HTC has been pretty attentive when it comes to updating its phones to the latest versions of Android, and it looks like the HTC One M9 on Sprint is next in line. According to Sprint’s software support page, the update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow started rolling out to the One M9 on February 5th. As is the case with most software updates, you might need to wait a few days to upgrade your phone until the rollout is complete.
This new update will bring the One M9’s firmware to version 3.41.651.3. Just what will you get with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update? For starters, you’ll get to take advantage of Google Now on Tap, which will bring the power of Google Now to virtually every corner of your phone. You’ll also get more granular application permissions control, a killer battery saving feature called Doze Mode, and much better volume controls. For a full rundown of many of the user-facing changes in Marshmallow, our own Joe Hindy created an informative video that explains the new features.
As stated previously, you may need to wait a few days before the update becomes available for your phone. If you have yet to get the update notification, head to Settings>System updates>HTC software update>Check now to check manually. Have you gotten the update? If so, let us know how you’re liking it in the comments below!
I’m not gonna lie: I was jealous when I heard that my colleague Sean Buckley got to play 12 virtual reality games in Seattle last week. (He even moaned about it later.) I got to try “only” four on the Vive Pre at HTC’s Taipei headquarters. But that’s OK, because in the end I also had a blast — to the point that I ended up running around the room, high on adrenaline. Not even the zombies in Arizona Sunshine made me do this much exercise. As I sat down to recuperate afterwards, I caught up with one of the key execs on HTC’s VR team to learn about the Vive’s setup process and what other features are in the works.
Until now, little has been said about what the Vive’s setup process will be like when it goes on sale. (For the record, “Vive Pre” is still a pre-release name.) But in my interview, Associate Vice President Raymond Pao gave a little more insight into how this will work. The Vive system consists of five pieces: the wired headset, two wireless controllers and two “Lighthouse” base stations for laser tracking. Obviously, you’ll also need a Windows PC with a relatively powerful graphics card — preferably, at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or an AMD Radeon R9 290, according to Pao, which is the same recommended requirement as for the Oculus Rift. For the diagonally placed Lighthouse hubs, you just need to secure them at somewhere just above the user’s height. Typically, they should be set at 2.2 meters in the US or 2 meters in Asia.
Pao added that the Vive works best in a 4.5 x 4.5–meter room, though a tiny 1.5 x 2–meter space is also fine, especially for titles like Elite Dangerous that require the gamer to be seated. Of course, not everyone’s room is a perfect square or rectangle; it might be slightly trapezoidal or there might be a table in the way. This is where Chaperone comes in.
Chaperone, which debuted last month at CES, is a safety mechanism that shows you a gray overlay of the physical world — be it a wall or an object — when you’re about to hit something, or whenever you double-tap the menu button on the controllers. To enable this feature, there’s a one-time calibration process: You need to go around the room and map the boundaries with one of the controllers. This is aided by a new front-facing pass-through camera introduced on the Vive Pre. Pao said his team is aiming for an overall installation time of somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes.
“We’ve been trying different [wireless] solutions, but none have truly fulfilled our needs thus far.”
For the sake of bandwidth and latency, the Vive Pre’s headset still needs to be wired to the PC. “Many wireless communication companies have approached us claiming they have the technology to solve these issues, so we’ve been trying different solutions, but none have truly fulfilled our needs thus far,” Pao said. However, as far as he knows, no one has yet tripped over the cable in the public demos, even after his team intentionally stopped holding the cables for the gamers.
“People are conscious [of the cable]. It could be to do with the games’ design, but it’s certainly not as hazardous as we thought it’d be.” That said, Pao also welcomes the idea of hanging the cable from above, but he’ll let users decide on this one.
As the owner of a cat and a dog, I’m actually more concerned about tripping over my pets, not the cable. Fortunately, Pao’s team has recently started working on a feature that will help detect incoming pets or other moving objects, but he doesn’t have much else to share at the moment. Though, come to think of it, it’s probably best if we just physically keep our pets out of the zone in the first place.
“We don’t want to make a compromise for the sake of compatibility with other platforms.”
During my visit, I got to try three cool new games by Futuretown, a Taiwan- and Canada-based studio that’s developing exclusively for the Vive. Johan Yang, the CEO and co-founder, made that decision when he met Peter Chou last year and experienced the Vive for the first time. Chou encouraged Yang to focus on VR, and ended up becoming his mentor as well as an investor in his company. That little detail aside, it’s still interesting that this team of 15 would risk limiting the size of their audience by making games for just one platform.
“We don’t want to make a compromise for the sake of compatibility with other platforms,” Yang said, “so our games are designed with the Vive’s every single feature in mind.”
