Froyo

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

via [Recombu]

This guide was initially part of the How to Take Screenshots tutorial but has been separated out because it’s going to be referenced in a few upcoming tutorials.

Instructions – Mac users can skip to step 5

  1. Go to the Java Runtime Environment (or the JDK if you intend to develop your own apps) page
  2. Select your Operating System, agree to terms and click Continue
  3. Download the file shown below (the version number may differ, this is the latest at time of writing this article)
    JRE Download
  4. When the download completes run the file to install it
  5. Get the Android SDK – free download available from here.  Downloads are at the top of the page, just choose your relevant operating system – no need to follow the instructions on that page!
  6. When the download has completed extract the file:
    • Windows – Right Click -> Extract All -> Follow the onscreen prompt.
    • Mac – Double click the file
  7. Open the extract android-sdk-rXX-<os> folder, the android-sdk-<os> subfolder within it (if it’s there).  You should see something like this:
    Android SDK Files
  8. Windows: install the latest Android phone drivers using the instructions here
  9. That’s it.  You’ve now got the Android SDK setup on your computer.

Here’s a clearer guide on how exactly to setup the ADB drivers on Windows, with screenshots for each step.

  1. Follow the installation section of this post.  Ignore step 8 (“Windows: install the latest Android phone drivers using the instructions”)
  2. Browse to the android-sdk-windows folder:
    Windows SDK Folder
  3. Run SDK Setup:
    SDK Setup
  4. Close the Refresh Sources box (pictured above) if it opens.
  5. Close the Choose Packages to Install box if that’s open too.
  6. Click the Settings option on the right
  7. Under Misc, check the box which says: “Force https://… sources to be fetched using http://…”
  8. Go on Available Packages and click the + (plus) sign next to the long URL (http://dl-ssl.google.com/android…) to expand it
    Available Packages
  9. Select Usb Driver package and press Install Selected
  10. Select Accept under the terms and then press Install
    Install USB Driver Package
  11. When the installation is completed, close the Installing Archives window
  12. IMPORTANT: In your SDK folder you’ll now have a new folder called usb_driver.  This is the location to search in the rest of the tutorial when you’re required to locate the driver
    USB Driver Folder
  13. Make sure you have Device Debugging enabled on your phone by going to Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging and ticking the checkbox.
  14. Connect your phone via the USB cable.  You’ll notice the Debugging icon in the notification bar, and opening the notification bar will show “USB debugging connected”
    Debugging Notification
  15. If you’re on Windows XP, follow the steps described in the Perform A Fresh Installation section here
    If you’re on Windows Vista or Windows 7, follow the steps described in the Perform A Fresh Installation section here
    REMEMBER: Where it says “Click “Browse…” and locate the folder where you copied the installation package.” it’s the directory in Step 12 above
  16. The drivers should now be fully installed.

Installing the drivers lets you connect your phone in debug mode.  This allows you to take advantage of the SDK tools, such as ddms which lets you take screenshots.  It also lets you easily install applications from your computer, browse files on your phone and if you start developing Android applications you can quickly test them out on your phone.

UPDATE: If the drivers don’t work for you then try using these drivers instead

There’s no easy way to take screenshots with an Android phone.  This is due to security issues that could arise if applications were capable of taking screenshots.  For example, imagine an app that would run in the background, take a screenshot every 2 minutes and upload the image to a remote server.  For now, two methods exist but neither are as straightforward as we’d like them to be:

1) Use a rooted phone. Rooting your phone gives you full access to your phone system and therefore it’s possible to access the screenshot functionality.  If you’ve rooted your phone just download ShootMe from the Market and all you need to do is shake the phone to capture a screenshot.

2) Using the Android SDK and a USB cable.

This method involves a few steps but once you’ve completed the setup, taking future screenshots is very easy.

Installation

  1. Install the Android SDK using the instructions provided here
  2. On your HTC Desire go on Settings > Applications > Development.  Check the USB debugging option

Taking Screenshots

  1. Browse to your SDK locations and open the tools folder
  2. Make sure your phone is connected via USB, and run the ddms tool.  You should see something like this:
  3. Make sure you select your device from the box on the right, then go on Device > Screen Capture
  4. The new window will grab your current phone screenshot and display it:
    DDMS Grab
  5. You can use the Refresh, Rotate, Save and Copy options to take the respective action with your screenshot.

Every time you want to take a new screenshot, just follow the 3 steps in the Taking Screenshots section.

FAQ

Here’s more FAQ’s based on reader questions over the past couple of weeks:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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…

twittericon

For those that don’t know what Twitter is, it’s a really good way of keeping up-to-date with people, companies and basically anyone with a Twitter account.

