10
May
dirt

The HTC One is pretty great, and HTC has had no problem vividly illustrating its hardware features. Now they've moved on to the software in a pair of 30-second TV spots. The ads are all about BlinkFeed, HTC's proprietary social/news stream, and the centerpiece of the Sense 5 user interface. The commercials get right to the point, showing that other phones make you "dig" for information and content, while the mighty One with BlinkFeed puts everything you want right there on the home screen. Dirt literally falling out of inferior phones makes the point with all the subtlety of a thrown brick.

Second verse, same as the first, though this one indulges in a little awkward humor. I like the "all metal" chaser in these ads - it's a much better differentiator thank BlinkFeed itself. The illustration is a little off, too; can you call two taps (one for the Home button, one for the app drawer) "digging"? But since Android manufacturers have decided that software is what makes a phone unique, more power to them. It could be worse.

Just for comparison, here's HTC's older and altogether better ad, showcasing the One's dual front-facing speakers.

This raises an interesting question: do HTC One owners like, or even use, BlinkFeed? Android Police editor extraordinaire David Ruddock found BlinkFeed appealing and useful, if somewhat limited, specifically because the sources for news are too tightly curated. The general consensus is that power users will switch to their launcher of choice as soon as they get a new phone. Are there any readers out there who have stuck with the stock launcher specifically for BlinkFeed, or would recommend the One to their friends or family specifically for that feature? Sound off in the comments, folks - inquiring minds want to know.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Michael Plastina

    Have one (or One, sorry), don't use it, wish it could be turned off.

    • Jonathon Luken

      ditto it is moronic i cant remove it.

      • http://twitter.com/qu4ttr0 Drew

        moronic? not really. if you dont want to see it set another sheet as home. problem solved.

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

          Better yet replace the entire moronic launcher.

    • Bryce Mrozinski

      Just install Nova Launcher or something. Bye bye Blinkfeed. OR grab the super fresh CM 10.1 Nightly ;)

  • Derek Duncan

    I would like HTC to focus on Zoes and Video Highlights in its marketing. My favorite feature by far.

    • jeffrey beck

      Could not agree more. These are amazing! It makes me want to take more pictures.

  • Constantine Smith

    I have read a lot of user reviews, and some of them go crazy for Blinkfeed. Heck even DL has admitted to using and loving it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rahulkadukar Rahul Kadukar

    Nexus 4 is still better

    • bluevoodo

      Insecure much?

      • http://www.facebook.com/rahulkadukar Rahul Kadukar

        4.1 much ?

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Hey 'Anon' thanks for destroying trust HTC has or should i say had in us...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Huh? The videos were live and public at the time we posted this. I got a notification from HTCAmerica.

  • http://twitter.com/julez456 Julio DeJesus

    I have One too..Blinkfeed was cool, THE FIRST DAY! Now I forget I even have it.

  • Alex

    "The new all medal HTC One,"... Plastic this lol.

  • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

    I really like the tagline: Everything your phone isn't.
    On other hand, I'll never swap my Nexus 4 for HTC One. =)

    • http://twitter.com/qu4ttr0 Drew

      And youll never know how much better it is.

      • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

        I'm sure one of my friends will get one, so I'll have a chance to play with One ).

        Does not matter is it better or not, though. It's about what I like or need.

      • Tony

        The one is very over hyped.Its a good phone but not the godly phone everyone makes it out to be.

        • Bonedatt

          Yep! ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY RELEASE A TRUE god LIKE THE BUTTERFLY S WITH A HUGE BATTERY. HTC is so full of it !!!

    • GraveUypo

      i'm not so sure. what if my phone isn't awful?

    • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.gambarian Alexander Gambarian

      And you are TOTALLY right!
      I switched from Nexus 4 to the One
      Camesra - sucks, Nexus camera is much, MUCH better
      Sense, which I loved in previous iterations, is AWFUL
      blinkfeed is obsolete
      that's my opinion based on comparing the everyday use of both phones, One twice more expensive than Nexus, and Nexus twice better than the One

      • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

        And what about screen quality and overall performance? There have to be something good in HTC One.

        I was surprised with Nexus 4 camera. Never expected it to be this good.

