In the coming months, HTC will update several of its devices, both new and old, with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and its latest user interface, the new HTC Sense 5. The company remains mum about which devices will be getting the update and unofficial information still hasn’t been able to pinpont release dates or whether any updates will be coming after Android 4.2 and Sense 5 arrive. Here, we make our predictions on the upcoming HTC Android 4.2 and Sense 5 updates.
When the HTC One was announced in February, it was accompanied by two interesting tidbits for not only HTC One owners but for owners of older HTC devices. The first, the fact that the HTC One was and is still running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, an operating system that was released last July and has been featured on a host of non-Nexus smartphones and tablets since September. Needless to say, it was surprising to see HTC release its top smartphone with yesterday’s Android software.
The second piece of interesting information came in the form of a confirmation from HTC which stated that the new Sense 5, which arrived with the HTC One, would be coming, at least partially, to some of HTC’s older devices including the HTC One X+, HTC One X, HTC Butterfly and rather surprisingly, the mid-range HTC One S.
Since the HTC One’s debut and that proclamation though, HTC has been silent. This is particularly troubling when one considers the companies checkered past with software updates, a past that includes cancellations of promised software upgrades and delays that stretched to unfathomable lengths of time. The Droid Incredible 2 Ice Cream Sandwich update, which was promised in August, still has yet to roll out.
So needless to say, many HTC smartphone owners are on edge about Android 4.2, Sense 5 and beyond. Thankfully, we’ve gotten some unofficial information about the updates that have provided us, and owners, with a possible look into how the update process is going to go for many of HTC’s smartphones.
For the worried and curious minds out there, here, we not only rundown what we know so far about the HTC Android 4.2 and Sense 5 updates, but make some predictions of our own.
The HTC One is here, it’s out on shelves and it’s running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the eldest of the Jelly Bean updates and an update that could get even older at Google I/O if Google decides to announce a new Android operating system whether it’s Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Both have been rumored as possibilities.
Unsurprisingly, HTC One owners are wondering how their Android update process will pan out. Will Android 4.2 Jelly Bean roll out soon? Will HTC skip Android 4.2 and go straight to Android 4.3 with the One? Sadly, the answers aren’t clear cut and no one knows exactly when or what HTC will roll out to the HTC One. But we have our theories.
We believe that the HTC One will get Android 4.2 Jelly Bean first, just like HTC’s other devices, and that any software announced at Google I/O will come at a later date.
Rumors have suggested that the HTC One Android 4.2 update would be out shortly after the device’s arrival and at this point, we have no reason to believe that it won’t. We’ve seen the HTC Butterfly Android 4.2 and Sense 5.1 update leak out, something that suggests its close to rolling out and whispering pointing to May.
We fully expect the HTC One to get Android 4.2 and likely Sense 5.1 before any other HTC device so we imagine that if the Butterfly is getting it in May, then the HTC One is as well.
The ceiling on a release window, at least for us, is June. U.S. carriers are notoriously slow, but we don’t see them releasing the software any further away than summer.
HTC One owners need not worry about an update to Android 4.3 or even Android 5.0. Those will be coming to the brand new smartphone at some point down the line, thanks to its age and its high-end specs.
HTC One X
The HTC One X, HTC’s flagship from 2012, is confirmed, by HTC, to be getting Sense 5. Unofficial sources state that it will be getting Sense 5 with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean though thus far, HTC has not yet confirmed that to be the case.
Potential release dates for the HTC One X Android 4.2 & Sense 5 update have all pointed to it coming out sometime before the end of summer which would mean an arrival before the end of August.
We don’t see HTC leaving the HTC One X behind on Android 4.1, given that the Android 4.2 update is incremental, so this update is a given. The timing though is a little harder to pinpoint though given the HTC One X’s age and the fact that we think the HTC One X+ will likely get an update before it does. So far, the HTC One X+ is without any sort of time table.
Looking into our crystal ball, a release for the global variant by the end of summer seems likely, with AT&T not releasing the update until the fall at the earliest. Remember, it only released Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the One X a short time ago, long after One X variants around the world received their updates.
Sense 5 has already been confirmed for the HTC One X though owners should not expect to get all of the features. We have seen HTC Zoe missing in a leaked build for the HTC Butterfly, so that feature likely won’t be on board the One X’s software.
Beyond Android 4.2, things are a little bleak for the HTC One X. A noted HTC insider has suggested that Android 4.2 will be the last update for the HTC One X and thanks to HTC’s horrible track record with software, this would not shock us, even if the next version of Android is still Jelly Bean.
HTC has left capable devices behind before with One X owners only needing to look at the HTC Rezound for an example. Do we think the One X will remain on Android 4.2? Our crystal ball unfortunately says yes.
HTC One S
The HTC One S was one of the middle of the road devices that HTC released alongside the HTC One X and the HTC One V in 2012. And like the HTC One X, it’s confirmed, by HTC, to be getting a piece of the action with Sense 5 which seems to point to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean as being a possibility.
