We know there have been some specific questions floating around about the HTC One Nexus User Experience since it was announced earlier this morning, and we've been working to get those questions answered. HTC has been kind enough to answer some of the questions we found most pertinent, so here they are.

Will the stock Android camera experience replace the HTC camera app (and thus all the HTC features)?

The HTC One Special Edition contains the stock Android camera experience. It doesn't contain HTC features such as Zoe, etc... It will not be the Sense camera experience, but the camera will still produce comparable high quality pictures.

Yep, that means you will not be doing any Zoe-ing or video highlights, or really anything that the stock Android camera app doesn't feature. You do get Photo Spheres, though, so that's kind of awesome. The promise of comparable image quality should allay concerns in that area, though we'll have to see if the lack of HTC's dedicated night shot mode affects low-light pictures, or if camera performance is actually affected in practice.

Will the IR blaster be functional?

The IR blaster will be disabled out of the box since this is a stock Android device.

Stock Android, surprisingly, does not support infrared devices, meaning the One's IR blaster won't work when the device ships. I asked for a little more clarification on this in terms of "if a later version of Android supports the feature, will it be enabled," but HTC declined to discuss the future. Edit: Relatedly, it seems unlikely that the FM radio antenna will be functional, either. The functionality is not a part of stock Android, and the FM radio app is an HTC-specific add-on.

Will the Beats Audio mode software switch be present in the stock version (Hugo Barra has seemed to indicate it will)?

It features the hardware benefits of Beats Audio, but it does not have the software indicator in the status bar.

I take this to also mean the actual software switch for Beats has been removed. However, as far as the HTC representative we're speaking to is aware, the actual Beats software is still in there. So, the One NUE should sound the same as the regular One with the Beats switch on, but the One NUE will have no such switch. Beats will be on all the time. Not necessarily something I'd be looking forward to in terms of my headphone usage, though the EQ tweaks of Beats make those dual front-facing speakers sound hugely better.

Will the HTC logo on the front be remapped (as it's an inactive button area) as the recent apps button, or will the old double-tap on home gesture still be used?

Button configuration will be the same as the original HTC One.

This one was a stretch, but I figured it was worth asking. So yes, the capacitive button configuration will be exactly as it is on the regular One.

There you have it - that's some of the nitty-gritty on the HTC One Nexus User Experience. It comes out June 26th (yes, in the US only for the time being - just like the stock Android Galaxy S4).

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    i can't change the channel? Xda will come thru, can't even worry about that.
    and as for the camera? an android version update is around the corner, hopefully with some camera goodies. Can't stress that either.

    • dmo580

      still, do you think you can shoot 8 fps shooting on the AOSP camera? Don't know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RDJCook Rob Cook

    I read this article from Pocket Now (http://pocketnow.com/2013/05/29/android-oem-skins-important) last night and it is totally relevant here regarding the HTC/Samsung 'Google Experience' phones. Sure you can run stock Android but at the cost of many features and hardware specific improvements that the OEM's bring. Personally I'd rather get a One and run Nova Launcher instead, get all the pluses of OEM tweaks with a launcher that doesn't make me want to kill. I guess for $600 contrasting what I know the phone could do vs. what it's limited to being able to do on AOSP kills it for me, same reason that I dumped CM10.1 again from my SGS3. I lost too much that I was used to with TW.

    • dmo580

      Yeah but the SGS3 isn't really the perfect platform to run CM 10.1 anyway. It's always missing X or Y or Z. The funny thing is that you talk about how much is missing from AOSP, but in the end the phone is just as capable as the Nexus 4. I guess that says a lot about what Google needs to do to improve AOSP. However, considering how AOSP has improved so much since 2.x makes me shudder. 2.x was really terrifying.

      • http://www.facebook.com/RDJCook Rob Cook

        Ok, sure I'll accept that the SGS3 isn't the best example but having said that on CM10.1 RC1/2 I couldn't get 12hrs of battery life. Back to TW and I'm getting 2 days on a charge. I tweaked the scheduler and throttled the CPU in CM10.1 and I use Power Saving in TW. Samsung obviously has something going on in their drivers because double battery life compared to CM10 is amazing.

