Tag Archive: HTC


Well, I was wondering just what app that would be my app of the week, when I was caught off guard by SlideIt, a keyboard replacement that works just like Swype.

Instead of typing each letter, you rub your finger across the keys, and your movements between letters are interpreted and word possibilities are automatically added to whatever text box you are typing in. If more than one possible result comes up then you get to choose from a list of suggestions.

I have to say it’s pretty impressive and despite the odd mis-interpretation, it is quite accurate and has handled some quite large words with ease.

There are both paid and free versions, I’m currently using the free one and I like it very much.

My only complaint would be the fact that it doesn’t have the option to hold keys down for characters and numbers, though it does have a direct link to Google voice search and a nifty little drawing area that you can use to enter numbers, and it also gives you four sets of characters instead of the standard two.
Overall a very nice little app, well worth the space on your phone.

This week was a toss up between two apps. Reloop, a music making tool, and the newly released Tweetdeck for Android.
In the end, I plumped for Tweetdeck, due to a lack of time to play with Reloop.

Despite the fact that the HTC Twitter client is actually quite good, I was always a fan of Tweetdeck on the PC, so trying it on my Desire seemed like a natural progression.

I like the fact that it has a nice compact widget, that allowed me to regain some space for other items, and I like the ease of use, with large friendly obvious icons, plus the configurable columns. It certainly gives the standard client a run for its money.

Overall, a very polished app, with the only real letdown being the slightly odd installer as it is currently a beta product, though you’d struggle to tell.

Since it is beta, you need to register with Tweetdeck to get hold of it, but it only takes a couple of minutes, and it’s well worth it.

So what are you waiting for?

Its only taken me a week to notice that Froyo allows rotation both left and right for apps now, effectively giving 270 degree rotation.

A great addition IMHO, and one of the things that I thought the phone needed.

It is slowly revealing itself to me 🙂

Well, having decided to bite the bullet and flash my droid, I thought I’d report back.

As I’ve already mentioned, battery life seems much improved. Prior to upgrading, having charged my Desire in the car on the way to work, I would often find the battery level in the orange, and would need to charge it again on the way home.

Now, even with some wireless usage added in to the mix, the battery is showing only the smallest drop in power, and I could happily get home without a recharge.

Over all, the phone feels snappier thanks to the speed improvements, and the app2sd option is a big memory saver, where it is supported by the apps. Annoyingly, not all do, but given time this should be addressed.

Also, there is now the option to have your apps update automatically by ticking an option. This can be found by going to the Market, selecting Downloads, then clicking on an installed app. At the top of the apps description will be an Updates option. Once ticked your app will update itself as and when a new version becomes available without you having to intervene.

Sadly you have to do it for each app, unless there’s an update all option I’ve not yet found, but it is a step forward.

Flash is now supported, and it works pretty well in the browser. Take that iPhone!!

The other ‘Flash’ item is the inclusion of a pretty good flashlight app that uses the LED flash as a torch. There are 3 brightness levels, a flashing light option, and an emegency option that flashes SOS repeatedly. It’s pretty good.

Other things that are new, which I’ve not had a chance to try yet are wireless tethering, which looks simple to set up and use (I’ll report back on this as soon as I’ve used it in anger), plus 720p video recording, which again looks simple to use, and is integrated into the new camera software.

There are some other tweaks, like a modified SMS message editor and some other bits and bobs like Google search, which offers improved searching throughout  the content on your phone.

So far I’m mighty impressed with Froyo, and I’m hoping Gingerbread (Android 3.0) will make even more improvements.

If you don’t already have Froyo, go get it, even if you have to root your phone to do so!

Just a quick post Froyo note. I’ve now had it for a week, and the standby life of the battery is hugely improved. It was worth doing it just for that, let alone the other features.

Though I would say that I did also flash the radio at the same time as the rooting/Froyo update, so it is possible that has also had a positive effect.

Well, I finally got bored of waiting for Three to get their act together with regards to the Froyo OTA update. IMHO silence is not always golden, and too much can be deafening.

So I took matters into my own hands, and followed the article I found here: Root your 3 branded Desire

Make sure you turn on automatic backup before, so that when you reboot, the handset will automatically restore your settings and data.

