HTC Gingerly Launches Android Update For Desire

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Gingerbread update finally arrives for HTC Desire handsets, but there’s a very big health warning

HTC today has caved in to pressure and delivered an Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Desire smartphone but warned users not to install it.

“This ROM update is for development only”, says HTC’s disclaimer, delivered on a Facebook page, which warns that users will also lose all previous customisations, such as messages, emails, contacts and other personal information, and that some phone functions, including SMS and MMS, could be disabled as a result of upgrading.

For expert users only

HTC said: “This update is only recommended for expert users who want to experience Android 2.3 and understand the limitations which apply to this update to the HTC Desire.

“Due to memory constraints several applications have been removed from this update and we are only offering the ROM upgrade utility (RUU) for you to download.”

All wallpapers, except the default, will be removed and placed on the HTC Developer website and the official Facebook app will need to be re-downloaded form the Android Market, according to HTC.

A big tease

The Taiwanese phone manufacturer has been teasing customers with a Gingerbread update for weeks after reversing an original decision not to provide one.

But today’s announcement has been met with derision by those expecting a general over the air (OTA) update, who feel let down by the limited update on offe, and argue that the only reason Gingerbread won’t run well on the Desire is because of software such as the Sense user inteface which HTC has added.

Facebook user Beks Fleming said: “Ffs, HTC have screwed us over …. the desire can run Gingerbread fine and run Sense …. my brother has a rooted one and its super fast compared to mine which is bogged down with HTC bloatware … give us a proper update, there is no reason why you can’t do it properly.”

And Alun Evans, another Facebook user, said: “I am running the FULL gingerbread, FULL HTC Sense 2.1 (with bits of 3), all HTC apps etc. All you need to do is partition your SD card to be external memory (which is what Insertcoin uses). It’s not THAT difficult, takes 15-20 minutes from root to running.”

U-turn

In June, HTC was met with an angry response when it said that memory issues with the Desire meant it would not be providing a Gingerbread update

It performed its U-turn just hours later, saying it would cut some apps to address the memory problems and followed this up with an announcement in July saying that roll out was expected by the end of July.

There was no hint from HTC’s previous announcements that it would be a developer upgrade. It seems some its partners were so worried by the update they opted out of it all together.

The company’s announcement said: “Due to concerns raised by HTC’s partners our partners regional variants are not-compatible with this upgrade: Germany (Deutsch Telekom), North America, South America, South Korea, and Japan.”

HTC would not comment beyond the information on its Facebook page when contacted by eWEEK Europe UK this morning.

The Gingerbread update is available at your peril from http://developer.htc.com/

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