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HTC M8 Stuck In Dock Mode

Have you ever had your HTC M8 get stuck in Dock Mode? Even after restart, you see it send you randomly into Dock Mode or Car Mode…  After this happened to me recently, I spent some time looking around and troubleshooting on two different devices and found a few easy things to try.

First off – DON’T RESET YOUR DEVICE (yet)…

The first things to ask yourself if this has just started happening to you:

  • Have you installed any apps recently?
  • Have you been near a pool, the beach, snowboarding or maybe dropped the phone in some dirt?

 

Test #1:

Clean your USB Port… If you are the type of person that puts your phone through intense usage or really exposes your phone to the elements, this is where you should start. The first time I noticed this issue I had been at the beach taking some photos, and about 45 minutes later the HTC M8 went crazy. A few days later I decided to take an older HTC M7 and do a quick test. I dropped it into the sand (dumb, I know), but guess what? It started the Dock Mode almost instantly.

Test #2:

Do you have a Dot View case? Have you had any magnets around your phone? What I have noticed, and others around the web-based on a quick Google search, is since HTC has a magnet sensor in the device, it may go into Car/Dock Mode in some cases where magnets are nearby.

Test #3:

Look at all recently added apps (ones you have downloaded in the last 24 hours or so. Remove them. Some people have also found relief in simply Disabling the Dock app. Personally I would rather know what was causing the issue instead of just turning off notifications. But if determined to do it – Go into the App Manager, not the app drawer. Settings>App Manager> it will open to “Downloaded” apps. Change downloaded to “All” by swiping left. Find the app “Dock”. Click “Disable”. Then reboot. Ideally, you should not see Dock to show up again.

 

 

 

If none of these troubleshooting methods work for you, I recommend restarting your device in Safe Mode to see if it continues. If so, you probably have a hardware issue (similar to what I mentioned in Test #1). If you don’t have the issue anymore while in Safe Mode, you have a software issue. 

 

iPhone 6 vs HTC One (M8) First Look

With the launch of the iPhone 6 recently, I thought it would be good for some to look at the differences and similarities of two of the best smartphones on the market at the moment.

 

Let’s jump right into the iPhone 6 vs HTC One (M8) First Look comparison.

 


If box is in green, this indicates an advanage

htc-one-m8-vs-iphone6

Feature iPhone 6 HTC One (M8) Thoughts
Material: Aluminum Aluminum Tie. They are both very nice looking. They both are strong with their metal construction. Neither look plastic and cheaply made, such as the Samsung lineup.
For the most part though users are going to cover these amazing looking phones with a protector.

Size: 67mm wide
138mm tall
71mm wide
146mm tall
HTC One (M8) is larger, but not by much. I do believe there is a “too-big” of a smartphone. Keeping that in mind, I do not think either are too big or small. I like to take the few extra mm’s to get the larger screen. 71mm to 67mm is 4mm, right? That’s 0.1575 inches! You get the idea…

Screen Size: 4.7″ 5″ The .3inch here makes a huge difference. One thing some worry about is the HTC One having the buttons integrated into the screen, but what a lot of people do not realize is, most apps let those icons hide while you are using the apps, so you get the full 5″ screen

Resolution: 326ppi
1334 x 750
441ppi
1920 x 1080
Reall Apple? Your fancy Retina was once a great feature, but with so many smartphones running 1920×1080, I am not really impressed with Apple’s decision here.

Battery: 1810mAh 2,600mAh Apple went from a 1560 to 1810mAh from iPhone 5s to iPhone 6, but it really isn’t that impressive.
HTC One (M8) has a great battery life. I personally run multiple Google accounts on my phone, use apps throughout the day, and still have a charge in the evening.
*If you play Ingress, carry a charger, no matter your phone

RAM /
Storage:
1GB RAM / 16GB, 64GB, 128GB
No MicroSD card
2GB RAM /
16GB, 32GB On-board
MicroSD card
Although Apple does offer the 128GB version, I can’t justify the price increase from 64GB to 128GB. Instead, if you were interested in space, but don’t know how much, maybe consider getting 32GB and get a SD Card for a few bucks

Processor: Apple A8, 64-bit dual core (speed not released by Apple, some say 1.2GHz) Snapdragon 801 32-bit quad-core (2.3GHz) Although Apple did step up with their A8, 64-bit dual core, the benchmarks at the point of publishing this review, the Snapdragon quad-core is much more powerful to run your apps.
If you are not running powerful apps and just checking emails, social media, and making calls – this is irrelevant.

