A Closer Look At: BlinkFeed on the HTC One (M8)

April 10, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

When HTC launched the HTC One last year, they introduced us to a new part of our homescreens, dubbed BlinkFeed. Since then, not a huge lot has changed, although HTC have definitely tightened things up and sped the whole app up. If you’ve never come across BlinkFeed before though, you’re probably wondering what on Earth it actually is and why you should even care. We’re going to take a closer look at how BlinkFeed on the HTC One (M8) works, how to use and most importantly, what it has to offer.

First thing’s first, BlinkFeed is essentially HTC’s way of bringing together all of the news, social updates and more that you care about and putting it on one page of your homescreen. Swiping one screen to the left of your main homescreen will bring BlinkFeed into view and if you have a Google+ account and you signed in with that account, you’ll no doubt have noticed Google+ updates in there by now. It’s much more than a way of bringing all your social updates together in one place however, as BlinkFeed can be tailored to your liking. By choosing news sources (like us!) and topics you care about, BlinkFeed soon becomes your one-stop shop for headlines and news stories on your device. For those constantly jumping from news app to news app, BlinkFeed can be a real boon, as you only need to swipe to the left and then start scrolling through your news and updates.

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To get your own BlinkFeed screen like this one, you’ll have to choose from a list of sources and add content to your BlinkFeed. That’s easily done by swiping one more time to the left and hitting the menu icon. From there, you can adjust your settings and most importantly, add content to your feed.

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There’s a good amount of topics to choose from, and a lot of those topics have sources within them to further narrow down your choices.

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All you need to do is to add sources like that to your feed until you’ve put together something you’re happy with. You don’t always have to flick through stories that BlinkFeed has selected for your feed, either. You can easily pick and choose what source you want to read from using this, which is great when you know exactly what you want to read about.

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That’s about it when it comes to BlinkFeed, it’s not designed to be anything other than a simple and well put together way of getting your news and updates to your homescreen. It’s a simple way of looking at all the news that matters to you and it’s always there, just a few swipes away from wherever you are on the homescreen. This year’s HTC One (M8) features the ability to hook into more services than ever, and you can even get updates from your Fitbit directly to your BlinkFeed. An SDK for the software has been released as well, so there should be even more services making their way to BlinkFeed in the near future.

BlinkFeed is still much the same as it was when the original HTC One launched, but this time around HTC have tightened everything up and it’s much smoother, and far more customizable than last year’s offering. You can fine tune things here and you have better control over your content and you can easily tone back social integration if you like. BlinkFeed fits in great with the overall experience on the One (M8), YouTube links quickly open in the YouTube app, Twitter links open in the Twitter app and so on. A great way to keep an eye on what’s happening throughout the world as well as a great evolution of the widgets we’re all used to using, BlinkFeed is a key feature that makes the HTC One, the HTC One.