Since two weeks now, I am the proud owner of a brand new HTC desire.
After a couple of interesting days getting to know the device, playing with android and installing apps from the market, I think I could share same of the experiences I made.
Things I love
The display! The UI! The response time! The browser! HTC Sense! The display! The slim device! The display!
Things that could be better
Well, as always with mobile devices, battery lasts only one day (if at all) if you keep it connected all day. Turning on Wifi, GPS and play with it, and your battery runs dry earlier, of course
I’m coming from a long MS Win Mobile background and have been using HP Jornadas, Compaq iPaqs and recently some HTC devices all based on WM. But now I decided to switch to android (and an iPhone never was a question). This switch of course implies some changes to the way I handle my data, keep track of my calendar, contacts and tasks as well as what is synchronized, kept and copied from where to where, overwriting which data when.
My previous tactic was always to keep everything in Outlook and sync my mobile device with Active Sync. Now, there is no Active Sync anymore. HTC provides you with ‘HTC Sync’ which should do the job. The problem I have with it: my grous//categories are messed up. I think it’s because I use a German locale and groups are separated with ; which HTC Sync translates to \; and concatenates all groups.
And, if you link on your device a contact with a facebook account, you’ll have some XMLish HTC-Data in the notes section of a contact
So, for the time being I keep everything in google’s systems now. I like the possibility to edit stuff on my device or via web – and adding a pic in Google Contacts is of course easier than with Outlook. Which means, my Outlook contacts start getting out of date, because I could not find a decent (free) tool to sync it. GO COntacts did not work correctly for me.
Privacy concerns aside, this solution proves to be very stable and reliable.
Some things I found out that might be worth notable:
There is a difference between a “Phone Contact” and “Google Contact” – Phone Contacts are not, Google contacts ARE synced with google contacts online. HTC Sync creates “Phone Contacts” and it is not initially intended to convert one into the other (there are some tools, though…)
Things I miss:
No (offline) Tasks
Google did create the Task functionality, but there is no app on the phone to access or even sync it. http://gmail.com/tasks tries to fill the gap by providing a UI for phones, but it’s an online solution.
No (offline) Notes
Nothing – not even an online solution. For notes, you need to check out third party apps.
Video Player out of the box
Really true. There is no video player besides a youtube app. So you can’t just copy an avi or mpg to the SD card and play it… There are apps for that, of course, but well… that’s a little bit awkward, coming from WinMobile where at least you have a Media Player (not good, but at least something). Depending on your player, you might want to convert the files to something smaller or compliant before copying them to the SD – ever heard of XMedia Recode? iPhone Presets work fine.
Tipps & Tricks
Google offers a birthday calendar that shows your contacts’ birthdays: Go to http://www.google.com/calendar, “Other calendars” -> “Add” -> “Browse Interesting Calendars” -> “More” -> Subscribe to “Contacts’ birthdays and events” (and while you’re there, maybe also check Week Numbers)
It took me quite some time to find out that for some HTC widgets, there are different versions/designs – use the small arrow on the bottom when selecting a widget
Free Apps you need
Video Player – well, as said above… guess…
Air Control – addicting Game
My Tracks – GPS tracker
GPS Status – Compass/GPS Info
Google Sky Map – watch the night sky and find stars
Google Googles – search by taking pictures or look around you and find places
Barcode Scanner – Read QR codes from screen or bar codes from products
ASTRO File Manager – Check whats on your SD (also useful to install apk files from SD)
Connect Bot – Versatile SSH client (also local console)
NetCounter – Tracks Mobile traffic (as of May 2010, Wifi does not work on Desire)
(If you are a German O2 cusotmer: Mein O2 Beta – WebSMS versenden und Rechnungsinformationen abrufen)
Flashlight/Torch (manual install) – uses LED to guide you throug the night. Not nice but working
Good To Know
Connecting the device with Windows, using it as a “hard drive”, I sometimes could not get the SD card recognized again when I properly disconnected it in Windows and then unplugged it. However, on the desire switching from “Disk” to “Charge” first, it works fine.
When switching Wifi off, my mobile 3G connection sometimes is not re-established (if O2, android or my device is to blame, I do not know). However, switching “Airplane mode” off and on again solves the issue (of course you need to retype your SIM PIN)
When you keep a Google Account always synced:
- Mails to Google Mail arrive immediatly
- You are always connected to Google Talk
- Conctacts/Calendar items are updated immediately
I love it! It is fun to use, so far more reliable than every Win Mobile device I ever used before. It’s really quick and “just the right size” for the display it offers. BTW, did I mention I love the display?
- Google sync
- HTC sync
This might be a rather unconventional “not even test report”, but it’s just a collection of notes that might be helpful for some, planning to buy one or not.