Posts Tagged ‘hands-on’

How to install a new ROM on your HTC Desire S [HD] Step-by-step tutorial

August 18, 2011

Hello lovely people, I hope you’re all well.

If you followed my video a few days back you should have successfully rooted your HTC Desire S. So what now? Well you’ll probably want to install a custom ROM on the phone.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be up and running in no time! These steps will also work on the HTC Desire and Desire HD.

What you will need:
1 HTC Desire S phone
1 Cup of coffee

Step 1:
Install ROM Manager from the Android Market

Step 2:
Load ROM Manager and click the top link to flash the ClockworkMod Recovery tool. Just make sure you have the latest version installed.

Step 3:
Click on Download ROM from with ROM Manager and find a ROM that you want to install. I chose the Saga LBC Mod ROM which had some good reviews. Select the version you wish to download v0.5.3 is the one I installed in the video. Select to download the ROM without the keyboard arrows.

Step 4:
Once the ROM has downloaded it will ask you 3 questions. Tick all 3 boxes to be safe and then press OK. Your phone will now reboot and start the ROM installation process

Step 5:
Start drinking your coffee

Step 6:
After about 10 minutes the new ROM should have been installed and booted up. All done!

Any questions can be asked below in the comments.

App of the Week: Google Docs app now finally available for Android!

April 27, 2011

android app of the weekApp: Google Docs
Cost: FREE
Developer: Google Inc
Developer pageGoogle Docs Android Download

Finally! You can now get a Google Docs app for your Android phone! This was going to be just a news article but after trying the app it instantly became my App of the Week

Why is this such a great thing? Well, think of Google Docs as an “Office in the web”. You can store and access your text, spreadsheet and presentation documents from anywhere in the world – and now from within your own pocket*. It’s a completely free alternative to a paid ‘Office’ experience.

Google Docs App ScreenshotAs I’m currently planning a trip to the US of A with a few friends this will prove priceless for me to have. We’ve been sharing some documents to keep track of the itinerary, expenses and flight details etc so it’ll be great to be able to check up on how things are going whilst on the move. Also, I’ll be able to use it across the pond if I need to check up on any details we may have forgotten. OK so I could use a computer for all of this but it’s a lot easier to just glance at your phone quickly then it is to start your computer up and then load your browser.

So how does it perform? Very smoothly! I was quitie surprised to see that it actually works better than my little notebook at displaying a large ‘Word’ document I have with loads of pictures in it. Flicking my finger up and down to scroll through shows no sign of slowing down whatsoever. The editing seems to work very well too which is something I was slightly worried about in the translation to a mobile handset.

I do feel for the likes of Quick Office now Google have released this. There is less and less reason to pay for an App to do similar tasks but for the convenience factor I must recommend it to you.

For some reason it isn’t showing up in the Android Market either on my handset or via a search on the Android Market website however I have managed to get a link which takes you directly to the page to download the app. Simply sign in with your Google account and Google send the download straight to your phone – scary I know!
*you probably won’t be able to use the app from your pocket very easily but you know what I mean

LIVE TEST: HTC Desire Mugen Extended Battery 3200mAh Review

April 15, 2011

Mugen Power Battery 3200mAh HTC DesireIt’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. Will the Mugen Power battery make much of a difference when compared to the stock HTC one? Will buying a non-phone-branded battery be the right choice?

As I have previously mentioned I am always very sceptical about non-branded or ‘generic’ batteries which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted by @MugenBatteries who wanted me to test drive their Desire extended battery. So sure they are of their battery they shipped one over for me to test out and review.

Mugen Extended Battery Back CaseNow the battery is obviously slightly larger than the original battery. It sticks out 5mm from the back of the phone hence it comes with a new back to put on your Desire. This encloses the battery nicely and is the same material as the rest of your Desire – a ‘grippy’ plastic.

After 5 days of patient prepping, the battery is now ready to go through it’s test and I will see how long I can make it last with normal use of my HTC Desire. I have downgraded my Desire from Gingerbread 2.3 back to Froyo 2.2 to make this as fair a test as possible. You may recall in previous tests that I managed to get a full 14 hours out of the battery and still have 34% remaining. Will the 2x+ capacity of the Mugen Power battery really last twice as long?

Let’s find out.

Here’s the setup:

Fully charged at 9am.
Screen: Medium brightness (auto brightness off)
WiFi: ON (Wireless N enabled but will not be used at work as we currently only have 802.11b/g)
Syncing: ON (2 Gmail accounts and FriendStream – see below)
Bluetooth: OFF
GPS: OFF
FriendStream: ON (Twitter updating every 15 minutes and Facebook every 1 hour)
Wallpaper: Live – HTC default
All other settings have been left at the Froyo 2.2 default

To make things easy to compare I will put my previous results in square brackets so you can compare the ‘new’ to ‘old’ battery readings. Remember; the old battery is the stock HTC one.

