Google Goggles was one of the novelty applications that I downloaded when I got my phone, but quickly forgot about.  A new update to this application today added a series of tweaks and improvements (making it faster and results more reliable) as well as a few new features:

  1. QR codes recognised by scanning.  Instead of having to take a picture, you just need to bring your camera over a QR code for it to be recognised and show you the information it contains
  2. Scanning of newspaper and magazine adverts.  This feature is for US users where adverts in magazines and newspapers since August 2010 should be recognised by the application, however this feature currently doesn’t seem to be working for quite a lot of ads.
  3. Solving Sudoku puzzles.  I’ve tried this and really does work, and amazingly fast too!  Just take a picture of a puzzle, select the Solve option and you’ll see your phone showing you the solution in a matter of seconds.

If you don’t have Goggles already you can download using the QR code below (click it if you’re browsing on your phone):

Google Goggles

Once downloaded you can try out the Sudoku feature on the puzzle below:

Sudoku Puzzle

It’s time to submit your favourite games and application to determine the entries for this months poll!  It’s been a while since the polls were up and there’s been some great new additions to the Market – now’s the time you can share your discoveries with all the MyHTCDesire readers 🙂

Just get a list of your top 10 games and apps and send them to me using the form below.  Submissions will be accepted until the end of Sunday 18 July.

Voted has now ended and poll will be online shortly.

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…

Here’s a quick tutorial for new Desire owners on how to install Android applications (.apk files) onto your HTC Desire:

  1. Download Astro File Manager from the Market
  2. Connect your phone to computer in disk drive mode (connect to USB cable, select Disk Drive from the options that appear on the phone, press Done)
  3. Copy the APK file to the SD card (anywhere you like)
  4. Disconnect phone from computer (remembering to Safely Eject first)
  5. Open Astro and browse to the file
  6. Select the file and choose the Open App Manager option
  7. Press the Install button
  8. If you get a message saying: “Install Blocked. For security, your phone is set to block installation of applications not sourced in Android Market”, go to Settings > Applications > check the box which says Unknown Sources

Notes

  • Make sure that any apk files you download are from a reputable source
  • If you’re concerned about phone security then turn the Unknown Sources option in Step #7 off again after installation

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.

  1. Download the nomedia file from here
  2. On your computer make a folder called nomedia somewhere.
  3. Copy the file from step 1 into your nomedia folder
  4. Extract the nomedia.zip file.
    • Windows: Right-click > Extract All -> Follow the prompts
    • Mac: Double click
    • Linux: Right-click -> Extract Here
  5. You should see a new file called .nomedia in the same folder, or in a subfolder called nomedia
  6. 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)
  7. Connect your Desire in Disk Drive mode
  8. Copy the .nomedia file
  9. For any folders you dont want displayed in the Music and Photos applications, paste the .nomedia file in the folder
  10. 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

  1. Open Settings
  2. Select Applications
  3. Select Manage Applications
  4. Scroll down to HTC Sense and select it
  5. Press the Clear Data button
  6. Press the Home button and you’ll see a white screen saying HTC
  7. In a few seconds the default homescreen will load up with the Desire wallpaper
  8. You should now be able to configure all your homescreens and add HTC widgets

Introduction
Last week I held a poll for readers to vote for their favourite applications. Here’s a summary of the results:

Results

#1 – ASTRO File Manager

Price: FREE
Size: 2.0MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Astro File Manager lets you organise and manage all the files on your SDCard. You can copy/move/delete files. Open files that you may have downloaded, or install applications that you’ve downloaded on your computer.
It also has the option to backup/restore your applications and a task manager.
Screenshot and QR Code:
Astro File Manager QRCode

#2 – Barcode Scanner

Price: FREE
Size: 395kb
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
With Barcode Scanner, you can use your Desire to scan a barcode on your PC screen which then lets you quickly download an application, or visit a website. For example, try scanning the QR code in the right-hand column and you’ll see that your phone lets you view the mobile version of MyHTCDesire.
You can also scan barcodes on CDs, books, and other products, then look up prices and reviews, or search for a word in a book and find where it occurs.
Screenshot and QR Code:
Barcode Scanner QR Code

#3 – Dolphin Browser HD

Price: FREE
Size: 2.4MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Dolphin Browser HD is a brand new version of Dolphin Browser, the most popular browser on Android market. Powerful, Fast & Elegant. Only applicable on Android 2.0+ platform.

  • Versatile Add-ons
  • Multi-touch Pinch Zoom
  • Thumbnails Flick Menu
  • Tabbed Browsing
  • YouTube Downloader
  • Gesture URL Commander
  • Bookmarks Sorting

Screenshot and QR Code:
Dolphin Browser HD QR Code

#4 – Twitter (Official Google Application)

Price: FREE
Size: 2.1MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:

  • Discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world with the official Twitter for Android app.
  • Realtime search, trending topics and maps show whats happening now everywhere and nearby.
  • Tweet, send DMs, share photos, videos and links to your friends and the world.

