Sprint and HTC on Wednesday held a joint press conference during which the companies showed off the new EVO 4G LTE. During the presentation, the companies played a brief behind the scenes video starring their latest handset. As it turns out, the video features a brief cameo of a prototype handset equipped with dual cameras and dual-LED flash. The unannounced device features a similar design to the EVO 4G LTE, leading many to suspect that it could be the follow up to HTC’s EVO 3D — perhaps the HTC EVO 3D 4G LTE. Then again, this could simply be a prototype in one of HTC’s labs that may never see the light of day. HTC’s video can be found after the break.
HTC on Wednesday confirmed that 16 of its devices will receive a “tasty treat of Ice Cream Sandwich.” An Android 4.0 update will hit the DROID Incredible 2, Amaze 4G, Desire S, Desire HD, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, Incredible S, Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation 4G, Sensation XE, Raider, Rezound, Rhyme, Thunderbolt and Vivid. The Taiwanese company is currently in the early stages of rolling out Android 4.0 for the Sensation and Sensation XE, with the Sensation 4G and Sensation XL scheduled to follow. Additional updates will be “more widely available in the next few weeks.” The manufacturer is continuing to work with carriers in each country to “nail down update schedules for our other smartphones and will have more to share very soon.”
HTC announced on Thursday that an Ice Cream Sandwich update will be available for select devices by the end of March. The announcement came through the company’s Facebook page and states that the first devices to receive the update will be the Sensation, Sensation 4G and Sensation XE, followed shortly after by the Sensation XL. The Rezound, Vivid, Amaze 4G, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, Incredible S, Desire S and Desire HD will all be updated “later this year,” as previously reported. HTC is expected to launch multiple new Android 4.0-powered smartphones later this month at Mobile World Congress, including the HTC Ville and HTC Edge.
HTC has acknowledged that some the company’s handsets contain a security hole involving the handling of certain data requests while connected to a Wi-Fi network. Security researchers Chris Hessing and Bret Jordan discovered the vulnerability, which could use the android.permission.ACCESS_WIFI_STATE permission to create a command to view all Wi-Fi credentials while connected to the network. The researchers discovered the flaw in September, however over the past few months they have worked with HTC and Google to patch things up before going public. The hole could have been used to transmit information to a remote server using the Internet access permission. Read on for more.
“HTC has developed a fix for a small WiFi issue affecting some HTC phones,” HTC posted on its support site. “Most phones have received this fix already through regular updates and upgrades. However, some phones will need to have the fix manually loaded. Please check back next week for more information about this fix and a manual download if you need to update your phone.”
Four Froyo devices are vulnerable to the exploit — the Glacier (myTouch 4G), DROID Incredible, Thunderbolt 4G and Desire HD — and four Gingerbread devices are vulnerable — the Desire HD, Desire S, Sensation and EVO 3D.
HTC recently confirmed that a number of its handsets will receive an update to Google’s latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system. The company said that it will upgrade the Vivid, Sensation, Sensation XL and Sensation XE in “early 2012.” It will also push Android 4.0 to the Rezound, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G and Amaze 4G through “close integration with [HTC's] carrier partners.” We expect that the rollout will vary by carrier, however, so it is unlikely that each of the aforementioned phones will receive the update at the same time. Here’s the full statement from HTC:
HTC knows how excited our fans are to get their hands on Google’s latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, so we’re thrilled today to announce the first wave of HTC phones that will receive upgrades: We can confirm the brand new HTC Vivid is upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich. In addition, Ice Cream Sandwich is coming in early 2012 to a variety of devices including the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL and HTC Sensation XE, as well as the HTC Rezound, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G and HTC Amaze 4G through close integration with our carrier partners. We’re continuing to assess our product portfolio, so stay tuned for more updates on device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Ice Cream Sandwich.
A 3D phone? Who woulda thunk it? HTC would have, and the EVO 3D is the product of its labor. The jury's still out on whether 3D will end up being more than just some over-marketed, over-sensationalized fad, but judging by the sales of this thing on Sprint's network, someone is into the concept. We saw it as one of Sprint's stronger Android offerings, but the lackluster battery life and par-for-the-course display were quirks that we couldn't quite overlook. For those who bit, what are your main annoyances? Would you change the design at all? Toss in a different panel? Would you tweak anything about the Sense implementation? Is the 3D camera serving you well? Let us know in comments below!