        But still and all, you do loose quite a bit with stock Android compared to the OEM versions if driver support isn't provided. What should be amazing now is CM10.x for the SGS4/HTC One, if CM can get AOSP source with driver support, well that's going to be awesome. Screw $600, I'll take my subsidy and then go CM.

    • Goldenpins

      I feel that if they are making the S4 and HTC ONE Nexus experience devices yet disable most the added features like IR blaster. Than reduce the price by removing it. I know some would rather rely on XDA to activate it or have Google simply make some stock software for these type of devices.If its software im okay with them removing it, but not just disable the hardware.

  • aNYthing6

    Don't see why Google can't support Infrared devices in a future update. Probably will be enabled then. Everything else is expected, though.

    • Kenny O

      .....or allow you to download a third party app to take advantage of it.

      • Grimmjow

        the OS does not have any API's around this. So no 3rd party apps.

        • Steve Freeman
          • UniBroW

            Derp "This app can't be used without Irdroid module."

          • Haunter

            He means the stock Android software doesn't support it... so, 3rd party or not, the app won't work. It's kind of like having a mouse for my computer that is compatible, but it won't work without the proper software drivers.

          • didibus

            Is it not possible to install drivers on stock, if you are rooted? Doesn't the NDK let you access the hardware directly?

          • Haunter

            This would be a solution if HTC released the software necessary. Unfortunately, that outcome doesn't look good.

        • Guest

          Yes, but my point was that developers were able to figure out a way to implement IR features (granted with an add-on IR module), so why wouldn't they be able to add those features in again using a built-in module? I get that stock Android doesn't support it. But Android also doesn't support a lot of things my phone is able to do because of awesome non-Google developers. Some of it is pure software based features, but some are hardware/software. Like the custom auto-brightness levels found in CM/AOKP/etc.

  • rmkilc

    That's a big stretch calling it a "Nexus Experience" without on-screen buttons, and that hideous button layout.

    • Haunter

      Did you expect them to remove the buttons and have an entirely new assembly process just to appeal to a few Android enthusiasts? Or maybe you were hoping for redundant onscreen buttons in conjunction with physical buttons, which is about as useful as wearing 2 watches... or 4 hats.

      • rmkilc

        Neither. I would expect people to quit using the word "Nexus" or phrase "Nexus like experience" anywhere near these new Google Edition devices.

        On a side note, HTC should have never went with this button layout in the first place. And as for the GS4, Samsung should have ditched the menu button on any devices made in the post-Gingerbread world.

        • Eric James Salcido

          You seem to think a Nexus device "needs" to have on-screen buttons. I say it's far far less about that, and more about the Latest version of Android and Immediate updates from Google plus the unlockable bootloader.

          • rmkilc

            You can't do the swipe up gesture to open Google Now with hardware buttons. Google Now is a huge part of the future of Android. It's not a full Nexus experience without software buttons.

          • Haunter

            So... let me get this straight. The inability to do ONE thing (swipe up for GNow) and having it adapted for hardware buttons makes it a "non-Nexus"? Nevermind pure vanilla AOSP (check), Google support (check), stripped of all HTC "bloat" (check)... but accessing a feature in a slightly different way negates everything else that rightfully classifies it as a Nexus device? Wow...

          • brkshr

            What about published sources? The heart & soul of a real Nexus device. Without that, these are not true Nexus devices. Nexus-like, yes. Nexus device, no.

          • Haunter

            That's a fair enough question, though I don't know why Google wouldn't have the source published, as they're the ones flaunting these devices as "Google Editions", at their coveted annual gathering no less.

          • brkshr

            That's why I'm thinking the they won't publish sources. If they did, I think they would have called them Nexus devices. However, they call them Nexus Experience devices. So the consumer gets the software experience, but developers do not get the true Nexus program experience.

          • Haunter

            They're probably not calling them Nexus devices because the respective companies still want brand recognition to their products. It's not really outside of the realm of possibility that Samsung/HTC said "Sure, do whatever you want with the hardware... but we'd like it if you still called it S4/One, so people still know it's associated with our flagship models". I mean, is the name really so important? I suppose time will tell whether source is released or not.

