Tag Archive: HTC


So, it’s been a while now since I updated to Jelly Bean, and also since the enforced factory reset due to the fact that things just weren’t quite right after the update.

The factory reset really was the charm though, as everything is running beatifully now, and the battery life is nothing short of amazing compared to before.

What I have noticed though, is that my Nexus 7 doesn’t seem to suffer in the same manner as my One X or Galaxy S2 (Work phone).

It has now had 2 or 3 updates with no factory reset rquired, so that does beg the question ‘Do skinned versions of Android have an update issue?’.

I’d certainly like to know, so if there is anybody out there who has a vanilla Android device, has found a factory reset is needed for updates, please comment!

Otherwise it has got me wondering if my next phone will be an unadulterated Google device. Don’t get me wrong, I love HTC Sense to bits (Touchwiz, not so much), but if it means I have to do a factory reset for each an every update that comes through, I won’t be too happy.

My S2 did just get an update to Jelly Bean, and so far seems fine without a reset, but I’m keeping an eye on it. Maybe It’s just the main version updates that need it, who knows.

For now though, happy bunny, lets just wait to see what the next update brings.

Join the Forum discussion on this post

So, I was pretty happy about the Jelly Bean update for my HTC ONE X, but that diminished as over time as things started to slowly go downhill.

I found the camera app was really slow from time to time, and only a reboot would get things going again, and the performance generally was the same, again needing a reboot.

I’d had issues with my work phone, a Galaxy S2 after that received both the ICS and JB updates. Not the same issues I might add, instead the battery life being sucked dry by a vampiric Exchange email client. The solution to this was a factory reset each time.

So, I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’ and proceeded down the factory reset route with my own phone.

I was pretty impressed by the Google experience, as my phone was reset and had all apps automatically restored by Google and within an hour was back up and running, albeit without any personalisation, other than having all my account information back in.

I’d taken screen shots of all my personalisation for the home screens (press power and volume down on the ONE X to do this), and in another 30 minutes my phone was back as it was before by referring to these.

So far it’s looking good, the phone being much more spritely than before, with no signs of camera or other slowdowns, and everything is buttery smooth again, and battery life seems to have shot up immensely.

I’m sure this has done the trick, so I think the moral of the story is ‘do a factory reset when you upgrade to a new version of Android’.

Hopefully somebody else in the same position will find this useful 🙂

Join the Forum discussion on this post

So finally Jelly Bean finally arrived on my HTC One X on Monday, a couple of months behind unlocked/unbranded phones.

The delay was due to the first build failing testing with 3, and HTC having to deliver a second build. The guff that 3 add has more than a little bit to do with that.

What annoys me the most is that valuable customers get left behind, and folks who don’t pay for a contract phone jump the queue.

Still, the I have it now, and so far so good. Battery life doesn’t seem that different so far, but I need to give it a chance I guess.

One big difference for me is the improved email client, which now allows html email with my Exchange 2003 activesync setup, whereas before I could only get plain text.

The addition of the Best Deals application gives you localised deals to you, and there are minor updates to some of the other embedded apps.

Google now is also a welcome addition, providing up to date information based on things you do, when you do them and where you are. For example, driving home it automatically gives me an eta.

The updated UI is not massively different, mostly minor tweaks and changes, but the underlying changes from project butter make what was an already slick UI email even better.

So, so far so good, and I’m a happy bunny 🙂

Ok, so after some badgering, I finally got some information on the Jelly Bean update for locked/branded handsets on Three UK.

It seems that they have a second build in testing now, the first having failed, and it will be released ‘as soon as its ready’.

Overall I’m more than a little disappointed with Three on this. As a loyal customer of about 7-8 years I’ve always had a branded\locked handset and stuck with them as overall I have no problems, but users of unlocked\unbranded handsets get the updates first, and as a customer who is paying more to be loyal to Three, I expect to have the update at the same time or earlier.

