Google announced a few days ago that Google Maps now allows navigation (as Tweeted by me as soon as I heard).  Here’s an application that will make it a lot easier for you to launch Google Navigation (as well as other services like Maps and Contacts).  It’s just an easier way to start navigating.  Here’s a screenshot of the app:

CarDock by maxitup (click for full size)

To install it follow these simple steps:

  1. Download and install Astro File Manager from the Market (if you don’t have it already)
  2. Download the Nav Launcher from here
  3. If you downloaded this on your phone skip to Step 4
    If you downloaded this on your computer skip to Step 5
    1. Open Astro file manager
    2. Click on Downloads
    3. Select CarDock.apk
    1. Connect your Desire to computer and mount as USB
    2. Copy the CarDock.apk file to your phone
    3. Open Astro file manager
    4. Browse to where you’ve put CarDock.apk
    5. Select CarDock.apk
  4. Select Open App Manager from the two options that appear on Astro
  5. Click Install
  6. Install the application as any normal app.  If you get an Install blocked message, just go to Settings and make sure the Unknown sources box is checked
  7. Open your menu and you should see Car Home appear!

Enjoy!

Thanks to maxitup on XDA-Developers for the original post

Here’s some Internet settings which you can use on your T-Mobile HTC Desire contract to improve your internet connection in case it’s a bit flaky.  Before you start to edit them I’d strongly recommend you write down the original settings in case you want to revert (or if someone is kind enough to post them in comments then even better!)

The settings are as follows:

name= T-mobile Internet
apn= general.t-mobile.uk
username = t-mobile
password= leave it as it is (or set to blank)
mmsc= http://mmsc.t-mobile.co.uk:8002/
mms proxy= 149.254.201.135
mms port= 8080
mmc= 234
mnc= 30
auth= pap

To edit your internet settings go on Settings > Wireless & Network Settings > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names > T-Mobile (or whatever your selected option is) and then enter the above settings in the boxes as they appear.

Thanks to sgtbarton for the heads up!

Update: Please remember this is for T-Mobile UK.
Update 2: Credits given to correct person.  Sorry sgtbarton!

Before I get into this I want to make one thing clear: it’s not bad to have a task killer installed for the purpose of checking what’s running or to close unnecessary apps, but if you have it make sure the task killer itself isn’t running in the background.

Ok, so a lot of people with their new Desire have been recommended to install a task killer.  Here’s a few reasons why you don’t need one:

  1. The way Android OS works is that when an app is in the background then it’s as if the app is frozen and not really running.  The exception being apps that need to run in the background such as feed readers, Twitter clients and so on.  Having apps in the background that aren’t doing anything is therefore not a problem.  The ones that are (Peep, Stocks and so on) you can just change their update frequency to something higher so they’re not running as often.
  2. The memory management of Android makes sure you always have sufficient free memory. If the available memory falls below a certain threshold your phone will automatically close older applications.  Even though this wasn’t too efficient on the Hero, it’s far better on the Desire which has more initial memory to work with.
  3. Task Killers themselves use up system resources constantly and in turn use battery life, not to mention that it’s trying to access ALL the other processes.  Many users have reported an increase in battery life when they don’t have a Task Killer running
  4. Some task killers will make Sense laggy.  Lagginess is a common complaint from Task Killer users.  It keeps trying to access the Sense process and causes it to lag.
  5. Certain apps restart anyway.  HTC Apps like Stocks, Peep and Footprint will restart themselves whenever they’re closed.  This restart process might cause your phone to lag for a second, use up extra battery during the initialisation process, and so obviously closing such apps has done more bad than good.
  6. The Desire actually has enough memory and processing power to handle many applications being open.  If it’s not broke then don’t fix it, right?

If you insist on having one installed then make sure it’s not always running.  When you select apps to close, make sure the task killer itself is included.

One of the main complaints about Desire users is the battery finishing quickly.  From smartphone experience, I’d say ideal battery life on any smartphone (which obviously the Desire is) is about a day.  That’s to say if you need to charge your battery every night then it’s pretty standard.  This isn’t your standard phone which might play a few MP3s, receive a few calls and possibly view a couple of low-quality webpages on a small browser.  No, the Desire is a powerhouse full of emails, full web browsing, media playing, wireless connections, navigation, high quality video playback, gaming and a whole lot more!

