One of the strongest selling points for HTC’s smartphones is its Sense software. Depending on your tastes, it’s either more appealing or not as appealing as stock Android, but it does offer a lot of value for some folks. The HTC One (M8) comes chock full of features exclusive to Sense 6, but some of the phone’s best apps may not stay exclusive to HTC for long.
HTC has confirmed that Zoe and BlinkFeed are both headed to Google Play, where they will be available for other Android devices. The company tells us Zoe, a specialized camera app, will launch this spring. Meanwhile, BlinkFeed, a personalized news and social aggregator will launch even sooner, and is already listed in Google’s app store. HTC also tells us its Gallery and TV apps are available in the Play Store, but still require Sense 6 to work – so don’t expect to load those up on your smartphone if it isn’t an HTC device.
It might seem like a dangerous move to offer up some of HTC’s best apps in Google Play, since it gives consumer one less reason to buy an HTC phone, but the decision may work in the company’s favor. Most customers probably aren’t thinking about Zoe or BlinkFeed when they buy a new smartphone, but by offering these services on other Android devices HTC can give everyone a taste of its software for free. If either app becomes a hit it could be enough to convince more people to try out the full Sense 6 experience with the HTC One (M8). Plus, it helps HTC expand its brand name out to new consumers.