Awesome Infographic: HTC Shows Us “The Anatomy of an Android OS Update” From PDK to OTA

Ever wonder what the entire process of an Android update looks like? How and when do carriers get involved? Who are all of the players? How much quicker or fewer steps are there for developer or Google Play editions? When do manufacturers see the newest version of Android? All of that can be found in a lengthy infographic that HTC posted their Software Updates page, a spot that gives the status on current HTC phones and when they plan to push updates to them.

The image takes you on a journey of three different device types: carrier, unlocked/developer, and Google Play edition. You’ll see where an update can get caught up in the system, how much easier it is for HTC to get updates ready for non-carrier phones, and more.

You can find the entire infographic below, but I found a couple of points in particular interesting:

  • According to HTC’s count, Developer/unlocked and Google Play edition devices see 3 and 4 fewer steps through an update life cycle than carrier-tied devices do.
  • Chipset manufacturers have a lot more say in updates than I think any of us ever consider. Should one of them decide that their chipsets won’t work well with a new version of Android, there is a chance that that particular phone is done for good with no new drivers made available.
  • Even though most phone OEMs are making single devices that hit each carrier, there is still a lot of carrier customization done in terms of software that takes time during the process, especially should one not approve an initial build.
  • OEMs are receiving a Platform Developer Kit (PDK), however, they get new Android version source when the rest of us do, which is not until Google makes it available.

 

If you sneak over to HTC’s new status update page, you’ll see how the carrier-tied versions of HTC One are coming along through the process. At this point, HTC would put them in the “Integration” stage which means the update has a ways to go. The “Integration” stage is where HTC works with carriers to decide if any software modifications are needed before implementing them, doing internal testing, letting carriers test, and then hopefully getting final approval for a push.

Also, you may want to bookmark that page.

 

Source: Droid Life

Kit Kat Update Rolling Out to HTC One Developer and Unlocked U.S. Units

HTC originally told us to expect the update to Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” to arrive on the One some time in January. And then this morning happened. Through the official HTC USA Twitter account, HTC has announced that the Kit Kat update is now rolling out to the unlocked U.S. and developer units. Yes, “now” as in today.

Our unit has not received the update yet, but we’ll be checking often. Should your unit receive it, be sure to let us know! Also, don’t forget to post up screenshots and other details in the comments.

Kit Kat introduced all sorts of new goodies on the user side of things, many of which we have highlighted here. We’ll see how much of it HTC includes, though we’re hoping for most.

The update to Kit Kat also brings Sense 5.5, a version of HTC’s skin that recently launched on the HTC One Max.

 

 

Source: Droid Life

Patent war escalates: Apple and Microsoft-owned company sues Google and most big Android OEMs

 

The intensity and scale of the global patent war just went up a notch. Yesterday, a company that is co-owned, among others, by Apple and Microsoft filed lawsuits against Google and seven of the largest Android manufacturers.

Rockstar Bidco

The company is called Rockstar, and was established as a consortium in 2011, to bid on the trove of technology patents left behind by the bankrupt Canadian technology company Nortel.

Back then, Apple, Microsoft, RIM (now BlackBerry), Ericsson, and Sony teamed up to bid for almost 6,000 of Nortel’s patents, many covering mobile technology. The so-called Rockstar Bidco consortium eventually won the auction, with a bid of $4.5 billion. The other big competitor in the auction was Google, who bid $4.4 billion before giving up. Later, Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion, and its own treasure trove of patents was reportedly one of the main reasons behind the acquisition.

Rockstar was widely expected to attempt to monetize the 6,000 patents it bought from Nortel, and this week the company made its first move by filing lawsuits against Google, Asustek, HTC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Pantech, Samsung, and ZTE. The suits were filed in the Eastern District of Texas, a district that is well known for favoring plaintiffs in patent cases.

Patent trolling through a proxy

The complaint against Google involves six patents related to serving ads in a search engine describing “an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network”. The technology isn’t related to mobile, but it’s a frontal attack to Google’s bread and butter business, AdWords. The oldest patent precedes Google’s founding, being awarded in 1997, while the newest was awarded in 2011.

