How to create perfect Video Highlights on the HTC One (M8)

by Robert Nazarian on
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Video Highlights is probably the coolest application that any Android manufacturer has ever come up with, at least in my humble opinion. HTC doesn’t promote it enough. Video Highlights first debuted with Sense 5 on the HTC One (M7), and has really matured with Sense 6 and the All New HTC One (M8).

If you’re not familiar with HTC’s Video Highlights feature, it will automatically produce a professionally looking video of various images, Zoes, and other videos. You can select content from certain events, locations, albums, dates, or even your starred favorites. Just take a look at the results from my vacation last year.

There are twelve themes to choose from that include their own unique effects and music. You can even use your own music files. Most videos will be 30 seconds in length, which is perfect for most events, but if you have a lot of content from your family vacation, you can extend it if you use your own music.

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How to apply slow motion effects to your videos on the HTC One (M8)

by Robert Nazarian on
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The HTC One (M8) allows you do some neat stuff with images utilizing the Duo Camera, but another cool feature is slow motion video. Recording slow motion video isn’t anything new, but HTC takes it one step further with the ability to adjust the speed for certain parts of your video. For example, you could record your child scoring a goal and just when they make the final kick, you can put that in slow motion, but leave everything else at full speed.

What’s cool is that this can be done after the fact, but the video must be filmed in slow motion. You will be able to set what part of the video you want at full speed and what part to be at 1/2 speed or even 1/4 speed. You can even revert back to full speed for the entire video. The only caveat is that slow motion videos will be at 720p, even if you revert them back to full speed.

It is a pretty cool way to add a little flair to your videos, so hit the break to find out how to do it.

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How to apply Duo Camera effects on the HTC One (M8)

by Robert Nazarian on
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So you bought a brand new HTC One (M8) and you noticed two camera lenses on the back. What can you do with them? You can actually do a lot of things with them, and the video below walks you through everything. The main lens is the same UltraPixel 4MP lens that appeared on last year’s HTC One (M7) and the other smaller lens is 2MP, and is used for depth. This setup allows you to apply different effects to your photos such as changing focal points (Ufocus), applying effects to just the foreground or background (Foregrounder), adding fun clothing accessories or snow, and even copying a person out of one photo and pasting them into another photo (Copy & Paste).

In this video, I will show you how to use each and every one one of these features. Now I must stress that in order to use these features, you must be in the basic Camera setting. It will not work when any special effects are applied or if you used the zoom. It won’t work in Zoe mode either. So if you’re a Zoe fan like myself, you will have to know beforehand that you want to implement one of these effects, and switch back to the basic Camera setting.

Okay, it’s time to learn about some of the cool tricks you can do on the HTC One (M8), so hit the break to find out how to make your photos look a little more stunning than they already are.

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Sense 6 Camera and Gallery walkthrough on the HTC One (M8)

by Robert Nazarian on
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What comes to mind when you think of the HTC One (M8)? Certainly the high quality build and BoomSound, but the camera is right up there as well. Ever since the HTC One (M7), HTC has put a heavy emphasis on their UltraPixel camera, Zoes, and Video Highlights. The HTC One (M8) brings another additional feature: the Duo Camera.

Sense 6 also brings a new Camera app along with a few changes to the Gallery. The Camera app now features a slew of manual settings for the more advanced users, and the Gallery is more flexible. In this video, I will walk you through the Camera app and all its settings as well as show you how to get the most out of the Gallery.

If you want to dive deeper into the different effects, I will be uploading more videos soon. Hit the break to learn more about the different Camera and Gallery options.

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How to setup and use BlinkFeed on the HTC One (M8)

by Robert Nazarian on
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HTC’s BlinkFeed was first introduced on the HTC One (M7), so it’s no surprise that it found its way onto the HTC One (M8). BlinkFeed helps you keep track of the news that matters to you. Just like other apps such as this, you can also follow social networks and app data such as your calendar.

HTC makes it very easy to add content. Just tap on the action menu and you will see all the sources you are following. You can easily add content by category or by site. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to add content that isn’t part of BlinkFeed’s pre-selected sites, but it can be done. The good news is that HTC does offer a decent variety of stuff.

In this video, I show you how to setup BlinkFeed with pre-selected sources,  how to add sites that aren’t already included in HTC’s curated list, and how to turn off BlinkFeed if you so wish. So what are you waiting for? Hit the break to get started.

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Everything you need to know about Sense 6 on the HTC One (M8)

by Robert Nazarian on
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With every major phone, HTC always releases the next version of Sense along with it. This time around, with the HTC One (M8), it’s Sense 6 or “Sixth Sense.” If you’re new to HTC phones, Sense is HTC’s proprietary user interface, or skin they install on top of Android. It has evolved a lot over the years, but they haven’t changed it all that much since Sense 5. That is a good thing because consumers like consistency.

HTC did make a few enhancements with Sense 6, and they appear to be for the better. In this video, I walk you through the UI and explain how things work. I won’t get into BlinkFeed or the Camera interface in this video, but I will very soon. For this guide, I wanted to concentrate on the essentials of the main UI, and help you get comfortable with it. So hit the break and find out everything you need to know about Sense 6 on the HTC One (M8).

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A look at Sense 5.5 / Android 4.3 and fingerprint scanning on the HTC One Max

by Robert Nazarian on
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HTC generally upgrades Sense with each major phone release, and the One Max is no exception. The Max gets upgraded to Sense 5.5 on top of Android 4.3 bringing some really nice enhancements. Most of the features and settings are the same, but HTC upgraded BlinkFeed and Quick Settings. BlinkFeed can now be turned off, but it might be worth keeping around with the latest enhancements. HTC also added a new “Do Not Disturb” mode for those times where you don’t want any calls from anyone that is not on an exception list. The One Max gets a fingerprint scanner so we will take a look at how that works, and last but not least, there is a new app called Scribble.

With the exception of the fingerprint scanner, most of the features should be part of the Sense 5.5 update for older phones such as the HTC One, One Mini, and so on. Hit the break for our complete video walkthrough of these new features.

Note: We covered the new Gallery, Video Highlights, and GIF Creator in a separate post.

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How to turn off ‘Okay Google’ always listening feature in the Google Experience Launcher

by Robert Nazarian on
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As you might already know, if you are in Google Now on your Android phone, you can simply say “Okay Google” to start the next search. The Google Experience Launcher takes this one step further by adding this hotword to your home screens so you don’t have to tap on the microphone in the Google Search box in order to start a search. You can simply say, “Okay Google” followed by whatever it is you want to search for. This feature is on by default, but if for whatever reason, you want to turn it off, it’s very easy to do. Hit the break to get started.

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Android 4.4 KitKat Google Now Launcher (aka Google Experience Launcher) walkthrough on the Nexus 5

by Robert Nazarian on
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Android 4.4 KitKat might not be a complete makeover of the Android OS, but it still brings about a few significant changes, especially with the Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 is the only device to get the Google Experience Launcher (GEL). Most things are straightforward, but things like adding homescreens, not so much.

With the Google Experience Launcher, you get transparency in the app drawer, updated hands-free voice search, and wallpaper tweaks. Google Now is also a little different in that it now has it’s own dedicated homescreen. Speaking of homescreens, you can add as many as you want, and widgets are no longer part of the app drawer. Now some of these features will make its way to other devices with KitKat, but the bulk of it will be exclusive to the Nexus 5 for now.

Hit the break for our walkthrough that shows you how these updated functions work.

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