HTC launches software update page, uses infographics to appeal for patience

Screenshot 2013-12-27 08.56.59

HTC has been one of the good guys in Android updates this year, honouring its promise to bring Jelly Bean 4.3 to the HTC One by the end of September.

Now the company has taken things one step further, issuing a new website detailing the five stages of Android updates, from the source code to carrier deployment and everything in between. There’s even a handy infographic with lots of twists and turns (but the same end result) for each of the Carrier Devices, Unlocked/Developer Edition Devices and Google Play Edition Devices.

While the HTC One site is geared specifically towards US carrier updates — there is a chart detailing the status of each one — it highlights some of the extra steps needed in the process by carrier-sold phones. Specifically, there are three levels of regulatory approval needed, each from the carrier, the governing industry body, and Google itself. Once that certification process is complete, and depending on who is in charge of rolling out the update, the device receives its OTA file.

According to HTC, carrier devices go through four more steps than their Google Play Edition equivalents, and three more than the Developer/Unlocked Editions, which lends credence to the notion that wireless providers, though they do ensure the devices work properly on their networks, are the leading cause for update delays. Though iOS updates are subject to the same certification and testing scrutiny, Apple has somehow managed to expedite the process and deliver an update to all devices, in all countries, on the same day.

It’s great to see HTC approach the Android update process with such transparency; Rogers claims that the One will receive its KitKat update “late January,” with the One Mini following in “late February.” Whether the carrier certification process will prolong the process remains to be seen — they’ve already been delayed once — but we have faith.


  • Sam

    At least HTC is transparent. Not like Samesung and their plastic garbage.

    • Mayoo

      I agree that HTC is transparent, but what the f*** does the plastic used on Samsung’s phones have anything to do with this?

    • Sam

      Just felt like throwing it in there.

    • ITCanWork

      Why cause you got a little infographie about how updates work, which we already knew? Nothing new here to see except presentation.

  • Ken K.

    All that graph and they can’t explain why HTC One X will be stuck in 4.2 and One S in 4.1. Where is that arrow when HTC decides to screw its customers after one year?

    • ITCanWork

      This. There’s no excuse for One X to be stuck on 4.2, I don’t know why people applaud HTC so much

    • wuZheng

      Two words: man. power.

      As the infographic points out, there are at least three versions of the update to evaluate, develop, verify, and certify for each of the new devices they put out. I don’t know if you have any experience doing software development, but let me tell you now that this requires an enormous amount of labour. As most people against HTC are more than willing to point out, HTC has neither the financial or engineering resources of its bigger rivals. So the fact that they are able to support even a few devices with more or less timely updates compared to their competitors is actually quite an achievement. But sure, go ahead and ignore all of that and say that a corporation desperate for consumer good will intentionally chose to alienate large segments of its consumer base.

    • Ken K.

      That’s just an excuse. In the past they had released so many phones that’s why many phones were not supported. Since last year they only released a couple flagship devices: HTC One (Max and Mini), One X and S, and DNA/Butterfly…That’s it. Of course you also forgot the fact they just released 5 or 6 low end Desire devices which will probably never be updated. It’s not about man power. It’s about a company’s dedication to customers, or its pure greed to stop supporting devices so they will run out and upgrade on new models. That strategy works great in the beginning, now it backfired on them.

    • Tyrone_83

      I was pissed when I had the Desire HD waiting for the update for my phone only to be told only the American version of the Desire HD will only get the update. Different carrier same phone they had no excuse for that and a lot of people were angry they pulled a move like that.

    • Jian H. Lin

      My HTC One X is still stuck at 4.1. Hey HTC, where is update for my ONE X?

    • Dylan D’Croix

      Mine as well..

  • Justin

    Never realized that just for update would be soooo complicate! Ridiculous!

  • mad

    Simple solution buy an unlocked device. OR if you have the desire root and unlock your carrier acquired phone. In this day and age and with the amount of exploits, scams, id theft, malware, updates should be alot more common.. especially since so much personal information can be contained on each device. Update frequency definitely needs to improve. and by passing carriers all together is the best option for this. They only want more money from you and are not interested in protecting your privacy and security through more frequent updates. They rather you get annoyed and buy a newer phone that is more up to date. If you think buying a phone for 0$ on a 2 year contract is a good deal.. I feel sorry for you.. You might get one update with your flavour of the month carrier phone but anything after that is not very likely. sometimes there is exceptions but not usually.

  • fruvous

    Hmmm, I wonder if all these steps will prevent the 9-1-1 dialing issues they had way back with the Dream and Magic.

  • Trebor E

    Still no update from Telus for the HTC OneX. Want is Telus waiting for ? Santa Claus or the second coming?

  • John

    If you have been following, there is actually a big change in attitude from One X to the New One…that year, HTC’s image has changed…and they are more aggressive in the broad media.
    I wouldn’t criticize or compare HTC’s ability now and then…coz it is so different…I am glad to see that they are making so much effort to win back customer’s trust by be transparent and coming out with phones that work and look better~~I am also glad that they can keep up with their high level customer service.
    undoubtedly, HTC wasn’t great in the past years. Their phone is ugly and look like a block of brick. But ever since they introduced the HTC J, everything is a step up for this company. From advertising, slogan, software, hardware to updates, customer service, and look…everything there just tells me that they want to break out.
    It’s great to have something else that’s trying rather than just Samsung “hailing” at the top of the android market…to be honest i don’t even know why…i have heard so much problem with Samsung’s phone breaking down after just couple of months and Samsung refusing to fix it cause they claim “is the user’s problem”….anyway…Samsung has it merit…but i wouldn’t give up on HTC just yet…they are changing…i would like to keep an open eye on their upcoming Flag product.

  • Handheld Addict

    8,9,12 steps. 3 extra steps that add about a year to an update.

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