HTC kills Android Ice Cream Sandwich for the Desire HD

Android guy eating Ice Cream Sandwich (made by TechnoBuffalo.com)Rumors appeared in mid-July that HTC had stopped working on an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the popular Desire HD smartphone. The news came from Canadian mobile network Telus, and stated that problems during testing motivated HTC’s decision.

Owners expressed their disappointment on HTC’s official Facebook page and through the comments section on its blog, but the company remained quiet. Any hope of a last minute reprise, or a statement saying the update hadn’t been canceled, died when the Desire HD was crossed off HTC’s own ICS update list.

The explanation echoed that of Telus but with a key change, as HTC didn’t mention Android 4.0 at all, saying: “After extensive testing, we’ve determined that the current version of HTC Sense with Android provides customers with the best experience on the HTC Desire HD.”

HTC Sense 3.0 came to the Desire HD in late 2011, along with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, but 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is accompanied by HTC Sense 3.6, a light version of Sense 4.0 found on new Ice Cream Sandwich phones.

As with the original HTC Desire, it again appeared that it was HTC’s user interface that was to blame for the decision not to upgrade the operating system.

Now, a week later, HTC has felt the need to offer another explanation for what it calls “a controversial decision,” and this time it’s Sense that doesn’t get a mention.

Storage problems on the Desire HD to blame

It says Android 4.0 won’t be coming to the Desire HD “due to how storage is partitioned” and that the large size of the Android software “would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install the update.”

It goes on to add that while “technically advanced users” may find this acceptable, the majority of customers would not. The company considered reducing the size of the software, but found this would “impact features and functionality that customers are currently using.”

Tests showed that installing the planned update “negatively impacted the user experience,” and HTC is “truly sorry” for going back on its word to bring Android 4.0 to the Desire HD.

Maintaining the user experience is possibly code for “HTC Sense wouldn’t work properly,” and as the UI is an important part of HTC’s branding, it’s no wonder it’s not going to put out a limited version just to appease a few owners who want Android 4.0.

That’s it then, the Desire HD will remain on Android Gingerbread, a large percentage of owners won’t care, and some of those who do will find themselves a custom ROM instead. It’s those in-between these two groups who are the most vocal on the subject, and who may not choose an HTC device again in the future.

We now await the fate of the ever-so-similar HTC Desire S.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

The HTC U12 Plus is now available in color-shifting Flame Red shade

HTC has released some pretty great flagship phones in the past few years, and it's now aiming to follow up with another one. After plenty of rumors and leaks, the company has finally taken the wraps off of the new HTC U12 Plus.
Mobile

We found out which Sony Xperia phones will get Android 9 Pie in 2019

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Product Review

From its stunning screen to its slick S-Pen, Samsung's Note 9 is a masterpiece

It’s jaw-dropping how much tech Samsung has fit inside the Galaxy Note 9. It’s one of Samsung’s largest phones ever thanks to its 6.4-inch screen, and the S Pen is better than ever.
Mobile

The best Moto Z3 cases to keep your flagship phone protected

The newly released Motorola Moto Z3 is a fine phone with a lot to offer. But while it's tough, it's not tough enough to go five rounds with concrete. Here are the best Moto Z3 cases to keep it protected.
Wearables

Huawei could announce a trio of new smartwatches at IFA in late August

The Huawei Watch 3 may be a ways off from release, but that doesn't mean Huawei isn't working on what it could look like. A new patent from Huawei hints at a smartwatch with space to store a pair of true wireless earbuds.
Mobile

Master your Moto E5 Plus and E5 Play with these handy tips and tricks

The Moto E5 Plus and Moto E5 Play are Motorola's latest budget phone offerings. Whether you're new to Moto phones or just upgrading, there are plenty of special features to explore. Here are our favorite Moto E5 tips and tricks.
Mobile

Quindim, quiche or quesito? What will Android Q be called?

We always like to wildly speculate about the next dessert-themed name for Android, but the letter Q is making that tougher than usual. Here are our best guesses and suggestions for the full name of Android Q.
Wearables

Is this proof Google plans to launch a Pixel Watch soon?

From its Pixel smartphones to Google Home, the Google brand is quickly becoming synonymous with high-quality consumer hardware. This year, it looks like Google may branch out a little further by creating its first smartwatch.
Mobile

Samsung confirms the Galaxy S10 won't be the first 5G phone

It may be no more than a sparkle in Samsung's eye, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely coming. Here's everything we know about what's sure to be Samsung's most amazing creation so far.
Wearables

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch touts ultra-tough glass, multiday battery life

Samsung has finally introduced a sequel to the Galaxy Gear S3 smartwatch -- called the Samsung Galaxy Watch. The new device features a slick design, Samsung's Tizen operating system, and a heart rate monitor to help you track your fitness.
Mobile

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
Mobile

Huawei P20 photos show bezel-less display with teardrop notch, triple camera module

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.