Indeed, my colleagues and I were blown away with Futuretown’s games. We started off with an easy one called Cloudlands, which is simply a VR mini-golf game. (It was also shown at that Valve event last week.) We then switched to something much more intense: a first-person shooter called A-10, in which you stand on a platform floating above a planet (maybe Earth?) and you have to shoot down alien drones that are flying in from several wormholes. The game has the right balance between fun and intensity, as long as you remember to shake the controllers to reload your pistols once in a while.
What got me all sweaty was the third game, Jeeboman (pictured above), which lets you beam yourself between rooftops in a psychedelically colored city and shoot down enemy drones that come up to your face, with the added challenge of having to pick up batteries, ammo and health packs in order to survive. But even though I was running around in the room, the cable issue I mentioned earlier didn’t affect my gameplay that much.
As developers, Yang’s team have naturally tried their hands at other VR hardware, but they were left unimpressed, due largely to the lack of a room-scale experience and intuitive in-game interaction. For instance, it wasn’t until last June, when the Oculus Rift finally started supporting controller tracking, that the company even reached out to Yang’s team to discuss the possibility of porting their games to the Rift, which we now know won’t be happening anytime soon. The alternative solution would be to implement hand tracking using Leap Motion or similar offerings. But again, Yang wasn’t satisfied by their reliability or speed.
Similarly, the Samsung Gear VR — also powered by Oculus — lacks positional tracking, in the sense that there’s no tilt tracking, only rotational tracking, so your brain knows immediately that what you see isn’t real. For Yang, that’s a deal breaker, especially when he’s aiming for about 30 minutes per session in his own games.
VR devices will eventually replace our laptops.
Looking beyond gaming, Yang believes VR devices will get so compact that they’ll become standalone computers, to the point that they’ll eventually replace our laptops and thus let us set up a virtual workspace wherever we go. You won’t need to pay a premium for a large monitor, because in the virtual world your screen can be as large as you want it to be, or you can even have multiple screens. But of course, we’re still years away from that vision.
“I think the VR market is still at the ‘DynaTAC‘ stage right now, just like how it was a niche market at the beginning and only the bosses would use one,” Yang added. “People would ask, ‘Who needs a mobile phone? I can just go home and make phone calls.’ But look at what happened many years later.”
Photos and video by Andy Yang and Ross Wang of Engadget Chinese.
Sprint customers with the HTC One M9, your time has come. Sprint announced Friday that One M9 users can get the Android 6.0, also known as Marshmallow, update.
An announcement on Sprint’s support page cautions that the rollout could take several days to be delivered, but users should expect it soon. One M9 users can check for the update by going to Settings, followed by System Updates. From there, head to HTC software update and click Check Now.
As we previously reported, users of the LG G4 on T-Mobile recently began receiving the Android 6.0 update over the air.
Come comment on this article: Sprint begins Marshmallow rollout for HTC One M9
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The start of the calendar year is always an exciting time as most Android manufacturers gear up to announce their 2016 flagship smartphones. One of the most anticipated is HTC‘s flagship, and although the Taiwanese manufacturer has fallen on hard times, it’s always interesting to see what they come up with. Thanks to leaker @evleaks, we now have what is likely out first look at the front of that device, expected to be called the HTC One M10, and most astute mobile fans will notice one glaring omission.
The lack of a HTC branding bar.
HTC flagships of old all had a black branding bar at the bottom of the device, much to the chagrin of HTC’s loyal fans as the black bar appeared to be a waste of space. Fast forward to this year, the One M10 has disposed of this black bar as well as its iconic BoomSound dual speakers. In fact, at a glance, you’d be hard pressed to identify anything as characteristic of HTC, but perhaps that’s what they were going for. We’ll have to see what device actually turns up when HTC does announce it though doesn’t seem like they’ll be doing so at MWC 2016.
And to think I wasn’t going to get through this whole article without mentioning how much it looks like an iPhone. Wait, dammit.
The post HTC One M10 shows up in leaked photo, minus the HTC branding bar appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Although the rumor mill has been churning about HTC’s 2016 flagship, we haven’t had much firm information on the One M10. That is, until today. A leaked photograph purported to be the front of the One M10 has surfaced, and it looks quite a bit like the One A9.
The One A9 caught some flak from design hounds back when it was released, with many complaining that it riffed so hard off Apple that it practically looked like an iPhone clone. If the image we’re looking at is indeed the One M10, then those same voices are going to be grousing again.
