Here’s another dose of FAQs based on recent emails to MyHTCDesire:
- [When] will the Desire be getting Gingerbread?
There’s been no confirmation yet so we really don’t know. Gingerbread should be released very soon (rumour says 11 November) and some time around that release date HTC will let us know whether we’re getting that update or not. Gingerbread itself can’t be far from release as Google added a Gingerbread man to their lawn on 22 October (signifying the upcoming release):
- I’ve been having issues with my phone and have been advised to perform a factory reset, is there any way around this?
Depending on the type of issue you’re having, a factory reset might avoidable. In any case, it’s always good to make a full backup of everything (how to) to make sure you suffer minimal data loss in case you do end up performing a factory reset. If you’re told the solution is a factory reset then that’s probably the best solution, but if it just seems like a software related issue you could go through and uninstall recently installed apps to see if they’re causing the issues.
- How do I sync my Hotmail account with the Mail app?
Instructions on how to setup Hotmail with the Desire can be found here. Hotmail uses the POP3 protocol to make your mail accessible on 3rd party clients (such as the Mail app). It basically downloads a copy of your emails to your phone, and then anything you do to that email only affects the copy you have on your phone. If you delete that email on your phone then it won’t delete the original in your Hotmail inbox.
There’s one option in the Mail app which I don’t use, but it may be of use to others: Account Settings > Receive Settings > Delete mail on Server. It means that as soon as you receive the email (not when you delete) to your Desire it will be deleted from your actual Hotmail account. If you then login to Hotmail on your computer, or check your Hotmail on another client then you won’t see that email. Your Desire has the only copy, so when you delete it from there it’s gone
- How do I turn off predictive typing?
Settings > Language & keyboard > Touch Input > Text input > Prediction. You can toggle it on/off there
- How can I download photos to my PC?
Connect your phone via the USB cable. When prompted select Disk Drive mode. Your phone will appear as a removable storage device on your computer. Go to dcim/100MEDIA and you’ll find all your photos in there. Alternatively, you can use DoubleTwist as a fully featured management application for your phone
- When will the Desire be getting HTCSense.com features?
Again, there’s no official word on whether the Desire will be getting these features (which are on the Desire Z and HD). According to some people, HTC claim that htcsense.com will be for all phones in the Desire family, including the original Desire. If you’re impatient, then you can already get this new functionality by installing one of the HD ROMs from XDA-Developers.
If we were to get Gingerbread and htcsense.com then HTC would need to update 3 things: htcsense.com for Desire, Gingerbread for Desire and htcsense.com for Gingerbread – it would actually make more Sense (slight pun intended) if there was just one update containing htcsense.com on Gingerbread, especially considering how slow all the network providers are in providing just one update.
- What does “For security, your phone is set to block installation of applications not sourced in Android Market” mean and how do I get rid of it?
This message means that your phone is currently set to only install applications you download via the Market. To install other applications just go on: Settings > Applications >Unknow sources
- What’s the best book reader for the Desire?
I’ve grown a pretty strong liking to Kindle, but there are alternatives such as Laputa (which has a massive collection of free books) and Aldiko
- Where can I get the adb driver from?
You can download the drivers from here or if those don’t work then use this guide to get the latest drivers from the Android SDK
- I’m on Froyo, and still running out of space – what can I do?
There’s 2 main things you can do:
1) Force Froyo to install all apps to SD card – instructions
2) Root your Desire and use app2ext instead (which installs the full app to SD card instead of part to phone and part to SD)
Several readers have recently reported that they’ve managed to run out of free space, even with the Froyo implementation of Apps2SD. The way Google implemented it was poor to start with, but what makes it worse is that many apps in the Market still haven’t been updated to allow installation to SD card.
This guide shows you how to force all applications to be installed to your SD card.
- Phone running Froyo
- ADB installed – how to
- Ensure you have debugging enabled on your phone (Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging > Turn On)
- Connect your phone to USB
- Open Command Prompt/Terminal
- Type: adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2
- Press Enter
- That’s it!
- My widgets keep disappearing, help!
To prevent widgets from being removed, you’ll have to move their associated application back onto phone memory – to do this see FAQ #2
- How do I move certain apps back onto phone memory?
