A few months ago, HTC outlined plans to release apps like BlinkFeed and Zoe, long exclusive to its own lineup of smartphones, for all Android devices. And it's about to execute on that plan: HTC will release a beta of its Zoe camera software later this week. The news was first revealed by Recode and quickly confirmed by Drew Bamford, who's leading the Creative Labs division tasked with bringing HTC's signature apps to hardware from competitors like Samsung, LG, and Sony. 260 people are working beneath Bamford, so HTC is dedicating a fair amount of manpower to the apps initiative. (The same team will continue handling development of HTC's own software, as well.)
Zoe, first introduced alongside the HTC One M7, automatically creates video clips featuring photos and snippets from a user's camera roll. The app applies a soundtrack and transitions to these highlight reels, and it's easy to share the end result with other people. HTC seems to be hoping it can build an active community of Zoe users, though it's not clear how doing so will help the company's fortunes aside from maybe convincing consumers to give its phones a closer look.
And while Zoe is unique when it comes to built-in software among Android manufacturers, it faces plenty of stiff competition on Google Play. No one's expecting HTC to topple Instagram or even Vine, but the question is whether anyone carrying around a Samsung Galaxy S5 will bother giving Zoe a look. BlinkFeed hasn't yet made the same transition to other devices, though it's likely in the works based on HTC's previous statements.