Why isn't the HTC DROID Incredible getting updated to Gingerbread?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
While Android’s presence has basically steam-rolled into mega-popularity since its introduction into the market, and it’s essentially become a household name when it comes to phones, it hasn’t always been a path sidelined by roses. While no phone manufacturer out there is scot-free in the negative comment realm, there was a stretch of time there not too long ago where Google’s update strategy for Android and the smartphones than run the mobile OS was under the magnifying glass. For the majority of consumers, the results weren’t that stellar. But, Google’s obviously been working hard on ending that whole fragmentation argument, which is great. However, the update process is still pock-marked with nonsensical decisions that may or may not have anything to do with Google directly, but thanks to Android’s name, the search giant gets included in the conversation anyway.
Google has a very specific job when it comes to building Android. The company only needs to build Android to the way that they see fit, and how they believe the mobile OS should be brought into the marketplace. They may listen to the general public when it comes to specific bits and pieces, but for the most part Google’s got a plan, and the developers under that roof are tasked with bringing that into fruition. For the phone manufacturers, it’s a bit trickier. Namely, they’ve got to build the phone they think will make the biggest splash for a specific group of customer. They may release a high-end device one day, and a week later release a middle-class handset that features the same version of Android that the high-end device features.
The differences come in the hardware, and while no one likes to think about the fact their brand new piece of technology will (eventually) become outdated versus newer and shinier devices, it’s just an unavoidable truth. But, there are some devices out there that despite how long they may have been on the market, or if another device has managed to land in the family lineage, still pack enough power to run the latest and greatest in the software department. The DROID Incredible is one of those devices.
The DROID Incredible, which is sometimes referred to as the DInc, was released in April of 2010, which makes it more than a year old. In phone years, that means it’s pretty much ancient. Additionally, the DInc has been replaced on Verizon’s network by the larger DROID Incredible 2, which just recently landed on store shelves. Even with these two glaring indicators to an extinct phone, the original Incredible still packs plenty of power under the hood. A 1GHz processor under the hood – which is outdated, yes, but it’s still a decent clock speed. The Incredible also features 512MB of RAM, which isn’t a slouch by any means.
This is relevant because the HTC EVO 4G, which launched for Sprint’s network two months later (after the DInc’s launch on Verizon’s network), is pretty much the exact same phone. We’ve got the same stats under the hood, including the same 1GHz processor and same amount of RAM and ROM. The main difference is the 4G WiMAX connectivity and the larger display. Well, that was then. Now, though, the differences are pretty vast: the EVO 4G is running Gingerbread, or Android 2.3, while the HTC DROID Incredible doesn’t look to be getting upgraded at all. This is beyond unfortunate.
It’s unfortunate, because the DROID Incredible has what some may call a cult following. There are still plenty of people out there who have an Incredible as their primary phone, and on the development side of things, the Incredible is still one of the most popular phones out there. The situation by itself, the Incredible not getting upgraded to Android 2.3, is bad enough, but it’s only made worse by the fact that the HTC EVO 4G is already upgraded, and has been since June. There’s no reason why the Incredible can’t see the same update as the EVO 4G. HTC could even skip over the major updates to HTC Sense, and just make sure that the Incredible is running the most recent version of Android.
Based on the letter, this seems to be a decision that falls plainly in HTC’s lap, and doesn’t really have anything to do with Google proper. After all, they released Android 2.3 and HTC had no problems with updating the EVO 4G. So, will we see another Desire update situation, where it takes the out-cry of the public to get HTC to upgrade the Incredible? Maybe. And if that is the case, and you’ve got yourself an Incredible that you were anticipating updating to Android 2.3 by now, then start your out-cry now.