Camera Details: 8MP rear
1.2 MP front
4UltraPixels rear
5MP front
To get really detailed, the M8 has larger pixel size making it capture more light, thus working better, in dark settings. Even so, iPhone did get larger pixel size than most any other smartphone as well this time around.
They both use bright LED Flashes, which always screw up photos (IMO).
Neither have Image Stabilization, while there are other phones out there who offer this abilityThe M8 aperture, or amount of XXX, is better than iPhone at f/2.0 vs f/2.2
The HTC One M8 added a new Depth Sensor (a second camera) in the rear to allow for effects you may find in pricy DSLR cameras.I prefer the HTC One (M8) for my needs, but this is a push because of too many factors.

NFC Abilities: Yes Yes Although most people are still not using this technology in the US, it is becoming more and more relevant for payments in the Europe and the rest of the world.

NFC Payments: Apple Pay Google Wallet &
Softcard (before ISIS)
This is the first phone Apple will offer NFC technology and Apple Pay, and with the newly branded Softcard which was poorly named “ISIS” earlier, the technology of NFC has a long way to go in the US.

Speakers: 1 in the rear 2 in the front The sound quality of the speakers by far cannot be matched to the HTC One (M7 or M8). HTC has this by a long shot.
Some people don’t care about sound quality of music or video coming from their phone because they had headphones on all the time. Personally, I find it helpful when I am riding on my bike, I can put my music on without wearing headphones.

Colors: Gold
Silver
Gray
Gun Metal
Gold
Silver
Red
As I mentioned under the material section of this review, who gives a crap about the color of your phone since you are likely to cover it with a protector anyway. But if you don’t care what happens to your phone if you drop it, then the HTC One (M8) has the same colors, plus red, as the iPhone 6.

Unique Differences between the two phones

Feature iPhone 6 HTC One (M8) Winner
Fingerprint abilities: yes iPhone 6 has a pretty cool sensor, I still find facial recognition just as nice
Motion Launch: yes Comes in handy, and will “wake” your device quickly to get to your apps
Extreme Power Saving Mode: yes Not only does the HTC One (M8) have a better battery, it also have added functions to make the battery last so much longer than most any other stock smartphone battery
Infrared: yes This is a silly feature, but I’ll admit I have messed around with turning tv’s on/off a few times, and done a few party tricks here and there.

 



*Image from Business Insider

HTC One M8 Tips and Tricks

As with my previous articles about the HTC One flagship, if you own the HTC One M8 I wanted to give you some new tips and tricks.

If you own the original HTC One M7 / 2013, you can read about it here:
HTC One Tips, Tricks and Secrets
HTC One = More Secrets, Tricks and Tips

HTC One M8 – Flagship device is by far one of the best smartphones on the market today. Not just cosmetically, but strong processor and software to boot. If you are new user, or moving from a different OS, you may find the HTC One M8 a little scary at first. But I promise you after learning a few of these tricks you will be an expert user in no time and will realize how much better it is to other Android brands, and other OS smartphones out there today.  So let’s get started with a few new tricks this device has to offer.

I also have a few other reviews of the HTC One M8 here:
The Normal Guy HTC One M8 and Camera Review


*Jump straight to some camera tips*

Motion Gestures

There are lots fun tricks you can also do with gestures.  Instead of me trying to explain them all, here is a great video from CNET that demonstrates some gestures.

Hide annoying/pointless applications and bloatware

2014-05-28-18.16.02HTC has done a decent job of keeping bloatware applications to a minimum on the One M8, but most carriers like to still junk up your phone. Luckily, there is a very easy way to get rid of some of the more annoying programs in your app drawer.

In the app drawer, tap the three dot icon in the top-right corner of the display and then select Hide/Unhide apps. Tick the ones you want to remove from view and you’ll be on your way to a less cluttered phone.

Disable BlinkFeed

2014-05-28-18.42.35HTC loves their BlinkFeed feature to combine your social networks, TV listings, restaurant recommendations and more into one convenient feed. It’s okay for me, but I don’t need it really in my face too much, so the default works for me. By default, the HTC One M8 and its Sense 6.0 software place BlinkFeed to the left of your home screen, accessible with just a swipe.

