Google Strikes Deal With HTC for Staff and Intellectual Property

Google's New Logo

Late yesterday it was announced that Google had signed an agreement with HTC for staff and intellectual property for $1.1 Billion.  The agreement means that, essentially, the HTC staff that have worked on the Google Pixel phones will become Google employees and the Mountain View company will be able to license the Taiwanese company’s IP, non-exclusively.

This is slightly different than what was expected early yesterday when it was assumed that Google would be buying HTC outright.

With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization. These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.

The deal means that HTC will remain in the smartphone business as a manufacture and is expected to release their own flagship early next year.  But as for work with the Mountain View company, it appears that work is over as it is now in-house for the search giant.

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Google Set to Acquire HTC – or at Least Part of HTC

HTC U11

A lot of leaks and rumors are suggesting that tomorrow we can expect a big announcement between Google and HTC.  That announcement is expected to be that Google will acquire all or some of HTC.  Bloomberg Gadfly reporter Tim Culpan is reporting that trading of the Taiwanese company will halt trading of their stock tomorrow as part of the “major announcement”.

Rumors of the demise of HTC have been swirling for years as the company has struggled to make a firm foundation for itself in the smartphone space.  While they have had some outstanding phones, they have also had plenty that have simply not performed well both in sales and overall usability.  HTC has built phones for Google in the past and is the company behind the upcoming Google Pixel 2.

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HTC One A9 on Sprint Has Android Nougat Rolling Out

HTC One A9

Good news this morning for those of you who have the HTC One A9 on Sprint.  Android Nougat is rolling out to you starting today.  The software update from the carrier is build 2.18.651.2 and it brings Android Nougat 7.0 to your phone along with the January Android Security update.  With it, you get all the goodness that is Nougat including multi-window support, improved data saver and other features.

The OTA update should be hitting devices soon but you can always manually check for it by going to Settings>System Updates>HTC Software Updates on your phone.  As these things tend to go, it will take a few days before everyone sees the update so patience is required.

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HTC Once Again Tries Rolling Out Nougat To The HTC 10

HTC 10

To say that HTC has had a challenging time rolling out Android Nougat to their flagship HTC 10 device in Europe would be… well, it would be putting it nicely.  The fact is, it has been a debacle.  It originally rolled out back in November but was stopped due to software issues.  It was resumed, then stopped once again for “technical” issues.  So will this third attempt finally stick?  Let’s all hope so.

If you are in mainland Europe and have a 10, you should start seeing the OTA update to move you to Nougat over the course of the next few days.  That update will require a reboot of course but will not wipe your phone (last week HTC released the update for those who wanted to manually flash that wiped their devices by design).   Overall the update should take you about 30 minutes from start to finish but make sure you are on Wi-Fi to do the download of the update as it is just over 1GB in size.

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Android Nougat Rolling Out To The HTC One A9

HTC One A9

Good news for those who have the unlocked variant of the HTC One A9.  Android Nougat is coming your way!  HTC’s Mo Versi, VP of Product Management, took to Twitter yesterday to announce that starting last night, the unlocked phone would start having the latest version of Android pushed to it via an OTA update.  The announcement comes after the HTC 10 started – then stopped – getting the Nougat update and it comes nearly six months after it was released by Google.

 

The update takes the One A9 to version 7.0 with the latest security patch for that build.

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HTC Shows Off The HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play

HTC U Ultra

HTC has announced two new phones that will be coming soon to select markets, the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play.  The new lineup is a departure in design for HTC with both phones having a curved glass design over metal designs like the HTC 10.  What’s interesting here is that HTC isn’t being real clear on if the new U lineup is replacing the 10 or if it is a complementary device.  With the 5.7″ Ultra expected to be around $749, it certainly has a flagship price tag to go along with the flagship specs.

Focusing on the HTC U Ultra, it has a 5.7″ Quad HD display along with a 2′ secondary display that is 160 x 1040 in resolution.  That secondary display is aimed for things like notifications and is strikingly similar to the second display on the LG V20.  Powering the phone is a quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor running at 2.15GHz and is coupled with the Adreno 530 GPU.  It has 4GB of RAM and either 64 or 128GB of storage which can be expanded up to an additional 2TB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  You will also find a fingerprint scanner built into the Ultra.

The main camera of the Ultra is a 12MP shooter with laser auto focus, phase detection auto focus, OIS and a dual tone LED flash.  The front facing camera is an even more impressive 16MP shooter.  The Ultra has a 3000 mAh battery which is good but battery life will be interesting to find out as the 5.7″ display is certainly going to draw a fair amount of juice.  All of this in a sleek package that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.  What is not know is which markets or even a definitive launch date for the Ultra.  It looks like the price will be around $750 but that’s about all that is know otherwise.

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HTC 10 on T-Mobile Gets Updated to Android Nougat

HTC 10

Good news again today regarding Android Nougat.  T-Mobile has released the Nougat update to the HTC 10 for customers with that device on their network.  The update comes 6 weeks after the release of the update for the unlocked version of the phone which is a fair amount of time given T-Mobile has a good reputation on getting updates out to their customers.  If you have the HTC 10, you are looking for software update 2.37.531.5.  It should be hitting devices over the next few days via an OTA update.

Because this update is going from Marshmallow to Nougat, the update is hefty.  It comes in at just over 1GB so you will want to make sure you are on Wi-Fi to download it.  Once it is downloaded, you will need about 30 minutes to complete the upgrade process.

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