HTC bringing Zoe and other apps to third-party devices


You no longer have to buy an HTC handset to get your hands on HTC apps and services. The Taiwanese company is opening up its software to third-party Android devices, starting with Zoe, a video sharing platform that hopes to compete with the likes of Instagram and Vine.

With profits falling and ever-increasing competition from rivals like Apple, LG, and Samsung, HTC has to find new ways to make money. One of its efforts is a new business “ aimed at building software and services for more than just HTC phones,” Recode reports. It’s called HTC Creative Labs, and its first release will be Zoe, which is coming later this week.

HTC users will know Zoe as the camera feature built into Sense that allows for the recording of video and still images at the same time. It takes short video recordings and turns each frame into an individual image. Zoe also lets you compile up to 16 video clips and still images — with a theme and soundtrack — into one 30-second highlight reel.

HTC has been promising a new platform that will allow users to share their Zoe creations since it announced the HTC One M8 back in February, and it will finally go live later this week — not only on HTC handsets, but on third-party devices as well. And it’s going to make the Zoe experience even better.

Zoe’s selling point is designed to be the fact that, in addition to helping one person edit clips, it allows users to remix and expand one another’s videos, even adding in new content,” Recode reports. HTC will be hoping that this kind of functionality will help Zoe compete with rival video sharing services, but it has its limitations.

Zoe will reportedly be available only on high-end Android phones running the latest software, and if that wasn’t disappointing enough, users won’t have the ability to specify the order in which clips and images appear when they create Zoe highlights — Zoe will decide what’s best.

If you want to make a highlight reel from your wedding day, for instance, Zoe might put the last dance before the ceremony, and there’s nothing you can do to change it.

That could change later on, however, and Zoe won’t be the only produce from HTC Creative Labs. Drew Bamford, head of HTC’s user interface team, has confirmed other software projects are also in the works, but details cannot be confirmed at this stage.