HTC has announced that because its BlinkFeed service is so popular with its customers it plans to offer it as an Android app in the Google Play store.
BlinkFeed is HTC's solution to helping smartphone owners keep track of their business and social lives and of staying up to date in terms of what's happening whether it be in global affairs, local news or around hobbies and interests.
As such, the feature launches from the phone's homescreen and shows a running list of updates and notifications from social media, the device's calendar, email inbox, etc, but also from other apps and from other sources.
HTC claims it has over 1000 content partners (including the Associated Press and ESPN) that offer news and updates in bite-sized chunks that users can draw from to customize and curate their BlinkFeed services.
As well as offering heavily tailored information, BlinkFeed also saves time, apps plug into it and can feed updates into it, so there's no need to keep launching them just to see what's happening.
The feature debuted on the 2013 HTC One and as Android Central points out, has had a big influence on the company's competitors including Samsung. The "My Magazine" function on its new Galaxy S5 handset works in a very similar way to BlinkFeed and offers a very similar service.
In terms of when BlinkFeed will be arriving as a standalone app, HTC hasn't set a date, other than to say that it will be "launching on the Google Play store soon."
It's an interesting move -- BlinkFeed is arguably one of HTC's unique selling points -- and will it lead to other Android phonemakers following suit rather than saving their unique features solely for their own customers?