At the beginning of this month, HTC and Verizon started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Rezound. While ICS update for the Rezound brought with it a truck load of features, it did not bring world-roaming capabilities to the handset, as stated by Verizon earlier.
Now, it looks like Verizon has started rolling out a new software update for the Rezound that brings world-roaming capabilities to the handset. While Verizon has not officially confirmed the update, some Rezound owners in the United States have been reporting in various forums about a huge 104MB update being available for their handset. The hefty update does not bring Android 4.0.4, a newer version of Sense or any new features.
The OTA update might just be in the “soak” testing period from Verizon, and so all Rezound owners might not get it immediately.
Interested HTC Rezound owners, who are already running Ice Cream Sandwich on their handset, can manually install this update by following the steps mentioned at AndroidPolice.
The HTC Rezound was the first phone from the Taiwanese manufacturer to be released in the United States to sport a 4.3-inch screen with 720p HD resolution, 1GB of RAM, and the Beats Audio logo. When HTC announced the Rezound it said that the handset is “Ice Cream Sandwich” ready, and that it will roll-out the update for the handset by the end of Q1 of 2012.
Well, starting from today, HTC has finally started rolling out the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Rezound. The official OTA update comes after the company missed its its original deadline by more than a quarter, and numerous ICS firmware leaks for the device.
Below is the official change-log of the update -:
Applications & Widgets
+ V CAST Media Manager has been updated to Backup Assistant Plus with an enhanced user experience.
+ Time zone issues have been resolved and proper Timezone will display within the Clock Widget.
+ Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
+ Cisco AnyConnect support has been added to improve VPN functionality.
+ Improved data connectivity for a better user experience.
+ Improve device stability minimizes the number of resets.
+ Improvements to Mobile Hotspot connectivity.
Email, Messaging & Web
+ Improvements to default mail application now displays all Yahoo! mail contents properly
The OTA update should hit all Rezound owners within a couple of weeks. Alternatively, they can manually pull the update by going to Settings -> About Phone -> Software Update and then selecting the ‘Check For Updates’ option.
Until 2010, HTC was the favorite Android device maker among the third party community. Then in 2011, HTC went insane and started locking down bootloaders on its handset. This not only led to a downfall of company’s handset sale, it also affected its popularity among third party developers.
Thanks to all the negative publicity, HTC gave in and released a bootloader unlock tool so that advanced users and developers could unlock tinker around with their phone. Sadly, this bootloader unlock was only a partial solution, since it did not S-OFF the device thus making development tough for the phone.
Now, thanks to a method called JuopunutBear from the Unlimited Team, owners of selected HTC handsets can
easily get S-OFF on their handset. These handsets include the HTC Amaze, the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide, Rezound, Sensation, Sensation XE and the Vivid. The method is a bit tricky though. Firstly, users need to unlock the bootloader of their handset and backup the contents of their phone’s SD card since it will be wiped clean during the process.
Secondly, and the most tricky part is that the process involves a “wire trick”, which can be quite overwhelming for newbies. The wire trick is different for each phone, but the folks at Unlimited Team have uploaded detailed video guides for each handset. Head over to their official website for more information and a proper step-by-step guide.
HTC and Verizon will soon start rolling out a new software update for the Rezound, the company’s first phone with an HD screen and Beats audio in the United States.
While not the Ice Cream Sandwich update many Rezound owners would be hoping for, the update does bring some bug fixes, and a new radio which improves the 3G and 4G LTE hand-off and 4G reception.
Below is the change-log of the software update (v2.01.605.11) –:
+ Updated signal strength meter to 5 bar Received
Signal Strength Indication (RSSI).
+ Screen Timeout issues while connected to Wi-Fi have been resolved.
+ Resolved issue with Mobile Hotspot data stalling while multiple users are
+ Improved audio quality during voice call.
+ Reduced forced closures related to the People application.
+ Improved device stability reduces continuous resets.
Email, Messaging and Data
+ Resolved issue with Task Manager stopping Mail background service
While the update is not yet live, Verizon should start rolling out the update for Rezound owners in the next few days.
It was just yesterday that HTC had updated its bootloader tool to add support for the myTouch 4G Slide and the EVO View 4G. Readers will remember that I had complained that the HTC Rezound bootloader was not unlockable using the official tool from HTC.
Now, just a day after, HTC has updated its web-based bootloader unlocking tool to add support for all HTC Android handsets announced after September 2011. Yes, this includes the HTC Rezound as well!
Below is the official statement from HTC -:
HTC Android devices launched after September 2011 are unlockable. The website will be updated accordingly to reflect this in the coming weeks. We continue to work on models launched prior to September 2011, please check back often for the status of older devices.
Thankfully, as it is evident from the above statement, HTC is also working on adding support for handsets it had launched with encrypted bootloaders earlier in the year like the Incredible S, Desire S etc.
Hopefully, this also means that the bootloader tool will be able to unlock the bootloaders of all the upcoming handsets from HTC as well, without the need for an update.
Until 2010, HTC was the favorite Android handset manufacturer among the Android developers, because of their relatively easy to bypass bootloader and their modding potential. However, since 2011 HTC has started encrypting the bootloader on their handsets, thus giving developers a hard time to gain root access and flash custom ROMs on their handsets.
The Taiwanese handset manufacturer received a lot of criticism for this, and finally released a bootloader unlocking tool for its handsets. HTC handset owners can use the web-based bootloader unlocking tool from the company to unlock the bootloader of their handset, and then root it or flash a custom ROM on it.
Sadly, the unlocking tool from HTC only allows users to unlock the bootloaders of certain of their handsets. In the last couple of months, HTC has released quite a few new handsets including the Rezound and the MyTouch Slide 4G. Today, the company update its bootloader tool to add support for the My Touch Slide 4G and the EVO View 4G, which is the Sprint’s version of the Flyer. The company did not add support for the Rezound though, which is a shame.
Hopefully, HTC will release phones with a relatively easy to unlock bootloader in 2012.
At an event in New York, HTC announced its latest addition to its Droid line-up of handsets – the Rezound. From the front, the Rezound looks similar to the Droid Incredible 2, with the typical red accents found in all the recent Beats banded HTC phones. The red accents go deep inside the phone, including a red battery.
The Rezound is the first phone from HTC to come with a 720p HD display. The display measures 4.3-inch diagonally. Inside the Rezound is a 1.5GHz processor from Qualcomm, accompanied by an Adreno 220 GPU. There is also 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board memory and a microSD card slot.
On the connectivity front, the Rezound has Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, 4G LTE, GPS with A-GPS, microUSB v2.0 port and much more. At the back of the phone is the same much-improved 8MP camera with an F2.2 sensor found in other recent HTC handsets. The camera can also record videos in 1080p resolution, and comes with other goodies like Panorama mode, Action Burst and Instant Capture.
Like all other recently released HTC handsets, the Rezound also carriers the Beats Audio logo. HTC needs to realize that just tweaking the software on the phone and bundling quality headphones will not please audiophiles. They must use a quality audio chip as well. Software tweaks can only improve the sound quality of a phone to a limited extent. This also means that the Rezound will ship with a pair of quality Beats branded earphones.
The Rezound will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Sense UI running on top of it, but will get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich by early next year. The handset will hit the retail and Best Buy stores on November 14th, for $299 on a two-year contract.