So as you may recall, on Twitter last month the official update for the Android 4.3 Sense 5 update was posted by an HTC rep. It was subsequently quietly yanked without notice, and HTC has still not come out with any statement on the thing.

Mo Versi, Executive Director, Product Management at HTC, stated on his Twitter account that users interested in the 4.3 update need to reach out to customer care in order to get the link.


So I contacted HTC Customer Care via the link above. I was told the update was just a trial update and asked when the real one was going to be released and got no answer. I was told that the matter had to be escalated to another team, and they asked questions about my current software version, what computer I had and it’s software version, phone numbers to reach me at, serial number of the phone, etc.

I was read the disclosure that your warranty is now void.

It is our responsibility to caution you that not all claims resulting or caused by installing this software may be covered under warranty. Please understand that you will not be able to return your device to the original state or earlier software, and going forward your device may not be held covered under the warranty for all claims resulting from installing this software. HTC bears no responsibility if your device is no longer usable afterwards. We strongly suggest that you do not install this software unless you are confident that you understand the risks involved and the potential consequences both to your device and to your warranty.

I mentioned that if they wanted to just shoot the link over I was a computer technician and completely capable of clicking to install the file, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.

I was then told I could expect a call before the end of next week from an escalation member. Not what I was expecting, but there that is. In a week I should get a call.

This is where my experience ends for now with the Android 4.3 update and a Pocketables reader Bill’s begin. I received an email from Bill who reached out with his story a few days back. He got to the point I reached, and then the following happened (edited to remove any identifiable information):

Paul,
just a follow up of my support ticket with HTC, in case you are interested. I got a phone call from a person named “XXXXXX” who said he was an HTC rep and he could help me get 4.3 on my EVO 4G LTE. I said that was great, but I was at work and could he call me back. After quite a bit of phone tag, I managed to get him on the phone yesterday. I said I was interested in getting the release of 4.3 for my phone, so could he please send me a link that I could download it from. He said no, that I couldn’t actually take possession of the ROM, and that the only way he could help me is if I granted him RDP access to my desktop and he would flash it on the phone for me.

The slightly devious portion of my mind thought that at some point during the flashing process, he’d have to put the file on the hard drive at which point I could kill the connection and keep it – but I decided there was no way I was going to let this guy have access to my computer so I politely declined. I asked him if there were any plans for a wider release and he replied that they had no information about that at the present time.

So that seems to be the next step, that a technician will call you, take control of your computer, download the software, install it on your phone, and if anything screws up during this you’re just out of luck having let a rep flash trial software.

That is all sorts of messed up and very confusing that they’re taking HTC resources to sit down and install Android 4.3 on your phone. That’s an hour commitment of their time right there, and also an hour they probably have access to anything on your computer. Not that I’m tinfoil-hatting, but I don’t want a company remote desktopped into my computer to click a button and wait 30 minutes to delete the install file.

When was the Android 4.3 update for the EVO 4G LTE announced originally, again?

In September 2013, we were told we weren’t getting Android 4.3.

Back in October 2013, we were told we would get the update by December 2013.

In December 2013, we were told  we would get the update in February 2014.

February 19, 2014, we were told it was available for download by an HTC rep.

By February 28, 2014, the very buggy update which is now only listed as a trial update by HTC reps was yanked from HTC servers.

A month later there’s still no word. Based on HTC’s initial timeframe, we’re at least 87 days late, or 13.1% of the HTC EVO 4G LTE’s current product life has been spent waiting on this update.

Miscellaneous notes

Mo seemed to think they would send me a link to download the thing, so I expect he doesn’t know that HTC techs are being assigned to call people to work on their phones.

I’ll be posting a chat transcript later on probably. I’ve only got it in PDF form and it has *way* too much identifiable information on me in it.

This Sunday the EVO 4G LTE will reach 666 days old (it was released Jun 2, 2012,) and if HTC actually releases the official update Sunday I am going to finally know for certain that they’re just messing around with their customers.

The headline should be read in Seinfeld’s voice and be “what’s the deal with…”