Basic Jargon

Tweet – a short message posted by a Twitter user.  Limited to 140 characters.  It’s public and viewable by everyone (unless you choose to make your Tweets private)
Retweet – A Tweet repeated by another Twitter user.
Hashtag – a keyword within a Tweet.  It’s created by prefixing a word with a # symbol e.g #android.  Searching for a hashtag will bring up all the Tweets which contain that word
Mention – if someone mentions your Twitter account in their Tweet.  To mention you prefix the username with an @ symbol e.g. @mihtcdesire.

How does it work?

  1. You sign-up on Twitter for a free account
  2. You find the people you’re interested in
  3. You press the follow button on their profile
  4. Plus you can post your own Tweets too, so your followers will find out any updates you have to share.

That’s it.  You just view your Twitter page and whenever someone you’re following posts a Tweet it’ll appear on that page.

For HTC Desire Owners

Of course as a HTC Desire owner, your phone plays very nicely with Twitter.  It comes with the “Peep” application.  You can use this to sign into your Twitter account, and whenever someone you follow posts a message you’ll be notified pretty quickly.  You can reply to messages, or retweet something you want to share with your own followers.  If you’re not fond of Peep, there’s alternatives in the Market including Google’s official Twitter app (called Twitter), Seesmic, Touiteur and so on.

Why Use Twitter?

  1. Fresh information – as soon as something major happens that you’re interested in, you’ll find out very quickly
    For example, if you’re following the MiHTCDesire Twitter account, then you’ll know within minutes whenever there’s a new blog article
  2. It’s simple – as explained above, it’s really simple and easy to use.  To be honest, I’d never used Twitter until starting this website, but when I did use it I found it so easy to share news, ask readers questions or even forward on questions I couldn’t answer personally to get replies from other Desire owners.
  3. It’s relevant – you choose the people you follow.  Before following them you can check their profile page to see the kind of tweets they post.
    For example, MiHTCDesire is dedicated to the HTC Desire so I’ll post Tweets that are solely related to that.  I know the last week saw a few big tech headlines such as the new Xbox 360 Slim, and the release of iOS4 but of course that’s not the focus of that Twitter account so it wasn’t posted.
  4. Plenty of people to follow – a lot of people, and even massive companies have a Twitter account which they keep up to do with the latest news and info.  Some even offer special promotions via Twitter.
    For example, HTC, Vodafone, O2 and even Google have their own Twitter account
  5. It’s concise (and generally precise) – for each update Twitter restrict you to 140 characters to write your message.  That means no ramblings or long-winded essays which could easily be condensed into a much shorter for example “Use Twitter, it’s awesome”.
  6. More information – A lot of people, (myself included) will post more stuff on Twitter than on a dedicated website just for convenience.
    For example: when I hear about a new application it’s quick and easy to write a few words about it on Twitter and share with everyone.   For that kind of thing it’s not exactly worth writing a whole new article.  Plus I hate writing long pieces on my phone and only blog from my computer, whereas a Twitter update is much similar to just writing a simple text message.

Drawbacks

The main drawback of Twitter I’ve found is some of the mundane things that people post.  On my personal account, I follow a web designer who sometimes tweets links to excellent web-related articles and news that he comes across, which I find really useful for my work.  Unfortunately a lot of the time he only posts really petty updates about his life “Picked a snot today, stretched at least 35mm”.

Conclusion (in 140 characters)

Twitter is a great way of getting the latest info. It’s like a custom newspaper, but the headlines only. Plus it plays nice with the Desire.

This is a response to an email received earlier today.  Even though the method’s quite simple, it’s something that can easily be missed because of the number of widget options and menus available.

Here goes:

  1. Open the Internet app
  2. Go to the page to you want to add
  3. Press Menu > Add Bookmark
  4. Give it a name and make sure the location is right
  5. Press Done
  6. Press the Home button to return to the homescreen
  7. Press “+” or long-press an empty space where you want to add the shortcut
  8. Select Shortcut from the Add to Home menu
  9. Select Bookmark
  10. Select the Bookmark you want to add
  11. Done! The shortcut should now be on your homescreen

Asphalt 5

Introduction
Thanks to everyone who voted in the games poll last week. Here’s a summary of the results:

Results

#1 – Robo Defense

Price: FREE/$2.99
Size: 1.9MB
Market Link: free or full
AndroLib Link: free version / full version
Description:
Robo Defense is the ultimate portable tower defense experience. Featuring open maps, upgrades, achievements and nice graphics.
Screenshot and QR Code:

#2 – Asphalt 5

Price: £5.00
Size: 13.6MB
Market Link: Coming soon (Gameloft link)
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Asphalt is rocketing onto Android! Get behind the wheel of the best vehicles from prestigious manufacturers (Lamborghini, Kawasaki, Ford, etc) and make a name for yourself in amazing 3D surroundings.
Screenshot and QR Code:

#3 – Snesoid (SNES Emulator)

Price: FREE/$3.98
Size: 846kb
Market Link: Free version or Full version
AndroLib Link: Free / Full
Description:
SNesoid is the famous Super Nintendo emulator for Android.

