HTC is set to bring some of the unique apps from its HTC Sense UI to other Android smartphones. Recode reports that the move will start with Zoe, the auto-movie editing app, this week, with others expected to follow in due course.
Zoe was one of the software standouts on devices like the HTC One M8. It taps into the popularity of social media apps like Vine, but is arguably more useful, not to mention more powerful.
Zoe’s premise is simple—it takes a series of videos and photos all shot around the same time, then edits them together automatically, adding a soundtrack along the way. These videos are then packaged in a shareable form for your Facebook or Twitter pages.
The app solves one key problem for smartphone users. Many of us shoot video, but editing it is both a long-winded process and requires a certain amount of skill to make anything of value, far beyond adding a filter to a photo. Zoe is still quite restrictive in certain respects, as you get limited scope for manually overriding the choices the app make, but for most users this is not a problem. Automation is a good thing.
Quite how this fits into HTC’s overall strategy remains to be seen. Zoe, along with apps like the Flipboard-esque BlinkFeed, which also seems likely to break out from being a Sense exclusive, was one of the unique selling points of HTC’s handsets. If the app become a popular success—and it has every chance—then it will certainly help build HTC’s brand among consumers; if it doesn’t then HTC may have done nothing more than give away one of its crown jewels.
Of course, success for the app could lead to greater developer for the software. HTC is not a software company, and some its forays into this field in the past have been mixed, but there are huge prizes to be had for software platforms that can rack up tens or even hundreds of millions of users.
Zoe for Android is expected to launch on the Play Store this week. Check back for a full review then.