If your battery is getting drained a lot quicker than that, then here’s a good few tips on how to make it last to the end of the day:

  1. Remove your Task Killer.  Seriously, the Desire doesn’t NEED one and I’ll be writing up another post about them after this to explain in detail why.  If you do want to use one, make sure it isn’t always running in the background.
  2. Turn of Mobile Data when not in use.  The phone uses a lot of internet functions, whether it’s checking email, syncing contacts, GTalk or checking for tweets.  To be able to do it all properly it needs an active Internet connection.  When there’s no mobile internet coverage it will REGULARLY check to see if there’s coverage available.  If you know you’re in a location without mobile internet, do your battery a favour and turn the Mobile Data off to prevent those checks, then enable it again when you’re leaving.
    To do this go on Settings > Wireless & Networks > Mobile networks > Use only 2G networks
  3. Disable GPS – if you’re not using it then there’s no need to keep it on is there?
  4. Screen brightness – this one’s a tricky one.  With the AMOLED screen you do need it turned up quite bright to view outdoors.  But if you’re indoors then a lower brightness shouldn’t a be a problem.  I normally keep my phone set to Auto-brightness – to enable go on Settings > Sound & Display > Brightness > Automatic brightness.  Even with auto-brightness enabled I can get to the end of the day with 30-40% battery remaining.
  5. Remove unnecessary widgets.  Whilst they look very nice, widgets can use up a lot of battery.  Try removing some that you can live without.
  6. Use Wireless for browsing – yup, if you’re planning on using the Internet for an extended period of time whether it’s normal browsing, or watching BeebPlayer or YouTube, it’s actually preferred if you have a wireless connection rather than using mobile internet.   The bonus is you get a much better browsing/viewing experience too!

Extra Tips

Use a widget to easily toggle settings.  Even though I’ve listed the entry in Settings to change those settings, a lot can easily be handled using widgets or apps.  I normally use MySettings which you can open using the notification bar, and it allows quick toggles of: Mobile Data On/Off, Silent/Loud, WiFi On/Off, GPS On/Off, Bluetooth On/Off, AutoSync On/Off, Auto Rotate On/Off, Screen Timeout, Brightness Level, Unlock Pattern

You can monitor which activities are actually using up your battery.  Have a look under Settings > About phone > Battery Use to see what’s being taking the toll on the battery.  It’s normally Display, Standby and Voice Calls for me.

The main ones are Mobile Networks and GPS, but all the above tweaks will improve your battery life!

Feedback

It’d be great to hear other peoples tips too, and hopefully I can extend this list.  If you want to contribute either leave a comment or email hello [at] myhtcdesire [dot] com.  Thanks!

Ever wondered what one of these is:

Well this is actually what is known as a QR Code or a 2D barcode.  It’s a barcode which can contain a piece of information such as a weblink, chunk of text or even a business card.
On Android it’s commonly used to let you download apps, or visit websites that you’re viewing on your computer to your Android phone.

To use one is really easy, just go to the Market and search for “Barcode Scanner”.  It’s a free app.  Download and install.  Then, whenever you see this code of you can run the app, scan the code and see what information the barcode has.  If it’s an app, it will take you to the Market entry for that app or if it’s a weblink it’ll open in the browser and if it’s a piece of text then it’ll be displayed onscreen for you to read.

QR Codes are generally featured on app websites the likes of AndroLib or even single app websites like Replica Island

You’ll find them becoming popular on commercial products too.  For example I recently bought a can of Pepsi which had one of these codes on.  Scanning it took me to a webpage with a Pepsi competition on!

To test it out just try scanning the code above with your phone!

Seems to be a few posts about syncing contacts to the Desire recently, I promise more variety in the next few posts (I’m open to suggestions) but I suppose this is the kind of thing people want right now as they start using their Desires!

Anyway, here’s a link to a Google page which gives you straight forward instructions on how you can directly sync contacts from your Symbian phone to your GMail account.  Once synced, you can use that GMail account on your Desire and sync all the contacts down to your phone.  It even works with your calendar too!