You can move any application onto phone memory by going to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > On SD card, select the app you want and press Move to Phone
- How can I revert to the original settings?
Just open Command Prompt/Terminal and type: adb shell pm setInstallLocation 0
- Any other hidden commands?
There’s one more to force all apps to install to phone memory, but I doubt you’ll ever want to use it: adb shell pm setInstallLocation
I found this article last week, which list a series of secret commands for Android phones. Bear in mind that that codes were obtained from a Samsung Galaxy i7500 so some may not work on the HTC Desire.
Please be careful as it’s not always possible to undo the effects of a code (e.g. factory reset).
This code can be used to get some interesting information about your phone and battery. It shows following 4 menus on screen:
- Phone information
- Battery information
- Battery history
- Usage statistics
This code can be used for a factory data reset. It’ll remove following things:
- Google account settings stored in your phone
- System and application data and settings
- Downloaded applications
It’ll NOT remove:
- Current system software and bundled applications
- SD card files e.g. photos, music files, etc.
PS: Once you give this code, you get a prompt screen asking you to click on “Reset phone” button. So you get a chance to cancel your operation.
Think before you give this code. This code is used for factory format. It’ll remove all files and settings including the internal memory storage. It’ll also reinstall the phone firmware.
PS: Once you give this code, there is no way to cancel the operation unless you remove the battery from the phone. So think twice before giving this code.
This code is used to get information about phone camera. It shows following 4 menus:
- Update camera firmware in image (Don’t try this option)
- Update camera firmware in SD card
- Get camera firmware version
- Get firmware update count
WARNING: Never use the first option otherwise your phone camera will stop working and you’ll need to take your phone to service center to reinstall camera firmware.
This one is my favorite one. This code can be used to change the “End Call / Power” button action in your phone. Be default, if you long press the button, it shows a screen asking you to select any option from Silent mode, Airplane mode and Power off.
You can change this action using this code. You can enable direct power off on this button so you don’t need to waste your time in selecting the option.
This code opens a File copy screen where you can backup your media files e.g. Images, Sound, Video and Voice memo.
This code can be used to enter into Service mode. You can run various tests and change settings in the service mode.
WLAN, GPS and Bluetooth Test Codes:
*#*#232339#*#* OR *#*#526#*#* OR *#*#528#*#* – WLAN test (Use “Menu” button to start various tests)
*#*#232338#*#* – Shows WiFi MAC address
*#*#1472365#*#* – GPS test
*#*#1575#*#* – Another GPS test
*#*#232331#*#* – Bluetooth test
*#*#232337#*# – Shows Bluetooth device address
This code can be used to launch GTalk Service Monitor.
Codes to get Firmware version information:
*#*#4986*2650468#*#* – PDA, Phone, H/W, RFCallDate
*#*#1234#*#* – PDA and Phone
*#*#1111#*#* – FTA SW Version
*#*#2222#*#* – FTA HW Version
*#*#44336#*#* – PDA, Phone, CSC, Build Time, Changelist number
Codes to launch various Factory Tests:
*#*#0283#*#* – Packet Loopback
*#*#0*#*#* – LCD test
*#*#0673#*#* OR *#*#0289#*#* – Melody test
*#*#0842#*#* – Device test (Vibration test and BackLight test)
*#*#2663#*#* – Touch screen version
*#*#2664#*#* – Touch screen test
*#*#0588#*#* – Proximity sensor test
*#*#3264#*#* – RAM version
1. When installing an application I get an error saying “for security your phone is set to block installation of applications not sourced in the Android market”?
Go to Settings > Applications and tick the Unknown sources box. Press OK when the “Attention” box appear and this message will no longer appear.
2. What’s currently the best way to root the Desire?
I strongly recommend using Unrevoked. I posted up a couple of tutorials, one using Windows and the other using a Linux Live CD (I prefer this method).
3. Can I Play DivX Videos on Froyo?
Yes. There was a rumour that DivX playback would be supported in Froyo but it doesn’t look like it is. However, you can download RockPlayer from the Market which is capable of playing DivX and many other video formats flawlessly
4. How Can I Move Apps to SD Card in Froyo?
Go on Settings > Applications > Manage Applications. Under “Downloaded” or “All” select the app you want to move. Click the button labelled “Move to SD Card”.