9:00 – 100% As I put in my Mugen battery into the phone, sweat is pouring off my face. Will it last all day or will I be left stranded by mid-afternoon?

11:00 – 96% [92% in previous test] Already you can see the improvement. I do think however that the ‘initial rundown’ of the battery happens quicker during the first few hours of use so I think we should see it slow down over the rest of the day. The phone has just had general use, the usual music on the way to work, texts and e-mails.

12:00 – 95% [N/A in previous test] Well I’ve only lost a single percent in an hour! Not bad at all! A fair bit of usage too – WordPress and e-mails.

13:00 – 92% [88% in previous test] I’ve been using my phone quite heavily during my lunch hour and have only lost 3% battery which isn’t bad at all. When you compare this to my original battery test running Eclair (I was down to 80% battery at this point) you can already see the benefits of Froyo and the extended battery.

14:00 – 90% [78% in previous test] The battery is still looking pretty healthy. When compared to the stock battery I already have an extra 12% battery left. Go Mugen! Go!

15:00 – 88% [N/A in previous test] Only lost a couple of percent this hour. I must admit I’m getting quite used to the HTC Sense ROM again – I feel like I’m ‘home’. Don’t get me wrong, the Gingerbread ROM I had was nice and speedy but the HTC Sense just feels more ‘solid’.

16:00 – 88% [N/A in previous test] Wow, this isn’t a typo – an hour has passed and I still have 88% remaining in the battery! I’ve used it for a couple of e-mails but nothing else so that might explain it. It’s good that the standby usage is quite low.

17:00 – 86% [60% in previous test] Well this shows it all. I’m up 26% when compared with the original battery. This is looking great and shows you would quite easily survive ‘the day’ without worrying about charging your phone. It’ll be interesting to see the graph of results when I compare the two batteries. I’ll keep updating throughout the night (and more thank likely tomorrow) to keep you updated.

18:00 – 84% [N/A in previous test]

19:00 – 80% [46% in previous test] Well I have nearly 50% more battery with the Mugen in place which is fantastic news. Even though I’ve just done a 20 minute workout with the “Multi Reps” app (which keeps the screen on when in use) you can see I’ve still got plenty of juice left.

20:00 – 79%  [N/A in previous test]

21:00 – 77%  [N/A in previous test] Well, it’s been 12 hours now and my Mugen Extended Battery has only lost 23% of it’s charge. That’s less than a quarter! If my calculations are correct then that means the battery could last up to 48 hours of “constant” use. I say “constant” because obviously the phone has been used during this 12 hour shift. Overnight the phone will not be syncing or being used at all so the drainage should be very little. We’ll see how things are in 12 hours from now… PS – I actually had my GPS (location) active until about an hour ago. Although I hadn’t used Google Maps at all, the GPS may have kicked in from time to time – who knows but it doesn’t seemed to have caused too much of an issue battery-wise.

23:00 – 74% [34% in previous test] OK last update of the night. As you can tell, it’s been a huge success! I’m starting to wonder how long it’ll actually last without a charge. Most the weekend as well? Surely not?!

=======================================

DAY 2

14:00 - Nearly 30 hours online!

09:00 – 69% – Well, 24 hours on and I’ve still got nearly three quarters of the battery remaining. Overnight the phone was left on but all features were turned off. All that was active was the cellular network. So it looks like you’ll lose around 5% of the battery life if the phone is not being used for 9 hours or so – not bad at all.

14:00 – 54% Still more than half my battery remaining and the phone has been on and active for nearly 30 hours – not bad going at all!

23:00 – 34% Well after a fairly decent afternoon’s worth of usage I’ve lost 20% of the battery. I did some video recording, photography and also used the GPS a bit so it’s fair game. It looks like I’m going to get a good 48 hours out of this.

=======================================

DAY 3

09:00 28% – Well I didn’t think I’d see the battery last this long! Let’s see how far it can get me through Sunday. Bearing in mind Mugen recommend not to run the battery ’til it’s flat I will probably take it out at around 5% remaining.

Mugen Battery Test final 118:08 – 5% – Well it’s time to call it a day (or 3?!). The battery has lasted so well today when I really though it would give in. A day spent texting e-mailing and even listening to music and it lasted until the early evening. If I had been anal I could have carried on with battery but used my battery saving tips to extend it as long as possible but no, I thought I’d give the Mugen battery a well earnt rest in my charging dock.