Thing is, unlike the HTC One X and other devices, those in the know have been unable to confirm that Sense 5 and Android 4.2 will actually be heading to the HTC One S. Thus far, the HTC One S Android 4.2 and Sense 5 update is up in the air which could mean two things. One, HTC has yet to start on it which means that the update could be extremely far off in the distance or two, it could mean that it’s still in the process of figuring out whether or not it will issue the updates.
The HTC One S again is a middle of the road device and if HTC or even carriers decide that its performance is affected by both pieces of software, it will remain on Android 4.1. T-Mobile recently rolled out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for its HTC One S and almost immediately, it became inundated with problems. That’s not reassuring to carriers or HTC.
At this point, it’s hard to say what will happen but we believe that the One S will ultimately get Android 4.2 and Sense 5 but that it will remain on those two updates for eternity.
HTC One X+
The HTC One X+ was one of the devices that was confirmed, by HTC, to be getting Sense 5 and some of its features down the road and its one of the devices that has been unofficially confirmed to be getting Android 4.2 as well.
No release date is known at this point but we imagine that it will likely be one of the first to get Android 4.2 and Sense 5, probably after the HTC Butterfly’s update rolls out.
If we had to take a shot in the dark, we’d say that it will roll out this summer, possibly in June or July, if the HTC Butterfly’s update does arrive in May as is rumored.
Should that happen, it will likely mean an update at the end of summer, early fall for the AT&T version of the HTC One X+ which likely wasn’t highly adopted and therefore won’t be a priority.
Considering its specifications, with a quad-core processor and the fact that it arrived with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it’s possible that the device could see the next Android update. And despite an insider suggesting that Android 4.2 may be its last, we’re lukewarm on the prospects of another update. HTC is trying to repair its reputation though so we think that it has about a 40/60 chance of getting the update.
So far, the HTC Butterfly has been the only HTC device to see an Android 4.2 update and Sense 5 update leak. The firmware arrived earlier this year and it revealed a few things.
One, that an update could be close. Leaks don’t always mean that an update is imminent but they do mean that it’s in the works and given how new and powerful the Butterfly is, we expect it to be amongst the first to get Android 4.2 and Sense 5. Rumors suggest that it could be out as early as May, and that’s certainly possible.
However, we caution owners as HTC will likely start with the HTC One Android 4.2 Jelly Bean roll out and then move to other devices. So we think May or June are likely for this device and its updates.
As for its future, considering its specifications and its age, and the fact that it was fairly well adopted, it has a good chance of getting the next Android update. In fact, we’d be shocked if it didn’t.
The Droid DNA is the United States’ version of the HTC Butterfly. And while HTC didn’t mention it by name when it confirmed Sense 5, unofficial whispers indicate that it will be getting an upgrade to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Sense 5. This isn’t surprising given that it’s Verizon’s current top of the line HTC smartphone.
Verizon is notoriously slow at rolling out updates so we expect the device to get its new software after the HTC Butterfly receives its software. If we had to guess, we’d say it will be out before the end of summer. That means by the end of August.
We also think that, like the HTC Butterfly, that there is at least one major Android update that will be rolling out after Android 4.2 arrives.
HTC EVO 4G LTE
Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G LTE was its version of the HTC One X, even though HTC refused to acknowledge it as a part of the HTC One series of smartphones. Sprint and HTC got it outfitted with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and now, it’s rumored to be one of the devices getting upgraded to Android 4.2 and Sense 5.
There is no doubt in our mind that this will happen. This was a widely adopted device and it has only received one big Android update since it arrived last summer.
Sprint has been extremely diligent about getting its devices updated with new software so we expect this device to beat AT&T’s HTC One X, and perhaps other HTC One X’s around the world, to Sense 5 and Android 4.2. Our crystal ball points to a release by the end of summer.
We aren’t sure if this device will get anything beyond Android 4.2, given the rumors about the One X, but it’s popularity should help its chances. The odds are bad, but that’s better than no odds at all.
Droid Incredible 4G LTE
Verizon’s Droid Incredible 4G LTE arrived with a bit of a whimper last year. However, that doesn’t mean that it will be left behind. Rumors stated that Android 4.2 and Sense 5 will be coming to it at some point, it’s just not clear when.
We expect this device to be behind much of the pack when it comes to getting the updates and we wouldn’t be surprised if its release lands outside the summer.
This wasn’t a popular device which means that it could potentially stay on Android 4.2. In fact, we think that the odds of an update beyond it are extremely slim.
Thus far, these appear to be the only devices that will be getting an upgrade to Android 4.2 and Sense 5. Other devices, like the HTC One V and HTC One SV are likely going to remain on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Perhaps they will get Sense 5 at some point down the road in an incremental update but at this point, they appear to be dead in the water when it comes to future major Android updates.