Last week Google announced that they’d be enabling paid apps in more countries. They’ve announced today that they’ve added support for 20 countries, and another 18 will be added in the next two weeks.
The 20 new countries that can enjoy paid applications are:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Korea
A few networks have now released the long-awaited Froyo update during the past week so here’s a quick summary of which networks it’s available on:
Unbranded Handsets – since early August
Vodafone – released on 23 August
Orange – Re-release on 1 October. History: released 21 September. Pulled the update on 23 September.
T-Mobile – Available since 20 September. History: originally released on 19 September, then pulled due to including German apps.
O2 – Re-release on 29 September. History: released on 6 September, then pulled due to bugs. Rereleased to a few users on 23 September as a test, public release during week commencing 27 September.
Three – not even confirmed that they will be getting Froyo. Seem to be mixed responses from staff, all contradicting one another
Virgin – not heard anything yet
The update was also made available for the Asian devices since 30 August
People who bought the phone from a network and received an unbranded device should have had the update since early August. The network release dates are for branded phones.
It’s quite a shame to see networks such as Three letting their customers down already. Even if they can’t specify an accurate release date, it would be useful just to officially announce whether they’ll actually be releasing Froyo or not.
The update mechanism for Android is a major letdown. Although you could blame the networks more than HTC, it’s still a shame that users are made to wait weeks and even months for an update from a network provider, instead of a general release direct from HTC for all phones. It’s one area in which the iOS is superior, one update that becomes available to everyone at the same time – straight from Apple.
- 23 September – O2 re-released Froyo
- 24 September – received confirmation that the 20 September T-Mobile update doesn’t have German apps. Thanks to
- 25 September – confirmation that O2 release was a test, and public release will be during week starting 27 September. Thanks to impy81
- 25 September – confirmation that Orange have pulled the update since 23 September – no rerelease scheduled. Thanks to ash (in the comments)
As you’re aware, Froyo has been out for owners of unbranded phones since the start of August. Now it’s been one and a half months and in that time we’ve seen a couple of networks releasing the update such as Vodafone and O2 (who pulled the updated shortly due to bugs) but users of other networks have still been waiting for this update. T-Mobile say they’re still well on track for a late September release, rumour has it that Three may not even be getting the update (can’t confirm as even the Three staff seem to be contradicting themselves) but today the spotlight falls on Orange who promised a mid-September update and when they failed to deliver decided to push the blame on HTC.
When Froyo was released, conorfromorange (PR Manager for Orange) posted a Tweet on 2 August saying:
We are working with HTC to bring the 2.2 Android update to Desire customers as soon as we can. This process normally takes about four weeks
Since that date, their customers waited patiently (or impatiently in some cases), the 4 weeks came to pass at the start of September and still no update. That’s fair enough considering 4 weeks was an guideline, not a fixed release date.
After, since the start of September, conor has posted several Tweets that seem to be blaming HTC for the delayed update and not themselves:
27 August (link):
Android fans there has been a delay in receiving the 2.2 Froyo update from HTC, & we now expect it to be available mid-Sep. Apologies
15 September (link):
HTC told us they’ve had issues with the update, but these are now resolved. So we’re just waiting for them to give finl partner approval
15 September (link):
Apols for the delay guys. We’ve been told to expect it shortly – think days rather than weeks!
BUT, when a MyHTCDesire reader decided to email HTC to find out why they were holding up Orange and their Froyo update, HTC replied with an email clarifying the situation and denying the accusations coming from Orange about it all being HTCs fault:
Dear xxx, Thank you for your email. The upgrade is authorised for release for unbranded devices at the same time it is released to network providers. In this case, Vodafone and O2 have had the new software for the same amount of time as Orange have had. I apologise for the incorrect information they have given you. The software is in their hands, it is their responsibility to release it to their customers. If you have any further questions, please contact me again. To send a reply to this message or let me know I have successfully answered your question log in to our ContactUs site using your email address and your ticket number XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Sincerely,
Want to see what others are saying? Have a question to ask other HTC fans?
Explore our development resources developer.htc.com
The message from HTC clearly states that Froyo has been available to ALL mobile networks since HTC released the unbranded version, which would be the start of August. They also go on to say that customised and releasing the update is the responsibility of each network provider, not HTCs.
Additionally, when the reader who sent the email above called Orange a few days ago, he was told that the update is still being tested and would be released in 2 weeks which contradicts conor’s promise of “days rather than weeks”.