Screenshot and QR Code:
Twitter QR Code

#5 – Cubed Music Player

Price: FREE
Size: 253kb
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
³ (aka Cubed) Music Player puts a 3D twist on the music player for Android phones. Play in either portrait or landscape mode (if you have the setting). It supports every feature for listening to music on your phone (standard player, Playlists, Shuffle, etc.) plus a few more like the ability to grab album Cover Art, match concert events of artists in your music library with Concerts³ app extension, plus a few cool ways to display your music and visually theme it [via AndroidTapp]
Screenshot and QR Code:
Cubed Music Player QR Code

#6 – BeebPlayer

Price: FREE
Size: 237kb
Market Link: This application is discontinued and no longer available in the Market. I’ve uploaded the latest version here – you can install with ASTRO (the #1 app)
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
This application lets you view the the BBC iPlayer programmes. It has the option to view a low-quality version if you’re using your mobile internet, or a high-quality version if you’re on WiFi.
Screenshot and QR Code:
BeebPlayer QR Code

#7 – HandcentSMS

Price: FREE
Size: 1.8MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Handcent SMS Android App offers enhanced text messaging capabilities. Send & receive texts from full app or popup interface (similar to SMS Popup), send & save MMS contents (Picture Messages), T9 style keyboard, add your text signature, search texts, change the theme, font packs or background, Android notifications, ringtones and vibration patterns, even cooler… speak your text or have them read back to you! [via AndroidTapp]
Screenshot (from AndroidTapp) and QR Code:
Handcent QR Code

#8 – Nexus One 3D Gallery

Price: FREE
Size: 667kb
Market Link: Not available in market. Download from here, install with Astro
Description:
An alternative to the default Photos application, taken from the Google Nexus One phone.
Screenshot and QR Code:
Gallery 3D QR Code

#9 – Layar

Price: FREE
Size: 1.4MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
How cool is it to launch an app, turn in a certain direction, and see a historic landmarks on the virtual screen, then learn more about it. Or see how close others Tweets are to your vicinity, find a house or play a game. Layar Reality Browser Android App is one of the coolest ideas to hit the Android phone! Augment reality using the phones camera and location-based data to find local businesses, historical facts, Flickr photos, Tweets, and more. [via AndroidTapp]
Screenshot and QR Code:
Layer Augmented Reality BrowserLayar QR Code

#10 – Spotify

Price: FREE
Size: 1MB
Market Link: Click here
AndroLib Link: Link
Description:
Spotify opens up your Android phone to a world of music. Unlimited, unrestricted, instant access to your favourite tunes.

Requires Spotify Premium! [via AndroLib]
Screenshot and QR Code:
Spotify for AndroidSpotify QR Code

The Runners Up

  1. Aldiko Book Reader – link
  2. Apps Organiser – link
  3. MyBackup Pro – link
  4. Advanced Task Manager – link
  5. WaveSecure – link
  6. Laputa II – link
  7. CoPilot – link
  8. FotMob – link
  9. Soundhound – link
  10. Juice Defender – link

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

Until now there haven’t been many 3D games for Android.  Most of us have stuck to our puzzle games, and the few 3D games out there such as SpeedForge3D and ToonWarz.  However, today Gameloft tweeted some exciting news for all you gamers out there:

We announced 10 HD games for Android smartphones: they’ll be live Friday through Gameloft’s wap & website

The games are as follows:

  1. Tom Clancy’s HAWX
  2. Asphalt 5
  3. Real Football 2010
  4. Hero of Sparta
  5. Gangstar – West Coast Hustle
  6. Modern Combat: Sandstorm
  7. NOVA: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
  8. Let’s Golf
  9. Assassin’s Creed
  10. Dungeon Hunter

View the video of the games here:

Looking at Gameloft’s pricing for iPhone games, you’re looking about £3-4 for a game but here’s hoping for introductory discounts!
I’m personally interested in Let’s Golf and Dungeon Hunter, but no doubt I’ll end up buying all of them before long.

Tomorrow Google are going to be announcing Froyo, and we’ll find out if we can install applications to the SD card.  Then we just need HTC to release the software update for us Desire owners and all our phones can be filled new games without the worry of running out of free space.  Good times 😀

It’s been a while since the original Application lists on My HTC Desire were compiled, and I know there’s a lot more awesome applications on the Market now including Dolphin Browser HD, Twitter and Cubed Music Player.

I’d like to create Top 20 Applications and Top 20 Games lists for the HTC Desire, and would be grateful if you could participate too.

How To Participate

Just email me a list of your favourite applications and games at: hello [at] myhtcdesire [dot] com.
When I’ve got enough entries I’ll add up the figures and produce an article with the results.

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time out to help out this ever-growing community of HTC Desire owners!

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!