Well, you knew it was going to happen sooner or later. No sooner was s-off packaged up for the masses, than a flashable ZIP was created to turn the standard Sense-laden M8 into a Google Play Edition device. This process is not for the faint of heart – you could break things and render your phone useless. For the brave or foolhardy, read on.
There's nothing like a completely open device if you really want to tweak things and flash all sorts of ill-advised software. HTC isn't going to make it easy, though. Getting s-off is necessary to do all that fun stuff, and now the recently released Firewater tool has been updated with support for the M8.
HTC has just uploaded the open source bits for several variants of the new HTC One M8. Available for download right now is the Android 4.4.2 kernel source for the Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and Optus (an Aussie carrier) versions of the device. The Google Play Edition kernel source that was posted then yanked by HTC a few days ago is still no where to be found. Update: The GPE sources are back as well.
You know what trend in mobile is easy to make fun of? Wearables, of course. Most smart watches almost make fun of themselves. At some point in the last few weeks, the marketing folks at HTC and Samsung apparently came to very similar conclusions about the best way to lampoon wearables – gloves. Samsung came up with the Samsung Fingers smart glove, but HTC has just pseudo-announced the HTC Gluuv. Same basic joke, different execution.
Update: HTC has pulled down the kernel source and framework files for the time being. The reason is unclear. Perhaps they were posted early, but we'll keep an eye on them. You can grab the kernel source from this rehosted link and framework files from this one for now.
We're still a few weeks away from the ship date for the HTC One M8 Google Play Edition, but the kernel source is just a click away.
Verizon is already selling the new HTC One, and you can get two of them cheap as long as you don't mind signing a new contract. The buy-one-get-one-free deal on Verizon is enticing if you need two phones, but it gets even better. You can get 30% off the cost of the phone you're actually paying for.
Well, that didn't take long. After getting word yesterday that the update was ready, Ma Bell has started rolling out Android 4.4.2 KitKat to the HTC One Mini. Along with 4.4.2, the update includes HTC Sense 5.5 with all the OEM-specific tweaks you'd expect.
Update: According to this Google+ post, pre-orders for the phone will begin later today. There's still no word on a shipping date.
Update #2: You can now press the "Add to cart" button. The phone is currently scheduled to leave Google's warehouse in 2-3 weeks:
One of the more interesting aspects of HTC's One M8 launch is the rapid way the company is releasing the phone, with major American and Canadian carriers getting access to the device in one day or less.
Consider this new app that item that someone placed on store shelves before it was time to begin selling the product. You can look at it all you want, but until that launch date comes, forget about it. In this case, HTC has released a Zoe app into the Play Store, but it doesn't plan to activate it until this summer.