          • Eric James Salcido

            I disagree. I'd say the majority of the people buying this version of the phone, knows what they're getting into. Currently, there is no other phone that offers high-quality front-facing speakers and a solid/one-piece design. I'm sure HTC never intended for this phone to run stock Android. I think most people would want those things over the ability to swipe up. It's still a Nexus.

          • Rovex

            Just hold a button down and its there. Few people actually use gestures, they are far to hit and miss, and that the problem with the Nexus range and why they arent massive sellers.

          • enomele

            all I have to do to get GNow running is hold my Menu button down.

          • Simon Liu

            Just edit your build.prop and turn the damn navigation bar on. Quit complaining about HTC doing the community a favor. Would you rather there be no google edition devices at all?

          • didibus

            I think a Nexus device needs to have the experience Google envisions for a current OS version. Google envisioned JellyBean to have on screen buttons, and so a Nexus device should follow that vision.

            If Google were to design Android 5.0 to have hardware buttons, therefore, all Nexus devices targeted for that release should follow suite with that vision. Similarly if they keep the on screen buttons, or enhances them, or decides that Android 5.0 has a hybrid approach to it, wtv.

          • NemaCystX

            Not to mention the onscreen keys also take up screen space so your losing some of that gorgeous screen on the One if it had those, because, being replacements for hardware keys, they of course have to be always present, even in apps.

        • brkshr

          I agree that this is not a real Nexus experience. I feel it is closer to an AOSP experience if anything. I think that the only reason they dubbed these devices, 'Nexus Experience' devices, is to help ease confusion with consumers. Most of the public knows & can relate to what a Nexus is about. Very few people know what AOSP is, or even what stock or Vanilla Android is. Describing these as Nexus-like, just makes it instantly easier.

          I'm not big on this though, because now everyone is flooding the forums/blogs thinking that these are true Nexus devices.

        • Monarch

          Hugo seems to keep calling it a nexus experience phone, nexus all the things!

        • Rovex

          Hardware buttons are superior to software ones. I absolutely detest the on screen buttons of the Nexus 4. Im not a big fan of HTCs layout, but the Samsung one is perfect. You may not agree, but thats why Android is the winning OS, it has choices.

        • Paul

          I like my physical and capacitive buttons. Especially the menu button.
          5" device and i have to stretch my thumb very uncomfortably all the way up to the top of the screen, or worse, use the other hand? No thanks.
          You can state that you don't like something, but stating what someone should or should not do is ignorance.

    • marcusmaximus04

      Stock android still supports hardware buttons. The on-screen buttons are optional.

      • rmkilc

        The reason it still supports hardware buttons is so JellyBean can run on legacy hardware. But it's silly when HTC and Samsung continue operating in the stone ages. They are out of touch with Android.


        • spamlucal

          it's not legacy, it's choice. Both buttons and on-screen buttons are equally supported.

          • rmkilc

            I quote from developer.android.com:

            Significant changes in Android 3.0 included:

            Deprecation of navigation hardware keys (Back, Menu, Search, Home) in favor of handling navigation via virtual controls (Back, Home, Recents).

            Robust pattern for the use of menus in action bars.

            Android 4.0 brings these changes for tablets to the phone platform.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Markert/100001113752823 Richard Markert

            I personally don't like software/virtual/on-screen buttons. I've had a couple of instances on my tablet (Asus TF101) where the screen stops responding to touches. You're screwed if you only have on-screen buttons.

            Besides, I don't like how they waste screen space. Thank god people like you aren't in charge of how every manufacturer designs their devices, or I wouldn't use Android anymore.

          • rmkilc

            My Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 work well. If the screen stops responding, there is always the power button to hold down. On-screen buttons are brilliant. They can adapt to future OS design changes, can hide during a video, and don't waste bezel space. On-screen navigation is far superior to physical buttons.

          • Rovex

            Google is wrong about on screen buttons. Given that the big sellers have hardware buttons.. tell me.. who has it right? Google needs to drop it and go back, it was a mistake.

            Funny you mention bezel space, the S3 and the S4 have less bezel as a percentage of the front than the N4, by a long way, so how is it wasting space? If you are going to make a case for on screen buttons at least get your facts straight.

