How to: Turn Off HTC One (M8) Voice Dial Gesture, Other Motion Launch Gestures

HTC may be in a neck-and-neck battle with Samsung for king of the gimmicks, but even I can admit that they innovated or at least created something useful in one area – the lock screen with Motion Launch Gestures on the HTC One (M8). Motion Launch Gestures allow you to quickly wake your phone, unlock it, jump to your home screen, launch BlinkFeed, or even activate a voice dialer for making mostly-hands-free calls. Most of the gestures are incredibly useful, especially since the phone is uncomfortably tall with a lock/wake button placed at its very top. With these gestures, you almost never need to press that button.

But what if you find the gestures to be a nuisance? For example, we have found that voice dialing on the M8 is mostly miss, with a few hits here and there. It’s also confusing to dismiss should you accidentally activate it, since there isn’t a cancel button.  (more…)

HTC, You are Guilty of Gimmicks Just as Much as Samsung is, Maybe Even Worse

HTC cracks me up. Because they are fighting for their lives, they’ll say anything at this point to try and win you over. Whether that’s by claiming to reinvent the smartphone or by attempting to re-create the camera with the “UltraPixel” or calling out Samsung for pushing out a couple of gimmicks instead of innovating , they want to be loud and in-your-face. Let’s be clear though – there isn’t anything wrong with a little trash talking, but if we’re being brutally honest here, HTC is guilty of just as many gimmicks as Samsung. And that includes their new HTC One (M8), which may contain the mother of all gimmicks.  (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…)

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…)

Rapid Fire Thoughts on the New HTC One (M8)

Both Tim and I have had the HTC One (M8) in our possession for 24 hours now. We have taken the phone through an unboxing and quick tour, showed off the Dot View Flip Cover, and are deep diving into preparations for a full review. But before we get there, all sorts of initial thoughts have run through my mind about this 2014 flagship from the Taiwanese manufacturer that I wanted to share. Some good, some bad.

Below, since this is by no means a full assessment of the phone, I’ve put together a bunch of quick hitters that touch on things like the randomness of HTC using “(M8)” in the name, how much I love on-screen buttons, and how confusing it is that HTC and Google want you to pay $699 for the Google Play Edition.

We’ll have more later, but here are some initial thoughts.  (more…)

Thank You, HTC, for Finally Figuring Out That Changing Wallpapers Shouldn’t be the Most Painful Process on Earth

I almost can’t believe it, but my eyes do not deceive me. HTC, in Sense 6 on the new One (M8), has finally realized that changing the wallpaper on your phone, shouldn’t make you want to stab your eye out. I know this probably seems like such a non-story to many, but if you have ever used an HTC product for more than a couple of minutes at a time, you’ll know what I mean.  (more…)