If you can’t wait to get your hands on the official Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC Desire S, then we’ve got good news for you. Third-party developers have whipped out an interesting beta version of the much-anticipated Android update for HTC Desire S users. Though, this is not the official ICS update but a vanilla brew of the firmware. As of now, HTC hasn’t mentioned any release date for the official update, but we will let you know once it arrives.

In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with the current beta version to get a feel on how the ICS update will look on your device. Be forewarned that this update is strictly for unlocked HTC Desire S handsets only.

If you install this update, you will be able to use the following working features (other features are still non-functional):

  • Video playback
  • Hardware acceleration (Hack)
  • Keyboard (software and hardware)
  • Touchscreen
  • Capacitive buttons
  • Overclocking
  • 3G/4G
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • SD card
  • Android Market
  • Headphones
  • Mic
  • Text messages
  • Phone calls
  • Microphone

Instructions for Updating

These instructions will work only on a rooted HTC Desire S, with custom recovery image installed and with S-OFF. If you have such preconditions met, you may proceed with the following steps:

  1. Download the latest Android 4.0 ICS beta version package for the HTC Desire S from here. Save it to your computer. Do not modify or extract the file.
  2. Download the Google Apps package for the HTC Desire S from here. Save it to your computer. Do not modify or extract the file.
  3. Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  4. Copy the two unmodified ZIP files (i.e., the ICS update package and the Google Apps package) to your phone’s storage.
  5. Enable USB debugging on your phone by navigating to “Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging”.
  6. Download the HTC Sync installer from here. The installer will install the HTC USB drivers along with the HTC Sync suite to your computer, but you don’t really need HTC Sync. You only need the USB drivers. Run the installer, but stop the installation after the USB drivers are installed.
  7. Disable fast boot on your phone. For that, go to “Settings > Power > Fast Boot”.
  8. Reboot your phone to recovery mode. To do that, turn off your phone first. Then, press and hold the Volume Down button, then press the Power button. When the phone has booted, choose “Recovery” from the menu to enter into recovery mode.
  9. In the recovery menu, choose “Clear storage.”
  10. Choose “install zip from sd card” and select the ICS update file that you downloaded earlier. This will start the update process. Repeat this step a second time, but this time around, choose the ZIP file for Google Apps. The whole update process will take around 5 to 10 minutes. Your phone will restart itself after updating.

Congratulations! You have successfully updated your HTC Desire S to the latest beta version of Android 4.0 firmware.