HTC, which helped give form to Google’s dream (pun intended) of creating a smartphone ecosystem back in 2008, is no longer among the leading names in the Android marketplace. Even though Google returned the favor by buying HTC’s design team for a little over a billion dollars last year, that hasn’t really salvaged the brand. Since then, we’ve had multiple reasons to think HTC might finally give up on making smartphones, but the company has dismissed speculations and said that it turning its focus towards licensing its brand name in India. One such incident which brought us face-to-face with this doubt again is the disappearing of over a dozen of its apps from the Google Play Store. However, the company has now clarified that these apps will return the Play Store, offering an explanation behind the removal.
Last week, Android Police noticed that as many as 14 apps by HTC vanished from the Play Store over the last three months. Key apps such as the Sense Home launcher, HTC Calendar, People, Speak, Car were among those which have been removed since February. HTC Mail app was also suspiciously removed a couple of months ago, but returned soon after, leaving us to wonder if the Taiwanese company might be looking to wrap up its smartphone business, after all.
Now, HTC has responded to these concerns and informed us that the apps were removed because they didn’t meet the requirements laid by a recent change in Google Play Store’s policy. However, it has ensured that these apps will be returned to the Play Store by the end of April in phases. While the Sense Home Launcher, Mail, and RE Camera app are already up again, HTC has shared a timeline for the rest of the apps.
|HTC Mail||Roll out to Play store on 4/9|
|RE||Plan to roll out on 4/28|
|HTC Sense Home||Roll out to Play store by the end of April, 2019|
|HTC People||Roll out to Play store by the end of April, 2019|
|HTC Sense Companion||Roll out to Play store by the end of April, 2019|
|HTC Restore||Roll out to Play store by the end of April, 2019|
This also affirms that HTC may not be quitting the smartphone business any time soon, in spite of a not-so-favorable business. Reports from the last year suggest that HTC will strive to resuscitate its smartphone business and a recent benchmark listing hint that the company might be working on a new smartphone powered by Snapdragon 710. However, our experience with benchmark listing says that they are not very reliable so we’ll recommend you to take this information with a pinch of salt. In the meantime, we’ll be closely watching HTC to see any signs of fatality.