          • Dan DeMarco

            Dumbest response I've read all day Rovex... "Google is wrong about on screen buttons"? What does that even mean? There is no right or wrong, capacitive is a personal choice of Google and happens to be a big deal breaker to many Android users. And your reasoning for the top sellers being top sellers, blew my mind -- it's clearly because of the hardware buttons, genius.

          • Rovex

            Did you even read what you wrote? It made no sense at all.

          • Dan DeMarco

            Clearly it did if I received 7 up votes verse your 7 down votes.

          • Rovex

            Not really, this place is full of Nexus fanboys. which consists of all ten people who bought one...

            Sales would say Google are wrong. All the big sellers have alternatives to the 'Google experience' button arrangements. The N4 is a minor, niche product no one cares about.

          • rmkilc

            Nexus devices have never been targeted to be big sellers. They are developer devices, and Google's example of their interpretation of Android. They aren't marketed heavily, and not sold in carrier stores. Google never intended for them to be big sellers. As for the S3 and S4 having less bezel, sure. But that area COULD be all screen, and the bottom portion act as buttons when necessary, but while watching a video or playing a game, the front could be all screen. Tell me, why do so many people on XDA modify their GS3, Atrix, ect, to have soft keys?

          • enomele

            That's your opinion. I prefer physical buttons. And when I do use them (N7) I hate when I'm in landscape and the whole bottom is wanted for 3 buttons right in the middle.

          • dmo580

            Typical platitudes rehashed over and over. On Screen buttons hide sometimes in video or other apps, but are still there most of the time. Even if they become faint dots, they're still taking up space. Instead of a hardware bezel, you're asking for a software bezel. The point is there's an effective bezel with soft OR hard buttons. Oh and why would you be changing the button layout so often? While that's a neat feature of on screen buttons, Google shouldn't be reinventing the OS buttons all that often. The menu button and search button are still extremely useful but cannot be found anymore on a Nexus 4.

          • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

            I detest not having a menu button with my on screen buttons. Hence it is the first thing I add when I flash AOKP. With Google Now there is no need for a search button.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Markert/100001113752823 Richard Markert

            I'd rather waste bezel space than screen space. Tell me, do you prefer your resolution as 720x1280 or 720x1190? (I don't know the actual amount of pixels that the gigantic black bar across the bottom eats). I'll take the full resolution of my panel and buttons that are always-accessible-but-not-on-my-screen, any day, every day.

          • rmkilc

            Then make the screen taller so there is room for the buttons. 720 x 1370 or something. Don't think of on-screen buttons as screen space. Think of them as button space.

          • NemaCystX

            wrong, if the hardware is using onscreen keys the hardware has a failsafe to safely reboot if needed. Just hold down the power button until the screen goes off

          • marcusmaximus04

            3.0 was tablet-only. 4.0 Brought *some* changes from 3.0 over to phones but not all. It was a merging of gingerbread and honeycomb, with additional features for both phones and tablets. If you look over the 4.0 changes, you won't find any mention of the deprecation of hardware buttons on phones, and several sections that refer directly to devices with them.

            Also, in interviews after the unveiling of the Galaxy Nexus, Matias Duarte stated that using the on-screen buttons was optional, and that Google would continue to support hardware buttons.

    • Paul Leatherbee

      The Nexus S has buttons...by your logic, that isn't a Nexus Device...

      • rmkilc

        The Nexus S was released prior to ICS.

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    The HTC ONE GE seems like a great phone, but if the hardware is the same, why wouldn't I buy the developer edition, pay 50 bucks more for 32 GB more of storage, and install Google's ROM later?

    • Kenny O

      My thoughts exactly. I would imagine anyone who would be interested in this type of phone would be comfortable with rooting/flashing a stock Rom.

    • marcusmaximus04

      Well, you could. Which is why they're making both....

    • blix247

      Though it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine it working that easily, I could also see a situation where the factory images hosted by Google don't actually work on the developer edition out of the box.

      • Dave

        There's little difference if you're installing Google's rom or a slightly modified version to run on your device.

