HTC will make a version of its Zoe application intended for all Android devices available in the Play Store later this week, which will allow users to shoot their own Zoes and share the creative video-making process with others. HTC’s Zoe is currently a camera feature specific to its own smartphones such as the HTC One (M7 and M8).
The new app will allow select high-end Samsung, LG, and other Android devices to shoot video clips and pair them with themes and pictures to create 30-second montages of specific events. The critical element of the new app is the ability to share Zoe compilations online and contribute directly to them, creating a shared visual record of an event or situation. HTC envisions multiple people using Zoe to capture an event and then adding their own clips to a longer video that provides for a more compete representation of the event. However, the beta of the universal Android version is said to have major limitations according to Re/Code, such as lack of editing functionality beyond initial photo and video selection.
HTC also plans to make other apps available to all Android devices and the company has already broken out some of its other previously proprietary apps, such as the gallery and calendar apps so they may be updated more frequently outside of full OS updates. To that end, HTC has assembled a team of 260 people, collectively called HTC Creative Labs in San Francisco to work on its apps both for HTC and non-HTC phones. HTC didn’t elaborate on which apps might arrive next when speaking to Re/Code regarding the new developments.
The new developments follow well-documented financial struggles for the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer along with decreased popularity over the years, and the establishment of the new Creative Labs to find a market in software development as well as hardware sales is yet another step for the beleaguered company to find avenues for stability and recovery.