HTC One M8 app-roaches as new BlinkFeed lands in Google Play

HTC is preparing the way for today's HTC One M8 launch by adding BlinkFeed Launcher and Service Pack to Google Play -- and you don't even need an HTC phone to enjoy them.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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The follow-up to the HTC One launches today. James Martin/CNET
We're just hours away from the moment the M8 materialises, and HTC is paving the way for a new HTC One by adding BlinkFeed and a Service Pack full of updates to Google Play -- and you don't even need an HTC phone to enjoy them.

The HTC One 2, also known as the M8 in countless leaks, launches today. You can get a glimpse of what the new phone will look like by downloading BlinkFeed Launcher and the HTC Service Pack from the Google Play store for -- in theory -- any Android phone or tablet.

Update: HTC has confirmed that Blinkfeed will come to other Android devices "soon."

BlinkFeed is HTC's front end for Android, which combines news, events and social-networking updates into one feed. The only problem is that on previous phones you couldn't turn it off if you didn't like it. The new version available in Google Play offers offline reading for the first time.

The Service Pack includes previously released updates for HTC phones -- basically, it appears to bring your phone up to the latest features without having to wait forever for Google and your carrier or network to grind out a full over-the-air update.

The new phone is the sequel to the flagship HTC One , which won loads of awards but couldn't translate those accolades into sales. HTC unveils the hotly-tipped new One later today -- check out our up-to-the-second live blog direct from New York featuring Brian Tong, Donald Bell and CNET's newest recruit Ashley Esqueda at 2.30pm GMT, 7.30am Pacific time, or 10.30am Eastern. Don't be late!