There’s no HTC logo on the front of this device, and it looks like the company has ditched the black bar that has haunted the One M series. An elongated, oval shaped home button rests on the bottom of the device, and there’s speculation that it’s also a fingerprint scanner. The volume and power buttons are housed on the right side of the phone, and the power button looks pleasantly ridged like the edge of a coin, which should make it immediately identifiable with a brush of the fingertip.
What we’re not seeing is the second front-facing speaker below the display, so that might mean that BoomSound speakers aren’t going to be making the cut on this model. All in all, this looks fairly in line with what we were expecting from the One M10. Solid metal construction and what looks like a 5.1-inch QHD AMOLED display. Under the hood, the device is rumored to run the Snapdragon 820 chipset, 32 GB of storage, and 4 gigs of RAM. We’re still expecting a microSD card slot for additional memory, and a 12 MP UltraPixel rear camera.
What are your thoughts regarding the these new shots of the M10? Everything you have been hoping for, or something of a let-down? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Later this month, Samsung and LG will be hosting events in Barcelona during MWC 2016 while HTC skips the conference to launch the One M10 at a later date. The reason for this is that HTC needs to be in the spotlight all on its own and avoid being overshadowed by two of its biggest competitors. So, until we finally see the company announce the handset, we’ll have rely upon leaks and reports to get an idea of what the One M10 will offer. Evan Blass, who exposes devices rapidly and accurately, revealed yesterday that the handset won’t have the annoying logo-stamped black bar below the display like the One (M7), One (M8), and One M9 did. But now we know what the front of the next One installment should look like.
Blass returned today to share an image of the HTC One M10 roaming around in the wild.
The image (seen above) shows the front of the One M10, which, yes, does heavily resemble Apple’s iPhone. We see that the black bar is indeed gone and a fingerprint scanner is integrated below the display. And that would align with a previous report that the handset will have a home button similar to the ones found on Samsung’s devices. It seems HTC is going to ditch on-screen buttons and stick with a somewhat physical home button, solving one of my biggest complaints regarding the HTC One A9.
Display size seems reasonable, likely assuring everyone that it won’t be above 5.5 inches. Sources say the display will measure 5.1 inches and have Quad HD (2560×1440) resolution.
Other specifications for the One M10 are said to include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM, an Adreno 530 GPU, and 32GB of internal storage.
Again, don’t expect the One M10 at MWC 2015 in a few weeks because HTC wants to go solo with an event that should be scheduled for March or April.
Source: Evan Blass (Twitter)
Come comment on this article: This is apparently the front of the HTC One M10
Earlier today, HTC introduced a more powerful version of the Desire 626 in India. In addition to the upgraded internals, this new variant also ships with dual-SIM support and 4G LTE included.
The Taiwanese manufacturer has replaced the 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 chipset with a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6752 CPU. The Adreno 306 GPU has also been dumped in favour of the new Mali-T760MP2 and, lastly, the RAM has been upgraded from 1GB to 2GB.
All other internal components remain the same, meaning that the Desire 626 dual-SIM packs a 5-inch HD display (1280×720), 16GB of expandable internal storage, a 13MP rear-facing camera, a 5MP selfie shooter and a 2,000mAh battery.
The handset ships running the latest build of Android 5.1 skinned with HTC’s Sense user interface on board, but is expected to receive the Android 6.0 upgrade sometime over the course of the next few months.
If you’re based in India and like the sound of the Desire 626 dual-SIM, you’ll soon be able to pick one up from participating retailers in either Blue Lagoon or White Birch for INR 14,990 ($220).
For a more in-depth look at the handset’s specifications, be sure to check out the press release below.
HIGH PERFORMANCE HTC DESIRE 626 DUAL SIM
With stunning features the HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM sets a powerful new standard for mid-range smartphones
New Delhi – February 5 2016 – HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, has today announced the launch of the new HTC Desire 626 dual sim, a sleek and innovative, feature packed device that raises the bar for mid-range smartphones. The HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM delivers more of what you love including the ability to enjoy an immersive 5 inch wide screen multi-media experience. This is enhanced further with 4G LTE connectivity and Dual SIM functionality enabling you to switch between two different SIM cards and multitask with ease.
“Our customers are gradually looking for stylish 4G LTE enabled smartphones with faster processors, network speeds and outstanding battery life. They are creating and consuming rich video content and want greater freedom to personalise their smartphones. We know they love the flexibility that comes with expandable memory,” said Mr. Faisal Siddiqui, President, HTC South Asia. Further to which he added, “At a remarkable price, the HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM delivers the distinctive features with an outstanding user experience in a sleek, chic, slim package.”
