AT&T announced on Thursday that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has begun to roll out to the HTC Vivid. The Android 4.0 update also includes Sense 3.6, and it brings the company’s Beats Audio technology to the 4G LTE handset as well. The Ice Cream Sandwich update will deliver advanced voice and text input to the device, along with Face Unlock, UI improvements and improved email. The HTC Vivid is equipped with a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSDHC support to add an additional 32GB of storage and a 1,620 mAh battery. AT&T’s press release follows below.
ANDROID 4.0 NOW AVAILABLE TO HTC VIVID™ CUSTOMERS
AT&T the First U.S. Carrier to Issue Latest Android Version via Upgrade
Update Includes Beats By Dr. Dre Audio™ and Updated HTC Sense™ Experience
Android Upgrades for Several AT&T Devices to Follow
DALLAS, March 22, 2012 – AT&T* today announced the availability of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for HTC Vivid™ customers. After installing the software update, customers can now enjoy the optimized audio experience of Beats by Dr. Dre Audio™ and new and improved HTC Sense™ experience. Information about these features and more can be found at http://www.att.com/vividupdate. HTC Vivid™ will be the first U.S. smartphone to receive Ice Cream Sandwich as an update and the first to be issued by a wireless carrier. It will be followed by several other AT&T devices in the coming months:
- LG Nitro
- Motorola ATRIX 2
- Motorola ATRIX 4G
- Pantech Burst
- Pantech Element
- Samsung Captivate Glide
- Samsung Galaxy Note
- Samsung Galaxy S II
- Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
Focused on bringing the power of Android to the surface, Android 4.0 makes common actions more visible and lets you navigate with simple, intuitive gestures. Refined animations and feedback throughout the system make interactions engaging and interesting. An entirely new typeface optimized for high-resolution screens improves readability and brings a polished, modern feel to the user interface.
New User Features for HTC Vivid
Beats By Dr. Dre Audio™ – Enhance your music and video experience with Beats By Dr. Dre Audio. Whenever a media file is played using the media players or most third party applications, customers will experience richer, more authenic sound. AT&T recently debuted the Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ Beatbox Portable high performance wireless audio system. The superior portable system and Beats accessories are available at AT&T company-owned stores or online.
Face Unlock – Android 4.0 introduces a completely new approach to securing a device, making each person’s device even more personal — Face Unlock is a new screen-lock option that lets you unlock your device using facial recognition. It takes advantage of the device’s front-facing camera and state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to register a face during setup and then to recognize it again when unlocking the device. Just hold your device in front of your face to unlock, or use a backup PIN or pattern.
How to Upgrade
Beginning today, customers can download the update via Wi-Fi by visiting http://www.att.com/vividupdate. If Wi-Fi is not available, you can download the software upgrade to a PC and install it via sideload. On March 23, HTC Vivid customers who have not downloaded the upgrade will begin receiving an SMS notification of upgrade availability.
Last May, HTC’s chief executive officer Peter Chou responded to customer feedback and announced that the company would no longer be locking the bootloaders on its devices. HTC later introduced the web-based HTCDev unlocking tool, giving users a simple and safe way to unlock their devices. The solution was not perfect though, and phones such as the HTC Vivid and HTC Rezound were released with locked bootloaders and users had no method to unlock them. HTC has made good on its promise once again, however, and the company’s developer site has now been updated with the following message:
All 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.
Anyone interested in customizing their HTC device should visit the source link after the break.
The problem with a new phone being announced every day is that companies eventually run out of names, so they sometimes choose a title another company has already claimed. That’s why Verizon has to pay George Lucas for permission to use his trademark “Droid” name in its phones.
Brand overflow is also why adult entertainment company Vivid is crying foul over the HTC Vivid just released on AT&T. TMZ and The Verge report that Vivid has sent HTC a cease-and-decease letter to stop using the name on its Android phone, claiming that it may lead to confusion about whether the company is involved with the phone. Before you dismiss that as silly, keep in mind that Vivid does have a Google-optimized TV website and is always looking for ways to spread it’s message. Heck, maybe Vivid wants to put out a phone someday. Wouldn’t that be an interesting phone to review.
The HTC Vivid isn’t the only Android device that could rub brands the wrong way. Here’s are a few other phones and tablets – along with some awful puns – that may draw the ire of another company.
ASUS Transformer Prime – This one is a new brainer to me. Using a well-known brand and then attaching half of the name of its iconic character seems too blatant to have been an accident. Either Asus is really cavalier about possible lawsuits from Hasbro or it already has a deal that hasn’t been mentioned. Or perhaps it’s being…disguised?
Sprint Express – This new phone coming to the Now Network is already out of fashion based on specs, but what if the clothing retailer decides to makes an app or co-branded phone? Then Sprint will be “out” like a Project Runway reject.
HTC Raider – Bell may have chosen the “Raider” name for its version of the Vivid, but what if the NFL franchise feels that name steps on its toes? Plus, the phone is fast, and we all know how the late Al Davis had a penchant for picking up speed at all costs.
HTC Edge – This rumored phone that hasn’t been confirmed yet could tick off the forgotten WWE wrestler. HTC may get pinned or put on the ropes yet again.
ZTE Score – If one porn company can sue a phone manufacturer, why not another? (This is the part where you pretend that you don’t know Score is an adult entertainment producer.)
Gallery: HTC Vivid review