But if you hate it and don’t want it anymore, you can now get rid of it unlike the original HTC One.

Press and hold on any screen, and you will see all of your pages.

Go to settings for home pages, and then tap and hold on the BlinkFeed icon. Once it lifts up, you’ll notice a remove icon at the top of the screen. Drag it over to the icon, and once it turns red, let go. BlinkFeed will then disappear from your device. Adding BlinkFeed back to your device is as simple as tapping on the placeholder icon on this same page.

Camera Goodies

2014-05-28-18.32.21So many people ask me about tips for the HTC One M8 camera, I just figured I would put all of them in one place.

Complete HTC One M8 camera guide.

Fast Access to Camera

Although I just covered Motion Gestures, this is one I use a bit, so it’s worth mentioning separately.
If you need to get access to the camera quickly, pick up the phone and press the volume up button. This will launch the camera with whatever setting you last used.

Selfies… Yes, I am going there 🙁

I hate them, but so many people like them I figured it would be good to at least give a tip or two.

HTC has included a “Selfie” shooting mode in the One M8’s camera app. Simply tap the Shot Type icon in the bottom-right corner of the camera application and select Selfie, and the front-facing camera will be ready for your moment of vain, self-indulgent glory.

Create an animated GIF from a Zoe clip

HTC’s Zoe shooting mode complies a video from a set of images, and is a great way to share precious moments with others. It’s even easier to exchange these memories thanks to the option to transform a segment of a Zoe clip into an animated GIF file, which can be viewed on most phones, tablets and computers. Simply select the Zoe clip, tap “Edit” and then select “GIF Creator”.

Save photos to SD card

2014-05-29-18.33.31One of the biggest complaints with the original HTC One, was there was no SD slot.  This time around, the addition of a microSD slot is present. You will need to make some adjustments once you have installed a card to get the most out of your expandable storage, and one of the areas it will benefit you the most is when it comes to storing photos and videos.

The first time you launch the Camera app after installing a memory card, the camera will prompt you if you want to store photos and videos on the card. If you are like me and by accident skipped it, there is another way to do it.

Launch the Camera app, tap on “the three dots”, the Settings >> Storage >> SD Card.

Save custom camera settings

There are tons of features for camera settings that desire an entire article just for all the features, and lucky for you I have already created it, so I recommend reading it here.

By customizing exposure, ISO, white balance, and more, you can enhance the photos captured by your phone. Instead of constantly having to remember what settings you used to capture a brilliant low light shot, you can save the settings and access it with just a few taps the next time you need it.

Start by adjusting the capture settings and getting them just where you want. After everything is set, tap on the menu icon followed by the Settings cog. Scroll to the bottom of the settings list, and select Save Camera. You’ll then be prompted to name your camera settings.

To access your new camera settings, tap on the same button you use to switch camera modes (from photo to video or Zoe, for example) and scroll down until you find the new camera mode you created.

Facebook cover photo

2014-05-28-18.48.29One of the hidden features in the camera app makes it possible to turn your favorite shot(s) into a Facebook cover photo.

When viewing a photo you’d like to turn into your Facebook cover, tap on the Edit button followed by Tools, then Crop. Scroll to the right through the list of preset crop ratios until you get to the Facebook Cover option. Reposition and resize as needed, save, and then upload to Facebook.

Secure the HTC One M8

The HTC One M8 does not prompt users to set a lock screen during setup, so it is a good idea to turn this on soon after you get up and running. While there is no fingerprint reader there are multiple lock screen security options including face recognition and a pattern.

Go to Settings >> Security >> Screen lock.

Note: If you mess up more than 10 times in a row, your phone will be completely erased for security. Unless you are James Bond, be careful…

Enable faster typing

Trace-to-type has been available on Android for ages thanks to the availability of the Swype keyboards, but many handset makers are now baking it into the firmware – and HTC is no exception. When the keyboard is open, long-press the key with the “cog” icon to access the keyboard settings menu. Make sure “Trace keyboard” is ticked and you’re away.

Add Lock Screen Widgets

If you want fast access to tweets, Google Now and other information you can add lock screen widgets to the HTC One M8.

Settings >> Security >> Enable lock screen widgets.

Next you need to slide to the screen to the right of your main lock screen by swiping from the upper right corner where you should see a few arrows. You can then tap the plus sign and add a new widget.

