look to be simply scaled from smaller screens, but it doesn’t work well on the HTC One’s 5-inch display. Even more frustrating is that you can change the app grid layout in the app drawer, but not the home screen.

HTC One Google Apps AC

Power button

The top of the device is a dark plastic, which makes HTC Sense TV worthwhile because the IR blaster has somewhere to send a signal from (it likely wouldn’t work well through aluminum). This is also where the power button sits, and where we find our lone issue with HTC’s button arrangement.

The power button is a bit wobbly, and often sits askew. It can be felt shifting in place as well, which causes us to worry it may not be sturdy. We envision a time when it stops working altogether, or breaks off for someone who may be a touch rougher on their device.

HTC One Power Button AC

Conclusion

These may not be make-or-break issues for the HTC One (M8), but they are things to watch for. Should you want to pick one up, we still highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic device, but not without its own unique issues. If you’re easily bothered by little things, these are just a few to look out for before you hand over your credit card.

Sony Xperia Z2 deliveries to be impacted by parts shortages causing delays

Posted by wicked April - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Sony_Xperia_Z2_White_Official_02

In the past we have seen some instances where phone manufacturers dropped the ball on being ready to meet demand for new flagship devices. A new report from DigiTimes indicates the most recent launches by the major companies have been successful with one exception, the Sony Xperia Z2. According to analysts, Sony is being impacted by a shortage of some parts, which is expected to result in a delay of five to seven months in some markets, including the U.S., the U.K., and Hong Kong. It will be interesting to see how this delay may impact Sony’s strategy for the release of their next flagship device.

The most recently launched flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S 5, appears to be flowing out to the 125 countries where it has been available since April 11th without any problems. Sources estimate Samsung will ship 10 million units in just the first month. LG has also succeeded in accurately estimating demand and having enough units on hand for the launch of the LG G Pro 2, although it is not as widely available as some other devices. Combined with some other series in their portfolio, sources expect LG to ship 14-15 million smartphones in the second quarter, which would be record-breaking for the company.

HTC has largely been successful with the rollout of the HTC One (M8) since the end of March. A few colors did run out of stock initially, but HTC was able to replenish supplies quickly. Sources expect HTC to ship 3-5 million units during the second quarter. The positive rollout, including successful order fulfillment, is good news for HTC which has struggled in this area in the past.

source: DigiTimes

Come comment on this article: Sony Xperia Z2 deliveries to be impacted by parts shortages causing delays

HTC One (M7) to get Sense 6 by the end of May, Canada and U.S. only for now

Posted by wicked April - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

HTC One Review

Users of the original HTC One (M7) will not have to upgrade to the new One (M8) or worry about flashing any custom ROMs in order to use HTC’s new Sense 6 Android skin. HTC USA President Jason Mackenzie has announced that Sense 6 will roll out to the original HTC One by the end of May.

The update is only promised to HTC One users in Canada and the U.S. and was made through the company president’s twitter account.

HTC One Sense 6 Update

No announcement has been made yet on HTC’s website, nor has an exact date been provided for the update to any version of the HTC One. This is understandable considering the difficulties that phone manufacturers can face in getting certification from the individual carriers. Luckily, HTC’s new commitment to keep their phones up to date comes with a tool to track the progress of updates to the specific versions of the phone.

In a follow up tweet by Jason Mackenzie, we are told to keep our eyes on the HTC Software Updates page. It is currently not displaying any Sense 6 update info, but we are told it will be updated soon.

HTC One Sense 6 Update Info Page

This is an important update to the HTC One, as it should enable the use of the new Blinkfeed Launcher that HTC split out and uploaded to the Google Play Store a couple weeks ago. This would allow last year’s HTC One to take advantage of rapid updates in the future, independent of carrier certifications. Not to mention all the cool new features of Sense 6 – we showed off the new Blinkfeed in video, why don’t you check that out, just for fun.

One of the key questions I have about this update timeframe is whether or not Sense 6 on the HTC One will be accompanied by the Android 4.4.3 update that is expected soon, and is said to start rolling out to the Sprint Nexus 5 starting today? It certainly would be convenient to see both rolled into a single update, but we suspect it may take HTC a bit longer to get 4.4.3 through carrier certifications – good thing we have HTC’s updates site to keep us informed.

