HTC tries something new: Zoe and other apps will become available for all Android devices

by: Bogdan PetrovanAugust 12, 2014


HTC is trying something new. After two years of struggling to turn around its smartphone business, the Taiwanese company is now looking at software and services as a potential growth area.

As part of the new strategy, HTC will make some of its apps and services available to devices from other manufacturers, starting with Zoe, the slideshow app that launched with the One (M7) last year. Later this week, reports Recode’s Ina Fried, users of devices from Samsung, LG, and other OEMs will be able to install Zoe. There will be some limitations – only high-end, updated devices will be compatible, and the app will be released as beta, with limited functionality.

Zoe lets you select up to 16 images or clips, add a soundtrack, and turn them into a video that you can share with friends. But HTC wants Zoe to be more than a photo-video editing app – the company hopes to turn it into a platform, which will put it on a collision course with Vine, Instagram, and other heavy weights.

Regardless, HTC is ambitious about its new- fangled software initiative and plans to partner with music and sports celebs for its promotion, according to Recode.

HTC’s software group is called Creative Labs and is headed by Drew Bamford, who’s also responsible for Sense and the UI of other HTC products. About 260 people in the US and Taiwan are working under Bamford, who was promoted chief of software and services at HTC back in April.

Other software projects are reportedly in the pipeline, but HTC decline to elaborate.

Interestingly, when asked about the balance between developing for Sense and software that will be made available to other devices, Bamford said that the hard work is over when it comes to HTC’s overlay: “Android doesn’t need as much fixing anymore, to be honest.”

In what could be a preparatory move, HTC began to put its proprietary apps in the Play Store earlier this year. Besides Zoe, these include BlinkFeed, Gallery, Clock, and Sense TV.

  • Shark Bait

    Ooooo interesting idea, can’t blame them for trying something new I guess

  • adamhs

    Out of the bunch I’ve tried, I like HTC’s camera interface the most. They give you more control like sharpness, saturation, exposure, etc – logically laid out interface and very responsive, even compared to Google’s stock camera app.

    • Chris

      Stock camera app is probably the worst of any

  • Marcus Winchester

    Really bad move, they can’t monetise this and it will be more reasons to not buy a HTC phone

    • Prayudi A.


      • Woe of [S]unjΔy

        Chvrches <3

    • Williams

      well, Zoe is certainly a nice feature, but if you opt for an HTC phone nowadays, it’s primarily hardware-driven. having Zoe available on other Android devices doesn’t take away from the fact that HTC hardware is incredibly nice.

    • MasterMuffin

      Zoe really isn’t the reason why people buy HTC. Most don’t even know what it is

  • MasterMuffin

    Not another image sharing platform! Say no to more selfies!

  • Zp15

    Well wasn’t blinkfeed confirmed by HTC to come to other Android devices a few days after the launch of the M8? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a rumor.

  • titoone

    This is a great idea!!! I love htc camera software.

  • gk1984

    Creative Labs you say?
    I didn’t know the classic Soundblaster was associated with HTC :-D

  • phyzzi

    I think it would be amazing if this meant that new HTC phones came with stock android, but a link (deletable) to HTC apps on the play store. Of course, I imagine they WON’T do the first part, so too bad. Just look at Samsung’s lackluster performance if you want to see how pissed people get about good hardware ruined by crap bloatware. (I am typing on my last Samsung for what I plan to be a long time thanks to the “bloatware problem” and the many ways it makes a good phone bad.) If HTC can supply a stock or near stock phone, lots of people will call that a huge bonus.

  • nono

    are all these apps available for other android phone like nexus 5? i tried to check it but i cant find it :(