HTC has issued a new statement addressing concerns over a security flaw recently discovered on several of its Android-powered smartphones. The vulnerability could allow third-party apps to access and steal private data including SMS messages, contact data, system logs, location information and more. ”HTC takes claims related to the security of our products very seriously. In our ongoing investigation into this recent claim, we have concluded that while this HTC software itself does no harm to customers’ data, there is a vulnerability that could potentially be exploited by a malicious third-party application. A third party malware app exploiting this or any other vulnerability would potentially be acting in violation of civil and criminal laws.” HTC says that it has not yet received any reports of malware exploiting the security flaw, and it recommends using caution when installing or updating applications from untrusted sources until a patch is issued in the near future. HTC’s full statement follows below (emphasis added by HTC).
HTC takes claims related to the security of our products very seriously. In our ongoing investigation into this recent claim, we have concluded that while this HTC software itself does no harm to customers’ data, there is a vulnerability that could potentially be exploited by a malicious third-party application. A third party malware app exploiting this or any other vulnerability would potentially be acting in violation of civil and criminal laws. So far, we have not learned of any customers being affected in this way and would like to prevent it by making sure all customers are aware of this potential vulnerability.
HTC is working very diligently to quickly release a security update that will resolve the issue on affected devices. Following a short testing period by our carrier partners, the patch will be sent over-the-air to customers, who will be notified to download and install it. We urge all users to install the update promptly. During this time, as always, we strongly urge customers to use caution when downloading, using, installing and updating applications from untrusted sources.
A report was recently published by Android Police that suggests HTC’s Sense user interface has several major security flaws that provide HTC with access to SMS data, phone numbers, system logs, location information and much more. Worse, the flaw could potentially allow any third-party application to access the same private information without having permission from the user to do so. The security issue has been identified on the HTC ThunderBolt, EVO 4G and EVO 3D. “HTC takes our customers’ security very seriously, and we are working to investigate this claim as quickly as possible,” HTC said in a statement. “We will provide an update as soon as we’re able to determine the accuracy of the claim and what steps, if any, need to be taken.” HTC addressed a browser privacy issue in June and also commented on another report in early September which suggested the Sensation and EVO 3D were spying on users. HTC responded to the browser issue with a fix and said the “spying” allegations were a result of an HTC “opt-in” feature that allows HTC to collect data so that it can improve its phones.
HTC on Friday responded to user allegations that at least two of its smartphones, the HTC Sensation and the HTC EVO 3D, spy on users. BGR reported on Thursday that a new Android software update issued to these two handsets included tweaks that cause the OS to log users’ behavior. As discovered by InfectedROM forum member TrevE, Carrier IQ and four other processes in Android 2.3.4 purportedly gather usage stats and transmit them in the background. HTC has confirmed to BGR that these functions are all tied to an opt-in service however, and the Taiwan-based firm says it is not spying on anyone. Read on for more.
The statement goes on to reassure users that any data that might be transmitted with regard to the processes discovered on InfectedROM is tied to opt-in functions. The company also notes that none of the data is used to spy on users, but rather to investigate crashes and other unexpected errors. “HTC is committed to protecting your privacy and that means a commitment to clear opt-in/opt-out as the standard for collecting any information we need to serve you better,” HTC said in its statement.
First Apple, Google and Microsoft were accused of tracking user locations and now it appears HTC’s Sensation and EVO 3D smartphones are spying on their owners. According to user TrevE from InfectedROM, a recent Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread update from HTC added a little something special to the source code of Carrier IQ (CIQ), an Android component. CIQ is not new; it is part of Android and used on most devices to send data back to carriers about your smartphone. However, the source code on the EVO 3D and Sensation reportedly now has a “User Behavior Logging” function that is capable of tracking how Sensation and EVO 3D owners use their smartphones in greater detail. Read on for more.
Updated with official comment from Sprint below.
According to the report, CIQ uploads this user behavior data automatically in the background, although it is unclear if the data is sent to HTC or to the carrier. So what kind of private information can it learn about you? According to Phandroid, the new code enables CIQ to keep track of users’ locations, note what applications they have installed and how much each one is used, identify what processes users currently have open and more. TrevE thinks HTC could also use the information to detect rooted phones. As we told you during the original “Locationgate” scandals, however, you’ve already agreed to share this information.
UPDATE: The following comment was provided to BGR via email by Sprint spokesman Jason Gertzen:
Carrier IQ is used to understand what problems customers are having with our network or devices so we can take action to improve service quality.
It collects enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to devise solutions to use and connection problems. We do not and cannot look at the contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., using this tool.