    • jonathan3579

      I think the one major con to that would be losing your warranty due to the use of HTCdev.

  • Kenny O

    Seems like a high price to pay and a lot of compromises just to have a stock experience. I would just assume wait for the next true Nexus or see what's up with the Moto X

    • NemaCystX

      But even if its a Nexus, if the hardware needed software that AOSP didn't provide, it wouldn't work on a Nexus either unless that software was included into AOSP, atleast thats what I have gathered from other developers on majority of the forums.

    • Ken

      It's almost comparable to the higher costs of healthy, good quality, all-natural food as opposed to the cheaper stuff that's filled with a bunch of garbage.

    • makapav

      Actually, this is a shit-researched article. The IR app is not blocked - apps can use them - it will just be 'deactivated' at sale. The FM radio will probably also be similarly deactivated but an app should be able to use it if programmed correctly.

      • Sootie

        Shit-researched article? You know they contacted HTC directly and these are their quoted unedited responses

      • Alexei Watson

        you are just flat out wrong.

        It's not as simple as writing an app that says "use hardware" - the hardware binaries have to be written into the underlying software for android to be able to communicate with them.

        This is why ROMs like CyanogenMod (mostly) don't allow for fm radio, and ones that do include fm radio are only very recent, due to very hard kernel optimisations.

        • Mike Reid

          I'm the dev of the Spirit FM Radio app, running on many stock and custom ROMs including CM for over 2 years now. Much info here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1059296

          On rooted HTC One's, my FM app should work, pretty much regardless of the ROM, just so long as the kernel supports the Qualcomm "Iris" V4L driver for WCN3660 chips, which pretty much all custom kernels for these devices support. Will also need the ALSA driver for WDC9310 or similar audio chip, but that's a given.

          I don't know what you mean by "very hard kernel optimisations". AFAIK, for the most part (there are some minor exceptions on less popular devices), the only "CM10" ROMs with FM radio support are FreeXperia ROMs for a few Sony devices.

          Please feel free to post on my XDA thread for further info, debate or to comment or whatever. :)

          • Alexei Watson

            Okay, I'll accept that you probably have around 1000 times the idea I have! I was basing my information on what I had learned about my galaxy s2 back in its day, I upgraded from that around the time spirit FM started to be suggested as an FM radio work around. I stand corrected.

            As for as the original comment, I still wouldn't consider this a shit researched article.

          • Mike Reid

            Agreed, Android Police is the best. :)

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    Can you try to find out if this device (and the S4 Google/Nexus edition) will have AOSP support?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Good question, but I imagine that's more one for Google to answer.

      • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

        I'll try bugging JBQ on Twitter

  • Paul

    HTC answered these questions? Don't listen to them then. It's probably the same people that told us that rumours of the "Nexus Experience" stock Android running on Nexus One is not in the works and it won't be happening any-time soon (only to happen a week later). Rather than staying quiet about the rumours, they flat out denied it and lied to our faces, and now they're saying "No IR Blaster, no HTC Camera Features, etc." Ok technically that makes sense, but still, watch IR Blaster work and some HTC Camera features make it onto the device. Liars...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Yes, clearly HTC is just going to lie about something that is obviously factually supported (Android does *not* natively support infrared devices). Go troll elsewhere, pal.

      • jonathan3579

        Hey David, I know there's been mentions of updated bluetooth support in 4.3 but could infrared also be supported and subsequently reactivated? I figure surely it must be in there since both the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 both have this feature and are both releasing at a very crucial time with all the 4.3 leaks and rumors. Furthermore, I wonder if the IR blaster is also deactivated in the S4.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          There's no reason at this point to think Android 4.3 will contain IR support, though it's certainly not out of the question.

          • jonathan3579

            Thanks for your insight. I was hoping there might have been a lead but I guess that was my own desire, lol. I use the IR blaster on my HTC One all the time so I'm not sure if I'm willing to lose it just yet. There's a lot of factors that will only come to light after the phone is released that determines whether I convert/buy a "Google Edition" anything. Hell, I might even just hold off til the next next Nexus whatever comes along.

