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: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Product Review

Samsung’s vibrant Galaxy A9 hits the mark with quad camera, misses on the price

Samsung’s new 2018 Galaxy S9 smartphone is a contender in the midrange smartphone world, due to a very special quad-cam setup on the back. It’s made for Instagram fans who want Galaxy S-style features and design, without the big price…
Mobile

The Palm has been revived, and it wants to help you limit your smartphone usage

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. At $350, the Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon.
Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…
Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Mobile

The best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep your phone Pixel perfect

The Pixel 3 is equipped with the hottest hardware and a beautiful 5.5-inch P-OLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 5. But it's not invincible. Here are the best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep it safe.
Mobile

Montblanc’s $995 Summit 2 watch stays on your wrist for longer between charges

Montblanc has taken the wraps off of the new Montblanc Summit 2 -- the first watch to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The watch features a premium design and Google's Wear OS.
Mobile

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Mobile

Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out family, individual, and prepaid

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.
Product Review

The Huawei Watch GT’s battery life gets a tick, but the software may not tock

Huawei’s track record with smartwatches is strong, having releases two models and several spin-offs to general acclaim. This is the Watch GT, and it moves away from Google’s Wear OS to focus on fitness, yet stays ahead of the…