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XDA Finds That the HTC One’s “HTC” Button Can Be Mapped with Custom Kernel

htc home button

One of the more curious quirks of the HTC One is the fact that it only has two capacitive buttons for navigation, back and home, with an unclickable HTC logo in the middle of them. Leave it to XDA devs, however, to tinker until they find a way to unlock it. Through some digging in the code, it seems that the “HTC” can become a capacitve button for the phone because the logo falls into a touch-sensitive area. In theory, you could map the area into thinking it was actually a button.

According to the growing XDA thread, it looks like a custom kernel is needed before you can start using this as a button. Don’t expect to see it anytime soon though, this kind of mod is going to take some tinkering to get working. With the device in so few hands to this point, it may be a while before enough minds can get together to make magic happen.

Finding a previously unusable button, that isn’t technically a button at all, and getting it working, isn’t this why we love Android?

Via: XDA

  • GazaIan

    I knew it. I had even explained it a while back on AndroidPolice;

    “You know, the HTC logo might be able to be a button through some source mods. You see, with capacitive buttons, usually the touch panel extends from the screen down to the buttons. In some cases you can scroll, and continue scrolling where the capacitive buttons are. If the panel is a perfect rectangle that extends over the HTC button, you can make a button out of it. If its an oddly shaped panel, with a rectangle and two small squares on each side for the buttons (like the Galaxy S II and III), then the logo can’t be a button. We’ll see soon.”

    I guess it’s common with HTC displays since that’s what they’ve always done, I doubt they would change it just to make sure we can’t use the logo as a button. It may even be possible to create a fourth, invisible button if you wanted.

  • Real Talk

    How can you have an android phone without a menu button?

    • zurginator

      The menu button hasn’t been standard for close to 2 years.

  • mgamerz

    So how do you open the app menu on gingerbread or lower apps? Like facebook? Is it going to show another retarded three dots?

  • Trevor

    That’s a weirdass thing for HTC to do.

  • justapotato

    or just make it the NOW button….id be happy

  • justapotato

    HTC should release an update to make the logo mapable. just dont allow it to do functions of the other two buttons.

  • Daniel

    Very cool…this is because the way the phone sees those buttons is as though they are on-screen, and the capacitive layer just extends down across the entire strip. This is also how the 4 capacitive buttons on the Droid 4 function, you can press down and start scrolling in landscape and continue to scroll up and down across the area where the buttons are.

    But I do agree that at this point on-screen buttons are far-more customizable…but this solves one of the biggest (other than no keyboard) issues I had with the HTC One, since it’s stupid to do away with the menu key that is quite useful.

    • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

      This really opens up a lot of options. Google Now swipe up should be pretty easy to do (I imitated it pretty well on my GS3 using PIE) I’ll probably remap all the buttons to act like AOSP. Back, home, multi-task.

  • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

    This changes everything.

    • Tirionfive

      … Again.

      • Austin Warren

        Am I missing something? A button does something and people rave? #notevenfanboysgetexcitedoverabutton

        • Tirionfive

          You missed the reference? That’s the Apple iPhone slogan.

          • Austin Warren

            Oh Crikey, I dun missed that

  • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

    The button layout is just assanine on this phone. What the hell where they smoking? And HTC should not be competing with anyone but Samsung, and this just alienates anyone on any Android phone, especially coming from a Samsung.

    • EC8CH

      don’t know why you got downvoted… I couldn’t agree more with your opening statement.

    • http://www.theandroidsite.com benmarvin

      HTC be smokin that THC.

  • rotz055

    Can a custom kernel move the power button to the side of the phone? stupid htc…

    • http://www.theandroidsite.com benmarvin

      Since the power button is also the IR blaster, I’m willing to forgive the placement this time. But having it on the side is a million times more comfortable to press one-handed.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeremygross60 Jeremy Gross

        gs4 has an ir blaster on top, and power button on side, if they could do this, why couldnt htc! still would choose the one over the s4 though, i dont think that should be a deal breaker

      • Tech Pro

        I do not quite understand. I use index finger to press power button on the top with thumb on the left and other 3 fingers on the right to hold it.

        I found it not as comfortable with power button on the side because I would use middle finger which is not as agile as index.

