In a world where Android users are often left out in the cold by carriers in terms of updates, any time a carrier promises to actually upgrade devices to the next major version of Android is a big deal. It is even more so when the list of devices to be upgraded includes almost all of the company's flagship smartphones, even older ones usually left out of the mix, as is the case with Verizon's announcement from today.
According to their official release, these devices will be getting an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future.
- HTC Thunderbolt
- HTC Incredible 2
- HTC Rhyme
- HTC Rezound
- Motorola Droid Bionic
- Motorola Droid RAZR/RAZR MAXX
- Motorola Droid 4
- LG Spectrum
It is worth noting that the list includes not only the latest smartphones, but also comparatively outdated devices like the Thunderbolt and the Bionic. The upgrade should make all the smartphones better and improve the overall quality of Verizon's lineup, although there will almost certainly still be manufacturer customization involved. Notably absent from the list are devices like the Droid 3, Droid X2 and Droid Charge, which presumably are considered to be near their end of life.
The lack of Ice Cream Sandwich on Motorola's Droid RAZR MAXX was one of my main complaints about the smartphone, and while I was a bit easier on the Droid Bionic in the review, it too will benefit greatly from the update. In fact, even if there are manufacturer customizations, I think it is appropriate to applaud Verizon for this bit of news. Not only are they being up front about which devices will receive Ice Cream Sandwich, that list includes almost all of their current hardware lineup.
Of course, we still don't have any actual release dates on the updates, and according to some rumors an even newer version of Android is just around the corner. It would have been nice to see an even longer list, but I am still glad to see Verizon step up and update its flagship devices, even if they should have shipped with the software in the first place.[Verizon Wireless via PCMag]