Pigs fly as Verizon readies Ice Cream Sandwich rollout for the HTC Thunderbolt

This is probably the last thing I’d have ever expected to see in the news wire today. The HTC Thunderbolt is coming up on its two-year anniversary, and we figured the device had simply been abandoned by Verizon. It was the first 4G LTE phone, sure, but its launch was plagued by poor battery life and some nasty bugs, and the lack of Ice Cream Sandwich — after nearly a year of availability — didn’t help.

Welp, it looks like although the phone seemed to exist at the very bottom of the 4G LTE totem pole, Verizon finally got around to delivering Ice Cream Sandwich for it. Most people wouldn’t be satisfied until they got Jelly Bean, but if you happen to still be rocking your HTC Thunderbolt after all this time then you’d better jump for joy and take a day off of work for Ice Cream Sandwich.

Some of the changes the Ice Cream Sandwich update will provide include the ability to access the notification bar via the lock-screen, the ability to swipe individual notifications away to get rid of them, the ability to customize the home-screen’s launch bar, a face unlock mechanism, the new ICS-style apps switcher and more.

Users will be on the lookout for firmware 7.02.605.06 710RD, Android version 4.0.4 and HTC Sense 3.6, and the update will be close to 400MB — you can put that old 4G LTE workhorse to work if you still have unlimited data, but getting on WiFi would be the far wiser choice. Unfortunately we’re not sure when, exactly, the upgrade will beam itself to handsets everywhere, but we’ll be on the lookout for its arrival in the days and weeks to come.

[via Verizon 1 | 2]

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  • PhishyKris

    Might pull it out of the drawer for this one! Wish I could hit VZW servers without a SIM.

    • http://twitter.com/Vanakatherock Vanakatherock

      You should be able to via WiFi.

      • ScottyByrd

        Cant. I tried with a TB that I have in a drawer. It said something about no network when I told it to check for new software.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          Yeah, you’ll have to try using HTC’s official updating software on the comp.

        • arunningpir8

          Put it in airplane mode and then turn on wifi…old trick that’s always seemed to work

  • Michael Radcliffe

    I’m playing the lottery today. Too bad I dumped this phone
    2 phones ago.

  • BigBen7

    Good to hear, but damn, like the Bionic, this phone was dead before it was released. Wish they would spend their time/resources updating some of their newer phones to JB.

    • hkklife

      Bionic is FAR from a dead device now. In fact, it’s a far better phone now than it was when it launched 18 months ago. It’s arguably the last “power user’s” Moto handset, since it has a removable battery. It’s got a nice ICS build now and is still supposedly slated to get JB. Sometimes I still wish I had kept my Bionic instead of jumping to the S3.

    • Michael Quinlan

      Sorry… Browser had my reply in the wrong place.

  • DanWazz

    Ho. Lee. She. It.

  • Alexander Borsi

    And they binned the Vnex… Screw you VZW. I’m getting an N4 as soon as I can actually buy the damn thing.

    • DavidVarghese

      You can actually buy the Nexus 4 now…

      • Alexander Borsi

        I meant I don’t have enough money now, not a lack of supply–but that was an issue not a week ago.

    • http://www.midwesttechblog.com/ MidwestTech

      Google “binned” the Gnex before Verizon did, a lot of folks seem to overlook

      • Alexander Borsi

        The only reason that Google stopped support was that it was taking so long for VZW to approve the firmware/radio for the phone that it was getting to where they wanted to release another version after the version they submitted, which would have just made them test and get further and further behind.

        Not Google’s fault that they wanted to have a quicker update cycle, and VZW wanted to drag it’s feet and slow down testing.

  • Fred G. Vader

    they didn’t forget about you Lactose!

    • Lactose_the_Intolerant

      Un-freaking-believable! Today will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Gingerbread, it will soon see the end of Sense 2.1 :p

  • phinn

    I don’t have a TB but I’m speechless reading this. And over a year since ICS came out no less.

    Now maybe pigs will KEEP flying and there will be a new Nexus for Verizon. Sadly, that probably won’t be the case and I’ll have to get an iPhone next.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Look at the specs of the Thunderbolt and all the other devices released around that time that never saw ICS.