        Can you explain why power button on the side is more comfortable for you?

        • http://www.theandroidsite.com benmarvin

          If I’m holding the phone in my left hand or both hands, it’s an easy move to use my index finger to hit the power button. And if the phone is in my left hand, I can use my thumb. With the power button on top, I really have to stretch, or reposition the phone to be able to reach the button.

          I do realize that usually when hitting the power button, the phone is about to be set down or go back in your pocket. But I guess I’ve just gotten used to that placement.

          The last two HTC phones I owned were QWERTY sliders, so the power button was essentially on the side with the keyboard open. Although that was 2 years and 4 phones ago… So maybe I’ll be get used to a top button again, I’ll have to wait till I use a One for a couple weeks.

          • Tech Pro

            Thanks. I see your cases. I am used to hold upper part of the phone and use right hand for navigation. I do find it’s easier to have power button at the side if I hold the lower part of the phone and use it single-handed. I hardly hold phone with 2 hands unless I am watching video.

  • Jared Tau

    It would’ve been nice ‘htc’ if was the capacitive button for everything.
    – tap for home
    – long press for multitask
    – swipe up for google now
    – swipe across for back

    • joseph pastor

      wish I could +1 this again actually. as long as the long press duration is 0.5 sec. haha. oh well, I’ll stay with the nexus 4 and PIE. XD

    • Nagini

      Just like the Palm Pre!

    • michael arazan

      That would be easy and functional, HTC does not like easy and functional by the sense and design in the new One

    • Sqube

      This is so genius I want to grab somebody who doesn’t even know anything about phones and tell them.

    • aQuickBit

      Now going off of that, someone at XDA should post a tweak where you can disable the other two buttons, turn the illumination off so you cannot see them and just have the HTC logo “button” sitting there in its pride and glory. That would be elegant.

  • ~jb

    Buttons of any sort at this point in the game is failure. Google has proven the efficiency and more importantly the customizable advantages of on screen navigation, developers took it a step further and perfected onscreen controls (nexus/pie).

    • EC8CH

      The Ubuntu buttonless UI is a pretty slick navigation concept. I think an all gesture based UI is more than the average person can handle, or at least it’s my suspicion that is what the major mobile OS manufactures think (iOS, Android, etc).

  • Jason Purp

    That’ll be a cool mod… for the people who are going to buy this phone… which will not be Verizon customers…

    • https://twitter.com/#!/doomstang Doomstang

      I thought Verizon WAS getting a version after all

      • JetBlue

        HTC tweeted that Verizon won’t be getting it.

        • will bartlett

          then that tweet was deleted…

          • Jared Tau

            but there are previous tweets that have not been deleted

          • Kevin McDole

            Ugh.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jeremygross60 Jeremy Gross

            its really not confirmed at all

          • Dushbag

            Yes it is.

  • Kane Stapler

    This is definitely the biggest reason I wasn’t even considering the One

    • kevin

      Im honestly pretty damn glad I was not the only person to have this mind set.

      • RTR2011

        Hhhhmmmmm. No removable battery, no micro SD slot, aluminum construction (horrible impact absorption), and you have to hack it to make it work the way it should be designed in the first place. Sounds more like something that a certain fruit company would design. Just saying……

        • kevin

          0_0 to be honest I was not aware of the fact it had no micro sim slot…ya ok thats a deal breaker

  • JetBlue

    Now if only it was on Verizon

  • http://www.coroflot.com/mellerad Adam Meller

    The HTC logo should have been the Home button to begin with.

    • Captain_Doug

      Agreed.

    • itsgonnalast

      Amen brother

    • EC8CH

      Better yet keep logos off the front of phones entirely.

      Hear that marketing departments of the world!

      • LionStone

        +100 :-)

      • ERIC REED

        There is a phone that does that already…

        • EC8CH

          you don’t say

    • Dorian Brooks

      Didn’t Verizon already patent the logo as a button?

      • Austin Warren

        They will when they buy them.

  • Captain_Doug

    The HTC one is now an option again.

    • Austin Warren

      /s?

      • http://twitter.com/jcardona1 jcardona

        /fanboi?

        • Austin Warren

          /fail