The only niggle I had with the extended battery over the 3 days was when I had the phone on a desk and tried to use the buttons on the bottom of the phone. As the protruding cover makes the phone slightly raised I found using the buttons a bit more difficult. Because they aren’t capacitive like the Nexus One, the phone would tip when I pressed one of them. I tend the use the phone like this if while I’m at work or eating my breakfast but this really isn’t an issue you should be worried of.

Oh and here’s the main proof that my phone was left unplugged and away from power for so long:

mugen standby time

It goes to show that Mugen really do make damn-good batteries.

So, to sum up whether you should buy one of these or not: if you have an HTC Desire – you’d be stupid not to.


You can buy a Mugen Extended 3400mAh battery for your HTC Desire by clicking here.

.

 

[Update] I thought I’d include my Battery Saving Tips video now you’ve read through this article. It’ll show you how to save even more power when using your phone

 

 

 

New update to Android Market App (version 2.2.7)

December 23, 2010
New Android Market App Update

Is the new version a bit messy?

Whilst away in sunny Gran Canaria I was surprised to find a new update to the Market App.

The new interface is undeniably cleaner and cooler but there are still a few things that need to be tweaked.

For instance, the ‘home’ screen of the Market is now looking quite cluttered. The idea of the rotating featured apps along the top is nice but I can’t help feeling it’s messy and unprofessional. I think rather than a picture of the app they need to use the actual icon the app has once installed. This should clear things up and keep everything looking consistent rather than what you see here.

Also, this home screen is now allowing for half the screen to show the rest of the featured apps. It just doesn’t look or feel right.

In fact, should this reel be there at all? It’s sure to slow down some slower Android devices and loading the thumbnails takes some time. I decided to take to Photoshop and re-designed how I think it should look and have placed it below.

Clicking on “Apps”, “Games” or “My Apps” however and you come to a much nicer layout. To smooth curving lines really look fresh and it feels more responsive to browse than clicking on the previous clunky buttons.

re designed market

Is my version of the Home screen Market better?

The Downloads section of the Market has now been re-named “My Apps”. This makes more sense to Android newcomers who have grown up in an app-orientated world.

The whole download process has been made easier too. Instead of going through multiple screens and accepting permissions etc you can now download and install an app in 3 clicks. This makes the whole user experience a lot better and less confusing to people.

App comments/reviews have been improved. You now see a selection of the latest comments to which you can press “More” to read the rest – don’t worry you can still mark comments as unhelpful/spam which I find myself doing all too often 😉

You can now also select whether or not your want to receive notifications of app updates at all. Correct me if I’m wrong but this wasn’t available in the previous version.

It’s nice to see Google updating their software more often separate to a firmware update. Still no support for moving it to the SD card however but who knows what me might see next?

So what are your thoughts? Will this smarter and more sleek Market convince the big boys in the App world to take Android seriously or is it just a fancy face-lift?

new android market app 2

new android market app 3

android market app update 4

 

HTC Desire Mobile Data hints and tips for roaming abroad

December 9, 2010

Hi all. I’ve put together a new video with some hints on how to decrease your mobile data usage whilst abroad. Obviously you can just disable Mobile Data altogether but some of us have to be able to e-mail/tweet whilst abroad.

Opera Mobile 10.1 browser arrives on Android

November 10, 2010

It’s been a long time coming but now the fully fledged Opera Mobile browser is available on Android. Opera Mobile browser is a more functional version of Opera Mini which has been available on the Android Market for some time.

android opera robot

The Opera Android robot! Look at his 'ickle cape! Aww!

Its “Opera Turbo” mode enables super-fast browsing as the pages are compressed on the Opera servers before being sent to your phone. This is great if you only have a measly 2G connection. Even on 3G it’s always better to get web pages quicker than normal. You will notice a compressed-look on images that are downloaded with the Turbo mode active but it’s not a problem with general browsing.

Tabbed browsing is a welcome feature along with the “Speed Dial” start page which lists your most visited websites in a grid – similar to Apple’s Safari browser.

The other nice notable feature is the ability to sync your bookmarks with your desktop computer’s Opera browser. This means you can keep your Desire Fanatics bookmarked page on both your PC/Mac and Android phone 😉

Now, the only downside to Opera Mobile is the monstrous amount of space it requires on your internal memory – a whopping 20MB!! No joke! So, unless you have a nice Apps2SD style program and can copy the app to your SD card then I doubt many people will be able to install it.

Now, this is a 10.1 Beta of the app so there are bound to be some problems. My first being that it wouldn’t actually launch(!). A quick uninstall and re-install soon fixed that. First impressions are good. It does still need some work, rendering isn’t as quick as Skyfire yet (even with Turbo activated) but I’m sure all these things can be improved upon.