I followed it to the letter, and ran it under Windows 7, and only ran in to issues when I set about running Unrevoked3.

The first part went well, however once the phone rebooted, there was a problem with the Android Bootloader Driver not being found. Since I knew the driver was installed, having had it working earlier, I did an Update Drivers from device manager, and chose an existing driver, using the HTC Bootloader one that was listed.

That installed ok, and Unrevoked carried on and installed the custom recovery. once that was sorted, I took out my goldcard, and put my normal SD card back, and rebooted to check the phone was ok, which it was.

I then went over to here: Rooted Official Froyo and downloaded the zip file for both the radio and Froyo to my PC. I then copied them over to the root of my SD card an powered the phone down.

From here on I followed the instructions here: Rooted Official Froyo, first flashing my radio, then flashing with the Froyo update.

Resist the urge to fiddle with your phone, just let it finish each task, then reboot as necessary.

After the Froyo update, I rebooted and it took quite some time, however the Three branding was gone, and the HTC branding was subtly different. It took quite a while, since it was restoring my files from the SD card. Once everything had come up, I rebooted again, and it started normally this time.

All my settings and programs were there, all my messages and email settings too, so quite an impressive restore.

I now have root access too, plus features like move to SD, Wifi hotspot, flashlight etc, plus there’s probably a host of other stuff I’ll find as I go on, not to mention all of the 2.2 performance enchancements.

So far all seems fine, but I’ll report back if I run into any problems.

Remember, you could brick your phone doing this, so only do it if you’re prepared to take the risk.

TTFN

It looks like HTC Desire owners on T-Mobile will be finally getting their Froyo.

In an article here: T-Mobile Launches Froyo it seems that as of today, it will be made available for download, and will be an OTA update.

Lets hope it doesn’t go belly up, as have other updates!!

As for Three, still silence. Bah Humbug

Well, I’ve been having my usual trawl for information about when there might be a serving of Froyo for my Three branded HTC Desire.

Today I found this article: Branded HTC Desire owners still waiting for a serving of Froyo

It is an interesting read, and highlights how it seems to be the networks and their branding which are the problem. Not just Three, but others too.

What is annoying is that Three don’t seem to have added much, aside from a logo during boot and some Three specific shortcuts to their web pages, so why have the loyal customers been left in the lurch? Surely it can’t be that hard, after all, HTC had the update ready in July, after making sure everything worked with the Sense interface.

I have now come to the conclusion that the only way I will be able to get Froyo is to root my phone, de-brand and install it myself.

That is not good, especially for a loyal customer of 6 years, who is paying to own the phone.

The plan is to root and flash on Monday, as I have a day off and can take my time. I’ll report back then……

As anybody who’s read this blog knows, I’m fairly miffed that Three in the UK still haven’t got their fingers out and deployed the update to Froyo (Android 2.2) to owners of branded/locked handsets.

I have an HTC Desire, and I really want to upgrade, since features like the ability to move apps to SD card, freeing up phone memory, wireless tethering (Hotspot capability)  and huge speed increases with enhanced battery life are all pretty appealing.

Three have said ‘The end of summer’, which is IMHO a little bit open ended, since a look out of the window suggests summer may have already passed by, leaving people with A) No more summer and B) No Froyo.

I regularly search for updates to this wildly vague statement, and found this today. Three Announces Hero and Desire Dates

TBH it is still pretty vague, and doesn’t say much more, but lets all keep our fingers crossed that now September is here, we’ll get our Froyo.

Since Android 3, or Gingerbread, is apparently going to be making an appearance in Q4 of 2010, I hope Three make a better job of timing the release of that….

Well, it’s now been at least a week since my colleague with a sim free HTC Desire got his Froyo update, yet still no sign of the update on 3. Surely 3 must know this delay is going to annoy people, because it certainly has for other providers. I know most companies do have their own custom bits added, but surely they can get their fingers out and do the right thing by all the people who pay for these phones and get cracking as soon as the updates become available. The last article I read suggested Froyo would not be available on 3 Androids until the end of summer, and with talk of Gingerbread already in the air, that isn’t good enough. Come on 3, get it sorted, and soon. Grumpy of Tiptree….

