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HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich Update Issues Abound



In the past few months, the HTC ThunderBolt has been updated twice, first with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and then, with another smaller update aimed at improving the experience of the aging 4G LTE smartphone. However, as we first pointed out back in February, owners experiences after Android 4.0 were a mixed bag and it appears that its latest update has been causing problems for at least some owners as well.

Last year, HTC announced that it would be rolling out an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for its first 4G LTE smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt. It promised owners that it would roll out the update by the end of August. Only, the update didn’t roll out in August and it didn’t roll out in 2012. Instead, it arrived in February, rolling out to replace its previous software, Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Read: HTC ThunderBolt Owners Mixed on ICS Performance.

HTC ThunderBolt has been suffering from issues galore after ICS.

HTC ThunderBolt has been suffering from issues galore after ICS.

Owners of the HTC ThunderBolt, in the months between the update’s delay and roll out, had complained tirelessly about the update prodding HTC and Verizon for answers. However, now, we have heard from more than a few owners who say that they wish that they had never installed the update at all and also from several who claim that the ThunderBolt’s latest update to ICS, a bug fix enhancement update, has brought more problems than its worth.

In February, almost immediately after the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update rolled out, we heard from a number of ThunderBolt owners who were dealing with an assortment of issues, including lag that made their phone virtually unusable. However, we also heard from a number of owners who said that their experience had improved, particularly when it came to battery life and overall performance. It was, again, a bit of a mixed reaction to the update.

A few weeks later, surprisingly, Verizon approved a new update for the HTC ThunderBolt that was expected to improve on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update with features like functionality for the microphone when HAC is enabled, improvements to HTC Watch, visible Amber Alerts, improved text messaging, and improvements to Exchange and Yahoo! mail.

However, from what we’ve heard, not all owners are having a great experience with Verizon’s latest update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

HTC ThunderBolt

The ThunderBolt’s ICS and post-ICS update haven’t been all they were cracked up to be.

We’ve heard not only from owners who said that their experience remained just as bad after the latest update, but we’ve heard from owners who said that their experience went from good, to terrible, after the latest update to ICS.

Specifically, we have heard about considerable battery drain, random reboots becoming more prevalent, and as one owner describes, frequent activating notices that are completely useless.

These experiences are confirmed and backed up by the numerous complaints on Verizon’s forum wherein owners are complaining about the issues with Android 4.0 and the most recent update as well.

So, by most accounts, it appears that the Android 4.0 ICS update has been a curse rather than a blessing. So while owners were complaining about the whereabouts of the update, perhaps, it looks like many would trade in the many features of ICS for a return to a more stable version of Android.

Whether one comes in a future update remains to be seen.



  1. Robert Corutney

    04/30/2013 at 4:03 pm

    I agree that the update really screwed up my Thunderbold HTC. I finally went to a verizon store and had them do a factory reset and put out the new ice cream sandwich updtate. I am happy to say, my batter life is now much better. The phone is responsive, but lags just a bit. I went to the developer settings and made it use the GPU for the graphics and that helped. I could not stay up on the 4g network, my bluetooth was unusable in my car, and I could not stay connected on a network. But, after the factory reset… I now have a phone that works. It will need to be upgraded soon I am sure, but at least the phone is working now…… a factory reset… and it works better.

  2. Tony

    04/30/2013 at 5:45 pm

    With all the poor Thunderbolt folks have been put thru HTC and Verizon should give them a free phone…

  3. Mark Schilling

    04/30/2013 at 8:07 pm

    After the ICS update, my Thunderbolt became sluggish and faster battery drain. After doing a factory reset my boot up time was cut in half, not sluggish anymore, and battery life improved a lot. Running very well now after the reset.

  4. Brian

    04/30/2013 at 10:57 pm

    I second what these guys are saying. If you are having issues, do the factory reset. That cleared up all of my issues. It runs just as good if not better on ICS as it did on GB.

  5. Smitty

    05/01/2013 at 9:28 am

    Why don’t you mention what the issues are and did they play with the phone’s software before the update, like root. I never touched my phone’s software and it works great on ICS. Also, after rebooting many apps start that we don’t use – turn them off and watch the improvement in performance. Why they turn on is a Google problem that they should FIX. When I stop using an APP it should turn off, period.

  6. Chris

    05/04/2013 at 6:23 am

    To be perfectly honest this was a planed obsolescence move from Verizon and HTC so faze out the Thunderbolt, and ICS makes it so annoyingly slow with unnecessary loading popups that it vertualy bricks your TB so youll will want to throw or run it over and take on new contract and upgrade your phone to say that S4. The thunderbolt is three years old now, HTC wants more of your money… Also a new contract means no more unlimited data plan so more money for Verizon. Win Win for the industry!

    • Ed

      06/29/2013 at 7:13 am

      A Class Action Lawsuit is in order

      • Don

        07/03/2013 at 1:26 pm

        im in. My phone is on for a few minutes and then auto reboots. A download starts then fails and freezes on a screen with an android bot and and exclaimation point. Other than a hard reset does anyone know how to fix this?

    • LowcarbNY

      07/09/2013 at 1:30 pm

      “Also a new contract means no more unlimited data plan so more money for Verizon. Win Win for the industry!”

      Exactly. I’d pay for an upgrade by VW won’t let me keep my unlimited data.

      BTW, I did hard reset my phone and it did improve for a while but has gotten worse as time goes on.

  7. Frank

    05/04/2013 at 3:50 pm

    There was a Reddit post from an HTC employee apologizing for the ThunderBolt in general claiming it was a failure of a project. And what does he say? “All I can say is stick around we’ve gotten a lot better!” Yeah same card they played with the brand new super promising Thunderbolt! Surprised there hasn’t been any class action lawsuits yet… Its a danger having this phone if I’m an emergency situation! Where’s the Samsung train? I need to hop on. Also it took 10 minutes to type this on my thunderbolt. From it being so painfully slow.

  8. Jay_d

    07/09/2013 at 8:37 am

    I upgraded to Samsung just prior to the ICS update (pressure from family plan members). Complained for months about missing the TB – best phone I ever had. Bummer the update fouled a few things up, but it sounds like they fixed it (relatively) quickly. If my new phone ever breaks, I guess I’ll see for myself.

  9. Ryan

    08/16/2013 at 11:18 am

    Carrier interference for me is what doomed this phone. I dont want to have to root my phone for it to work. This also turned me off on Android. I’m never buying an Android phone again. Verizon can’t block an Apple update due to bloatware. I believe its the same with Windows Phone. Numerous things are bad with this POS: Sense is slow, battery is junk, when I have LTE; the 3g radio wont work, when i have 3g then the LTE radio won’t work. Woz is right this is the worst phone out there.

  10. ADR6400L

    05/28/2014 at 8:44 am

    HTC setting has stopped inexpectedly and phone device unstable system and not sofe any new app

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