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The HTC Desire (Froyo) Battery Test – A day without a charge: Episode 2: Froyo Vs Eclair

October 28, 2010

Back in April you may remember I tested out my HTC Desire’s battery to see how long it would last over a day or normal use without being charged. Well, today I’m going to re-visit this test and see whether the “battery performance” improvements in Froyo really work or not.

Welcome to the HTC Desire (Froyo) Battery Test: Episode 2: Froyo Vs Eclair

I am trying to keep the phone setup the same so have enabled the following settings (but will expand slightly on how the phone is configured):

Fully charged at 9am.
Screen: Medium brightness (auto brightness off)
WiFi: ON (Wireless N enabled but will not be used at work as we currently only have 802.11b/g)
Syncing: ON (2 Gmail accounts and FriendStream – see below)
Bluetooth: OFF
GPS: OFF
FriendStream: ON (Twitter updating every 15 minutes and Facebook every 1 hour)
Wallpaper: Set to Live as per the previous test but didn’t mention.
2G/3G Data: Enabled  with network mode set to automatic and data roaming enabled

To make things easy to compare I will put my previous results in square brackets so you can compare the ‘new’ to ‘old’ battery readings.

9:00 – 100% My Desire has a good feeling about today. 100% battery and Froyo says it’s ready for what I throw at it.

11:00 – 92% [87% previous test] remaining. So far I haven’t done a huge amount with the phone (I’ve actually had to do some work today!) but I did listen to Grooveshark during the walk to work and have sent a few text messages. So far so good! As you can see, when comparing it to my previous test, there is an extra 5% of battery remaining so this is great news.

13:00 88% [80% in previous test] More texts and a few photos of the ginger kitten who seems to have adopted me at work. Now walking into town with my music playing to get some food.

14:00 78% [75% in previous test] OK after a quick shop in town and walk back to work by battery has gone down by 10%. I was listening to music for around 40 minutes whilst e-mailing a few people and texting so it hasn’t done too badly. Also, Grooveshark does require a constant connection to their servers to verify you’re a VIP member. 3% up on my last test (but the phone has been used more over the hour.

17:00 60% [52% in previous test] Some quite heavy usage this afternoon. I even set my phone up as a Wi-Fi hotspot for 15 minutes or so which really drains the battery. When compared to my previous test earlier this year however you can see that we’re still 8% better off. So off home to see how much battery I have later this evening.

19:00 46% [Previous rating N/A] Still got just under half the battery juice left and the day is almost over. Have been using Last.fm quite a bit as well as e-mailing and texting people. Twidroyd has also been in use.

22:00 36% [34% in previous test] Wow my Desire is feeling tired now. Have done a lot of tweeting and some YouTube web browsing along with some tweeting. Over 3 hours however I’ve only lost 10% which isn’t bad at all. I’m still up 2% from my previous test even after all this strenuous work.

22:50 34% [27% in previous test] Right, well time to sign off for the night. Only a few texts and e-mails since the last update but you can see the the battery life is an impressive 7% higher than last time. It may not seem a lot but that 7% could be a life-saving phone call or emergency tweet! Upon working out the average, Froyo has improved battery performance by at least 7.2% over Eclair. I say this because I have used the phone a lot more than I did back then so the fact it has still ended up with more battery remaining is very impressive.

So in answer to the original question, yes, Froyo does improve battery life. In fact, I think it deserves its own little chart:

Froyo vs Eclair Battery Test

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions then let me know, tomorrow is another day and I know my HTC Desire will be with me throughout the whole thing 🙂

[Update] I thought I’d include my Battery Saving Tips video now you’ve read through this article. It’ll show you how to save even more power when using your phone

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Quick Look: Guns’n’Glory for Android Video Review

October 27, 2010

I have just uploaded the first (of many to come) videos looking at some of the apps you can get on your Desire and/or Android device.

The first app is a Tower Defence game called Guns’n’Glory.

Let me know what you think and please subscribe to my channel!

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Guess who’s back?

October 22, 2010

No, not Slim Shady; I am!

Due to several reasons I stopped updating the blog for a few months but not a huge deal has happened in that time anyway so it’s no huge loss.

OK so Froyo 2.2 is now officially out for the Desire and a few other things but I will cover those in the days to come.

I’m going to be doing more reviews now as the news looks more closely on the new Desire HD so if you want something reviewed let me know and I’ll get onto it.

Until then my fellow Desire fans

x

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Video of Android 2.2 Froyo running on the HTC Desire*

May 26, 2010

*OK so it’s actually running on a Google Nexus One but you know what I’m getting at here. This  is quite a good video actually showing the various features of the new firmware rather than just telling you about them.

I think my favourite new feature (apart from the SD apps) has to be the cool new Gallery…

What do you think?

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