Big, bold, distinctive style with Advanced features
HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM is perfect for immersing yourself in your favourite content. Enjoy your favourite movies, music and games, in high definition 5 inch high definition display at exceptional speeds with the 1.7 GHz Octa-Core processor.
In true HTC style, quality doesn’t stop at performance. Bright, bold, light and sleek, the chic designed HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM stands out from the crowd thanks to HTC’s double shot colour technology. The smartphone features a two-tone colour unibody that not only looks stylish but ensures awesome device quality, strength and tolerance. The distinctive colour trims around the camera, buttons and flash merge seamlessly into one another creating a slick look and a great way to show off your personality.
All of this is delivered within an intuitive and customisable interface. Running on Android™ and HTC Sense™, it has been created to enable self-expression, letting you adapt and change your interface whenever you like – easy, quick and emotive.
Premium camera for stunning photos and selfies
The HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM offers high-performance imaging with f/2.2 aperture and a 13 megapixel BSI sensor, that help the phone’s rear camera capture incredible quality images in both daylight and low light, so your photos will be bursting with detail even as the sun goes down. If photography isn’t your strength, press and hold the shutter for rapid-fire and continuous shooting – ideal for capturing fast moving objects or for selecting the best shot at a later date.
To capture amazing selfies switch to the 5 megapixel front facing camera, use the Touch to Countdown feature and strike the perfect pose with your friends & family. With Full HD video, all your memories come to life in vivid detail.
Advanced technology for ultimate performance
Entertainment lovers can revel in the ability to stream music, download films and juggle multiple social feeds or apps both smoothly and effortlessly with integrated LTE support. The HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM a snappy Octa-Core processor for smooth multi-tasking that offers lightning-fast 4G connectivity at speeds of up to 150 Mbps. With 16GB internal storage, as well as a MicroSD slot which supports up to 32GB of additional storage, every single moment you capture can be saved and shared without a worry. To ensure that you get more from your phone for longer the HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM offers 2000mAH battery.
The HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM comes in Blue Lagoon and White Birch colours, and will be available with major retailers for INR 14,990/- from coming week onwards.
Come comment on this article: HTC unveils a dual-SIM variant of the Desire 626 with upgraded specs in India
Epic Games has been teasing “the future of VR development” recently, and the team is finally ready to tell everyone what that is: Creating virtual reality content within virtual reality itself, using the full version of its Unreal Engine 4. Epic cofounder Tim Sweeney says that while the company’s been supporting the likes of the Oculus Rift from the outset, the irony is that, up to this point, the experiences we’ve seen so far have been developed using the same tools as traditional video games. “Now you can go into VR, have the entire Unreal editor functioning and do it live,” he says. “It almost gives you god-like powers to manipulate the world.”
So rather than using the same 2D tools (a keyboard, mouse and computer monitor) employed in traditional game development, people making experiences for VR in Unreal can now use a head-mounted display and motion controllers to manipulate objects in a 3D space. “Your brain already knows how to do this stuff because we all have an infinite amount of experience picking up and moving 3D objects,” Sweeney says. “The motions you’d do in the real world, you’d do in the editor and in the way you’d expect to; intuitively.”
Imagine walking around an environment you’re creating in real time, like a carpenter surveying his or her progress while building a house. Looking around, you notice that the pillar you dropped in place earlier is unexpectedly blocking some of the view through a window you just added. Now there isn’t a clear line of sight to the snowcapped mountain on the horizon. Within the VR update for Unreal Engine 4, you can pick the pillar up with your hands and adjust its placement until it’s right.
“You get far higher-quality content coming out of it because people are able to engage their brains in a much more natural way,” Sweeney adds.
This all feeds into Epic’s mission to demolish the barriers of entry to its nearly ubiquitous Unreal Engine (like making it free to use), and could further empower VR content creators of any ilk. Considering that so much of what’s available to “play” with today in the medium was made by the community itself and not professional developers, that’s a pretty big deal.
Sweeney likens it to Minecraft. He says the building tools in Mojang’s blocky game are “primitive” compared to a traditional game engine, but the game has introduced some 50 million people to creating their own 3D worlds. “I’d say the top half, or a quarter of [Minecraft players] would, in time, migrate to building 3D worlds using more advanced tools,” he says. “[Unreal Engine in VR] creates a much more intuitive path away from the game experiences into being a content creator yourself.”
Being a mobile enthusiast is a fun hobby. I find technology vital to staying connected while it helps me be efficient and on task. With that comes the need to charge a wide range of devices. And I can honestly tell you that with different charging specs on tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, speakers and cameras that having the right charger can mean the difference between destroying a battery and staying powered up.