It’s really easy, done with software that should be on your Nokia already have (and if not it’s free to download anyway).
Basically: Nokia -> GMail -> HTC Desire.  Simple.

Thanks to Stian216 on Twitter for the tip!

Note: This may work with other Nokia phones too depending on the version of Symbian OS that they use.  This method is so easy it’s quite unbelievable.

Here’s what you do:

  1. On your Nokia go to Contacts
  2. Go on Options > Mark/Unmark > Mark All
  3. Go on Options > Copy > To Memory Card
  4. Connect your phone to PC
  5. Browse to /Other/Contacts/ on your phone’s memory card
  6. Copy all the .vcf files to your PC
  7. Connect your Desire to PC and mount as USB
  8. Copy all the .vcfs to the SDCard (make a directory for neatness if you like)
  9. Open the People app on the Desire
  10. Press the Menu button and select Import/Export
  11. Select the Import from SDCard option
  12. Select the Import All vCard files option
  13. Ta-da!

All your contacts will now be on your Desire using really simple steps.
NOTE: This has been tested on an N95 and should work on other phones too.  It even worked on a Sony Ericsson K750i!

Credits to Teh Lemur for the original post

UPDATE 1: 15 April 2010 – 15:22: Updated the instructions on what to do on your Nokia

Here’s a really simple and straightforward way to transfer contacts from almost any Sony Ericsson mobile phone (non-Android of course) to your HTC Desire:

  1. Download and install MyPhoneExplorer (free)
  2. Connect up your Sony Ericsson phone with the USB cable
  3. Extract your contacts to a single VCard file
  4. Go to GMail and login to the account you use with your Desire
  5. Go to Contacts
  6. In the top-right corner select Import
  7. Select the VCard file that was created by MyPhoneExplorer
  8. Once the import is complete you can organise them into any group(s) that you want
  9. On your Desire go to Settings > Accounts and Sync, select your Gmail Account and Sync Contacts
  10. Voila!

All your contacts should now appear on your HTC Desire!

Thanks to JoYork on HUKD for the original guide

sancho1983 at HUKD has kindly compiled a huge list of popular games and applications that have been suggested by various members on HUKD.  Here’s the list:

Handcent SMS – Much better than the stock Messaging facility
Anycut – create your own shortcuts to particular functions (or create shortcuts to apps with “cleaner” names to look nicer)
Facebook
Twidtroid – Twitter App
eBuddy – Messenger
Foursquare – Gps social networking helps you discover new places in your city (www.foursquare.com)
Mobisle Notes – Notepad + to do list
Barcode scanner
Locale – allows you to set location based profiles, sound off at work with wifi turned on, different backrround out of work etc etc
Evernote – Note taking and clipping, uploads everything into the cloud, use on your pc aswell (http://www.evernote.com
Movies – Local showing times, film reviews etc
Pkt Auctions Ebay – ebay app
Shazam – music identifier
Telegraph.co.uk – news on the go
Fotmob – football live scores
Advanced task killer – stiop background apps
eoeappinstaller – allows you to install .apks from the net and install them (so you can get the pro versions for “free”
Key Ring – carry your reward cards(with barcodes) on your phone!
Photoshop mobile
Opera 5 mini – Browser (upgrade to Opera Mobile when released)
Torrent Fu – manage torrents on your PC from your phone, scan barcodes when you are out and start downloading at home
Wavesecure – security app
Tunes remote – itunes remote control
Swype – keyboard replacement, drag across the letters to input text, amazing!

