BlinkFeed: What TeD Would Like To See From HTC

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We have been looking at BlinkFeed and how it has been progressing. It is slowly but surely becoming a more than solid news reader that happens to be the focal point of the HTC One’s homescreen. We would like to see BlinkFeed flourish, so here are a few feature requests that we feel will improve HTC’s baby.

BlinkFeed History

HTC’s BlinkFeed started off as something that felt forced on users. When it was released in Sense 5.0, you couldn’t even turn it off if you wanted to. BlinkFeed features different sources of news, in a Flipboard-type way, that most hardcore news readers just passed over. When the HTC One M7 was updated with Sense 5.5, HTC added the one feature that brought BlinkFeed closer to a legitimate news reader: The ability to add custom feeds!

With the Sense 5.5 update, BlinkFeed included more featured news sources as well as adding the ability to read articles later. When the HTC One M8 was released with Sense 6.0, BlinkFeed adopted a new look, included more services to connect, and was added to the Google Play Store as a stand-alone app that can receive updates faster than waiting for a full system update. Things seem to keep looking brighter, but there is still work to be done.

Include Custom Feeds In Highlights

In order for BlinkFeed to be geared for everyone, including hardcore news readers, HTC needs to include custom feeds in the “Highlights” section. Currently everything you can think of is included in Highlights except for custom feeds. You can see posts from Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram – but no custom feeds. Part of what makes an RSS reader so efficient, is the ability to scroll through news from a handful of sources. Having to specifically navigate to each custom feed in order view a post is something that we feel is holding BlinkFeed back.

BlinkFeed Homescreen   BlinkFeed Homescreen 2

Ability To Choose Font Size

Currently the only way to adjust the font size when viewing headlines in BlinkFeed is by adjusting the system based font. If HTC wants to have BlinkFeed installed on other devices besides their own, they need to implement native font options. Out of the box, the font that displays on your feed will fluctuate from large to small – and the small is very small. While we get that they wanted to give BlinkFeed a fresh new look, when we have to press the screen up to our nose to read the headline…things need to change. Being able to adjust BlinkFeed’s font independently from the system is a small but important feature that HTC needs to get on top of.

Add An “All” Option

Highlights is great, as we said before every feed and service should be included within Highlights in order to make BlinkFeed more efficient. If HTC can’t do this, then there needs to be an “All” option, this will include all posts from feeds that are organized based on time. This can include services as well. Twitter and Facebook would fair well in this section but Google+ would need to be fixed. Currently Google+ feeds still show community posts and there is no way to turn this off. With Sense 6, the user is now able to select which circles they want included. This was a fantastic implementation but community posts are still lingering. Let’s turn these off shall we?

Final Thoughts

There really isn’t too much that needs to be done. More people are now using BlinkFeed than when it was first released. HTC needs to take advantage of the Google Play Store and consistently push out updates. More themes and more featured news sources are just be the icing on the cake. HTC really needs to get aggressive and get more popular companies to participate. HTC is a solid brand and they need to shove themselves in our faces, similar to how Samsung does. Wouldn’t they like it if the next meeting they had was to discuss their profits not losses? Heh? Profits?

Website: HTC BlinkFeed
Google Play Store: HTC BlinkFeed

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