To be clear, the issue isn’t that the update has been delayed. Delays for any software-based products are to be expected and even HTC are known to slip up – when I was on my HTC Hero they were promising Android 2.0 last December, then said that wouldn’t be released and they’d release 2.1 in January instead and even that wasn’t released until June, by which time I’d long sold the Hero and got the Desire instead! The concern is that why are Orange constantly blaming HTC for the delay when HTC have cleanly denied being responsible?
In all fairness, if Orange keep to their promise of a few days then they’ve still done a better job than the other networks. Only Vodafone have made a successful release so far.
Personally, I really think the networks shouldn’t even be allowed to brand their phones. If it was done within a reasonable timeframe and actually improved the user experience then it would be a different story. When it’s the first major update to one of the best phones available at the moment, and customers are being forced to wait before receiving an update that’s been available to their friends with unbranded phones for 2 months just so that networks can cripple the update with their own bloatware then it’s really unfair on those customers. It’s a poor of way of taking advantage of the lack of alternative that the customers have. All the networks do it, so it’s not as if people can threaten to leave and join another network.
Are you on Orange, and have you heard any news from them regarding Froyo? I’ll try contacting conorfromorange to see what he has to say on the issue.
It’s been a while since I did the first “This Week On Twitter”, but last week was quite an exciting week for Desire owners so here’s a round up of a weeks worth of Tweets!
Angry Birds Beta is now in the Market
One of the top selling iPhone games is now available for Android. It’s still in Beta, so there might be bugs but I’ve been playing it for the past few days and had no problems with it whatsoever. You can download the free Lite version using the QR code, the full paid version is not yet available.
Froyo Available to South-East Asia and Hong Kong HTC Desire Owners
Readers who’re based in the above locations can now enjoy their Froyo-flavoured Android update. If you’ve not received the update already, just go on Settings > About Phone > System Software Updates > Check Now and the update should appear ready for you to download.
Friendstream and Peep Back Online
Last week Google changed the way in which 3rd party applications can access the Twitter service. Previously there were 2 methods, Basic Authentication and OAuth, with OAuth being more secure of the two. Late last year Google announced that they’d be getting rid of Basic Authentication and only allowing OAuth. App developers were told to update their apps to use OAuth, with another public reminder in June. Most developers did this, but HTC either due to neglect, or an agreement with Google that they’d still be able to use Basic Authentication decided not to update their Peep and Friendstream apps. So when Google disabled Basic Authentication last week, Peep and Friendstream went down for a couple of days.
This issue was then resolved without the need for any OTA update, so I’d assume Google have permitted HTC to carry on using the Basic Authentication method.
How To Force Apps to Install on SD Card Without Rooting (on Froyo)
This is an article from another website which shows you how you can move any app to the SD card on Froyo without having to root your phone. You will need adb setup on your computer to follow this tutorial. Click here to visit the guide
What’s App Instant Messenger Now In Beta
The popular iPhone (also available on S60 and Blackberry) instant messenger application is now in beta for Android. Although the interface is very simplistic, it seems to work quite well. You can download it by visiting this link on your Android phone browser, or download the apk file from here
Thanks to MyKeymoo for the heads up
PSGroove being ported to Android (PSFreedom)
There’s been a lot of development on this, and due to not owning a PS3 my understanding might be a bit flaky – do correct my if I get anything wrong: a few weeks ago a jailbreak for the PS3 was announced which lets you run homebrew on your PlayStation 3 console using a rather expensive USB dongle. This was known as PS Jailbreak. More recently it was announced that another team of developers had managed to release some open-source code known as PSGroove which does the same thing as the PS Jailbreak, except that PS Groove is free but you need certain USB hardware to run the code. Another developer then ported PSGroove to the Nokia N900 which has the necessary USB controller, and called this project PSFreedom. Now, the developers at XDA are working on hard on getting PSFreedom to run on Android phones (Desire included).
Basically: if the developers succeed then it’s going to be possible to jailbreak your PS3 for free using PSFreedom from your Android phone. You can track the development of this project here
MyHTCDesire Breaks Another Bandwidth Barrier
For what start off as a very small blog, it’s now exceeding 100GB traffic a month which is a huge milestone for me. Just want to say thank your to all the readers who’ve been reading and promoting this site!
