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The worst HTC U12 Plus feature is getting tweaked in update (Update: Rolling out in US)

A new HTC U12 Plus update is rolling out in the US, and it addresses the flagship phone's worst feature: the pressure-sensitive buttons.
By
August 1, 2018

Update, August 1, 2018, (02:39AM EST): The HTC U12 Plus has been criticized for its pressure-sensitive hardware buttons, as some felt it was a poor substitute for proper volume and power keys.

Fortunately, the Taiwanese firm has an update on-hand and it’s now landing in the U.S., according to Android Police and HTC global PR head Jeff Gordon. The update, which carries the version number 1.21.617.3, weighs in at 437MB and includes the June security update.

The HTC U12 Plus update improves the accuracy of the pressure-sensitive buttons, while also delivering battery life and performance enhancements. Other noteworthy additions include an “auto zoom” feature for video recording, and 4K video recording without a time limit.

Just got the software update on my HTC U12+ that adds features and refines the buttons & Edge Sense. If your device hasn’t downloaded it yet, please go to Settings > System > About phone > Software updates > Check now. Let us know what you think! pic.twitter.com/l8GvQch4Hs
— Jeff Gordon (@urbanstrata) July 31, 2018

Users have noted better Edge Sense squeezing as part of the new update too, which seems to echo the update for Taiwanese customers.

Hopefully, the pressure-sensitive buttons function far better now, because they were poor — our own Jimmy Westenberg actually said they were “terrible” in his HTC U12 Plus review. “Whenever I use this phone, I genuinely try to avoid using the side buttons. They’re that frustrating,” he wrote.

Original article, July 13, 2018 (4:06PM EST): A new official update to the HTC U12 Plus is rolling out now to people in Taiwan, via XDA Developers. Although we don’t know exactly when the rest of the world will see the update, hopefully it’s soon, as included therein is a tweak of the U12 Plus’ worst feature.

I am, of course, referring to the pressure-sensitive hardware buttons that line the sides of the U12 Plus. One of the biggest complaints about the device is the fact that these non-pressable buttons have poor feedback and are counterintuitive.

While the software fix obviously doesn’t swap out the stationary buttons for ones that move as they should, it does make them more responsive and synchronized. Users are also reporting that double-tapping the Edge feature is more reliably accurate than it was before the update.

HTC U12 Plus review: You should probably pass
Reviews

There are some other fixes and tweaks included as well in this Taiwanese software rollout. There’s the usual Android security patch (from June instead of July for some reason), and there’s also a new feature for the camera that’s questionably called Auto Zoom.

I say “questionably” because it doesn’t really “auto zoom” in on anything. Instead, it’s a new way to manually zoom when using the camera by swiping on a gray dot.

The 422MB update brings the system software version to 1.21.709.3, but different parts of the world have different software versions, so yours might not match. Hopefully, U12 Plus owners outside of Taiwan will get this update soon, as I’m sure they would love some better haptic feedback when they hit the volume keys.

NEXT: At this point, what can HTC do to save itself?