It isn’t like the update suddenly surprises them, they know it’s coming, so concentrate on getting the updates ready for the same time.

I guess the argument is that HTC are in control of the updates, so they can release to handsets with non brand CIDs when they want, but the carriers should either stop filling their handsets with unwanted bloatware so that the update is simple, or work harder with HTC to get the updates ready for all in time.

I had exactly the same issue with my HTC Desire, and I ended up rooting and flashing it in order to get the software level I wanted, something I don’t want to do with my One X.

What is even more galling is the fact that Samsung look to be releasing Jelly Bean officially for the Samsung Galaxy S2, which means my work phone, a much older model, may possibly get the update before my One X.

I may yet have to consider unlocking my bootloader so I can get a custom recovery on my phone, and back it up so I can try flashing to a stock JB rom, but each time I think of doing it I have a little twitch…….

Ok, so I found out today that the HTC One X has a safe mode that I accidentally went into when trying to get to recovery mode.

I’d held the volume – button down whilst holding the power button down until the 3 icons at the bottom of the screen flashed, and when nothing happened I simply powered up the phone to have it come up with ‘Safe Mode’ overlaid at the bottom left of the screen.

In safe mode, you can only use preinstalled apps, so none of my 3rd party apps would work.

So I rebooted figuring it would go away, but it didn’t, which led to several minutes of frantic Googling and minor panic.

As it happens, the answer didn’t come from Google, but from my own brain 🙂

So, I figured that it was only fair to share with the world at large, so here we go:-

Power off your phone and wait for the screen to shut off.

Hold down the power button until the 3 icons at the bottom flash and release the power button.

The phone will still be off, now power it on normally and safe mode will be turned off.

This worked for me, hopefully it will for others too, since with the One X there is no option to remove the battery!!

I just checked for updated firmware for my One X, and was surprised to see there was an update waiting.

It was large, weighing in at 165 megs, but downloaded quickly over wifi, and was installed in about 5 minutes.

Android is now at 4.0.4, and Sense is at 4.1 and the software number is 2.17.771.3, which seems to be a big jump past the last version. I’ll be interested to see what sort of a difference it is makes to the phone overall.

So I’ve had the updates a few days now and wanted to make a note of what I’ve seen so far.

Visually, it looks much the same. HTC Sense always was a nice UI, even before the update, but now it seems even smoother and just that little bit slicker, and there is something I can’t quite put my finger on with the visual quality, but it seems, well, nicer.

The biggest improvement I noticed was the battery life, which overall seems to have improved hugely, and is not dissimilar to my work Galaxy S2, which is also running ICS, albeit 4.0.3. Considering the extra CPU power in the One X, this is a good thing.

Another area where battery life seems to have improved is gaming. I take full advantage of the Tegra 3 chipset and run games like Max Payne, Dead Trigger, GTA III, ME Infiltrator, Dead Space and Shadowgun.

These used to make for a very low battery, and a very hot phone, but after the last update, these things seem to have improved immensely.

So far I haven’t any other info about this latest ICS incarnation, but as and when I do, I’ll post it here.

Update your phone now, and enjoy the bonus battery life 🙂

I promised a guide a little while ago, on how to upgrade an HTC Desire from Froyo to Gingerbread.

Well, keep reading because here it comes, since I’m on a night shift and have a spare moment!

First off are the obligatory warnings.

This process involves flashing the ROM of your phone, so if you don’t understand what you are about to undertake, don’t do it, walk away now, as you might brick your phone, and that’s your fault not mine. I’m only making the information available, what you do with it is your business.

When you do this, your phone will essentially be ‘Box Fresh’, so be prepared for some work afterwards to get it the way you want. It will even remove your custom recovery, if you already have one installed.

So, what is the process?