“The Android 2.2 (FroYo) update for HTC Desire will start rolling out across Europe this weekend. As well as including the complete set of Android 2.2 features, the update will contain a few special additions of our own through the latest iteration of HTC Sense. The update will provide 720p video capture, HTC’s App Share widget, as well as our enhanced HTC Caller ID, and improved multi-language keyboard. Also, though the update, HTC Sync will allow HTC Desire users to sync their music with iTunes.
HTC Desire users will be notified that the over-the-air update is available to download when their phone automatically checks for software updates. The update won’t delete any of the phone’s content. However, due to the size of the update, we would advise using a WiFi connection to download it wherever possible to avoid additional data charges.
This update will initially roll-out to unlocked HTC Desire handsets. Operator specific versions of the update are undergoing testing and we expect to make them available in several weeks’ time.”
Some very nice features mentioned including syncing iTunes Music via HTC Sync, 720p Video Recording and the App Sharing app. No doubt they’ll have more surprises in stock for us too! You can read my full review of Froyo here
In order to prepare for the update I would recommend backing up your phone just in case the update does wipe some of your data. You might also want to make note of your homescreens layout because I know from the past update that people’s homescreens were reset, and wouldn’t be surprised if an update as big as this did the same! You can find the tutorial on how to backup here. Bear in mind that you can get a full featured 30-day trial of MyBackup for free (which is plenty time to backup, update and restore your phone). If you like the app do buy it though, I class it as one of my must haves.
If you’ve rooted your phone the easiest solution I’d recommend is wait for the update.zip to appear on XDA. It’ll be exactly the same update which you can just copy to SD card and install using the recovery image. Alternatively, you can easily unroot your phone using the guide here and then wait for the OTA. If you get an error during unroot then you may need to create a goldcard first using this guide
UPDATE: Forcing Your Phone To Receive Froyo
If you have a branded phone but want to install Froyo then you can use this guide to debrand your phone. Once you’ve completed the process you can restart your phone and check for updates – Froyo should be there. Please remember to backup everything on your phone first – debranding performs a full factory reset.
Thanks to geeK_0 for the link!
Yesterday on Twitter I mentioned that some devs over on XDA have managed to get hold of a test version of Froyo for the Desire and now made it available to the public – link. I managed to install it without issue, and after trying it out for a full day here’s a review of it!
NOTE: Click any of the images to view in full size
Even though there’s no massive new features, there were a few nice things I found useful:
270 degree rotation – before you could only rotate your phone anti-clockwise to view in landscape. Now you can turn in clockwise and the screen will rotate in that direction too.
App Sharing – this an application which lets you recommend applications that you’ve installed to your friends. It doesn’t actually send the app itself, but a link to the Market where the recipient can download and try the app. I see this is as being a very handy feature for quickly sharing a new app I discover including a download link via Twitter.
WiFi Hotspot – this lets you turn your phone behave like a wireless router. It shares the mobile internet you receive from your network with any wireless device that connects to your phone via WiFi. You can set secuirty on the network so that you don’t get strangers connecting and using up your data allowance. Of course this is only useful if you receive fast mobile internet.
Flashlight – this app lets you use your phone as a torch with varying brightness settings, plus an option to make it flash or set it in SOS mode.
New look messaging application – It now always shows the characters you’ve used and the message number you’re on. Plus there’s a little menu that slides in which quickly lets you attach various things to your message: Photos, Music, Contact card, Calendar event and slideshow.
720p Video Recording – The new ROM now supports video recording at 720p (1280×720) resolution. I tried recording a video on the train and it came out at 16FPS according to VLC. I’m sure the rate varies according to the surrounding conditions though.
A few more things I won’t go into much detail about, and no doubt plenty more things which I’ve missed!
- Talk looks a bit better
- Plurk – additional social networking service which I hear is popular in Asia
- Dedicated shortcut to Videos in the menu
- Recent apps now shows 8 apps, and looks better
Applications to SD Card (A2SD)
I know a lot of people were waiting for this and it is included.
Although it saves the application to the SD card, part of it (the dalvik-cache I’m told) is still stored on the phone memory and as a result you’ll still see your internal memory going down though each app won’t occupy as much space as it did so you can still install a lot more applications. Additionally, when you mount your phone to your computer in Disk Drive mode, your applications are temporarily unavailable until your dismount the phone from your computer – this makes sense considering that the SD card can only be accessed by one thing at the time, if your PC is using it then your phone can’t. On top of that, any widgets that come with an app you’ve installed on your SD card will disappear when you connect as Disk Drive, and you need to restart your phone to restore them.