      • Paul

        I know. There's a 98% chance it wouldn't have support for any of that stuff, but even nexus device's do have some proprietary drivers that Google gives you. I'm just saying, we know AOSP doesn't support the IR Blaster, so why ask HTC if IR Blaster support will be there? And even if they said it would or wouldn't be, could you trust anything HTC says since just last week they completely denied the "nexus experience' htc one device was coming out? I've used and trusted HTC for a long time, again, I've been using HTC's since Windows Mobile 5 days, I've always respected them. But with execs jumping ship, telling others to leave also, and HTC flat out lying to us, I've lost so much respect for them.

  • Spencer BK Ellis

    For the first time I actually like sense 5 more than the vanilla android. Blinkfeed is awesome and I use my ir blaster a ton more than expected. But I am glad they are making this because I'm rooted and Im sure somebody will be able to make a key lime pie Rom for this phone fairly soon after klp is released.

  • Captain Pants-On-Head

    Wait, so, no HTC camera?

    So that means that every software feature is nixed, and you're left with a 4MP camera. Hopefully the ultrapixel tech is left intact.

    I mean, I absolutely hate Sense 5 and BlinkFeed, but this seems like a few too many compromises.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      The image quality will in theory be the same. Ultrapixel is a physical aspect of the camera sensor, not a software trick. http://www.htc.com/www/zoe/ultrapixel-sensor-size/

    • UniBroW

      why on earth would anyone expect htc software to be on a NEXUS EXPERIENCE DEVICE.

      • Rovex

        Because its far far better? Which there is no denying it is.

    • DavidW

      The utra-pixels is hardware. Change of software isn't going to change that.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      All those features will be ported over by devs in no time, so relax!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    I'd probably just install Nova Launcher on a stock One. Mostly because I'd like to use the ir blaster.

    • Aymen Fadhel

      I bet you also wash your car every morning because you want your dog to learn how to play baseball. /s

      • jonathan3579

        Your comment is utterly irrelevant and completely missed the OP's point.

        • http://twitter.com/samrexford Kerpow!

          wuz kinda funny tho...

      • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

        By "stock" here, he meant the actual Sense HTC One. The Sense ROM is the stock ROM for the One. Confusing but not that difficult to figure..

  • Ryan Dack

    You missed a big question. Will Google Wallet be supported on this device?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Hey there, great question. Let me ask.

      • Athishay

        David, is the HTC logo actually a capacitive button?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          It's part of the touch-sensitive area, yes, but it is not enabled for use.

          • Krzysztof

            There is a rom which enables the htc logo as a button. Look for it on xda :)

          • Rovex

            Its half in the touch area actually, only the top half is sensitive.

          • blunden

            No, what garby said is actually true. It senses touches far away enough for it to seem like you tap the logo though.

        • garby

          It's actually not a button. The kernel mod remaps the bottom few pixels of the screen to make it seem like a button. The digitizer does not extend into the htc logo, which can be confirmed when looking at teardown images.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            Got it.

          • Ryan Dack

            Hear anything about Google Wallet?

            Edit: Derp, just saw your edit.

    • dmo580

      Don't know why Google Wallet is so device restrictive. If it has the hardware, it should be supported (my 2 cents). It's like if Instagram had to vet phones individually and approve its use. If it has a camera, Instagram should work. The failure of Wallet to take off is because Google's holding it back so much.

    • yankeesusa

      Is google wallet currently not on all nexus devices?

      • Ryan Dack

        Verizon Galaxy Nexus

  • mintvilla

    what about the menu button on older apps?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Legacy software overflow button on the bottom of the screen, as has been the case on HTC devices since the One X.

  • Faris Fitri

    I hope the sound out of the audio jack is clean and flat. Beats is nice for the speakers I suppose,but personally I'd like the phone to output flat audio for my IEMs.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Yeah, from what I can tell, it's not going to be flat. It's going to all Beats, all the time.

      • Peacen1k

        I'm sure soon there'll be a 3-rd party app to turn that crap off.

      • Faris Fitri

        I suppose one can get around this by using Poweramp's DVC mode? I haven't tried this on a HTC One but on my ZL it by passes all of Sony's audio mods.