  • On-screen translucent keypad with all controls! You can customize almost everything (size, transparency, layout)
  • Very fast
  • Run nearly all games (eg. Mario RPG, StarFox)
  • Save states
  • Cheats
  • Super scope
  • Flip screen to put d-pad at left hand

Screenshot and QR Code:

#4 – Let’s Golf

Price: £5.00
Size: –
Market Link: unavailable
Official Link: Link
Description:
Discover a fun atmosphere making golf accessible to anyone with 63 holes in 4 environments in 3D and 4 characters to customize.

  • 63 holes in 4 distinct locations remodelled in 3D: Fiji Beach, the American Mountains, the English Countryside, and Scottish Lochs.
  • 4 cool and animated characters customizable with your own style. Each player has unique strengths and weaknesses.
  • Controls adaptable to anyone: Advanced mode plays like a sports simulation game, and you can even add spin to the ball. Casual mode for easy fun and fewer bogies (but no, it won’t let you cheat).

Screenshot (via Gameloft) and QR Code:

#5 – Toss It

Price: FREE/£2.99
Size: 3.0MB/5.8MB
Market Link: Free or Full
AndroLib Link: Free version / Full version
Description:
Simple but surprisingly addictive time-waster. Toss a ball of crumpled paper into a waste bin.

Have got an old phone you no longer need? You can toss it too! But watch out for grumpy passersby.

Real physics engine is employed. Enjoy!
Screenshot and QR Code:

#6 – ShootU!

Price: FREE/$2.99
Size: 3.1MB
Market Link: Free or Full
AndroLib Link: Free version / Full version
Description:

Hand-drawing style physics game. All you need to do is shooting the little guy to hit the star, simple? We’ll see who is on the global ranking board.
New feature! Put your friends (or your enemies) face on a ragdoll by importing images from your SD card.
Screenshot and QR Code:

#7 – SpeedX 3D

Price: £0.99
Size: 3.0MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Speedx delivers a stunning 3D accelerometer controlled tunnel experience. Test your reflex in an ultimate speed challenge with smooth 3D graphics. Compete with others through a global online highscore board, share your score on fb or twitter
Screenshot and QR Code:
Note: This game was too fast to get an in-game screenshot!

#8 – Homerun Battle 3D

Price: FREE/$4.99
Size: 18.4MB/17.6MB
Market Link: Free or Full
Description:
HOMERUN BATTLE 3D DOES! Play ONLINE match up & go head-to-head against the world’s best BASEBALL SLUGGERS.

Winner of Best Sports Game of 2009 from Best App Ever, IGN.com and Touch Arcade.
Screenshot and QR Code:

#9 – Replica Island

Price: FREE
Size: 4.9MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Professor Kabochanomizu needs your help! He has created you–a small green robot with rockets for feet–to locate a mysterious artifact on a bizarre island. Fly, stomp, and roll your way through 40 challenging levels to 3 unique endings!
Screenshot and QR Code:

#10 – What the Doodle!?

Price: FREE/£2.99
Size: 887kb/4.6MB
Market Link: Free or Full
AndroLib Link: Free version / full version
Description:
Winner of Android Developer Challenge 2!

‘WTD!?’ is a real-time online multiplayer draw-guess game that features a variety of game modes, social features + more!
Screenshot and QR Code:

The Runners Up

  1. Speed Forge 3D – free / full
  2. Raging Thunder – link (2 versions available)
  3. Farm Frenzy – free/ full
  4. Gensoid (Genesis/Megadrive Emulator) – free / full
  5. Fish Food – free
  6. Caligo Chaser – free / full
  7. Totemo – free / full
  8. WordWrench – free / full
  9. PuzzleBlox – free / full
  10. ToonWarz – free / full

Credits

A special thank you to every single reader who voted, and who took the time out to email me their favourite games and applications

safemode

If you find your phone unusable because of an application you installed then don’t fret.  There’s an easy way to start your phone in “Safe-Mode” which disables all 3rd party apps so that you can remove any problematic applications and continue using your phone as normal

Instructions

  1. Turn off your phone
  2. Hold down the Menu button
  3. Turn the phone on (keep Menu held) and wait for the phone to start up
  4. When your phone’s started you’ll see it saying Safe Mode in the bottom left.  You can let go of Menu now!

Simple eh?

First of all, thanks to everyone who submitted their game lists to me.  I managed to work out which were the most popular games, and now it’s time for all you readers to vote for your favourites.  Voting ends next Friday evening (11 June 2010) and the results will be published over the weekend.

Just use the poll below, and remember you can choose upto 10 games:

Top Desire Games - June 2010

View Results

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Thanks for voting 🙂