The above method works for apps which support apps to sd. If you’ve rooted your phone you can use the ModInstallLocation which allows you to force all apps to be installed to SD card. Alternatively you can use a ROM which has the unofficial A2SD and use that by creating an ext partition on your SD card.
5. How Can I Delete Files on my Phone?
You can either connect your phone to computer via USB, set it in Disk Drive mode and manage all your files from the computer. Or you can download a File Manager application such as FileGo, Astro File Manager or EStrongs File Manager and use it to manage all your SD card contents directly from the phone.
6. How Do I Manually Close an Application?
Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Running. Select the application you want to close and press “Force stop”
7. Does Unrevoked work on Linux?
Yes, in fact I’ve written a tutorial on how to run it on Linux here
8. What Partition Sizes Should I Use When Formatting To Ext?
I have an 8GB card and have found 2GB for the ext 2 to be plenty. Swap space isn’t really required and can be set to 0, though I keep it set to 32MB. The remaining 6GB seems to be enough to hold all my data for now, which includes photos, videos, ROMS and ScummVM games. I’ve had the 2GB partition for over 10 months and haven’t yet come to filling it.
9. Where Can I View A Changelog for Froyo?
There’s no official changelog available that I’ve heard of. However, the folks at XDA-Developers have compiled a massive list of all the changes that are included in Froyo which you can view here
10. When Will Froyo Be Available in Asia?
No date is confirmed yet. If you got your Desire shipped from Europe to Asia then you should already have Froyo. If you bought it in Asia then there’s no news on a release date yet.
Time for another dose of frequently asked questions.
- How much space do games take on the HTC Desire?
Game storage can vary, small games normally use 3-5MB. 3D games tend to take up more space, about 15-20MB. Some games, like the one’s by Gameloft, take up 15MB on the phone and then download the rest of their files to your SD card – saving you valuable phone storage space.
- What do the terms “Mount” and “Unmount” mean in relation to the Desire?
When you connect your phone to your computer via USB cable, you’re shown a series of options on your phone. One of them is “Disk Drive” which let’s your computer access the contents of your phones SD card like a USB Flash drive. Putting your phone into Disk Drive mode is commonly referred to as “mounting” and ejecting/disconnecting the phone is known as “unmounting”.
- Can I take screenshots of my Desire?
If you’ve rooted your phone download ShootMe from the Market
If you’ve not rooted then there’s no easy way, though you can follow this tutorial which shows you how to do it by connecting your phone to computer.
- Why isn’t the Talk (GChat/GTalk) application on my Orange Desire?
Apparently Orange removed this application just to promote their own IM application. If you want the Talk application on your phone then it’s really easy to get it using these instructions
- How can I remove a widget from my homescreen?
Just hold your finger down on the widget, and you’ll see a red box appear at the bottom of the homescreen (where it normally says “phone”) with the text “Remove”. Drag the widget to this box and the widget will be deleted.
- Can I read books on my HTC Desire?
Yes! There’s a few good applications on the Market which let you read books on the Desire. I’m personally a fan of Laputa which has quite a large catalog of free books for you to read. There’s also Aldiko, and if you’re willing to pay then there’s quite few apps for online services such as Amazon Kindle.
- How can I check which firmware version my Desire is running?
Go on Settings > About phone > Software information. This screen will show you all the information about your current firmware.
- What games does the HTC Desire come with?
Only with Teeter, but there’s plenty of free games for you to download from the Android Market as soon as you get your phone. If you need help choosing which to download have a look at the Top 10 Desire Games
- How do I add SNES games to Snesoid?
Download your games on your computer. Mount (def: see #2) your phone to computer. Copy the ROM file anywhere onto your SD card (I made a SNES folder for all my ROMs). Unmount your phone. Start SNESoid and browse to the location you copied your ROM. That’s all there is to it!
- Any word on Froyo?
Nothing official just yet. Hopefully we’re not far off the update. I’ve been using the test leak for a full week now (my review) and I’ve had no issues with it whatsoever. Everything works fine, no force closes, no random restarts or anything – all’s good so I’m hoping that HTC can quickly get it polished up and ready for release in the near future.
