HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: First Impressions & New Features

The HTC One finally delivered the promised HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update that brings improved notification area tools, integration between Instagram and Blinkfeed, various camera improvements and lock screen widgets, to name a few. We’ll look at the new features and see how well the HTC One handles the update.

After two days with the update we experienced only a couple of problems. The download took forever. This might come from too many owners trying to get access to the update at once or a possible problem with power saver mode. After the download finally finished, the update process went smoothly. Performance took a hit at first with slow responses to touch, but that cleared up after a few hours.

How to Get the Update

First, users can get the update reported by AT&T by opening the Settings app. Pull down from the top of the device screen to show the Notifications area and tap the Settings icon in the upper right corner. Swipe down to the bottom of Settings and tap AT&T software update to check for updates. The download begin if it registers more than 35% battery life. We recommend users connect to Wi-Fi and plug their phone in first. Also turn off battery savings features in the Power section of the main Settings screen. Tap Power and turn off Power saver.

HTC One Android 4.3 Update progress

Once the download completes, the user must tap to allow the install to continue. The phone seems to restart a few times during the update. The whole process took about fifteen minutes once the update downloaded.

HTC One owners on our staff spent as many as 10 or more hours waiting for the download, possibly because of the power saving features we suggested users turn off above.

Here’s a video of some of the Android 4.3 features you’ll love. It applies mainly to tablets, but some features work on the HTC One.

We don’t get the multiple user account features or the new Google camera. Users can install the camera from the Google Play Store.

HTC One Camera and Photo Improvements

The HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update brings with it some camera and photo related improvements. For example, users can now add their Instagram feed to Blinkfeed, which takes over the HTC One home screen by default when users wake up their phone. Blinkfeed shows users social network feeds, news, weather and other content. Users can add or take away the content by pulling down on the Blinkfeed screen. Tap on menu icon signified by three vertical dots, then select Topics and services to open the customization screen. Add Instagram or other content by tapping the item and entering login information.

flick on htc one blinkfeed

The Gallery app enjoys a new user interface that’s cleaner and shows slightly larger icons.

The Zoe feature in the camera gets a new feature. Users now can shoot a 3 second video and one JPG image to save storage space. Before the update the video was longer and it shot more images.

Zoe improves pictures taken with the HTC One by shooting a short HD video. It takes the best frame and saves it out as an image.

ae and af lock mode htc one camera

Now users can lock the camera’s focus and exposure on one subject by tapping and holding the screen on that subject. The words AE and AF locked will appear at the bottom of the screen (see above). AE stands for Auto-Exposure and AF stands for Auto-Focus.

HTC One Notification Icons

htc one notification area after android 4.3 update

The notification area of the HTC One now offers access to popular settings, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4 notification area buttons. Pull down from the top of the screen and tap the grid icon in the upper right where the Settings icon sat before this update. We get buttons for the following:

  • User data – tap the picture in the upper left of the new notification area
  • Brightness – toggles between automatic brightness set by the light sensor, 25% brightness, 50%, 75% and full brightness
  • Phone settings – change all the phone’s various settings
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Airplane Mode toggle
  • Power saver mode toggle
  • Auto rotate toggle
  • Mobile data settings
  • Sound profile settings – cycles between full sounds on, fully silent mode or vibration mode
  • Mobile hotspot toggle
  • Screenshot – closes notification area and takes a screenshot of whatever’s showing below it

Lock Screen Widgets

Users can now add widgets to the lock screen. Here’s how.

htc one lock screen style chooser

Open Settings as described above. In Settings choose Personalize. Tap Lock screen style. The user can switch between a few styles of lock screens or turn it off entirely. The last one to the right will let the user add widgets. Swipe to display the last lock screen style seen above and tap on Settings at the bottom of the screen. This shows a screen with available lock screen widgets.

htc one lock screen widget menu

Other HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Update Improvements

  • Improved visualizer in Music app
  • Add the battery percentage to the power icon in the menu area at the top of the screen (compare the first image above to the other images above)
  • Home key can give access to Google Now by pressing holding it till Google Now appears
  • Phone number auto-complete when enter numbers
  • Bluetooth 4.0 support
  • Better location information