July 30, 2012

HTC fesses up – Desire HD Android 4.0 update shelved since it would force a hard reset

When HTC made the official announcement that the Desire HD would not be updated to Android 4.0, their statement claimed that the current Android build “provides customers with the best experience on the HTC Desire HD.” Our interpretation of that comment was that there were performance issue which HTC has identified with their Ice Cream Sandwich build which could not be overcome. It turns out that we were wrong.
HTC has posted another statement on the topic, explaining that the update was scrapped because it would force a hard reset in order to re-partition the HTC Desire HD’s internal storage to make room for the much larger Android 4.0 code. While general consumers would probably freak out if the Android 4.0 update for the HTC Desire HD erased all the data on their device, we’re sure most advanced users would gladly accept it as a minor setback.
At this point, there’s no indication that Desire HD owners will ever be treated to Ice Cream Sandwich, but there’s always a chance that HTC will cave to the demands of the development community and release a stock Android 4.0 build for the handset as they did for the HTC Desire and its Gingerbread update.
We’ve heard your feedback on our decision not to update the HTC Desire HD to Android 4.0. We completely understand that this is a controversial decision. For more background, due to how storage on the HTC Desire HD is partitioned – and the larger size of Android 4.0 – it would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install this update. While technically advanced users might find this solution acceptable, the majority of customers would not. We also considered ways to reduce the overall size of the software package, but this would impact features and functionality that customers are currently using. Even after installing the update, there were other technical limitations which we felt negatively impacted the user experience.
We believe an update should always improve the user experience and carefully evaluate each update based on this criteria. While we are very aware of the disappointment from this decision, we believe the impact to user experience was too great. We recognize this is a change from our previous statement and for that we’re truly sorry.

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