HTC One (M8) Google Play Edition Unboxing and Quick Look

Last year, during Google I/O, Hugo Barra stood on stage to announce Google’s new Google Play Edition program of Android devices that would offer stock software experiences, with timely updates, on the same hardware sold through carriers with manufacturer skins. Samsung and HTC wound up having the first two entries, since their flagships at the time – the Galaxy S4 and HTC One (M7) – were still fairly new. Both were received with praise, even though they each carried premium prices.

Since HTC decided this year to make their new flagship, the HTC One (M8), available in as many different ways as possible, we once again have a Google Play Edition to check out.  (more…)

AcDisplay Receives Major Update to v2.1 – New UI and New Features

AcDisplay, an app we have become bigs fans of thanks to its Moto X-like abilities, received a major update to version 2.1 today that introduces a new UI and all sorts of other new features. This new version is currently only in beta, but after helping test the app over the last couple of days, I can tell you that it works quite well in its current state.

So what’s new? Well, since the last time we wrote up the app, all sorts of stuff.  (more…)

New Moto X Boot Animation Features Sci-Fi All-Stars, “Powered by Android” Branding

Remember over the holidays when Motorola surprised Moto X owners with a new holiday-themed boot animation? Well, they have updated the animation again as of today with a clip that features some of your favorite sci-fi characters. In the video below, you’ll see the Loch Ness Monster, a UFO, and what appears to be a yeti (or Sasquatch or some other type of walking man-like harry thing).

Oh, the boot animation also shows a “Powered by Android” note at the bottom at initial boot, because Google has reportedly mandated such a move. That’s apparently a big deal to Android news sites. Because, well, you must not have known that your phone was powered by Android. Or maybe it’s a slow news week. Or maybe…I don’t know. But hey, the Moto X, Galaxy S5, and HTC One (M8) all say it.

Joy!  (more…)

How to: Change Launchers on the HTC One (M8)

The new HTC One (M8) runs HTC’s BlinkFeed launcher out of the box. It’s not a bad OEM launcher, but if you aren’t a fan of BlinkFeed and also want custom icon pack support in a launcher that carries a much more classic Android appearance, a 3rd party launcher should be installed immediately. Since the One (M8) is an Android device, getting a 3rd party launcher up and running isn’t all that difficult – download one you like, run it, and be on your way.

Should you be the type that often switches between multiple launchers through Android 4.4′s (Kit Kat) new Home toggle, we wanted to make sure you knew where to find it on HTC’s new flagship. It’s not in the typical Settings>Home location that you would see with a stock Android device and is instead tucked into HTC’s Personalize menu.

To access the Home launcher switcher, either follow the video below or cruise into Settings>Personalize>Home screen, and then tap the launcher you want to use.  (more…)

HTC One (M8): 25+ Tips and Tricks

Whenever a flagship device is released, we want to make sure that new owners of it know exactly how to use all of its major features without having to figure it all out on their own. From navigating around to changing wallpapers to fully utilizing camera software, our 25+ tips and tricks series is one of our favorites to put together.

The latest to receive the tips and tricks treatment is the brand new HTC One (M8). HTC’s 2014 flagship, which launched just last week, introduces new off-screen gestures, a brand new camera UI, tweaks to Sense with version 6.0, on-screen navigation buttons, better control over wallpapers and home screen setups, plus more. The device itself is an upgraded version of the One (M7), last year’s model, mostly in all the right places.

So, if you are ready, here is our tips and tricks video for HTC’s latest.  (more…)

This is How Google Responds to a U.S. Search Warrant

Privacy. Privacy. Privacy. It’s such a painful topic to discuss. We hate it. The government hates it. Google hates it. You hate it. But it’s a hot item thanks to all of those just mentioned. As is such, Google needs to keep addressing your privacy in order to keep many of you using their services.

In their latest privacy-focused video, Google discusses how it handles U.S. search warrants that have been received from a criminal investigation on one of its users, while maintaing privacy. The video walks through the entire process from investigator to search warrant to judge to that warrant being served on Google. Once it hits Google, a number of people touch the warrant, deciding how much information is needed, if the warrant is too vague and needs to be sent back to investigators, and then if the user needs to be notified.

It’s worth a watch, criminals. (more…)

Video: HTC One (M8) vs. HTC One (M7)

You have seen the unboxing and tour of the new HTC One (M8), so it’s now time to talk about how it compares to last year’s model, the One (M7). HTC will hope that you believe it has reinvented something with the 2014 model, that the design is strikingly different, and that there are all sorts of new features to differentiate the two. After all, they need not only Galaxy and iPhone owners to buy the new One (M8), they need current One owners as well. If the comeback is to happen, HTC needs to win big with everyone.

So in this video, we take you on a tour of each from both hardware and software standpoints. Where are the real differences in the design? How much bigger is the new One versus the old One? What does Sense 6.0 look like when compared side-by-side with Sense 5.5? Are the cameras different? Specs different?

All of that is answered below.  (more…)

HTC Posts 10 Video Tutorials and Feature Highlights for the One (M8)

Didn’t find our unboxing and tour of the HTC One (M8) or Dot View flip cover overview useful? Don’t worry, HTC has you covered with 10 individual videos that highlight everything from the phone’s camera to its accessories.

Each video is short and to the point, so if you want to see how Zoes work or how you can apply effects that utilize the depth sensor in the Duo Camera, these are right up your alley. The videos also include tutorials on using gestures with the screen off, what info is shown through a Dot View cover, and the point of BlinkFeed.

For users new to HTC’s Sense skin or who missed out on last year’s One but are picking up this year’s, these are probably worth a quick watch.   (more…)