HTC One owners, is this a big deal to you – will this update change your mind about updating to the new One (M8)?








5 Reasons: Galaxy S5 Camera is Better Than the One (M8)’s

Posted by Tim-o-tato April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off
5 Reasons: Galaxy S5 Camera is Better Than the One (M8)’s


We have heard from Kellen as to why he is already missing the One (M8)’s camera thanks to a few of its features, but the Galaxy S5 shooter is nothing to mess around with. While HTC did a great job at marketing the One’s somewhat gimmicky features, the camera leaves a whole lot to be desired, especially in regards to editing photos after the fact, as well as overall picture quality.

As stated in the previous 5 Reasons post, the One’s UltraPixel sensor does do a fine job at creating photos that are share worthy on Instagram and Twitter, but for anyone looking to get more out of their photos, 4 megapixels probably won’t cut it.

After our time with the Galaxy S5, we have compiled another five reasons which make the shooter on Samsung’s newest flagship device better than the one found on the HTC One (M8). 

  1. More pixels means more detail. Regardless of which team you might be rooting for, Samsung or HTC, we can all no doubt agree that when dealing with megapixels on smartphones, more is sometimes, but not always, better. In comparison to the HTC One (M8)’s UltraPixel lens, which totes a 4MP sensor, Samsung threw in a 16MP sensor, allowing the phone to take not only larger resolution photos, but photos with more clarity and detail. As we found when reviewing the One (M8), after photos are uploaded to the computer, they lose an insane amount of crispness and detail. On the Galaxy S5, photos retain their value once transferred off of the device, allowing for more editing and cropping for those which need it. Hate it or love, the Galaxy S5′s camera is easily the more versatile of the two.
  2. Selective focus with just one lens. The One (M8) boasts a UFocus feature, which allows the photographer to go back in time essentially, refocusing a photo which has already been taken. If you snapped the foreground, and want to go back and refocus on the background, you can do so. Using proprietary software, and not needing two cameras, Samsung allows for this same effect. I would even go so far as to say Samsung did it better. When Selective Focus is enabled, you snap a picture, allow it to process, and then you are done. At that point, you can choose in the Gallery app whether you want a near focus, far focus, or a pan focus.
  3. Comprehensive photo and video settings. While the HTC One (M8) does have a simplified and well laid-out user interface, the Galaxy S5 features a UI with a mountain of settings. With a ton of different smart modes to choose from, plus even more that are downloadable, users will have no problem finding a settings that fits any type of situation. Beyond just Smart Modes, Samsung allows users to tweak individual attributes of a photo, such as the ISO, picture’s size, Metering mode, white balance, exposure values, and even more.
  4. Audio zoom during videos. When recording videos on smartphones, depending on your surroundings, it’s easy to pick up a ton of unwanted sound. The Galaxy S5′s Audio Zoom setting looks to diminish that issue, allowing users to select a single point of focus for the device’s mic. For example, if you are at a concert, you will select the stage as the area you want the mic to focus on, leaving that noisy crowd behind you lower in the audio mix. It may seem like a meaningless setting among a sea of others in the menu, but when the time comes, you might be glad you have it.
  5. Customization of the camera UI. A feature which I didn’t even know existed until recently is probably one of my new favorites, which is the ability to create custom shortcuts on the actual camera’s UI. For example, the Galaxy S5 out of the box features shortcuts for Selective Focus and HDR+. If you don’t use either of these very often, you can long press on the icon, and then replace it with any other setting from the menu. For example, I changed my shortcuts to Flash, Metering mode, and kept the Selective Focus. It may be something you will only use once or twice during your life with the device, but saving users the time of digging through the extensive settings menu is a blessing.

To see more in-depth looks at these 5 features we have a full explanation in the video below.

5 Reasons: Galaxy S5 Camera is Better Than the One (M8)’s is a post from: Droid Life

Would a plastic version of the HTC One M8 be a good idea?

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

htc one m8 outdoors aa (8 of 14)

Easily one of the biggest draws for the HTC One M8 is its premium build quality. Not only does the M8’s body have a refined premium look with excellent front-facing speakers, the design is completed by its beautiful aluminum body.