Here’s more FAQ’s based on reader questions over the past couple of weeks:
- How Can I Close An Application?
Firstly, there’s no need to except for the rare exceptions. Android handles multiple applications running at the same time by itself (multi-tasking). It will stack applications in the background until it finds that it’s running low on memory. As soon as it does it will close the oldest applications you used. When you switch between applications, Android puts the app in a standby state where it’s using almost no system resources and therefore doing no harm in still being open.
Some applications come with a Quit option which you can use. Otherwise, if you really need to close an app you can use the built-in task killer, or download a dedicated Task Manager from the Market.
- How Can I Play Super Nintendo Games on my HTC Desire?
There’s a great SNES emulator in the Market called Snesoid. There’s a free version, and full-featured paid version too.
- When is Froyo going to be released?
There’s no set release date. As described earlier, firstly Google need to release Froyo, and then HTC modify it so that it has all the HTC Sense features.
Plenty of rumours have been flying around the internet in the past weeks that I’ve mentioned on Twitter but I’ve felt no need to post on here because that’s all they are, rumours – no use getting peoples hopes up with speculation. HTC have not mentioned any such release dates themselves, yet people tend to hold it against HTC when these rumours are proved false. We just need to wait to hear from HTC themselves when they intend to release it.
An additional rumour is that Google are actually working alongside HTC so that the Sense version of Froyo is available on the same day as the official Froyo release.
- How Can I Delete Applications?
There’s a few ways you can achieve this:
- Settings > Applications > Manage Applications. There you can select an app and use the Uninstall option
- Market > Downloads > Select the app you want to uninstall > Uninstall
- File Managers such as FileGo and Astro have a built in application manager you can use to uninstall
- Plenty more apps and methods which I’m sure you’ll come across in your Desire experience
- Will Rooting Effect My Froyo Upgrade?
No. Because there’s way of unrooting your phone you can always revert to stock and then get the Froyo update when it comes out. Also remember that the dev community will no doubt release a rooted version of Froyo too, which you can install using the same recovery image you used when rooting.
- Can I Copy Files to My Desire via WiFi?
Though I’ve never done this myself, I’ve heard that it’s possible to share files between computer and Desire using EStrongs File Explorer
- Where Should I Paste .apk Files on my Desire?
There’s no set location. I tend to organise all .apk files in a dedicated APKs folder on my SD card. However, they can be kept anywhere you like
- Do I Need a Dedicated “Music” folder on my SD Card?
Nope, your audio files can be anywhere on the SD card and the Music app will pick them up automatically. If you want to prevent certain folders from being picked up have a look at this tutorial
- Is Rooting the Desire Safe?
The current rooting method for the Desire is the safest yet. There’s no risk of bricking as there used to be, and the devs have actually released a method to fix any bricking issues in case something does go wrong. Plus it’s quite straightforward to revert your phone to an unrooted state if you want to undo the process.
- Will Apps From My Symbian Phone Work on the Desire?
Unfortunately no, as they’re too completely different operating systems. It’s like trying to play a PS3 game on a Xbox 360…
1. How do I scan QR codes?
To scan QR codes (2D barcodes) download the free application called Barcode Scanner from the Market. More information can be found here
2. Where Do I Store Movies and Videos?
You copy movies anywhere onto your SDcard and the Photos application (or your alternative media application) will automatically add it to it’s library. If you’re looking for an easy way to convert, sync and organise your videos then try out DoubleTwist – here’s an article describing the features of Double Twist and how to use it with your Desire
3. When Is NOVA Coming Out for the Desire?
I tried emailing Gameloft asking for details regarding this but unfortunately they seemed hesitant to part with absolutely any details due to “legal reasons”. Only five of Gameloft’s games are currently available for the Desire.
4. What kind of SD Card does the Desire accept?
The Desire accepts MicroSD cards, including MicroSD-HC (High Capacity cards). It’s supplied with a 4GB card but you can easily upgrade to a larger capacity when needed.