It goes a little something like this something like this on a PC. No Macs here, sorry:

  1. Back up your phone before you do anything. I used Titanium Backup Pro, and as my phone was previously rooted when I installed Froyo, I also took a ROM backup using ClockWorkMod recovery. If you’re not rooted, this will still work, and in any event, it will de-root your phone, but more on that later.
  2. Visit http://htcdev.com/devcenter/downloads and download the item named ‘ HTC Desire Android 2.3 Upgrade’, which is 161MB in size. It will most likely be top of the list. Unzip it once downloaded.
  3. If you don’t already have HTC Sync, jump over to the HTC Help Center here and download it. Install on your PC. You can remove it later if you want.
  4. On your PC, ensure you’re logged in as an administrator user, and connect your Desire using a USB cable. When the dialog box pops up asking what you want to do, make sure you select HTC SYNC. Wait for the phone and software to settle down, and ensure your PC has no failed devices in device manager.
  5. Locate the files you unzipped in ‘2’, and double click on the file ‘RUU_HTC Desire Android 2.3 Upgrade (Gingerbread).exe’.
  6. On the first screen you see, click ‘Next’. The next 2 screens require that you tick a check box. Do so, and click ‘Next’, and you will arrive at a screen with an ‘Update’ button.
  7. Click the ‘Update’ button, then click ‘Next’ on the following 2 screens. Do not unplug or otherwise disturb your phone during the update, it may brick your phone. After about 10 minutes, the update will be completed, and you will see a screen with a ‘Finish’ button. Click ‘Finish’ and the ROM Update Utility will close, and your phone will reboot, and will come back as a clean phone requiring set up.

That’s it for those of you who aren’t bothered about rooting. The next step is to set up your phone, and restore the apps you want using your chosen method.

Be aware, Gingerbread with Sense is a tight fit, so you may want to take a moment to de-clutter now you have a box fresh phone.

For the tinkerers amongst us, that may not be enough, especially if you want your root access back. Well, that just got easier with the arrival of Revolutionary.

Again, backups before starting, and do so at your own risk etc etc.

So, what is Revolutionary? Its a tool which disables the NAND lock on your phone allowing an optional install of a custom recovery, which will allow rooting too.

So, here’s the process:

  1. Visit this page: http://unrevoked.com/rootwiki/doku.php/public/revolutionary#revolutionary_s-off_recovery_tool and download the Windows fastboot drivers and zipfile you’ll need for Rooting your phone.
  2. Uninstall HTC Sync, but don’t uninstall the drivers. If these drivers don’t work, uninstall them, then install the ones you just downloaded.
  3. Visit this page: http://revolutionary.io/ and download Revolutionary. A form will open asking you to generate a key, but we’ll come back to this in a moment. Let the software download, and unzip it.
  4. Connect your phone using USB and Run the exe you’ve just unzipped. It will tell you your serial number and HBOOT version
  5. Return to the web form from ‘3’ and enter the phone model, HBOOT version and serial number. This will generate a key.
  6. In the revolutionary window, enter the serial and the key you generated in ‘5’.
  7. Wait for Revolutionary to run, and allow it to install ClockWorkMod recovery if you want a custom recovery. This is necessary if you want to root your phone TBH.
  8. Copy the ZIP file required for rooting to your SD card, and reboot into recovery. To do this, power off the phone, then power on with the volume down button held. Using the volume +/- keys, select recovery and press the power button. This should put you in ClockWorkMod custom recovery.
  9. Once in recovery, choose the option to install a zip from SD card, then choose the ZIP from the location you placed it earlier. This will give you root.
  10. Once completed, reboot your phone. You now have an HTC Desire, with Gingerbread, Sense and root.
  11. I’d advise getting the ROM Manager app from the market next, as it will allow you to do a full ROM backup to SD card in case you break it during the next phase. Don’t be stingy, buy the full version.

Next, lets talk about removing bloatware.

The Gingerbread ROM for Desire comes with a few apps, like Facebook and Flikr, missing, due to memory constraints. In order to remove the apps you don’t want, and make space for the ones you do, I’d suggest you buy Titanium Backup Pro. Go on, treat yourself. It has saved my neck on numerous occasions, and since you now have root, it will work nicely.

