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Verizon Updates HTC Thunderbolt to Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Verizon Wireless has started pushing out a new over-the-air software update for the HTC Thunderbolt that finally brings Android Gingerbread to the smartphone. At 146MB, the update is fairly large, so you might want to wait until you don't need your phone for a while to download and install it.

Verizon says the file will take roughly 20 to 40 minutes to download depending on network conditions, and that's over 4G LTE. 

This is actually the second time Verizon and HTC have tried to update the Thunderbolt to Android Gingerbread. The first update was pulled in by Verizon shortly after its release in September, when the software was found to include some nasty bugs.

In addition to the Gingerbread goodness, the update includes a host of additional improvements, chief among them some nice home screen enhancements like new widgets, icons, and refreshed colors, as well as a new Dock Mode app. That app is meant for use with HTC's dock accessory. It creates three shortcuts at the bottom of the screen for the Thunderbolt's photo gallery, music player, and calender. With the update, you can also use Dock Mode to view Friend Stream updates, upcoming meeting invitations, notifications, and the weather clock widget, as well as put the Thunderbolt in hotspot mode while it's in the dock.

In other changes, a new download manager aggregates all downloads from the web and the Android Market, while new app and power management details give you a list of all running apps and the amount of storage space and memory they use. A Power Efficiency mode has also be added under the settings menu for situations when you're running low on juice.

Other software improvements include:

  • Alarm notifications will no longer appear while in Emergency Mode.
  • Improved security features that reduce device vulnerability.
  • Improved data connectivity.
  •  Improved audio quality while using Bluetooth.
  • Improved Bluetooth security.
  • Decreased wait time when saving audio attachments.
  •  Resolved issue with basic voicemail notification.
  •  V CAST Tones now comes preloaded.
  •  New Google Books app.
  •  Enhanced UI for data roaming.
  •  Resolved issue with SMS messages being sent to incorrect recipient on rare occasions.
  •  Reduced Force Close errors while using TuneWiki.
  •  Reduced Force Close errors when using the front camera.
  •  Resolved issue with audio reroute to phone while on Bluetooth.

Since Verizon is pushing out the update over-the-air, you should start receiving notifications for it in no time. But just in case you don't, you can always manually update the Thunderbolt by selecting System Updates under the About Phone section of your Settings menu.