5. What Audio Formats Does the Desire Support?
Audio Formats: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, MPEG4, WAV, MIDI, Real Audio, and Ogg
Video Formats: H.264, 3GPP, MPEG4, and 3GP files
6. What Are the Wallpaper Dimensions?
7. What Happens if I Go Over the Vodafone 1GB limit?
According to this Tweet by Jakub Hrabovsky (Head of Web Relations at Vodafone) you will automatically be charged extra. Current pricing structure is:
No handheld data bundle 50p a day for 25MB 50p for an additional 10MB
Handheld data bundle £5 a month, or £7.50 with a flexi-bundle £5 for an additional 500MB
8. How Do I Transfer My iTunes Music to my Phone?
You can use DoubleTwist to transfer all your iTunes playlists to your Desire.
9. Will Froyo Have Sense on it?
Yes. In simple terms: Google will first release Froyo (without Sense) for phones like the Nexus One. HTC will then take Froyo, add Sense to it and then release this as an update for the HTC Desire. More information on what Froyo actually is can be found here
10. I see that I have a new Message in the top bar, how do I read it?
Simply press the bar with your finger and drag it down. You’ll see that it displays all your active notifications.
11. Is 500MB data limit enough?
For me, no. For you, I have no idea. Try monitoring your usage using an app such as 3g Watchdog or NetTraffic for a few days, and then work out what your estimated data for a month would be at that rate.
Got a Question?
If you have a question about the Desire that you’d like me to answer feel free to email hello [at] myhtcdesire [dot] com, or tweet to @MiHTCDesire on Twitter
When you open the Photos app you may notice that some pictures from other folders on your SD Card are shown as albums. Likewise with the Music app, where you’ll find audio files that aren’t neccessarily music (game sounds and so on) appearing in the application. Here’s how to prevent folders you specify from appearing within those apps:
NOTE: Steps 1 – 6 look long, but it’s basically downloading a tiny zip file and extracting on your computer somewhere.
- Download the nomedia file from here
- On your computer make a folder called nomedia somewhere.
- Copy the file from step 1 into your nomedia folder
- Extract the nomedia.zip file.
- Windows: Right-click > Extract All -> Follow the prompts
- Mac: Double click
- Linux: Right-click -> Extract Here
- You should see a new file called .nomedia in the same folder, or in a subfolder called nomedia
- If you see the .nomedia file skip this step.
If you don’t see the file you’ll need to make sure you can view hidden files using the instructions below:
- Windows – in My Computer, select Tools from the top menu (if you can’t see the top menu press ALT on your keyboard) -> Folder Options -> View tab -> Hidden Files and Folders -> select Show hidden files and folders
- Mac – use the Hidden Files Dashboard Widget
- Linux – in File Browser go on View -> Show Hidden Files (tested in Ubuntu)
- Connect your Desire in Disk Drive mode
- Copy the .nomedia file
- For any folders you dont want displayed in the Music and Photos applications, paste the .nomedia file in the folder
- The no media file works recursively – meaning that you don’t have to put it in all the subfolders too. Just put it in the top-folder and any subfolders will automatically be excluded.
Obviously to make it work for any new folders you add, you just need steps 7-9.
A more elegant solution would be an app that adds/removes the file for you in any folders you tell it to. For now though, this is the only solution that I’m aware of.
If you run into any problems, or find a better method please feel free to share!
Some users have found that when they try adding a widget to the homescreen, none of the HTC widgets are available (Friendstream, Mail, Music etc). This is a problem commonly caused by MyBackupPro when you create a backup of “Android Home” and then later restore it.
In order to make all the widgets available again just follow these simple steps:
NOTE: By following these steps, all your homescreens will be restored to default and you’ll have to set them all up again
- Open Settings
- Select Applications
- Select Manage Applications
- Scroll down to HTC Sense and select it
- Press the Clear Data button
- Press the Home button and you’ll see a white screen saying HTC
- In a few seconds the default homescreen will load up with the Desire wallpaper
- You should now be able to configure all your homescreens and add HTC widgets
DarkDvr over at XDA has written up an excellent post on how Li-Ion batteries (which is the kind of battery that the HTC Desire uses) work and how to use them properly. DarkDvr has kindly given me permission to publish his post on this site (thanks man!). So here’s all the information which should help you get the most of your battery!
So after noticing how much of a difference people get in their battery lives, I’ve decided to do some research and make a guide-line that will give us all we need to know about properly using our batteries. First part is a general information and usage techniques for LIBs, second part is taken from Google materials on Android-powered devices (G1, Magic, Droid, Nexus One, etc).