Of course, HTC is no stranger to plastic devices, especially on mid and low-end devices, and often times these devices still exude a premium style — even if the build materials aren’t quite as high-quality. With that in mind, a new rumor suggests that the HTC One M8 might be getting a plastic-clad brother.

The HTC One M8 might be getting a plastic-clad brother. Would such a model make sense?

A new report out of Taiwan claims that HTC is preparing a plastic model, despite its many comments insulting Samsung’s addiction to plastic. While this might seem a bit out of character for HTC, it’s certainly possible that the plastic HTC One could essentially be the rumored successor to the (plastic-cased) HTC Butterfly series. At least to a certain degree, it makes sense that HTC would want to integrate its popular Butterfly line into its One flagship line.

If this is truly a follow-up to the Butterfly, that could mean that it will end up only being available in select markets across the globe. Of course, it’s also possible that HTC could expand the plastic model’s reach in a move simple to Apple’s 5C/5S approach.

As for the specs? The new report claims the only difference between this new model is the lack of metal, though this contrasts previous next-gen Butterfly rumors that claimed HTC would be ditching the Ultrapixel camera for a 13MP shooter.

The HTC One (plastic) will be allegedly priced at 3000 Yaun ($483 USD), versus the 5299 Yuan ($853 USD) of the standard model. Honestly that seems like a massive difference if the device’s body material is really the only difference. For now, we’d take this whole rumor with a hefty grain of salt.

What do you think, would a plastic HTC One M8 make sense — at least for select markets? Or is HTC better off sticking to just metal for the M8?








HTC USA President Says Sense 6 Coming to HTC One (M7) By “End of May”

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off
HTC USA President Says Sense 6 Coming to HTC One (M7) By “End of May”


This year’s flagship HTC device, the One (M8), may have just been released, but HTC doesn’t want you to think that it has forgotten about its older devices. At the M8 announcement, HTC announced that it would be updating older devices “sometime this spring,” but we now have a better indication of when exactly that will be. 

The President of HTC USA, Jason Mackenzie, took to his Twitter account today to shine a light on when we would be seeing the “sixth sense” appear on last year’s HTC One (M7). The end of May is the new date we have to expect this upgrade to roll through as a part of the HTC Advantage.

Mackenzie has been known to fire shots towards Samsung in defense of his company over gimmicks and design. Maybe he should instead be happy about how much quicker his company is at updating phones than worrying about.

Any One 2013 owners excited to hear about Sense 6 coming soon?

Via: @Jason Mackenzie

HTC USA President Says Sense 6 Coming to HTC One (M7) By “End of May” is a post from: Droid Life

5 Reasons: HTC One (M8) Camera is Better Than the Galaxy S5′s

Posted by Kellex April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off
5 Reasons:  HTC One (M8) Camera is Better Than the Galaxy S5′s


Cameras – one of the ultimate talking points when it comes to smartphone reviews. Some are great, some are terrible, and some try to recreate the category all together with marketing speak. The HTC One (M8) falls into that category, thanks to the UltraPixel technology that HTC has used for the 2nd year in a row on their flagship phone. UltraPixel or Megapixel, though, the camera on this phone has some great qualities that we would argue may help it stand above the latest from Samsung, the Galaxy S5

Before we dive into this, we should point out that we made it clear in our review (and this opinion piece) that we aren’t personally fans of 4MP photos, which is the resolution of the photos that the M8 takes, but we also can admit that the One (M8) is capable of taking perfectly good photos at that 4MP resolution. In other words, if you don’t need photos that can be printed or edited or zoomed, then the camera on the M8 is actually quite good.

But if you say “quite good,” does that mean it’s good for HTC standards or is it as good as what Samsung has been able to produce with its latest 16MP shooter in the Galaxy S5? Well, they have their strengths and weaknesses, that’s for sure. I actually can’t say definitively which camera I like better at this point, but as we ready our GS5 review, there are some things that I am starting to miss about the M8′s camera.

So, here are 5 things that I believe make the HTC One (M8) camera better than the 16MP camera on the Galaxy S5.