The workaround is to install essential apps to your phone (it’s very easy to move them between internal and SD memory) and extras to SD. This way your required apps/widgets are still available when you mount your phone. Hopefully HTC will make it so that widgets are refreshed when you unmount the phone.
Verdict – it works. You will save space and be able to install more apps. It does have the downside of being unable to access apps on SD when you connect as Disk Drive but as explained above that can’t be helped – it’s a hardware limitation.
Bear in mind that I already found my Desire really fast. With this new update it does seem a bit faster and quicker to respond. It opens apps a wee bit quicker too. Flicking through homescreens doesn’t lag, and scrolling up and down the pages of applications is very smooth. Tried loading up a couple of games on Snesoid and that seemed VERY responsive too. In the web browser I tried loading up this site and it was the quickest I’ve seen it load up on my phone!
I used the phone a lot more than usual today:
- made quite a few calls varying between 5-25 minutes
- Played Earthworm Jim and F-Zero for an hour
- Read a book on Laputa for an hour
- Connected to mobile internet (no WiFi at work) to browse sites and test browser speed
- Checking 11 email accounts regularly
- Checking Twitter regularly
- Generally playing around with this new ROM
The amount of battery left is a similar amount (22%) to what I used to get on 2.1, but the difference being I used the phone more than normal today. Also bear in mind that being on a train for 2 hours uses more battery because of it constantly losing network due to tunnels and going through rural areas where the phone is trying to find reception. The battery life would be even better if I put it in Airplane mode during the commute or on a weekend when I’m more likely to have a reception.
Remember, Flash 10.1 is an add-on for Froyo, and it also isn’t officially out yet. It’s still in beta. I tried two sites: mochigames (site dedicated to phone optimised Flash games) and BBC iPlayer (you get redirected to the mobile version of the site). For both sites the content loaded up very quickly. The games were very smooth on mochi, and the iPlayer video was played without any skips at good quality. The only downside was that after a couple of minutes and lot of clicking the content did seem to become less responsive to screen-touches.
Something I personally found very useful for quickly viewing websites on my phone. It basically lets you send information from your computer to your phone at the click of a button. For example, I found a site that contains Flash games and wanted to view it on my Desire. All I had to do was click the little button pictured below in Firefox, and the link appeared on the Desire within seconds for me to open and view in the phone’s Internet browser. You can also use it to send image links from your browser, or to send map locations that you have open in Google Maps on your computer.
It works on Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. There’s a bit of setup required but it’s very easy and only takes a couple of minutes – I’ll post up a guide in the near future.
I’m very impressed with this new software update! Considering that it’s just a test version means that the final version will be even better with optimisations and extra tweaks making it smoother and quicker than it already is!
It adds quite a few new features, performs well and I can honestly say that it’s lived up to my expectations. Also, looking at how stable this test version actually is I have to credit HTC for being so quick to get a Sense version of Froyo within a couple of weeks of it’s official release for the Nexus One and hope that the final version isn’t too far off.
Finally, credits go out to udK who got hold of this leaked ROM and made it available for people to download and install!
If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or via email.
If you want to install this and try for yourself then you’ll need a rooted phone and to follow these instructions
We’ve all been patiently waiting for Froyo and the last we heard HTC said they will be releasing it some time in Q3 of 2010. Well here’s some updated information showing a test build of Froyo on the HTC Desire.
Here’s a few new things I picked up in the video:
- Wireless Hotspot application with homescreen control widget
- Audio profile widget (quickly choose Loud/Silent/Vibrate)
- Ringtone select widget – click to choose your ringtone
- Plurk – apparently a popular social networking site in Asia, so this one might be exclusive to the Asia version of the ROM
- Torch – an official app which lets you use the Desire as a torch with varying brightness levels
- Dock – settings for when you dock your phone in your car kit
- 720p video recording (1280×720), not sure what the frame rate would be
Hopefully this means that it’ll be tested out and released shortly, though no timescale is available other than the existing “Q3 of 2010″
This article will summarise some of the more important Tweets posted on the MiHTCDesire Twitter account (in case you’re not a Twitter type of person).
Angry Birds is Coming to Android this Summer
The number 1 iPhone game is being ported to the Android platform by it’s developers. They’re saying a summer release which could mean anytime soon. If you want to know when exactly it’ll be out you can sign up to their mailing list
Source: Android Central.