Customize Lock Screen Notifications

2014-05-29-18.21.59Once you set up a lock screen you can dive into the settings and turn off certain lock screen notifications to keep your information private.

Go to Settings >> Security >> Notification settings >> Uncheck what you want to keep private.

This is a simple way to prevent a room-mate or someone who picks up your phone from snooping without knowing your pass code.

Make the HTC One M8 keyboard even better

Although the HTC One M8 keyboard is nice right out of the box with auto suggest and usually accurate fixes for many typos, you can still do some other things to make the keyboard even better.

  • Turn on Trace – This is a Swype-style typing experience.
  • Turn on Arrow keys – for easier cursor movement.

Re-Calibrate – If you are not typing accurately, calibrate the keyboard again in the advanced keyboard settings to dramatically improve the typing.

Switch from iPhone or Samsung to HTC One M8  /  Transfer data from your old phone

2014-05-29-18.22.18If this is not your first smart phone there is an easy way to bring most of your contacts and content over to the HTC One M8. While moving from one Android phone to another is fairly easy because of the great connection with Google, it can sometimes be harder to move from another phone, let’s say Apple. HTC has your back though and has included a transfer option which allows you to port a surprisingly large amount of content and data over from your previous device. The amount of data you can transfer depends on the phone you used before buying the HTC One M8.

Go To Settings >> Get content from another phone >> pick your previous phone and the method you want to use.

This is great for pulling over data from an iPhone or an older Android phone. The iPhone switch is best when done on a computer with an iTunes backup.

Grid size

One annoyance with Sense 6.0 is the way it lays out app icons in your app drawer. Besides the fact HTC forces you to scroll through apps vertically, the default grid size is 3×4. With this setting, you’re going to spend a lot more time scrolling to find an app.

I recommend changing the setting by tapping on the menu icon (upper right-hand corner) when viewing the app drawer, and selecting Grid Size. There you’ll find an option to change the grid to a more convenient and respectable 4×5.

HTC One M8 Camera Tips & Guide

The new HTC One M8 camera has great software with so many goodies that it can be a little hard to find things, so I hope this guide will at least help get you started.

 

Tap screen to automatically set focus and exposure

There are some situations when the HTC One (M8) might not set the exposure of your frame the way you would like. So I recommend always tapping the screen on the subject of your framed shot to get the exposure you are looking for, and then taking the photo.

Lock focus and exposure when needed

Holding your finger on the screen will lock the focus and exposure on the point you specify. Then you can compose the frame freely, without that changing the focus and exposure. This trick could be useful in dynamic scenes, or when moving objects might disrupt the camera’s focus.

Disable focus lock in videos

2014-05-29-19.46.42For whatever reason, HTC thought it was a good idea to make video capture to not auto focus while recording, which would mean you would have to click on your subject every time you wanted to refocus the shot. Boo…. If you want the camera to do auto focus, click on your three dots Speaking of focusing, the HTC One (M8) locks the focus in videos by default. In other words, continuous auto-focus is disabled so you have to tap on the screen each time you need to refocus. When in video mode, tap the three dots and open the settings menu. From there, pick camera options and disable the “Lock focus during recording” option.

There are tons of other options you can do in this area that relate to the camera, as well as the video, process.  I would highly recommend taking some time and getting familiar with this area.

Slow motion & HD Video

The HTC One (M8) can take 60fps 1080p videos, as well as 120fps slow-motion videos. I highly recommend that you use these modes only in broad daylight, or when a strong light source is nearby. Otherwise, good luck with the video as it probably will not turn out the way you would have liked it to…

Change what the volume buttons do while you are in camera mode

This one is pretty straight forward.  While you have the camera app open, hold the power button and press the volume button up/down. You will get a dialog asking what you want to do with the buttons.

Customize it the way you best see fit.2014-05-29 19.55.38

 

 

Get familiar with the icons of the app

Selfie Selfie icon
Camera Camera icon
Dual capture Dual capture icon
Video Video icon
Pan 360 Pan 360 icon
ZoeTM camera Zoe icon

Auto Auto icon
Night Night icon
HDR HDR icon
Sweep panorama Sweep panorama icon
Anti-shake Anti-shake icon
Manual Manual mode icon
Backlight Backlight mode icon
Text Text mode icon
Macro Macro mode icon