Co-pilot
Facebook
Pocket Ebay
Paypal
Engadget
http://phandroid.com/2008/10/09/andr…control-sweet/
Alarming!
Barcode Scanner
SMS Backup/Restore
Midomi
PktAuctionseBay
Swype
Astro
yxFlash
Alarm Clock
Barcode Scanner
Battery Status
Beebplayer
Car Mode
Close Everything
Copilot Sat Nav (26.99)
EZCam (0.99p)
Google maps(updates maps on the phone with added speech support)
GPS Tracker
GTraffic
HotdealUK App
Imusic
ISpy
Newspapers
NotePad
Shazam
Sleep Timer
SMS Popup
Telegraph
TorchLight
Touch Timer
Voice Caller ID
Voice Recorder
WeatherBug
Widget bluetooth
Widget WIFI
Widget Screen brightness
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=55346
Hullomail
Handcent
DG_TrainTimes (made by dgoulston)
Gesture search
Twidroid
Facebook
Robo Defense
Google Translate
PicSay
beebPlayer
3G Watchdog
Movies
BBC News
Quickpedia
Dolphin Browser
Soccer Live
Last.fm
Shazam
Goggles
Listen
Flashlight
Astro File manager
TasKiller
Compass
Gmote
Google Sky
Shopper
Steamy Windows
Tricorder (Feels like your using a star trek gadget)
Zombie, Run (Real world google map zombies. You literally run away from them)
Photoshop Mobile
Opera Mini 5 (still beta but I think this will become a good browser)
Mother TED (Watch TED videos)
Gesture Bar (for gesture search)
Cardio Trainer

Games:-

Australia Vs England, ashes cricket (£1.49)
Abduction
Bubble bubble
Coloroid
Droid mini golf
Draviturn
Dunk it
Grid droid
Jewls
Labyrinth lite
Orbs knock Off
Phit Droid
Pinball
Poke a mole
Trap
WordWrench
Toon Wars
ShootU
Asphalt
Wave Racer
SpeedX
Speed Racer
There’s on similar to WipeOut but in mines (I’ll change this to the name once I remember)
Replica Island (free)
Blow It Up!
Raging Thunder
Home Run Battle

Here’s a review written by spritey of HUKD of his experience with the HTC Desire after using it for 2 full weeks:

A hugely important part of any phone – and while all the bells and whistles are exciting at the beginning.. It’s really how it performs over time.

Well i can tell you know – it’s been fantastic..

It’s never crashed, never slowed down.. It does the exact same job as when i got it 2 weeks ago..

The keyboard is still unbelievable, with the scarily intuitive corrective text being nothing short of a godsend. Lets face it, we all hit the wrong buttons half the time on a touch screen phone.. This almost eliminates that problem.

The general User Interface has just been a pleasure to use, with everything feeling like it’s in the right place.

The thing i’ve also noticed, every friend i’ve shown it to just knows how to use it.. I guess it’s built off the same elements as an iPhone.. You have a similar structure – yet everything goes just that little bit further to create a more substantial experience.. Such as facebook and Email integration into contacts etc.. It just goes that extra mile.

Web Browsing – by far the best phone to do it on..

With the AMOLED screen quality, resolution and general stability / speed of the Android Browser. It’s unbeatable. Text reflow is the stand out – and while they’ve had it since the HTC Touch Diamond.. The other elements hadn’t come upto scratch.. I could not go back to a mobile browser without text reflow, it’s just such a huge benefit. (Text reflow is when you zoom it, the text displays adjusts to fit your screen.. So you are not panning from right to left all day to read an article etc).

App Store – i’ve mentioned it before on here.. When you buy an app, you can simply refund it within 24 hours if you don’t like it.. If you decide to buy it again, you are unable to refund it.. Why on earth are Apple not doing this.. It protects developers by only allowing one refund – and allows me.. The consumer.. To try out all the paid outs i like, without the fear of wasting my money..

I see other phones goimg up going sale on forums, people wanting to trade their 16GB/32GB iPhone 3GS for a HTC Desire.. This is the first time i’ve never been tempted to offer my phone in trade in order to go back to an iPhone, it really has hooked me in that much..

Even if the iPhone match’s this in terms of hardware in the next revision – i think anyone would be insane not to buy the HTC Desire.. From a price point alone, it’s such an obvious choice.

Tomorrow Apple are doing their regular iPhone software conference – showing off 4.0.

This is going to give everyone a pretty clear indication on what to expect from the next iPhone – will that extended functionality be part of the next iteration.. Apple isn’t known for making gigantic leaps with their product line, it only ever happens on occasion. But it’s going to be interesting to see thats for sure .

Cheers spritey for the permission to post this review