OpenDesire ROM brings Vanilla Froyo to the Desire
This one’s only of interest to people who have rooted their Desires. OpenDesire is one of the first Froyo ROMs available for the Desire that is built using AOSP. It seems quite stable and it’s developer is working very hard to fix any bugs and issues. If you want it, go ahead and grab it from here
IMDB Application Now Available In the Android Market
A fully featured IMDB application was released this week which looks and works great. You now have the power of the Internet Movie DataBase in the palm of your hands. No longer will you look stupid when asked how many times Hank Azaria appeared in Friends! Download the app using the following QR code (click to enlarge) or if you’re viewing on your phone use this link
Desire Still Available for £285 from O2
This was just a reminder about a great bargain to be had. If you have an existing O2 contract you can buy yourself (or a special someone) a HTC Desire for only £285 which is over £60 cheaper than the next cheapest I’ve seen it (£349.99 + £10 top-up from Three). For all the details on how to get it check out the original post
Mario Live Wallpaper Available
A new Mario Live Wallpaper is available (free) from the Android Market. You can watch Mario play across the various levels as your homescreen background. It comes with plenty of configuration options such as the ability to change difficulty and disable level background. If you want it, you can get it from the authors original post
Today HTC have announced that the HTC Desire, Legend and Wildfire will all be getting Froyo in Q3 (quarter 3) of 2010.
We are working hard with our partners to update the HTC Sense experience on Froyo and distribute it to our customers as fast as possible. We expect to release updates for several of our 2010 models including Desire, Legend and Wildfire beginning in Q3.
Technically Q3 starts in two days (1 July) but realistically I’d expect a late August release – that’s pure speculation, but at least you know it will definitely be by the end of September.
In the meantime, if you’re not fussed about HTC Sense and have already rooted your phone then Cyanogen Mod 6 will probably be the best ROM for Desire when it’s released, probably in a few days time.
I’ll keep you updated when I hear more news!
PS: I know I’ve not reported any of the Froyo rumours on here (only on Twitter) but rumours only give false hope. This is something more official from HTC and quite satisfying to be honest
A couple of hours ago Google discussed the new features that will be part of the new software update for their Android phones (Froyo) in the Google IO Developer Event.
The features include:
- Apps on External Storage – this will allow you to install applications to your SD card, meaning you’re no longer restricted to the built-in 140MB that the Desire offers. Instead, if you run out of space you can just buy a larger capacity memory card.
- Dalvik JIT – without getting into much technical detail, this modification means that your phone will gain a speed boost of 2x to 5x higher than its current speed.
- Kernel Memory Management Boost – sounds a bit complex, but what it means is that it will handle applications running in the background a lot better so it’ll be quicker to switch between apps
- Voice Dialing Over Bluetooth – simple enough. Use a bluetooth headset to dial contacts
- Data Backup – you can now backup all your data including application data (preferences, saved games, accounts etc). This makes it a lot easier to format your phone, or to transfer everything to a new phone
- WiFi Hotspot – make your phone act like a WiFi hotspot. This means your laptop or computer will be able to connect to your phone via wireless and use your phones internet connection.
Plenty more stuff too, which if you’re interested in you can read about here
Flash player isn’t on the above list because it’s not actually part of Android. It’s an add-on, but Adobe have confirmed that it will be available for Froyo. The screenshot below shows the message I got when visiting the Adobe website on my HTC Desire:
Google have said that a public release of Froyo will be made in June. This gives them enough time to polish off the update, and make sure that everything works as it should.
From today the 2.2 SDK is available to developers who can start updating their applications to make use of the new features such as being able to install to the SD Card.
For the Desire, we’ll be waiting on HTC to create a HTC Sense version of Froyo. No timescale is given yet, but we can only hope that it’s not too long.
The impatient will most likely be able to get a Vanilla version (no HTC Sense) version from Modaco or XDA when the June release is out for the Nexus One. You’ll need a rooted handset for this of course.
It’s been a great day for Android. I’m very pleased that the Applications to SDCard feature is included, I’m sure it’s the most important for most of us. It’ll be interesting to see the performance boost too, and I’d really like to see how well the Flash player runs games.
No doubt HTC already have a test version of Froyo, and I wish they’re all working away at it as fast as possible so that we’re not waiting too long for this update to become available on the Desire.