        • TylerChappell

          That is because they learned from the low-quality Samsung mistake that was the Galaxy Nexus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.dieleman Dan Dieleman

    I use pulse and always will. I like it a lot better then blinkfeed and wish it could be turned off.

  • Faruk Ahmet

    BlinkFeed is limited but works extremely well and it's only going to get better with more (manual?) sources and more fine-grained source control. If the rest of it were more customizable, I was going to stick with the stock launcher, actually, but it's just not feasible for a power user. Would I recommend it to a "normal" user? Without hesitation. Right now I'm back to Nova though, with a gesture dedicated to Sense: I left only the BlinkFeed available in the Sense launcher (no other homescreens) so when I do a pinch-in gesture, it goes to BlinkFeed, and when I press Home, I'm back in Nova. Works great, though I tend to forget that I am supposed to do the gesture and check it out from time to time. I wish I could have it on the left-most page of Nova.

    Apart from this particular question, I should say that I am immensely surprised and delighted by Sense. I even like the two-button layout! I dare to say that I think it's *much* prettier than stock Android and I'm not going to bother with installing any custom ROMs for the first time—well, except maybe one that is based on Sense with a different kernel and swipe-to-unlock and such...

    • Haedocynic

      So how is it better than stock? What features do you like better in Sense, besides the Blink Feed?

      • Faruk Ahmet

        Since it's not dramatically different than stock feature-wise (which is good), for mostly aesthetic reasons. It's bound to be subjective but there are many things, some small, some bigger, that I really dislike aesthetically in stock, like the overall "black with a hint of bluish gradient" theme, the "blue glow" rubberband effect, some distracting animations like how screens abrubtly "fades" when you go back, the small triangle on the lower-right corner of the submenus etc... Sense otoh has a light, vibrant but still flat(ish) theme except where it's full-on black but with tasteful textures and gradients, proper triangles, subtler fading animations and a nice playful rubberband effect...

        When some of the apps are fairly different than the stock equivalents, they are *at least* on-par with them, if not better in many ways. You get some and you lose some: Gallery app is better with the Zoe stuff and the Events feature, but it has some weird, quirky UX problems, for instance. Or like how the Clock app looks good but has a dated, horrible rolodex-picker instead of the superior JB dial-picker. Same with all the other apps. In short, it is basically stock Android with a more tasteful, graphically more mature feel to it. At least to me.

        HTC weren't spot-on on all the choices they made for Sense, sure, but it's refreshing and heartening to see that they've put as much thought into their software as they have into the hardware.

        • Haedocynic

          Ah OK, so mainly aesthetically superior changes. I agree about some of those stock features you mean, like the bluish, banded gradient in the stock settings menu, and the odd rubber-band effect. Still, aesthetic differences are only a minor concern for me.

  • Dazrin

    I have actually liked using Blinkfeed, I don't use it as my primary home screen, but I do use it to see what is going on at times. I really wish it were more customizable (more feed options!) and if that doesn't come in future update I might give up on it, but for now I am enjoying it.

  • http://twitter.com/ApexPredation Patrick Ryan

    I love Blinkfeed. It puts all the information I want into one quick and easy place. I didn't choose the HTC One because I wanted a vanilla device.

  • Thronnos

    I use Blinkfeed. I'm not gonna get into a big drawn out thing. But I'm someone who on my last phone never used any widgets.

    Blinkfeed just does right. Gives me the right amount of varying info that I can quickly read for a 'ah yes' moment. At least that's how I use it. And I love it.

    Only thing I dislike about this phone is that my last phone blew this one away in terms of Cellular connectivity and data integrity. The one sucks balls in that light. I get dropped calls and non working data all the time.

    But with that. This is the best phone I've ever owned

    • John Schaffer

      I've had mine since the day it was available and I've never had a dropped call or data connection. I would have it checked out. I should add that I am a consultant that spends more than 4 hours/day on this phone.

  • http://twitter.com/TVWriterCom TVWriter™

    Got an HTC One last week. Discovered immediately that Blink Feed was a worthless pain in the butt. Every time I see it I get crazed.

