Back in 1997, HTC, then known as High-Tech Computer Corporation, was founded by Peter Chou, Cher Wang, and H. T. Cho (oddly familiar initials that guy, eh?) Ever since, the company has evolved from being an ODM for others like Compaq Computers and T-Mobile to becoming a standalone branded smartphone manufacturer.
Yesterday, HTC's Mo Versi, the Vice President of Product Management, caused a few disgruntled sighs from the company's fans and One M7 owners by announcing that the two-year-old device wouldn't get any more major updates, including Android 5.1. That didn't apply to the Google Play Edition version of the M7, which is still set to get 5.1 in April.
But it looks like the replies Mo has received have elicited the company to take another look at the issue and consider changing its stance. Users argued that Android 5.1 isn't exactly a major update and that it brings a lot of bug fixes to Android, and HTC heard them.
If you're going to do any serious modding on your Android smartphone, your first step is going to be unlocking the bootloader. This is a simple procedure on Nexus devices and a few other handsets, but many of the top OEMs have added security measures to prevent regular users from mucking about with their stock software. For these devices, there's a tool called Sunshine by recognized developers Justin Case (jcase), beaups, and friends. Version 3.0 just came out, and it can unlock the bootloader and acquire S-Off with almost every modern Motorola and HTC smartphone on the market.
The problem with designing a feature around other services is that you only have control over your end. If the other guy changes something, you have to be ready to fix any issues that crop up. Such is the case with HTC's BlinkFeed stream. A recent change to Facebook caused social updates to stop appearing in BlinkFeed, but now HTC has released an app that should solve the problem.
Unless the M9's 20MP camera is a must-have, the M8 can serve you fine. And instead of spending over half a grand on the device, you can pick one up for $289.99. You even get your choice of gray, silver, and gold.
There's always the risk of the device coming with some minor cosmetic damage, but everything should arrive in working order.
Shipping is free, but while the seller is willing to ship internationally, many parts of the world are excluded.
But now, the end of the line has come for the One M7. Vice President of Product Management Mo Versi has confirmed on Twitter that the 2013 flagship will not receive Android 5.1, except for the Google Play Edition. That variant is slated to get an update sometime in April.
It looks like Robert Downey Jr and HTC are at it again, with RDJ starring in an only-slightly-bewildering series of creative short films to promote the release of the One M9.
The short films, made in a collaboration between Robert Downey Jr, Russell Scott, Brian Schaeffer, and HTC, (and "presented" by the One M9 itself) are centered around color as a unifying theme, and are meant to portray a "genre-bending series of adventures" with numerous artistic references and influences ranging - as HTC explains - from Andy Warhol to Charlie Chaplin.
In one short (Purple), RDJ bats a plastic chicken onto a canvas, somehow executing a poultry-themed homage to Warhol's prints of Marilyn Monroe.
April 10th is the same day that the Galaxy S6 is scheduled to launch internationally (with US carriers following in the weeks after) so this date is hardly a coincidence. HTC wants you to see a shiny new HTC One M9 on display next to the Galaxy S6 when you head into the nearest carrier store.
In 2014, HTC rolled out the HTC Advantage, which offered a free cracked screen replacement, two years of updates, and up to 50GB of Google Drive storage space. Today, the company is going a step further. It has announced Uh-Oh Protection, which will provide one free replacement phone in the event of a cracked screen, water damage, or a carrier switch within the first twelve months after purchase.
Alternatively, if you don't get a replacement during this time frame, HTC will offer you $100 towards the purchase of your next HTC One.
Getting your replacement won't require going without a phone, either.
HTC is expected to announce the release date for the One M9 any time now, but there are some treats for those of you sticking with the M8 as well. A new version of the Dot View case app is out, and it has a ton of improvements. Also, games. Yes, games. I don't know why either.