Yesterday, we came up with a quick look at Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) update for Unlocked HTC One. As we promised earlier, we are going to provide in-depth changelog of the update. Lets get into full story.. After 10 hours of test, we do found lot of new additions in the Android 4.3 update that are indeed going to add more value to the existing device.
Ability to assign Home button action :
Starting with Home button, when we considered HTC One for very first time, we really disappointed about the lack of optimization for majority apps, we are talking about the ugly black bar that appearing in most of the apps. HTC's two button strategy is kind of weird thing but after couple of months, we do notice that majority app developers are optimized their apps to support the HTC One two button configuration. This would be ok for who don't use apps heavily but who are just like us, we use tons of apps in our mobile devices including small apps so we have no problem with popular ones but when comes to the small app developers, they are not updating their apps to fit with HTC One so the black bar started appearing again. Finally, HTC has come up with permanent solution for this long awaited issue by allowing users to assign the Home button configuration manually.
Users who don't want the ugly black bar at bottom, they can goto Settings -> Display -> Home (under Button section) then select however you want. There is two options to choose, one option represents current home button functionality and rest of the option will launch Google Now by Swiping up from Home button and Press and Hold home button will show respective menu when you are inside the app. This will allow you to use screen space efficiently, there won't be no weird blackbar at bottom. Checkout screenshot for better idea.
Battery Percentage Indicator & Improved Battery life :
Battery percentage Indicator is another small but nifty feature we get with Android 4.3 update. Users no need to worry about the old unusual battery status indicator. Users can enable the battery percentage by goto the Settings -> Battery and check "Show battery level".
We are getting significantly better battery life after updating to Android 4.3. We have played with HTC One for couple of hours including one hour web browsing over Wi-Fi, listening to music for 2 hours and regular e-mail checking etc.
Quick Settings :
One of the prominent feature which we have been missing since beginning is Quick Settings. The feature was arrived in Android 4.2 but due to the skipping of Android 4.2 for Unlocked and US models, we are seeing this feature directly in Android 4.3. Users can access two-tier notification panel. Swiping down with one finger will show you formal notification panel, while, Swiping using two fingers towards bottom will allow you to access the Quick Settings directly. This isn't brand new feature but we are jumping from Android 4.1 to directly Android 4.3 so this is the first time we are accessing the Quick Settings in our HTC One devices. The Quick Settings will show you the usual set of Quick toggles like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Screenshot, Portable Hotspot etc. Users can't customize the quick toggles like Samsung devices. Although, it is a comprehensive feature to carry with flagship device like HTC One.
Brand New and Updated Video Highlights :
HTC Zoe is the substantial feature for HTC One owners since beginning. HTC using Zoes efficiently to built small 30 sec pre-edited video, which is nothing but Video Highlights. In addition to the pre-loaded video highlights, HTC has included few more options to choose for your desired video highlights. HTC also allowed users to add their custom sound tracks to video highlights.
Always on Wi-Fi & Security Patches :
Google introduced always on Wi-Fi option in Android 4.3 for apps that use GPS periodically to keep the location upto date. The feature finally available with this update. Make sure when you turning it on, if you are the user who heavily relay on location then only turn this on, otherwise keep it off because it will suck your battery.
HTC added two security patches that were came with Android 4.3 couple of months ago. These are not visible to users but will fix critical security holes.
Improved system UI, Smooth App drawer animation :
Sense 5 is definitely our favorite overlay when compared to overloaded TouchWiz and Optimus UI but we did notice few occasional hiccups in day to day performance but all those have eliminated with this update. The UI is buttery smooth and the occasional hiccups got fixed. HTC added kind of new app drawer animation, which is familiar to previous one but it is even smooth and eye-catchy.
The Android 4.3 update is definitely substantial one to get every HTC One owner but we did notice one major bug in the update that is nothing but purple saturation when taking photos in low-light. HTC also acknowledged this bug but they didn't provide any fix in this update. We probably see the fix in coming days so stay tuned to us for more updates.
Note : We are living in India but our HTC One is U.S unlocked model. If you can't see any update notification on your U.S or any other countries unlocked models then don't worry, it will be appear as soon as your device gets qualified for Android 4.3 update. We are again repeating that the update will take 2-3 weeks to hit all devices.