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery
BatteryUniversity - http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm
Google IO Conference 2009 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUemfrKe65c
Electropaedia – http://www.mpoweruk.com/life.htm
General Lithium-Ion Battery (LIB) Usage:
- Discharging your LIB fully (or less than 2.4 Volt per cell) is bad for the battery. Every time you do that, it can be said that small part of your battery (some cells) dies (they forever lose their charge). Do not store your batteries depleted, there’s a high chance they will die completely or will become very “weak”.
- You cannot restore bad LIBs by overloading/heating/praying. You gotta go buy a new one. They DO degrade overtime, some cells naturally lose the ability to gain/give electricity.
- Although it is said that LIBs do not have memory, it’s not entirely true. LIBs have gauges that monitor performance of cells, and if you do a lot of small charges, it won’t let those gauges to monitor a full battery potential, causing an invalid indication of charge level. A complete charge/discharge should be made when battery capacity seems reduced, that will calibrate gauges and they will provide your phone with correct charge level status. A full charge/discharge cycle should be done every 30 (or so) partial charges.
- LIBs have a shelf-life. Do not buy them to store them. Use them early, use them often, they will die whether you use them or not. Do not buy LIBs to use them in 6 months/year/etc, buy them right before actually using them.
- LIBs have short lives (in comparison to NiCa batteries, etc). You should expect to buy a new battery in 2-3 years after being manufactured. It is caused by internal oxidation and there’s nothing you can do to stop or prevent that.
- Worst LIB treatment is to keep it at 100% charge level at high temperature (think laptop/phone under direct sunlight, like car dashboard).
- Best LIB treatment, or LIBs “favorite” charge level – 40%. That’s also the usual charge level you buy them with.
- LIBs don’t like heat. For example, while always at 100%, typical LIB in a laptop, at temperatures of 25C (77F) will lose 20% (twenty percent!) of full capacity per year. That capacity loss is reduced to 6% (six percent) at 0C (32F), and increased to 35% loss at 40C (104F). So, keep them cool (LIBs like fridges), don’t let your devices sit in the sun or overheat at charge. Also, keep in mind that while in use, battery will be significantly hotter than phone/outside environment.
- LIBs like frequent partial charges/discharges more than they like full charges/discharges.
- Car “fast-chargers” overtime degrade your battery a little, as they give too much energy to the battery too fast (high voltage). Trickle-charge (USB) is best. They do provide an initial higher capacity charge (high-voltage), but do degrade the long-term battery capacity. General idea is that the slower the charge – the longer (long-term) battery will serve you.
- Although this part is somewhat controversial, they do recommend having a complete, full FIRST charge to be made. If time allows, a preferred time for the first charge is 12 hours. This may have more to do with the OS than the battery.
- Battery on a Android device, in average, will last about a full day with normal use (some videos, mail, calls). That’s what you should kind-of expect.
- Speaking in averages, “idling” 3G/EDGE connection (when phone is sleeping and no data is transferred through 3G), drains almost no energy. Just a little more than having 3G/EDGE radio off completely. So when no apps are using 3G, you don’t need to keep it off.
- Same goes to WiFi connection – although it’s on, if there is no data flowing through it, it uses almost no energy.
- At full throughput (100% data flow), EDGE is using significantly more energy than 3G. 3G is much more energy-efficient than EDGE.
- WiFi is using more energy than 3G (when both are at 100% use), but since it transfers files much faster and then goes to “sleep”, it’s actually recommended to use WiFi whenever possible. Since it’ll “sleep” more often than 3G, overall it will use much less battery than using 3G.
- Some bad apps or widgets can use android’s “WakeLock“, keeping CPU at 100%, screen always-on, or both. I myself have encountered such widget (I won’t mention the name, it’s in the market) that used a WakeLock to keep CPU spun-up at 100% all the time. That makes a huge impact on battery life. My advice – use a CPU profiling app to monitor the CPU – make sure that CPU slows down by itself when it’s not used. So, beware of such widgets/apps.
- Android (at least on Nexus One) slows down CPU when not in use by itself, as a built-in feature.