  • Roy Riddex

    Wonder how difficult it'll be to stick this rom on my HTC One

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Not too difficult I imagine. And I fully expect someone to enable the IR blaster, FM radio and port the Sense 5 camera over to the stock ROM rather soon. I don't see any handicaps here. Its just that they have to keep it pure stock, so they have to keep the things that aren't part of stock Android, disabled.

      • blunden

        IR blaster and FM radio both require framework support which in turn means we'd most likely need the source code or at least a decent IR lib to use. The FM Radio should be simpler since there are already known ways to do that for other phones.

        The Sense camera is almost guaranteed to heavily rely on the Sense frameworks etc. so that is highly unlikely. It would probably make more sense to reimplement the features.

  • McHale72

    Leave it to HTC to cripple a "special edition." Wish they would just file Chapter 11 already and get it over with.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      You realize basically all of these things (except Beats) are probably true for the Samsung GS4 Nexus Experience, right?

      • Haunter

        Shhh... you'll ruin the "I want my cake and I'll eat it too" circlejerk.

    • Tony Sarju

      I don't think you quite understand what the AOSP experience is.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Ignorance shining through.... *where are my shades?*

  • Rovex

    As with the S4 GE device i dont see the appeal. I would like the option to remove some of sense, but not go all the way back to the dull Nexus experience. Spin it however you like the Nexus is boring and all it is is Googles notion of Android, its no more valid than HTCs or Samsungs.

    Google has a LOT wrong with the Nexus, the on screen buttons being the worst, they are awful.

    • Matthew Fry

      What is so awful about it? It reduces the bezel and allows for more customizability.

      • Rovex

        The bezel theory doesn't work out im afraid. Both the S3 and the S4 have less bezel as a percentage of the front than the N4.

        Customisation means variability and inconsistency across apps. Its also a problem when the buttons dont respond or fail to appear, and that happens a lot more than Nexus fanboys like to admit.

        • Matthew Fry

          Really? I've had (oh fine, I'll say it, but just this once) 99 problems with the Nexus 10, but the on screen buttons ain't one.

          By customizability, I mean roms tweaking the positioning. As far as I know that's a ROM level tweak not something apps are able to mess with.

          • Rovex

            Why would you need the buttons moving on a phone? I agree on a tab its good, I myself have moved the buttons on my N10 back to the tablet positioning, but on a phone? No.

            Sorry but ive never got over the loss of the home key when I replaced my S3 with an HTC One. However I actually returned an N4 because of the softkeys. I hated them.

          • yankeesusa

            I agree. I really hate on screen buttons. It takes away from the phone. I will stick with ui overlays as long as they keep giving all those features that the nexus experience takes away. But hey, thats why android is so awesome, CHOICES.

      • Rovex

        It doesnt reduce the bezel on the N4, that has HUGE bezels!

  • tbonefsg

    Every tech site has news of the launch, this is the only one with answers direct from htc!

  • http://twitter.com/Glich Glich

    They should just provide an APK for there own appstore that will just run on this (kinda like Samsung appstore) that lets you install the parts you want (camera IR ext)

    • blunden

      IR is not something you just throw together in an APK and throw on the Play Store. It requires platform support and then a proper API has to be defined so that developers can make use of it in their apps.

  • Michael Pahl

    I will be buying my next phone outright - as I am grandfathered into unlimited data with Big Red... all these phone out there for AT&T/T-Mobile.... Does Google not realize what Verizon's network is like? I like in the middle of nowhere Indiana farm country... or is this a product of Big Red refusing to do business w/ Google direct?

    • Arsalan Afzal

      If Google makes a device for Verizon, basically Verizon has total control over updates, and what software it has (Wallet). After the last mixup with Verizon (Galaxy Nexus) Google rightly thought that it wasn't worth the hassle to make a Verizon Nexus. Also CDMA is closed off unlike GSM. Probably other internal company reasons as well

      • yankeesusa

        Although the nexus s4g for sprint received updates on time. Sprint doesn't mess with google they embrace it unlike big red.

  • itsgonnalast

    I'm happy these Nexus Experience phones are being released, but the Nexus 4 has onscreen buttons, a real task switcher and it's $300 cheaper.