  • jack pollard

    Switched from IP5 to One and love it. Use Blinkfeed all through the day, nice and unassuming clips of information I'm interested in. Nicely played HTC!

    • AlisonKrauss

      as Johnny replied I'm taken by surprise that anybody can profit $4535 in four weeks on the inetwork.

    • AlisonKrauss

      ....----goo.gl/sXz8N (Home more information)

  • 247mt

    It is great to look at. Mine is not so good in WiFi connection. It shows the symbol but not connected to the internet. Disappointing really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=534239096 Thomas Mellen

    So basically... it feeds EVERYTHING I like o the home screen. that's a lot of stuff... I'd imagine I'd have to DIG through it all to find something I was looking for in particular, right?

    • guest

      Oh there is a search and filter function built into Blinkfeed!

  • TF

    I've had numerous HTC phones over the years but they have lost their "innovation" IMO. They have gone like iDrones with the lack of expendable memory & removable battery & the new rubbish reminds me too much of Winblows Mobile. If you can't tell neither iPhone's or Windows phones interest me :-)
    Anyway I will be moving on when I am due my next upgrade. Dropping profits show HTC aren't getting any more popular & are heading in the wrong direction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Rayun.Mehrab Rayun Mehrab

    Have to say this, htc's large dependence on blinkfeed to get them sales really means they have nothing much to offer software-wise. And seeing as how I don't see any chance of my preferred news ever making it to blinkfeed, I have no interest in the One. It is a nice phone though.

    • Haedocynic

      I am not interested in the Blink Feed either, but then, as said above, power users will install Nova Launcher at any rate, so why should we care about Blink Feed either way? The phone itself seems great, apart from the very unfortunate lack of a card reader and removable battery.

      • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

        just wondering, why everyone seems to assume that "power user" will install Nova?? Why not Apex or the other one which looked exactly same?

        I consider myself a "power user" and I don't use Nova, Apex is better.

        • Haedocynic

          Oh, I'm sorry, I just mentioned Nova because that's what I use, and perhaps also because it is the most popular one at the moment. But I really meant any of the popular launchers.

          P.S. Why do you prefer Apex? I've only ever tried Nova, partly because it works well, so I never really had any reason to look around, and partly because I got it for € 0,25 on Google's discount thingy.

          • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

            because Apex has fade effect which I couldn't find on Nova.

      • nathan bravatto

        Really? How often do you even take your battery in and out? Use a charger. Do you use more than 64GB on your current phone? Not sure why this is such a big deal. I can see the SD just for the fact of being able to remove it but I really don't get all the parnoids running all over posting about the non removable battery. It is removable. You might just have to know something about your phone to take it out. Worry about it in two or more years when you need to replace it. The may not be easy to remove but they to do come out. And there will be replacements.

    • Bonedatt

      HTC has always been bad at marketing. I saw a commercial for the HTC ONE by HTC themselves, once on TV. In that commercial, boom sound and the metal design were both being touted. I haven't seen that ad again. The only ads now for the HTC ONE is done by a wireless carrier, Sprint, and the phone is only mentioned after the main ad which is for a snapdragon processor. I see Samsung touting smart stay, air gesture and even the IR blaster which coincidentally is also on the HTC ONE. I doubt if HTC will show off their signature 'dynamic' text reflow. thamakes

  • jeffrey beck

    Have one, love it, Nova after 4 hours. Boomsound, construction and camera app are the sellers here.

  • guest

    There is a search feature built into Blinkfeed that filters through all the posts by keywords.

  • rap

    I think the digging was hitting on apple too where you have to swipe through screen after screen to find the app sometimes.

  • Not always on #dealwithit

    As much as I love the HTC one I think blinkfeed is a pretty shit feature to focus on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jānis-Līkansis/1264291647 Jānis Līkansis

      Agree... Zoe, booksound, ultrapixels and highlights are much better for me.

      • Not always on #dealwithit

        Honestly if I was HTC I would've advertised boomsound and its ultrapixel camera, why they chose blinkfeed is anyone's guess and sadly I don't think blinkfeed is a feature that will sell the One at all.

        • http://twitter.com/stonelaughterRL Tom Kelsall

          Maybe this is just two in a whole bunch of ads. They already did BoomSound and Blinkfeed ads in UK for instance.

