HTC is looking to embrace the current trend for selfies, with an update to the HTC Camera app, introducing what the company is calling the HTC Eye Experience.
The update for HTC Sense 6 brings a range of new features to existing devices, debuted on the HTC Desire Eye handset, unveiled at HTC's Double Exposure event in early October 2014.
The HTC Eye Experience is rolling-out as part of an OS update on the HTC One (M8), bundled in with with Android 4.4.4. The update is about 250MB, so a quick download and install.
We've seen the HTC Eye Experience on the HTC Desire Eye, as well as on the HTC One (M8) following the update to the older device. It's not the same on both, however, so here we'll breakdown exactly what you get, where.
New camera modes
The Eye Experience revolves around a number of new modes.
Split Capture evolves the Dual Capture mode already in existence and takes things much further. It's not just about doing picture-in-picture any more, it's about splitting the frame to give you a shot from the front and rear camera together.
You can opt to either capture both halves at the same time, or take each separately, meaning you can get a more deliberate composition. It's a nice addition, letting you get your reaction to something you're looking at - a selfie with more of a story.
With Split Capture in place on the M8, you'll find that the old Dual Capture option is now gone from the camera menu. The experience on the M8 and the Desire Eye is otherwise the same.
This option is a lot of fun, letting you insert yourself into a scene in front of you. Rather like the copy and paste function offered by the Duo Camera of the HTC One M8, this will automatically crop out the background behind you and superimpose you into a scene.
The results vary depending on your background, but you can do some really funny things, like drop your head onto the top of someone else's body, add yourself to a crowd of people, or just randomly insert yourself.
One of the neat tricks is that you can change the size using pinch to zoom so that you fit in perfectly. Or not.
Interestingly, however, it's not included in the HTC One (M8) update, so it appears to be a feature that's exclusive to the HTC Desire Eye.
Photo Booth lets you take four selfies in a sequence, just as a photo booth does. You get the option to take these in a grid, square or as a straight filmstrip, in portrait or landscape.
For fans of selfies, this is a really easy way to produce one image of you looking glam (or gross) before sharing. It's probably best to grab some friends, oitherwise you look ridiculously vain.
The feature is the same on the Desire Eye and the M8.
New camera features
Aside from those new shooting modes, there's a collection of new features to make it easier to capture those selfies in the first place.
Auto Selfie does what you expect and will capture a picture on the front camera when it detects that you're still. That means all you have to do is line it up and it quickly captures.
It doesn't do this just once, however, it will keep snapping if those conditions are right - i.e., you're holding the camera pretty still and it detects your face. You don't have to be smiling, but it always helps.
Enable Voice Selfie and you'll be able to use command words to take a picture. That means you can avoid touching or moving the phone. Alternatively you can set it up and take a few paces back, then say the command.
You can say "capture" or "say cheese" to get a photo, or start video by saying "rolling" or "action". That might appeal to those who want to shoot selfie videos as you can set yourself up and just speak to get things running.
Swipe to switch modes
Currently the Sense 6 camera will let you swipe down the display to let you switch from back to front camera. There's now an additional option included in this swipe action.
As before you'll be able to move from one camera to the next, but now the Split Camera option is included too. That saves you having to dive into the menu each time you want to change the mode and we've found it a slick and easy way to switch. This is the same on both the Desire Eye and the HTC One (M8).
Video Face Tracking
If you're a fan of video, then one of the new additions is Face Tracking. This means that the front video camera can follow you around a room and keep your face in frame.
It will also be able to support multiple faces so you could, for example, have two faces in the frame during a chat, rather than having the whole room with two tiny people in.
We're yet to get the full list of supported applications from HTC - we know it supports Skype - and it's also available on the M8.
Already available on some Desire models, you now get the Live Makeup feature. This will apply the skin smoothing effect to make you look your best (maybe) and rather than it being applied once the shot is taken, you can preview the results on the screen before you shoot yourself.
On the HTC One (M8), this option is either on or off on the front camera only.
Video screen sharing
You'll also have the option to share your screen with someone you're talking to. This was a feature that HTC introduced at the announcement of the Eye Experience, but we're yet to see it in action or find it on a device.
When will I get the HTC Eye Experience Sense update?
The HTC Eye Experience is rolling-out to the HTC One (M8) currently.
It will also be available in the coming months on HTC One (M7), HTC One E8, HTC One mini, HTC One mini 2, HTC One max, HTC Desire 816, HTC Desire 820 and HTC Butterfly 2.