Rockstar attacked the group of Android manufacturers with a batch of seven diverse patents, including ones that pertain to navigation through electronic interfaces or to an integrated message center.

The stakeholders of Rockstar claim that the consortium acts independently. And, because Rockstar doesn’t have any operations of its own, Google, and other companies in its sights, can’t retaliate with a countersuit, like Samsung did with Apple.

Because Rockstar is a distinct entity, it can even sue companies that its owners have patent agreements with – for instance, Apple and HTC signed a 10-year patent licensing deal, but that didn’t shelter the Taiwanese company from Rockstar’s suit. Sony, as a stakeholder in Rockstar and a major Google Android partner, is also in an interesting position.

Patent lawsuits can take years to finalize, and it’s not clear yet if the patents that Rockstar yields as a weapon against Google and Android OEMs are essential to their business. In other words, there’s a long way to go before these lawsuits have any tangible effects. However, the fact that Rockstar has finally commenced its attack should be worrying for consumers, who have absolutely nothing to gain from it.

 

 

Source: Android Authority

HTC ‘Endeavor C2’ rumored to be a spec-bumped One X for late 2012

HTC’s flagship One X may be set to receive a minor specification bump before the end of 2012, according to reports from ​Stuff​. The re-vamped model is known only by its codename “HTC Endeavor C2” — note that the original One X was “Endeavor”. It’ll allegedly ship with a souped-up 1.7GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, along with an “improved” battery, new color options and urBeats earphones included in the box. ​Stuff​ also claims that the new “Endeavor C2” will be compatible with all existing One X accessories, which to us implies that the chassis design will remain identical.

Essentially, the C2 could be to the One X what the Sensation XE was to the original Sensation last year — the same design, with slightly upgraded internals. The news also converges nicely with rumors we’ve heard from T-Mobile USA, suggesting an “HTC One X+” may be arriving on that network later in the year.

Some software enhancements are reported too, including ClearVoice tech for improved voice call quality, in addition to “HTC Watch 2,” a new version of the HTC movie streaming service. Though not confirmed in today’s leak, we suspect Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 4.1 may also be on the cards, depending on the timing of the eventual release.

Speaking of which, the Endeavor C2 is said to be slated for a UK release around Oct. 1, with on-contract prices reportedly around £5 more per month than the original One X. HTC isn’t expected to have a big showing at this year’s IFA event, but if this release date turns out to be accurate, it’s possible we might see an official announcement sooner rather than later.

Source: Stuff

T-Mobile offering HTC One S for $149.99 through August 21st

T-Mobile is offering a sale on their HTC One S for $149.99 paired with a two year agreement. While the sale will be offered through the 21st of this month, I don’t see why T-Mobile doesn’t make it a permanent price drop. Considering AT&T’s higher spec’d HTC One X has already seen a permanent price drop to $99, the One S should be offered for at least that, or perhaps even lower considering it’s dubbed as “mid-tier.”

Either way, the One S still offers top of the line specs (minus the screen size and resolution) and appeals to many. Although keep in mind that T-Mobiles rumored HTC One X+ may be around the corner so you may want to save your upgrade until then.

Source: T-Mobile

HTC won’t be updating the Desire HD to Android 4.0, explains why.

Fragmentation. The word most commonly used by Android naysayers when they’re looking for some ammunition with which to open fire on the world’s most popular mobile operating system. The problem is that the issue is very real, it’s certainly a large part of the reason why I personally only use Nexus devices these days. Whilst much of the vitriol is aimed at Google, it’s actually the manufacturers and their UI skins that we’re at the mercy of. The latest big player to cause a hullabaloo in the tech world this week is none other than HTC. The Taiwanese giant upset a large group of its customers by announcing that the, barely 18 months old, Desire HD will not be receiving an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The announcement sparked a huge influx of complaints from disappointed Desire HD owners and in turn prompted the following response from HTC:

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.

It’s encouraging that HTC care enough to take the time to explain its actions however I’m fairly sure that the words will do little to soften the blow. Once again it will be down to the developer community to pick up the slack and offer Desire HD owners some Ice Cream Sandwich goodness (Just don’t mention Jelly Bean!)

Source: HTC