      I’d say it’s pretty awesome for Verizon and HTC to actually go through the effort to update a phone this old.

      • hkklife

        Droid Charge was VZW’s 2nd LTE phone. It got EOL’d after receiving a semi-buggy GB 2.3.6 build I believe. I think I remember that the LG Spectrum got 2.3.4 and was never heard from again (it was VZW’s 3rd LTE handset).

        So of those three initial LTE phones, yes, the TB was the only one to get ICS, primarily because it has the most RAM and most onboard storage.

        • Robert Manser

          That’s not true the Spectrum had 4.0.4, learn facts before speculating.

        • Robert Manser

          I own the Spectrum and Rezound.

  • Kanes_Inferno

    Wow.

  • Michael Quinlan

    To all those still using a stock Thunderbolt… Welcome to 2011.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      You say it like Ice Cream Sandwich is a bad thing.

      • Michael Quinlan

        It’s not a bad thing. In fact, if I had a stock Thunderbolt I would probably be thrilled to get this update. But to say it’s a day late and a dollar short is an understatement.

  • jdl13

    Hey VZ, way to waste resources that could be better spent updating the GALAXY FREAKING NEXUS. Nostalgia is a dumb business move in an industry that makes money off people updating fast and often. Piss off those people and you’re gonna have a bad time!

    • camelsnot

      this update was in the que way longer the the freaking phone. quit whining and keep your helmet on. You apparently need it.

      • jdl13

        O-que the the camelsnot… I’m due for a new helmet, what brand do illiterate trolls like you wear?

        P.S. The Galaxy NEXUS is almost 4 updates behind now.

        • Lactose_the_Intolerant

          Want to guess how many updates the Thunderbolt is behind? :p

          • jdl13

            I get that, and am happy for those still using a Thunderbolt.

            I’m just bitter and venting frustration towards VZ, (with secret, but probably disillusioned, hopes that someone who works there and cares will read this and react for current and future phones). It has nothing to do with a dislike of the Thunderbolt or the owners of them. The point behind the Nexus program… to be a vanilla Android developer phone that is quickly updated. I’m definitely buying off-carrier unlocked next time and probably leaving VZ.

  • Go Hawkeyes

    My daughter has my old Thunderbolt. It’s running Twisted mashup ROM, but has bugs. I’ll probably slap a rooted version of this update on. Thanks Verizon! Now how about bring back unlimited data and cutting that bootloader locking crap? Make everyone love you again.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.moch.10 Chris Moch

      Never gonna happen (unlim data) they want you to stream, use the cloud storage and everything else on their data so you get a $500 bill in overages. Data costs them next to nothing this is all profit and it’s over all our backs. Still have my ‘bolt and I’m bending them over for all the data I can before I switch carriers in May

  • Wes

    I just tried to update mine that I have had sitting in a drawer since I upgraded to the Droid DNA. It said that it could not connect to the network. I took the SIM card out and tried it again and it said insert SIM card to connect to the network. Both times I was connected to my local Wi-Fi and it failed to even say “no update available”

  • indio7777

    This phone suuuuucked.

  • indio7777

    That cheap a ss piece of plastic that covered its chin…light bleed allll over! Ugh.

  • vicpatd

    To jdl13, not everybody upgrades their phone the next big thing!!! Not everybody is that stupid or rich! For normal people that have to wait a couple of years for their upgrade, this is cool. So Verizon isn’t wasting resources because they are keeping old customers satisfied….common sense!

  • camelsnot

    Proof -> pudding.

  • Wes

    Airplane mode did not work. It greys out the option to ‘check new’. So, it must be required to have current Verizon service on this device to get the upgrade.

  • Ryan Conger

    I used this phone until the GNex came out, then jumped ship, but my wife has been happily cranking away on it ever since. Still works like a champ! An update would be very refreshing! Thanks VZW…even though you are slower than molasses on a cold day with your rollouts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.moch.10 Chris Moch

    What’s the track record once Verizon approves an update till it drops? I always thought it was pretty quick. Went back to stock unrooted in prep hope I’m not there long sense 2.1 is a dagger in the chest

  • Aaron McLaughlin

    WELL…This made my night!