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HTC

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Sprint's HTC One A9 gets its Nougat OTA update

We're finally getting a good, steady stream of Android 7.0 updates for major smartphones. Several months later than we'd like to have them, of course, but such is life in the current world of Android software. Today owners of the HTC A9 on Sprint get a turn, at least according to HTC's official support page. The page says that software update 2.18.651.2 includes an upgrade to Nougat, as well as bringing the core security patch up to January of this year.

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HTC is working on a mobile VR product for U Ultra, "not a phone slapped onto a headset"

Mobile virtual reality hasn't really struck a chord with consumers. Content for Google Daydream is lacking, and Samsung's Gear VR platform isn't doing much better. HTC's president of global sales, Chia-lin Chang, has revealed that the company is working on its own mobile VR product - and it's "not a phone slapped onto a headset."

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T-Mobile is rolling out Feb. 2017 security patches to the Galaxy S4 and Tab 3, their first updates since 2015

The Galaxy S4, in its day, was a pretty capable smartphone. However, with its fourth birthday fast approaching, its update period has long since passed. No matter to T-Mobile, though; the company has just pushed the latest February 2017 security patches to it and the older Galaxy Tab 3... but they're still on Android 4.4 KitKat.

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InBrief
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HTC loses Jason Mackenzie, a longtime top-level executive

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More pictures of HTC's Android Wear smartwatch emerge

HTC's Android Wear watch, codenamed Halfbeak, leaked back in October on Chinese social network Weibo. Since then, we haven't heard a peep from the Taiwanese company regarding the watch. Nevertheless, a bucketload of new photos have popped up, again on Weibo, showing the watch in all its glory.

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[Update: RUU file] HTC's One A9 is finally getting its Nougat update tonight

HTC has been sort of falling apart lately. While the 10 was a solid improvement over the last year's M9, the A9s was a downgraded and even more iPhone-inspired version of the A9, and the recently-announced U Ultra is already somewhat doomed thanks to its lack of a headphone jack, very small battery, limited availability, and ambitious price tag. In the latest installment of the saga, the mid-range One A9 is just now receiving Android 7.0 Nougat.

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Unlocked HTC 10 and One M9 in Europe will receive Nougat in the next two weeks, possibly carrier models too

The HTC 10 was released early last year to mostly positive reviews, minus the high price tag, and caused us to give HTC the "Most Improved OEM" award for 2016. The Nougat rollout for the unlocked HTC 10 in the US started last month, but users across the pond will have to wait a little longer. Graham Wheeler, Product and Service Director for HTC EMEA, announced that the unlocked HTC 10 and One M9 in Europe will receive Nougat in the next two weeks.

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[Because that doesn't sound ridiculous] HTC has an app to update the firmware of its USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

What was wrong with 3.5mm audio jacks? They have been standard for many years, they worked reliably, and you could find tons of headphones that supported them. But no, companies have to sometimes invent reasons to change things around and here we are with the 3.5mm jack mysteriously disappearing from modern smartphones to be replaced by USB-C digital audio. Yes, I know that size constraints matter, but so far, the released phones with no jack don't make a good case for that argument and don't provide any new hardware that uses the additional empty space favorably. And for the record, I am ranting even though I use Bluetooth headsets 99% of the time; I just like having the 3.5mm plug option for that 1%.

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The HTC U Ultra and U Play showcase a new design direction, both launching in early 2017

HTC has been lagging behind its competitors for years, despite some fantastic hardware and critical acclaim. So for 2017 the company is going in a completely new design direction, dumping the aluminum unibody phones it's become known for and shifting to a more generic glass front and back. The first products displaying this new direction are the HTC U Ultra, the new flagship phone, and the U Play, a mid-range model. They'll both go on sale later this year.

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Unannounced HTC 'Ocean Note' Leaks with glass frame and secondary ticker display

HTC is looking for a hit after the mediocre performance of its 2016 lineup. It scored the contract to manufacture the Pixel, but that doesn't do much to help its flagging brand. The Ocean Note (a code name) looks to be HTC's next attempt to get people interested in its devices again. Photos of the device have leaked (from the depths of Weibo), and it has some traits you'll find very familiar.

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