          • Not always on #dealwithit

            Well in Australia we so far only had boomsound ads.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jānis-Līkansis/1264291647 Jānis Līkansis

          I think its not useless feature as more and more people despite original thoughts are using it, but it really is not best selling point.. I swap to it once in while but not like i need it!

  • Tim

    Who the fuck are making these ads for HTC? I wanna punch everyone in them.

  • ElfirBFG

    So, it's Flipboard...?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hazel-Lyn-Malgapo-Mallare/100001843367364 Hazel Lyn Malgapo Mallare

    I've stuck with Sense ever since 2010 and I've had about 5 HTC phones - two currently active and still mine, another I gave to my mom, and another I gave to my boyfriend. No launcher apps for us. We all stuck with Sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcus.blough Marcus Blough

    What hath they done to FriendStream???

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jānis-Līkansis/1264291647 Jānis Līkansis

    For me by far best feature is Highlights. This actually finally motivates to check out previous life events in non-boring, non-100 picture mode. 30 seconds nicely directed for you ready to enjoy and share.

  • Rauel Crespo

    I thought BlinkFeed was going to be the thing that ruined the HTC One, but I ended up LOVING it...it's like my own personal reddit, but with Facebook and Twitter added on...It's so useful, I've been trying to find an equivalent in the PlayStore, and the closest is Flipboard, which honestly pales in comparison. Of all the new features(IR Sensor, Boomsound, etc) I was most surprised by BlinkFeed...it's not as stupid as you think...it's actually quite smart and useful..I want something like it on my tablets.

    • Not always on #dealwithit

      I honestly just want front facing speakers and boomsound on devices, I can live with not be always online and connected to everything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/krzysztof.gicala Krzysztof Gicala

    I was very sceptical about the sense 5 and that you cannot remove blinkfeed but since I got the phone month ago I use it on daily basis. I like it because it's quick to access and I can just check out all the news on a short train or bus ride home from college. I wouldn't recommend buying the phone just for this feature but it's very useful and nice to have. Definitely gonna stick with the stock launcher. Loving your work HTC

    • http://www.facebook.com/krzysztof.gicala Krzysztof Gicala

      The only thing I want them to improve on is that whenever I have a picture posted on facebook and it shows up in blinkfeed and I try to open it, it opens up the facebook app instead of the gallery which already supports facebook stuff like comments etc. I hope I made myself clear enough lol. I try to stay away from the facebook app, it's really bad.

  • tuna_

    I think you mean figuratively.

  • Jason

    Blinkfeed === huge waste of space because its piss-poorly conceived and embarrassingly limited. Rooted by 64GB HTC One immediately to get rid of it. I was more than dissappointed with the inability to add anything practical to blinkfeed. I do not care to have every social media website on the planet all over the front of my phone: but can't use it with email, more my calendar properly (see other complaints about how the calendar dissappears).

  • http://www.facebook.com/igozzo Isaac Gozzo

    I use Flipboard almost every day blinkfeed would be the same, but I admit I would use it since it integrates with the entire phone. While Flipboard is useful and I like it, the integration BlinkFeed has with notification, and the phone in general makes it a more useful apart from saving memory in the phone since there's one app less to download.

  • http://twitter.com/Shaun2k Shaun

    Blinkfeed is great. I love it too.

  • Michael Lovett

    I did not expect to like Blink Feed. But now that I have the phone, I do flip through several times a day, and always find something interesting. I'm looking forward to their improving this feature even more.

    I think the Video Highlights are much more compelling/cool than Blink Feed, however, and HTC should tout this feature more. Their marketing messed up the naming of this feature, however. Video Highlights doesn't convey much of an idea. Really what the software is doing is making something very similar to a movie trailer out of your static photos and 3 second videos. They should have named the feature something to reflect this IMHO

  • smellferd

    I have an HTC One and I think blink feed SUCKS. If I wanted a windows phone I'd have bought one.

  • Chunk Basker

    Htc commercials suck. Newest one is a joke. Guy saying blah blah blah through it all. Learn to make commercials would you.

  • RatSnack

    You an get rid of bli.kfeed by downloading and installing a new lUncher app

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