35+ HTC One M8 Tips & Tricks [VIDEO]

So you’ve read our HTC One M8 Review and explored the forums, but want a quick and easy way to learn all the phone’s top tips and tricks? You’ve come to the right place.

The HTC Dot View Case

It’s one of the most unique cases we’ve seen in ages and more than another gimmick. In addition to protecting your phone the HTC Dot View Case will show you a glimpse of your notifications with a simple double tap on the front. The time, weather, notifications- it even shows incoming calls, the contact name, and allows you to answer without flipping the cover open. Very cool offering by HTC that a lot of people will love.

Double tap to wake

Whether you’ve got the Dot View Case or not you can always wake your screen by picking it up and double tapping it. The “picking it up” part is important: if it’s laying still and you double tap the screen it will not activate.

Pick up your phone to answer calls

When the person on the other end is hoping you pick up the phone, little do they know that literally picking up the phone is all you need to do to answer the call. During incoming calls the One M8 uses its gyroscope and light sensors to identify you’ve picked up your phone and put it up to your ear, automatically answering the phone in the process.

You can turn this on or off by going to Settings > Call > Auto Answer Call.

End Calls with Power Button

Want an easier way to end calls, especially helpful for folks who often use speakerphone? You can set the power button to end calls by going to Settings > Accessibility > Power button ends call.

Unlock directly to frequent activities

Rather than unlocking your phone and then having to find your app or activity of choice, the HTC One M8 allows you to unlock directly to certain activities with gestures called Motion Launch:

  • Swipe down for Voice Dialing
  • Swipe left to unlock to Home Screen
  • Swipe up to unlock to last activity
  • Swipe right for Blinkfeed
  • Wake screen and swipe dock icons up to launch directly
  • Hold volume down button to launch camera (must have lock screen enabled)

How to make Blinkfeed look better

We suggest you definitely give Blinkfeed a try: take a few minutes to connect all your social services and select topics and news sources that interest you- it makes all the difference. Then get rid of the hideous colored Blinkfeed themes by going to Settings > Personalize > Themes > and selecting the black and white theme.

This will make Blinkfeed much more visually appealing (we think) and you can still revisit the “Personalize” section to customize your wallpaper and more.

Customize your phone’s theme

As we suggest above, you can go to Settings > Personalize > Themes to change the look and feel of your phone’s UI. Different themes will adjust the color combinations in multiple places including your Wallpaper, Widgets, Blinkfeed, Quick Settings, and more. Hopefully HTC adds more themes from which to choose.

How to remove Blinkfeed

So you’ve given Blinkfeed a chance but you just don’t like it. No problem- it can be easily removed. While on Blinkfeed simply pinch the screen (move fingers the opposite direction of pinch and zoom) and you’ll see a miniature view of your pages at the top. Press and hold the picture of the Blinkfeed page and drag it to “Remove” at the top right where you see the trashcan icon.

You can also use this view to add widgets to your home screen pages, drag and drop the order of your home screen pages, and add/edit/remove home screen pages altogether.

Add Pages and Widgets to Lock Screen

When you first wake your phone you’ll notice an animated arrow in the top right, just under the time. Swipe this arrow left to access additional lock screen pages. Tap the arrow to add an additional lock screen page and then select widget you’d like it to display. You can continue adding more lock screen pages and widgets by repeating this process.

Customize your dock icons

Quick launching to your dock icons is helpful, but keep in mind your lock screen dock icons and your home screen icons are identical. The only way to change them on your dock is to change them on your home screen. You can do this by long pressing on an item in your dock and dragging it to “Remove” at the top. Long press on the app you want there and drag it into the vacant spot.

Add folders to your dock

Want quick access to more than just four apps in your dock? Continue adding apps and games to one specific dock position and it will group them into a folder of apps in your dock- very helpful for power users!

Display more in your App Drawer

The default 3 by 4 grid in the app tray isn’t very likeable- we prefer to see more than 12 apps at once. Tap on the 3 dots in the upper right, select “grid size”, and choose 4×5 as your default. It makes a world of difference.

Hide bloatware from your app drawer

Manufacturers and Carriers pre-install lots of apps on your device you might not want but that you can’t uninstall. Luckily HTC lets you hide them.

For example let’s suppose you’re an HTC One M8 genius (because you watched our video twice) and now have absolutely no need for the “Help” app: open your app tray, press the 3 dots on the top right, select Hide/unhide apps, check the apps you want to unhide, and hit done!

Prevent Icons adding themselves to your Home Screen

If you find that your home screen is getting cluttered because app icons are automatically being added to your phone, rest easy knowing you can prevent this from happening. Open the Google Play Store app, go into its settings, and uncheck “Add icon to Home Screen (for new apps)”. No more clutter! You’ll now have to add icons manually by long pressing them from within your app tray.

Access Recent Apps

This was missing from the original HTC One but it’s worth pointing out the icon to the right of the home screen: Recent Apps! Organizing your home pages, dock icons, app tray – all that is fine and dandy – but a tap on this icon will pop up a window of the most recent apps you’ve used. Definitely a need-to-know option for multi-taskers.

