This story was originally published and last updated .
Android's been around quite a while at this point (Google's Android turned 12 last year), and even Android phones have been around well over a decade now. And while obviously hardware like the HTC Hero matters in terms of where the platform got its start, and ones like the original Moto DROID mark its real entry into the marketplace in a big way, we think there are phones (and even A tablet) that are less remembered or less appreciated for their impact on the larger ecosystem.
After, when's the last time you thought of the Galaxy S2, or the HTC One M7?
HTC must've been doing a bit of spring (read: summer) cleaning when it suddenly stumbled across some source code that should've been released to the public ages ago. First up is the AT&T HTC One's kernel source, which was nowhere to be found back in late April when all other One variants' source hit the scene.
What's even more interesting, however, is that the company also released the Thunderbolt's ICS kernel source. Just now. If you remember, the TBolt (finally) got its taste of ICS back in February – four full months ago. Better late than never, I suppose.
If you're the tinkerin' type, a ROM maintainer, a source code collector, a or just someone who likes to download things, you'll find all the new source code offerings at the link below.
The Thunderbolt has had one weird life. It was VZW's first LTE phone. But it was less than stellar, and had lots of problems. Then HTC promised that it would get ICS, which got delayed again and again. And again. But it finally came out, and Tbolt owners were kinda happy about it for five minutes.
Now the brick-of-a-device is in line to get another small OTA, which fixes some stuff that you may or may not use:
Microphone now works with HAC enabled
HTC Watch now shows titles available for viewing or purchase
Amber alerts are now visible
Text messaging app has been improved
Improvements to Yahoo and Microsoft Exchange Email Connectivity
The details of the update just hit VZW's site a bit ago, which generally indicates the OTA is ready to go and should start hitting devices in the coming days.
Update: The OTA is rolling out now. Go get it! Thanks for the heads-up, James!
We didn't think it was possible. We thought it was abandoned, left on the side of the road where no one would ever find it. Yet here, through the fog, a light comes shining through: Verizon is actually releasing Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC Thunderbolt. Assuming that users haven't already thrown theirs into a lake by now.
The support page says the update is "coming soon", so we can't confirm exactly when the OTA will roll out, but the important thing to take away here is that it's real, it's definitely coming, and it won't be long now.
Since hearing earlier this month that HTC's Desire S, Thunderbolt, and other select handsets would receive ICS updates "by the end of August," we have heard nary a peep from the Taiwanese manufacturer. Today though, thanks to an alleged leaked RUU, we have a stock Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 build for the Thunderbolt (aka Mecha).
According to Administrator's post at TeamBAMF's forums, the ROM, based on a leaked RUU (and carrying build number 7.00.605.2), is said to be fully functional and fully stock, but it's worth noting that the ROM is deodexed and rooted, meaning those wishing to retain root are in luck, but if you – for one reason or another – want a strictly stock, non-rooted experience, you'll have to wait.
The title should make this one obvious. HTC has published a brand-new list of its devices to get Android 4.0, but the difference between this one and previous lists is the level of detail. Most phones have a target OTA deployment range of 2 months, significantly more precise than the typical "quarterly" guestimates we see manufacturers publish generally. Here's the list:
DROID Incredible 2 by HTC: To be determined (by the end of August)
HTC Amaze 4G: May-June
HTC Desire S: June-July
HTC Desire HD: July-August
HTC EVO 3D: June-July
HTC EVO 4G+: May-June
HTC EVO Design 4G: June-July
HTC Incredible S: June-July
HTC Sensation: March-June
HTC Sensation 4G: March-June
HTC Sensation XE: March-June
HTC Sensation XL: April-Jun
HTC Rezound: June-July
HTC Rhyme: June-July
HTC Thunderbolt: July-August
HTC Velocity 4G: March-June
HTC Vivid: March-June
A few notable absentees include the Inspire 4G (which is a Desire HD variant), EVO 4G, EVO Shift 4G, myTouch 4G, Status, and Wildfire S - though most of those weren't expected to get the update in the first place.
It's been a while since VZW showed any love to Thunderbolt owners, but that doesn't mean that it has forgotten about them completely. In fact, we just received a leak of a new build that brings some fixes and enhancements to Big Red's first LTE device.
Verizon Wireless has just made public an official list of handsets on the network poised to receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OTA updates, most being devices for which such updates were a given at this point:
DROID Incredible 2 by HTC
DROID RAZR™ MAXX™
DROID XYBOARD 8.2
DROID XYBOARD 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 7.7
Spectrum™ by LG
No timeframe was provided, but this is probably the most authoritative ICS update list you'll see out there, if for only one reason: in the end, it's Verizon that decides whether or not a device on its network gets updated.
Koushik Dutta, the mastermind behind ClockworkMod recoveries and other goodies, has been hard at work today after releasing the initial beta versions of the new Touch iteration of CWM for the Nexuses. "What was he doing?" you may ask. Adding support for more devices, one by one. They are, as of this moment:
HTC EVO 4G
HTC EVO 3D (CDMA/GSM)
HTC Desire GSM
HTC Desire HD
Update #1: HTC Thunderbolt added
Motorola Atrix 4G
and, of course, Galaxy Nexus (CDMA/GSM) and Nexus S/S4G that we already knew about
This article deals with a couple of advanced topics. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the terms, hit up our primers here: