Thunderbolt Ice Cream Sandwich rollout begins

The very first 4G LTE phone to hit the market is now getting its update to Android 4.0.

The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, will soon begin to be rolled out to the HTC Thunderbolt phone for Verizon customers.

The Thunderbolt gained a lot of praise and attention because it was the first phone capable of tapping into Verizon’s brand new high speed data network.

It is that phone that would kick off a whirlwind of LTE madness, to the point where now every single major carrier is developing its own LTE network. It has become the de facto 4G standard in the US.

Ice Cream Sandwich is one of the biggest updates to Android yet, and includes such features as scanning your face to unlock the phone, a much more robust speech-to-text software program, and an entire platform of data sharing that focuses on Near Field Communication (NFC).

Several other manufacturers have pledged support for the new update, and a bunch of phones currently running an older version of Android.

Ice Cream Sandwich is now powering 4.9% of active Android devices, according to the company’s most recently released official statistics.

Google hopes Android 4.0 will be a big reset button on the mobile platform, since it has much stricter hardware guidelines that it hopes will help prevent fragmentation in the future. This is a goal we’ve heard in previous rollouts of Android, so we’ll see if it actually is realized this time.