Quicker Quick settings

Quick notifications are a godsend, allowing you to quickly toggle between your most frequently adjusted settings like brightness, WiFi, and volume. Now you can access quick settings even qmnuicker: pull down the notification window with 2 fingers instead of 1 and you’ll go directly to quick settings!

To adjust the options of a specific setting, long press on it from the Quick Settings screen.

Customize your Quick Settings

Want to adjust what items appear in your quick settings and what order they’re in? No problem. From your Quick Settings page press the pencil and paper icon at the top right. Hold the 3 lines on the far right of a row to drag and drop the setting in the order you want. To remove it from the Quick Settings page, drag it as far down as you can, below the “Hidden Items” bar and press “Done” when complete.

Do Not Disturb Mode

My favorite Quick Setting is called Do Not Disturb, an incredibly useful feature that allows you to instantly block all sounds, lights, and vibrations from incoming calls, messages, and notifications. If you’re at an event like a movie, wedding, or business meeting it’s very handy.

Long press on Do Not Disturb from the Quick Settings menu to set additional options, such as allowing certain contacts to bypass Do Not Disturb, setting scheduled timeframes to automatically enter Do Not Disturb mode, and preventing your alarms and timers from being blocked in Do Not Disturb mode.

Turn off or adjust Notification LED

Is that darned notification light continually flashing and distracting the heck out of you? Change it! Simply go to Settings > Display & gestures > Notification light and you can adjust what triggers it to flash. Toggle it on or off for the following events: Calls, Voice mail, Messages, Calendar, Mail, Alarms.

Turn Emergency Alerts Off

Just as TV’s have tests of the Emergency Broadcast System, your phone can now show you emergency alerts from the government with cooperation from your mobile carrier. If you’ve been woken by these one too many times you can always turn them off by opening the “Emergency Alerts” app from your app drawer, pressing the 3 dot menu in the top right, and adjusting the settings.

You can toggle on or off Extreme alerts, Severe alerts, and Amber alerts; Presidential alerts cannot be adjusted and I assume are for only dire situations of public safety. You can also adjust how often the alert will repeat.

I’d ask people think twice before turning these alerts off, especially Amber alerts. While it might be a slight inconvenience every so often, it’s well worth it if the aggregate affect saves lives and prevents child abductions… just something to consider.

Show battery level in status bar

If you’re like me, you prefer to know EXACTLY how much battery power you’ve got left at any given point in time. To show the exact percentage next to the battery icon, visit Settings > Power > Show battery level and make sure it’s checked.

Conserve battery life with Sleep Mode

Also in Settings > Power, make sure “Sleep Mode” is turned on. This will disconnect your data during long periods of inactivity (while still allowing incoming phone calls and text messages). This will ensure apps aren’t constantly updating in the background and eating your precious battery life while you’re least expecting.

Enable Swype Keyboard

The keyboard pre-installed on the HTC One M8 is a tap keyboard only and does not allow you to swipe words. However, you can change that by going to Settings > Language & keyboard > HTC Sense Input > Trace keyboard. This will enable a Swype style keyboard that works with HTC’s default keyboard.

If you’d prefer to use a 3rd party keyboard downloaded from the Play Store you can do that as well by tapping “Keyboard Selection” in the same screen described above.

Triple tap to magnify

Need a closer look at something? From anywhere within the phone and in any app you can greatly magnify the screen by triple tapping (and triple tapping to return to normal). Very nice hidden feature that you can toggle on and off in (Settings > Accessibility > Magnification gestures > On.

Triple tap and hold and the magnification will follow your finger as you pan around and then close when you let go.

Triple tap does not work on the keyboard or navigation bar.

Change default SMS app

Have a preferred app for text messages that you want to use by default? Go to Settings > … More (under Wireless & Networks) > Default SMS app. Select your preferred app (and give Hangouts a try if you haven’t!)

Control your TV

Constantly losing your TV remote in the couch? Leave it there! The HTC One M8 has an infrared blaster that can be set up to work as a universal remote for your sound system, TV, and cable box. Set up takes only a few minutes and the functionality seriously takes the TV viewing experience into a new world.

This is one feature you’ve absolutely got to try!

Get 128GB of Storage

The HTC One M8 includes a MicroSD slot above the volume rocker. Open the slot by inserting the end of a paperclick (push hard!), then simply place the MicroSD card in the try and push it back in.

There are now MicroSD cards as large as 128GB, letting you load up your device with an outrageous amount of multimedia.

Save to your MicroSD Card

Now that you’ve got a huge amount of storage with a 128GB MicroSD card, you want to use it as effectively as possible. Visit Settings > Storage Settings > Update All > SD Card Storage to make sure as much data as possible is saved there (or customize individually as you see fit).

The HTC One M8 does not come with a file manager so to easily browse your MicroSD card from your phone, we recommend you download Astro File Manager or another similar app.

Get Unlimited Storage

There is a way you can get even more than 128GB of storage on your device… use the cloud! With the Google Drive app and WiFi/Data you can seamlessly pull your content from the cloud- Google is offering you 50GB for free for 2 years just to test it out. Open the Google Drive app from your HTC One M8 to claim the offer (can only be claimed once per device).