The other way to do it is using the ADB shell, but Titanium will make it much easier. Once you have Titanium Backup, run a full backup at least once.

You can then select apps, even system apps, from the list of backed up software, and uninstall them.

I removed things like the FM Radio, which I never use, the Twitter client, as I prefer Tweetdeck, and things like Voice Search and Stocks as I never use them either.

The choice is yours, just be VERY careful, because if you haven’t made a ROM backup, you can easily remove something essential and break your phone.

I now have around 40 apps on my phone, all of which I want, and have around 13% free space, which is just right. And don’t forget to make sure any apps you do have are moved to the SD card where p0ssible.

Remember, this is a guide, so you may need to interpret what I’ve said, as it may not quite match what you see on screen.

Also remember that you do any of these procedures at your own risk, and if you break your phone, it isn’t our responsibility.

Good luck!

Well it appears the experiment worked.

I now have a Desire with official HTC Gingerbread ROM, rooted with ClockWorkMod recovery in place.

I was able, once rooted, to boot up using CWM recovery, mount the System and manually rip out the bloatware, and initial impressions are good, with Adao file manager reporting 147MB total ram, the same as when I was running Froyo.

Titanium Backup, as ever, is helping me get my apps back in place complete with data, plus I’m able to restore a lot of my settings. As I’ve said before, if you have Root, get Titanium Backup, it’s saved me a whole load of time and heartache.

So, all that remains is to pop all my icons back where I had them before.

Sorted!

HTC have recently released a ‘DEV’ version of Gingerbread for the Desire.

It was nearly a non-event, since Gingerbread+Sense doesn’t leave much memory to play with, but after a lot of protests, they did a U turn and released it. If only they had taken out some of the apps like Footprints, Stocks and Peep (I use Tweetdeck)

It is shorter on RAM than a Froyo Desire, but if you want, it is available.

I decided to give it a whirl, but I’ll say this, it gave me a hell of a fright, since it overwrote my ClockworkMod recovery, and it took a bit of doing to get it back.

Hence my advice to tread carefully, as I was now in a position of not being able to restore my Froyo backup, and no longer having root on my phone, and whilst I was happy to be getting Gingerbread, I had no way of removing the bloatware to give me space for the apps I wanted.

To recover, I had to use a tool called Revolutionary, which is the work of unrevoked & Alpharev, which restored the CWM custom recovery, and allowed me to restore my backup I’d taken before starting.

So I’m back in my happy place with Froyo, but having come this far, I have decided that another attempt is going to happen.

I shall be re-flashing the stock Gingerbread, then re-running Revolutionary so I can connect via the CWM recovery using ADB and manually delete the bloatware. From there I can try and see if Titanium Backup will restore the apps and data I do want successfully.

It’s gonna be an interesting ride, and I’ll report back on my results.

TTFN

Well, HTC, after quite a bit of faffing around, have launched Gingerbread for the HTC Desire.

Well, launched is the wrong word, because it’s more of a ‘Quietly made available’.

You can find it here, Gingerbread, and you’ll find it’s missing some bits and bobs in order to save space, though the missing items have also been made available for download should you wish to try stuffing them back in again.

I’ve not tried it yet as I haven’t had time, plus HTC are saying ‘This is really only for developers’, but if I get the chance, I will.

If anybody out there has tried it, please feel free to post a comment.

I recently decided to try Gingerbread, in the form of the popular Cyanogen Mod 7 on my HTC Desire.

How did I do this and what was the end result?

First off, it requires a rooted phone with recovery installed. In my case I had previously rooted the phone and installed ClockWorkMod recovery 2.5.0.7 so that I could upgrade to Froyo, and since 3 were dragging their heels with the OTA update.

You can see how I did the root and upgrade here: Froyo at Last. Remember, you do this at your own risk and I’m not responsible if you brick your phone.