    (I don't have a Nexus 4, HTC One or a Galaxy S4)

    • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

      It's also last gen hardware. These are aimed more at the people who want the Nexus experience (fast updates etc) on the latest hardware.

      • bikermunda

        I dont know what people mean when they say the hardware is last year, do you change your car every year because a new model has come out?

        • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

          No, but phones don't cost tens of thousands of dollars either. I do actually change my phone every year, because I get an upgrade every year.

      • yankeesusa

        True. The nexus 4 is a great world phone for those who travel or a great backup phone.

  • Kenny

    The GS4 has an IR blaster too right? So that will be disabled also.
    You can't really blame this on HTC though, these are all just limitations of Android. That said there are apps, like Spirit FM, which do a good job of bringing FM radio support to AOSP devices.

    • blunden

      ST-Ericsson has also put a lot of work into making FM radio support supported in the Android platform. Unfortunately they keep having to adjust things and then a new major Android release comes along which they have to wait for because their patch doesn't merge cleanly into Google's internal master branch due to the complexity of the changes.

  • wheels

    Funny how no one cared about the GS4 features that might not make it to the stock version, but care about the One features that might not. Maybe shows that HTC's own improvements are more valuable/worthwhile...?

    • IncCo

      I think its because without those "features" the One sucks even more than before. Take the 4 MP camera for example, without any of the added HTC software will just be a crappy 4 MP camera (most likely?). The S4 can manage pretty fine as is though.

      • Stacey

        The camera module is the same... You still get the Ultrapixel tech... You miss out on some of the camera shooting modes like Zoe.

      • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

        No. They actually have a much bigger sensor than most phones. This is true to digital camera also. Given the same sensor size, there's a diminishing return on pixel counts. Beyond that, you are not going to get any better picture -- just more noises. If you have see the difference between pictures taken by a low pixel count full frame camera and by a high pixel count handy cam, you will know that pixel count does not always tell the full story.

        • yankeesusa

          The pixel count might not be a big deal to some but for those that like to print out pictures and make them better the camera on the one will not do. I'm looking forward to the camera on the note 3 if rumors turn out to be true about the optical zoom.

    • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

      When the GS4 Nexus news broke out, some people were asking about GS4 features also. But I guess most people sort of expected that the answer is a "no".

  • John O’Connor

    Sounds like KLP might finally support android native FM and IR support? Or here's hoping anyway.

  • WhyWai

    kinda sucks buying a phone at that price but many features being disabled...

  • No One

    I am new to Android but from what I can see here is, once Google release the GE HTC One and GS4, we can get the system dump and put it on our normal HTC One and GS4 device right? If that is the case, will our devices get Nexus treatment as GE variant?

  • JG

    1.) OK, so I'm not as familiar with HTC as I thought.... Zoe?

    2.) As far as the "missing" software (camera, IR, beats, etc) I'm assuming one could scrape them from a functional HTC Sense based ROM & get them to work on the GE version...

  • AMarquez89

    Too bad I am with Sprint. I would have made this my new phone.
    Time to wait and see if the Moto X comes out with a CDMA variant.

  • yankeesusa

    This is the reason why so many people like a ui overlay over stock android. The fm radio and ir blaster are features that should still work even with stock android. Will the ir blaster be disabled on s4 also? I think I'll stick with sense or touchwiz for now. Stock android for me is too bland although the nexus s 4g I had till couple months ago served as a great backup phone.

  • Armus

    Blah not work spit

  • Frank Lin

    Does that mean Beats is always on? That's disappointing because I'd rather turn Beats off and then use Poweramp to tweak the EQ. On my One X+ Beats just makes everything sound more "compressed" and it also causes some clipping artifacts.

    Well it's a Google Edition with unlocked bootloader, so hopefully someone on XDA will make a Beats/No Beats mod.

  • SilentMobius

    It's obvious that the IR blaster won't have the HTC app in a Nexus-like build, but will they be leaving the driver in the kernel and radio firmware (if needed)? even if the AOSP stock framework can't use the blaster a community ROM will never be able to use it without the kernel drivers, there is not reason to remove the kernel drivers and radio-interface other than spite