I have been using the Tronsmart Titan 90W Charging Station with five ports to charge up all of my devices lately and I can tell you that I love it. Chargers are more commonplace than any other accessory, but high-quality chargers are a rare breed.
The Tronsmart Titan is a 90W charger with enough power to charge five devices at full speed all of the time. The five port charging station is relatively big for a charger with a decent amount of weight, but really isn’t an issue for me. I don’t like desktop chargers that are so light that they shift around with light movement. It measures 6.25 x 3.25-inches while being about an inch thick and comes in a matte plastic finish with four rubber feet on the bottom.
There are five full USB sized charging ports in the front, with good spacing between them, so you don’t have force fit the five cables right next to each other. The center of each port is colored green which is a thoughtful addition as it makes it easy to see each port against the black plastic.
Each USB port is rated at 18W for a grand total of 90W, and each port comes with smart technology that allows you to charge your latest devices at the fastest speeds, including Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0.
The back of the charger holds the power switch so you can turn the charger on/off and not worry about vampire energy drain which can end up costing you a lot of extra money.
What are Energy Vampires?
Check out this excerpt from energy.gov:
Take, for example, the seemingly innocuous cell phone charger. As cellphones have become a staple of modern life, so have the devices that power them. To ensure that they’re able to be in constant contact, many Americans carry chargers in their bags, have them in their cars and even their office. So it shouldn’t come as much surprise to find that many cell phone users have one or more chargers constantly plugged in at their home. What most people don’t realize is that these chargers are continually drawing power, even when no device is connected to them. In fact, the average charger is consuming .26 watts of energy when not in use, and 2.24 watts even when a fully charged device is connected to it.
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By themselves, those watts won’t cause a huge increase in your energy bill. But if you add other common devices to the equation, you’ll begin to see why energy vampires are often responsible for adding 10 percent or more to your monthly utility bill.
I normally don’t think twice when it comes to chargers, but with my recent switch to Nexus devices with USB Type-C, and to unlocked smartphones, having the right charger has never been more important to me. The Tronsmart Titan touts VoltIQ technology which is the brains behind controlling the charging speeds depending on needs. Once you plug in your devices, the VoltIQ smart tech automatically identifies the voltage settings and adjusts charging speeds accordingly to make sure your device does not overheat and overcharge.
I really have no complaints when it comes to using the Tronsmart Titan. It charges all of my USB devices at the proper rate, and it is safe for the most sensitive devices like those with USB Type-C. I use it with my Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nuu Z8, Samsung Gear S2, Huawei Watch, LG V10, and NVIDIA Shield. It comes with me on all of my business trips in place of bulky individual chargers, and helps me minimize vampire energy drain with a simple flip of the power switch.
Input: 100-240V (Max)
Output: 5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A (Max)
What you will get
1 x Tronsmart UC5F Desktop USB Charger
1 x 5 Foot AC Power Cord
1 x Welcome Guide
Overall the Tronsmart Titan 90W 5-port USB charger is everything I could want in a desktop charger. It’s smart, safe and charges my devices at the quickest possible speeds. You can find it on sale now at Amazon.com for just $37.99. I highly recommend it.
The post Tronsmart Titan 10A/90W 5-port USB charger charging station: review appeared first on AndroidGuys.
HTC announced their fourth quarter financial results for 2015 and the financial straits they find themselves in continued as the year closed out. For the quarter, HTC reported revenues of NT$25.7 billion ($768 million USD) and a gross margin of 13.9%. After expenses are considered, HTC had an operating loss of NT$4.1 billion ($122 million USD) with an operating margin of negative 16.1%. Considering the fourth quarter is usually a strong one for companies thanks to holiday sales, HTC’s loss for the quarter is a troubling sign for the smartphone manufacturer.
For the fourth quarter, HTC’s revenues increased from the third quarter’s $660 million while the operating loss of $122 million was less than the $151 million loss HTC experienced in the third quarter. HTC chair Cher Wang attributed the positive change to factors like the “good momentum” of the company’s Desire line of devices and the “well received” reception by the market for the HTC One A9.
Looking ahead, HTC is hoping to capitalize on a couple major initiatives. One of these is a new partnership with Under Armour on the new UA Healthbox fitness system that launched at CES 2016. The other is the HTC Vive virtual reality device. Wang feels so confident about HTC’s virtual reality device that she is apparently planning to spin off that portion of the company into a separate entity. One of the benefits of such a move would be the ability for that division to survive a collapse of the smartphone portion of HTC’s business.
Come comment on this article: Losses continue for HTC in fourth quarter of 2015