The latest update to HTC‘s ThunderBolt phone on Verizon is a study in cost/benefit analyses. On the one hand you’ve got some big fixes in the functionality department, with fewer dropped calls and an apparent end to the random reboots that have plagued some of the devices. On the other hand, free mobile Wi-Fi hotspots are no more.
The official update graphic from Verizon of course doesn’t mention anything about that second part, but ThunderBolt-owning commenters over at Android Police, which broke the news about the update prior to its release, confirm that the feature is no longer free to use. Some of those same commenters also complain of the update’s newly installed Verizon bloatware, though one points out that a bloatware-free custom update is floating around on the XDA developers forums. Not recommended unless you know what you’re doing of course, but it’s an option at least.
You could also simply accept the update and the bloatware that comes with it, and root your phone to get your precious free Wi-Fi hotspot functionality back. Unfortunately, even that process won’t fix the biggest glaring absence in the latest ThunderBolt update: an update to the Gingerbread version of Android. The smartphone is still running on the older Froyo OS, and the lack of an upgrade to the newer version is a big point of contention among ThunderBolt owners.