HTC Releases Zoe (Beta) App, Like an Unneeded Mash-up of Instagram and Vine and Filters

HTC released their brand new Zoe app this morning to Google Play, an app that is like a mix between Instagram and Vine and filters and clip sharing and, yeah. Actually, it’s HTC’s Highlights feature from the One (M7) and (M8) that has been renamed to Zoe, which used to be a mini-clip camera feature that was used to make up Highlights which are now Zoes. Confused? Yeah, you should be.

The app’s life is early and in beta at this time, as is noted by HTC in their announcement post. In other words, don’t expect it to be flawless.  (more…)

HTC Intros “Phunk” One (M8), Limited to 64 Units

HTC has a history of releasing extremely limited edition devices, such as last year’s “All Gold Everything” One (M7). This year, instead of doing platinum, diamonds, or gold, they have partnered with a design studio based in Singapore called PHUNK Studio. To celebrate 20 years of design, PHUNK has teamed up with HTC to create a special smartphone, one which will feature a design of their own. (more…)

HTC to Make Zoe App Available to All Android Phones Through Google Play

According to a report from Re/code, HTC has upcoming plans for its proprietary software and applications currently found on the latest One line of devices, plans that involve Android phones from all other OEMs, believe it or not.

When speaking with Drew Bamford, head of the HTC user interface team, it was stated that HTC’s Zoe application would hit Google Play for all other Android devices this week, given that they at least run the latest version of Android. This means anyone rocking a Galaxy S5, LG G3, Moto X or any other top Android phone can soon utilize one of the features that differentiated HTC’s lineup from the rest.  (more…)

HTC Launches Budget-Friendly Desire 600 and 800 Devices in US

HTC announced the launch of the Desire 800 and 600 series for the US this afternoon, kicking off with the announcement of the Desire 816 smartphone for Virgin Mobile, priced at $299 off-contract.

The Desire 816 features a 5.5” HD display, 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon CPU, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB of onboard storage with support for up to 128GB of expandable storage, 13MP rear-facing shooter, 5MP front-facing camera, and runs Android 4.4+ out of the box.  (more…)

Qualcomm Issues Statement on Dan Rosenberg’s TrustZone Vulernability

Yesterday, we reported on a security vulnerability that Dan Rosenberg had discovered, which affected “almost all” devices running Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. The vulnerability was discovered in ARM’s TrustZone, a system-wide security technology that Qualcomm uses in its mobile processors. If skilled enough, someone could use the vulnerability to “compromise DRM schemes, leak sensitive key materials, defeat operating system protection mechanisms, and in some cases manipulate software-programmable fuse to defeat secure boot.” As we mentioned yesterday, that could include unlocking the bootloader of a phone.

At the time of Dan’s findings, all devices running Qualcomm chipsets were vulnerable, but the company has since been made aware and has already taken steps to have it patched. Dan even noted that the Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8) had already been patched.  (more…)

HTC Gallery App Updated With “Duo Effects Gallery” Feature

An update for HTC’s proprietary Gallery app found on the One (M8) received an update on Google Play this morning. In the update, which is now downloadable by anyone rocking the M8, a new Duo Effects Gallery has been included, which allows M8 owners to share their special photos with anyone thanks to an interactive web viewer.

These “special” photos include any that were taken and edited with HTC’s UFocus, Foregrounder, and Dimension Plus editing tools.  (more…)

Deal: Unlocked HTC One (M8) in Gunmetal Grey for $449, Plus Free Shipping

Been considering the HTC One (M8)? A daily deal running today out of eBay has a price on an unlocked version that is $200 below HTC’s $649 asking price. At $449 (with free shipping) for a “manufacturer refurbished” unit in gunmetal grey, you could be an HTC One (M8) owner.

This model comes with 32GB of storage and should work perfectly on AT&T’s network since it comes “in an AT&T retail box.” Either way, the unlocked version of the M8 does indeed work perfectly on AT&T’s network.

Still on the fence? Check out our HTC One (M8) review to see our thoughts on this year’s flagship from HTC.

eBay Link

Monday Poll: Does a Smartphone Design Need to Contain Metal?

I don’t know who we should put more of the blame on – Apple for their chamfered edges and metal design choices with the iPhone, or Samsung for using the cheapest feeling plastics on the planet to build their smartphones with, but people seem to refer to all plastic embodied phones as “cheap” these days. The Nexus 5 certainly doesn’t feel cheap, neither do the G3 or Moto X or OnePlus One, yet they are all made of plastic. But here we are today, talking about Samsung’s new Galaxy Alpha with its metal banding, chamfered edges, and “premium” design, because metal means premium, or something.

I can tell you one thing I know for sure about metal phones – they can be insanely slippery and frustrating to deal with. I spent more than enough time with HTC’s last two flagship phones, the One (M7) and One (M8), both of which were unusable at times because of their lack of grip. Apple could have worked some different metal magic with the iPhone to make it less slippery, but I sort of doubt it. iPhones just happen to be small smartphones that are easily held, whereas Android phones are all oversized and at times tough to hold anyway.

You also have to worry about radio issues with metal phones, wear and tear, weight, etc. In my opinion, metal isn’t exactly the greatest material available for building smartphones.

So I’m curious about this metal thing. Is a metal phone or design that includes metal a requirement when you buy a phone? Is this whole “metal is premium” thing overblown by Apple-leaning tech journos? Feel free to vote below, then hit up the comments.

Does a Smartphone Design Need to Contain Metal?

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