HTC made it known today that it will be branching out beyond device manufacturing and will be releasing apps for more than just its own devices. Known as HTC Creative Labs, HTC is creating a separate business unit with hopes that this new venture will help it compete better with Samsung and Apple. It’s no surprise that HTC is coming up with new business models to help supplement their financial challenges. Making once exclusive apps available to all is an interesting idea that has yet to be done with other major manufacturers, but HTC understands it will take time before this business plan will make money.
The first app that HTC plans to release to non-HTC device users is Zoe. If you recall, Zoe is an app that HTC first introduced with the original HTC One over a year ago. Zoe collects pictures and video clips from your gallery and creates a small highlight reel with a soundtrack to your daily happenings. Additionally, one can create your own Zoe clip by combining up to 16 of your own images and video clips and choosing a soundtrack to go along with it. It reminds me a lot of Google’s Auto Awesome but more in a Vine or Instagram short clip form. HTC sees Zoe turning into something more than just a way to create media content, but a potential social center for viewing, sharing, and remixing the Zoes.
HTC definitely has a lot of competition when it comes to social media sharing and content creation, but I’ve heard lots of positive things from HTC One users and how well Zoes are implemented. It’s definitely arguable, but HTC has historically done a great job at making great looking apps and hardware. In the early days of Android, I was always jealous of HTC’s clock and calendar widgets. In my opinion, there wasn’t a better looking skin to Android. Now that Google’s upped their UX game, HTC’s scaled back its skinning of their Android launcher and has been coming out with great features like Zoe, Blinkfeed, and the Dot View case. I think HTC has an uphill battle to fight, but has a great opportunity with getting their software on a lot more phones. The source stated that HTC plans to build an audience before finding a way to monetize Zoe.
HTC Creative Labs will have its hands full with both developing their apps for Android as well as continuous development for the software on HTC’s devices. Additionally, it plans on releasing more apps for non-HTC user use beyond Zoe. Zoe is currently available on the Play Store, but only compatible with HTC devices. Zoe should be available for non-HTC device use later this week.
So, who’s excited about using Zoe? I’m definitely going to give it a try. I think this is a really interesting move by HTC and am glad it’s trying it. I highly respect HTC and want it to do well. I think HTC makes great products and we need its competition in the handset market. How do you feel about their move to releasing once exclusive apps for non-HTC device use? What other HTC apps do you want to see released to the world? Let us know by commenting below!