So, my phone is rooted and has recovery installed. Next I installed ROM Manager Premium from the Android Market.

Why did I pay for this? Put simply, it’s because it gives you instant access to lots of different ROMS, not just those from Cyanogen, and all available for download to your SD card, ready for you to install.

There are also a number of other useful features, such as backing up your current ROM prior to any upgrades. I can’t recommend backing up enough before attempting anything like this, as you can restore your phone back to it’s former glory in minutes.

So, my phone is now backed up, and I’ve chosen my Cyanogen ROM and downloaded it to my SD card. I chose the latest at the time, 7.0.3, tough I believe this has now been superceded by 7.1.0-RC1.

Be aware that the Google Apps are not included in the standard build, and you will be asked by ROM Manager if you want to download them. If you don’t, it means no Maps, Navigation, GMail or even Market, so I did.

In ROM Manager, choose ‘Install ROM from SD card. Choose the ROM you just downloaded, and follow the on screen propmts.

Your phone should boot into recovery and start the firmware upgrade automatically, rebooting into the new F/W once completed.

If you have included the Google Apps, you then go into the setup wizard and put in your credentials as you would a new phone. If you didn’t, you’l get a pretty much a vanilla Android front screen.

Ultimately, I rolled back from this ROM because it does not include the Sense UI, which is one of the things that I love about my Desire, and it left me feeling that I was missing certain things that I wanted to have.

HTC are now possibly rolling out a version of Gingerbread for Desire soon, so I may wait for that and see if it satisfies my  upgrade needs.

That said, there are a few other ROMs out there other than Cyanogen, so I’ll have to keep looking and see what I can find.

Have fun trying a new ROM, but remember, if you brick it, it’s your fault, not mine!

I recently noticed something about my rooted Froyo HTC Desire which had me slightly worried, because I had little idea of when it had happened, and it caused my security to be slightly compromised.

I’d recently done a factory reset and reinstall, and noticed the other day, completely by accident, that when I drew my unlock pattern, I could draw it with one node missing and still get in!

The problem was easily solved, by entering a new unlock code, but just beware to those of you in the same position as me,  check to make sure your security is working after a restore.

I’d heard a rumour that it is possible to sync your iTunes music with your HTC Desire, using the latest and greatest version of HTC Sync.

So, I went off to HTCs website, and downloaded the software and set about installing it. And it turns out to be true!

I was quite surprised, but not only does music I’ve ripped from CD into iTunes, but also music I’ve purchased will sync and play.

Quite handy really, seeing as I now have my phone with me all the time, and the iPod is permanently attached to the car.

I’m very impressed!!

Well, it’s been a while coming, but finally another emulator has arrived that is this weeks ‘App of the week’.

I grew up with 8Bit computers, starting off with a ZX81, the Spectrum, closely followed by Atari XLs and XEs, and various other less well known machines. Though I was never a CBM64 owner, well at least not until later life, friends had them and got to knew them and the games they played.

For me, the Ataris were better, had more interesting games and add ons, and were, if you knew where to look, surprisingly easy to buy things for.

I still have quite a collection of 8Bit hardware these days, and sometimes fondly retrieve them from the loft for a few days of retro gaming.

So, imagine my joy when I found, in amongst all the Atari 2600 emulators in the marketplace, a full blown Atari 400/800/XL/XE emulator!

I dug out all my old files I used with my PC based 8Bit emulator and copied them over to my Desire, and began to relive my Atari glory days!

Ok, it’s not perfect, and the lack of a soft keyboard is a pain, but it’ll do for now! Off for another session of missile command I think!

Download it and enjoy! Its called Droid800.

A quick post this week as I’ve been a bit preoccupied with looking into task manager usage. However, I’ve decided to go with the app I’ve just used to post this with. It’s an app called WordPress and it lets you quickly and easily manage your WordPress sites via your droid. So if you have a WordPress site of any sort, I wouldn’t hesitate t recommend it.

