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Hands-on with the T-Mobile HTC One KitKat and Sense 5.5 update (gallery)

HTC's KitKit and Sense 5.5 update for all major US carrier models is now past certification and approved. T-Mobile's OTA update hit yesterday and I am loving the experience so far.
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By Matthew Miller, Contributor on
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1 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

T-Mobile's HTC One update notification

After looking at my recent posts you may start to wonder whether this is an HTC One blog or one that covers all smartphones. Don't worry, next week will see lots of Samsung news and news from others announcing devices at Mobile World Congress.

As you know the HTC One lasted me a year so far and just extended its life with the rollout of KitKat from T-Mobile. KitKat is now complete for Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T with the AT&T one going live within the week.

The KitKat update brings Android 4.4.2 and Sense 5.5 to the HTC One. The update for T-Mobile was 563.3 MB in size and downloaded without a hitch. I never lost anything in the update and after a day of use everything is working like a champ.

KitKat updates include the following:

  • Google Wallet tap-and-pay support
  • Daydream standby functionality
  • Advanced Google Search voice control
  • Do Not Disturb sound setting
  • Full screen reading immersive mode
  • Quickoffice integration
  • Lock screen album art and controls
  • Integrated Cloud Print support
  • Security and performance enhancements

There are other features and functions provided in the update that I will continue to discover as I use my HTC One on a daily basis.

In addition to the KitKat update, HTC also provided its latest version of Sense to the HTC One. In my opinion, these are more significant than the KitKat updates and include the following:

  • BlinkFeed improvements: You can now disable BlinkFeed, add custom feeds, enable offline viewing mode, have easier control over feeds, and much more.
  • Improved Gallery: I keep using my HTC One because I love that HTC includes access to a number of cloud storage services and now it looks and works even better. You can easily swipe between events, albums, and the updated HTC Share utility.
  • New Video Highlights: I don’t really like that HTC keeps changing the names and taking away themes I like, but they added more themes along with an improved interface that even supports custom music selections. Video Highlights is one of my favorite features of HTC Sense and you know it is good when I bring in photos from my digital camera just to create these fun highlight reels to share with family and friends.
  • Camera improvements: HTC reportedly improved their leading low light performance and tweaked the camera performance. You can also now take Zoes and make fun GIFs with Sense 5.5.
  • Quick settings: In the last update HTC made it really easy to access your quick settings in the upper right. Now you can customize the experience with up to 12 icons that you choose from.

The HTC One is now a year old and it gets the latest and greatest Android update, which is a great move for HTC. HTC is the first non-Google company to get the KitKat update out to existing devices and is showing they are ready to support their new HTC Advantage service. I look forward to the 25 March launch event of the new HTC One, but with KitKat and Sense 5.5 on my existing One I am pretty dang satisfied.

Related coverage:

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Updated and ready to rock and roll

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New BlinkFeed control menu

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Added services to BlinkFeed

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Quick share options from BlinkFeed

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Adding custom feeds is now supported

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Adding ZDNet to BlinkFeed

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My new HTC One ZDNet home screen

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Toggle BlinkFeed on and off

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Cloud Print support

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Improved Gallery application in Sense 5.5

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New HTC Share interface

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New Video Highlights themes and user interface

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Customizing your Quick Settings

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