I officially have O/S envy now. My line manager has a simfree HTC Desire, and has now had his Froyo upgrade. I’m on 3 and it looks like another couple of weeks at least before 2.2 lands on my handset. Bah humbug!

Wow, I’ve just been playing with an app called Seepu on my Desire, and although I’d suspected the live wallpaper of being a resource hog, finding out my lovely spiral galaxy was coming in at around 98% was quite a shock.

So, at some point in the near future, I’ll check out all the live wallpapers that come as standard and put the figures up here.

Seepu is one of my recommended apps now, since it allows you to closely monitor CPU, memory, network usage and even kill processes automatically if they get out of hand.

Or, is it perhaps another tablet wannabee.

There is a great article on the HD here: HTC HD, and the photo makes it look just huge, though going by screen size it is a bit smaller than Dells Streak.

Spec wise, it looks like a Desire on steroids, though it does appear to use the same 1GHz cpu.

I’m sure it’ll be great, especially given that it will be running Froyo (Come on HTC, lets have Froyo on the Desire), but I am getting a little worried about the trend towards devices with 4-5 inch screens.

I think perhaps the iPad has got things right, I mean it is just too big to try and wedge in your pocket, and even with 3G it isn’t really pretending to be a phone.

But the HD and Streak are hovering in that zone that is just maybe a little too big to pocket, and maybe feel uncomfortable as a phone, yet don’t have that out and out ‘I’m a tablet don’t you know’ thing going on like the iPad.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like the size of the Desire and the iPhone, they are phones that can do more, and perhaps have progressed from being Smartphones to Superphones. I have just enough room for them in my pockets with my wallets and keys etc. By adding an extra inch or so to the screen size, I’m thinking I’m gonna need a bigger pocket, and I don’t think it’s a good look.

I guess only time will tell.

I’ve just been reading about the HTC Evo here: HTC Evo.

It looks pretty good I must say, but I must stop drooling and concentrate on what will be my next phone for real!

There are now 2 people in the office sporting new iPhones and I have phone envy right now, and it’s making me grumpy!

It is getting much harder to choose these days though, and it does beg the question of just how many different types of phone do we need?

Hmmm, a colleague has just appeared with new iPhone in hand, and I have to say, comparing the old and new iPhones side by side, I have to give Apple a point for the design. It looks fabulous to be honest.

In fact, I have to say that the photo’s I’ve seen don’t do it justice, and I confess it has turned my head a bit. Two weeks now until I get my new phone, and although I still think it will be an HTC Desire, I’m having a bit of a wobble right now.

So, it’s three nil to HTC, but why?

Well, Apples new OS now has multi-tasking, but articles I’m reading, such as this one here: iPhone Multi-tasking, are all saying that whilst it can multi-task, there are restrictions.

Apparently only Apple apps, and not many at that, will be available in the beginning, and only certain apps will be allowed to multi-task. Add to that, apps that are allowed to multi-task will need re-writing to do it at all. Apple have always been open about these limitations, and in the cause of stability and battery life, maybe they make sense. For me, I want multi tasking, sorry Mr Jobs one for HTC and the Desire.

Point number two? Well, I guess for me it’s the look. I actually like the iPhone look and feel. It is a classic piece of industrial design, even beautiful some would say.  But the new phone just looks (to me at least), like they decided to hand over the design to a generic smartphone designer. Is this just me?

Number three? Well, I’ve mentioned before the ring fence that Apple puts around the iPhone. For me this is just too much. Ultimately, I’m paying for the ‘Free’ phone I get over the term of my contract. Therefore, it is my choice what I do or view on the phone. I don’t want somebody else’s values imposed on me.

Sorry Mr Jobs, so far it looks like my next phone will be an HTC Desire.

What are your favourite twitter clients? My vote goes to Tweetdeck on the PC and Gravity on my Nokia E71. I’m hoping to go Android soon with an HTC Desire, I hope it lives up to the press reviews.

I’ve tried lots of phones and always seem to come back to Nokia, so I’m wondering if Android will be just what I’m looking for. Not tried the iPhone yet as 3 don’t have it!