  1. Zoe:  HTC brought back one of the best camera features of the original One when they re-introduced Zoes to the One (M8). For those new, Zoe is a camera mode that allows you to snap 3-second or longer videos that are then displayed in your gallery as either broken-out, frame-by-frame stills or as a video clip. It’s great for action shots or times when you need the perfect single frame, but may not be able to get it by snapping photos, one at a time.
  2. UFocus:  This is HTC’s photo editing mode that allows you to refocus photos after the fact. We were actually pretty critical of the implementation of this feature during the review, but if HTC can somehow fine tune it, UFocus could be better at re-focusing than anyone else who is trying something similar. Samsung has a similar mode in their camera, but it only works with if you tell it to work (“Selective Focus” mode). HTC’s works all the time, with no special mode.
  3. Better Selfies:  With a 5MP front-facing camera, how can you not want to spam off selfies to your favorite social networks? Most cameras these days include a 2MP front shooter, so HTC is clearly taking the lead in the category here.
  4. Camera UI:  The camera UI on the One (M8) is simple, so that you can focus on taking great photos. But if you need to manually tweak settings, change modes, or apply a filter, you can do so with one or two taps.
  5. Saving a custom camera setup:  For the advanced photogs in the building, you’ll love how the One (M8) allows you to save custom camera setups. If you have a camera setup tweaked specifically for a location or lighting arrangement, you can actually save all of those settings in a custom camera. I’m not sure how many HTC lets you create, but it’s enough to give you special camera setups for a while.

To see more in-depth looks at these 5 features we have a full explanation in the video below.

Update:  Here is the other side of the coin – 5 reasons the Galaxy S5 camera is better than the One (M8)’s.

5 Reasons: HTC One (M8) Camera is Better Than the Galaxy S5′s is a post from: Droid Life

HTC bringing Sense 6.0 to One (M7) by June

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

HTc, which recently made overtures about software support on older handsets, has made some poignant moves of late. They separated some apps form Sense, placing them in the Play Store rather than keep them in their Android skin. Now HTC has confirmed that Sense 6.0 will be coming to the older One before June.


Via Twitter, HTC America President Jason Miller confirmed that older handsets will get Sense 6.0 “by [the] end of May”. The simple confirmation is great news for those who still have the older One and can’t (or just don’t want to) upgrade. HTC didn’t note when the updates would start, but at least they gave an end date.

HTC also didn’t give us a carrier rollout timeframe for the update. Thinking back to HTC’s infographic about the update process, we remember that it all bottlenecks with carriers. We can assume, given the timeframe HTC provided, they’ve already got carrier approval for the older One.

Sense 6.0, with its apps having been seperated from the UI, should make the older device feel wholly new for many users. Between the revamped skin and updated Blinkfeed, many users may not even notice they’re using an older device at all. Those who are anxious can keep tabs on HTC’s update page, where they’ve been forthcoming about OS updates in the past. For now, we’ll take it as a positive note that HTC has found a way to keep current with both Android and Sense, because the duo work really well together.

Source: Twitter

Rumor: HTC Working on Plastic Version of M8 To Offer Cheaper Solution

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off
Rumor: HTC Working on Plastic Version of M8 To Offer Cheaper Solution


The HTC One (M8) may hang its hat on being made of aluminum, full of that “premium” feel, but that also comes with a hefty price tag. The launch of HTC’s flagship phone has come with fairly good reviews (ours here), but it will not save HTC if they do not sell any devices. A new rumor suggests that HTC might be changing its strategy to make the M8 more affordable. 

A new rumor out of AmongTech suggests that we could see a new version of the M8 as early as next month. While we have heard that Samsung is upgrading to more premium materials for their Galaxy S5, it sounds as if HTC is going the opposite direction.

This new device will apparently be “the same phone, but of different quality,” which could mean a plastic shell. This will reportedly lower the price to nearly $450 for an unlocked device, whereas now it will run you almost $700.

As we like to say here at DL, nothing is confirmed. Until we get more substantial evidence to back this story up, take it with a grain of salt.

With that being said, would the HTC One M8 be a more attractive option if it were less money? HTC has been relying on its build quality to sell devices, but what happens when they cut quality back in order to sell a few phones?

Via: AmongTech

Rumor: HTC Working on Plastic Version of M8 To Offer Cheaper Solution is a post from: Droid Life