 Kidproof your phone with Kid Mode

HTC has pre-installed the One M8 with a feature called “Kid Mode” via an app named Zoodles. Entering Kid Mode will put your phone into a special mode that can only be exited by entering your birth year as a pin number, ensuring your kid doesn’t wreak havoc on the contents of your phone or accidentally call your estranged Uncle Lester.

Hold down the Power Button and select “Kid Mode” to get started… parents will love this!

Camera Tips & Tricks

The HTC One M8 has perhaps the most exciting camera software on a phone to date. There are so many great options that this really deserves its own article, but I’ll share three of my favorite settings that you should always have ready at your fingertips.

Blur Backgrounds with UFOCUS

You know those professional looking DSLR-quality pictures you see with people in the front and then a smoothly blurred background? The HTC One M8 can automatically create those type of pictures like a champ!

Select automatic mode (no flash), snap your picture, view it in the gallery, choose “edit” on the bottom right, then UFOCUS on the bottom left. Now tap whatever you want in focus and the One M8 will magically blur everything around it! Perhaps the most entertaining camera feature of any current smartphone… you’ll get addicted quickly.

Don’t block the Duo Cam!

Pick up your phone as if taking a picture and notice how your left hand may dangerously hang over the back of the phone, right where you’ll find the Duo Cam. Get in the habit of only holding the edges or you’ll end up blocking the Duo Cam (it’ll still take a picture with one lens) and disable Duo Cam in the process. UFOCUS and many more of these special camera features will only work properly when both of the rear One M8 lenses are in use.

Selfie Mode

Quickly flip to Selfie Mode by swiping from the top of the phone down when holding the camera in landscape mode. This will activate the front-facing camera: now simply tap anywhere on the screen to start a countdown timer and automatically snap a picture when it winds down. The camera is 5MP and a wide angle lens so its perfect for selfies!

Create an animated GIF

Select Zoe mode from the camera options and rather than tapping on the shutter icon to take a picture, hold it down. After 3 seconds that button will “lock” and you’ll need to tap it again to stop recording. Once your subject has successfully performed their entertaining sequence, view it in the gallery, tap the overlapping frames icon in the lower left (indicating it’s a sequence), and then “Edit” in the bottom right.

Scroll the list of options right and you’ll see “GIF CREATOR”: select it, clip it as necessary, save/share, and you’re in the meme business. Sequence shot, Always Smile, Object Remover, and Touch Up are additional Zoe Camera options you might also want to check out.

A few extra camera tips:

  • To get more than 20 pictures in burst mode go to Camera > Menu > Settings > Continuous Shooting and clear the limit option
  • You can pause any video in your gallery and save that current frame as an image file
  • Set volume button to act as a dedicated camera button by going to Camera > Menu > Settings > Volume button options > Capture (I do not recommend this because it can cause blurry pictures due to additional camera movement!)
  • Enjoy a crazy combinations of camera settings you’ve customized? Save them as a preset camera in Camera > Menu > Settings > Save as camera > name it and save!

That does it for HTC One M8 camera tips and tricks for now but I suggest you explore all the options.

How to take a Screenshot with HTC One M8

Like almost every Android phone, press and hold the power button and volume down at the same time to take a screen shot of your phone’s screen. It’s one of those questions we ALWAYS get!

How to reboot HTC One M8

On the off chance your HTC One M8 freezes and you can’t reboot it (because you can’t remove the battery), we’ve got the cure: hold the power button for 10+ seconds and the phone will automatically power itself off. Another of those questions we’re continually asked.

Enter Developer Mode

HTC has made Developer Mode a bit of an Easter Egg. To enable Developer Mode go to Settings > About > Software Information > More > and tap the Build Number 6 Times. It’ll eventually display the “you are now a developer” message and you’ll now find new Developer options in your Settings area.

HTC One M8 Support, Troubleshooting, Tips & Tricks

If you’ve got any questions not answered above, you can be sure to find your answer on the HTC One M8 Forums, either by asking a specific question yourself or browsing the list of existing conversations.

That wraps up our HTC One M8 Tips & Tricks article… if you’ve got tips or tricks of your own not mentioned above, please share them in the comments below!

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  • Phaz0n

    Much information. Very excite.

  • tagno25

    If you ever get an amber alert, you will want to know how to quickly turn them off. They are the most annoying alert i have heard. Volume at max, even if muted or on a call! My GF received 5+ alerts one day on the way to a family event. the alert was for a kid over 200 miles away, with a vague vehicle description (eg. black two door truck)

  • KOLIO

    Nice work Rob.You should do a commercial w/GO & RDJ.They sure could use the help………

  • worldclassflame

    Wish they had a tip or trick on how to make the camera at least 8mp 0_o

  • barondebxl

    Great video,very informative.

  • toomuchgame441

    Great article… not like I didnt know almost all of this already but its great for folks that are just getting on board with Sense 6

  • HYC

    That was so helpful! Thanks.

  • james ortiz

    I was so on board for this phone and then when I saw the camera… All went to hell

  • simpleas

    Awesome list. Imagine this in the 80’s lol.