The app I’ve chosen this week, is a utility called BatterySnap.

If like me, you are constantly watching just what is chewing your battery, then this is a great app.

It keeps all kinds of stats in relation to just what your battery is doing, and can produce some nice graphs of what’s going on.

What’s more, is that is both free and free of ads, so worth every penny!!

Go get it today.

I was away with work on Wednesday and Thursday, and got chatting with some new people at one of the other offices belonging to our company.

One has an HTC Desire, and mentioned he was interested in rooting it, so I said I’d pass on the info of how to do it, having successfully done so and upgraded to Froyo. Those of you who have read my previous blogs know that I ultimately did this because Three were very slow in releasing the offical update,

So I began with the obvious statement ‘Have you got auto backups turned on?’ He wasn’t sure, so I proceded to look on my phone, only to find that I couldn’t find the settings anywhere.

So I began to wonder if this feature had been removed. It’s normally found under ‘Settings/Privacy’, however I no longer have the ‘Privacy’ shortcut.

So, I set about trying to find out just what had happened to my ‘Privacy’ settings, and as it happens, they’re still there, just not generally visible.

To get at them, go into ‘Settings/Search’ and allow ‘Settings’ to be searched. From there, go back to your home screen and press the ‘Search’ button on your phone.

Touch the blue ‘g’ icon, and you’ll get a pick list of where you want to search. Pick settings, type ‘Privacy’ and search. You should get a result back, and when you touch it, lo and behold, the Privacy settings open, and you can turn on automatic backup and restore.

How annoying is that!!

The other annoyance was that I use the SlideIT keyboard replacement, and I had to turn it off and use the standard Android keyboard before the search worked properly!

I hope others find this info useful, as it had me foxed for a little while.

I have been tinkering with Android App Inventor a little recently, and have it set up and running on my main laptop at home.

I often work nights and have a second laptop I sometimes take with me, and thought it would be good to get App Inventor up and running on it too, for those quiet late nights when I have nothing happening at work.

Since I’d already used this laptop to root my phone, I thought ‘No worries, all the drivers I need will be installed’.

How wrong was I!!  No matter how hard I tried, the blocks editor would not connect to the phone.

Ultimately, I had to remove everything that I’d previously installed HTC wise, and re-install just the App Inventor Extras Software. Once I’d done that and reconnected the phone, all was well.

I’d also had the Android SDK installed, which had it’s own copy of adb.exe to further confuse matters.

To be sure you’re using the right one, connect your phone, open a command prompt, and navigate to c:\Program Files\Android\appinventor-extras.

Type adb devices and you should see a list of devices attached. It’ll be something like

HT06SPL00260     device

If you don’t see that, then you’ll need to run through the the process here: App Inventor Setup.

It does work, just be sure to follow it exactly!!

Well, I’m a bit late with this this week on account of being on a night shift, and as a result, not knowing my ass from my elbow…..

However, before I got started with the shift this week I did download the full version of, yes, you guessed it, Angry Birds.

With over 3 million downloads, and with so many attempted downloads that apparently GetJars webservers keeled over, it quite a popular app!

And deservedly so, as it’s simple to play, great fun, and has an addictive quality lacking in so many games today.

My only gripe is the Ads, but lets be honest, this means you get a free game, and they aren’t overly intrusive.

If you don’t have Angry Birds, go get it now!

Well, too late for me since I’ve rooted and flashed my Desire to Froyo,  it seems that Three have finally released Froyo.

I found this article tonight (I’ve been working 10:00 til 19:00, so have only just checked up!): Three updates the HTC Desire with Android 2.2.

This is long after the hinted September release, and a month after I went a hacking….

I hope for those who didn’t want to risk ruining their phone that the wait was worth it. Update now, if you haven’t already done so.

I also hope that the extra time taken avoids some of the less enjoyable experiences other operators have given their customers.

But please, next time Three, just start working on it sooner so your paying customers with branded handsets can get more Android lovelyness sooner.