HTC Sets Gingerbread Desire Timetable

After some confusion, HTC is rolling out the long-awaited Gingerbread update for the Desire by the end of July

Taiwanese phone maker HTC  announced today that following successful testing it will roll out an Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Desire handset by the end of July.

On 30 June HTC said it had begun testing Gingerbread and today it said, via Facebook: “As some of you have seen already, we have more news about our build of Gingerbread for Desire. Our testing has gone well so we will begin rolling out the update by the end of July. Thank you again for your support.”

The news follows a brief period of confusion and indecision at HTC over whether or not to go ahead with the upgrade.

Gingerbread u-turn

On 15 June HTC stated that it would not be bringing Gingerbread to the Desire only to perform an about-turn just hours later following an angry customer response.

The company was originally concerned that the phone’s memory could not handle the update and HTC’s Sense use interface so a stripped back version of Gingerbread is expected.

Gingerbread, Froyo’s successor, is not a major update to the Android but it features some improvements such as an updated keyboard for faster input and intuitive typing .

Updated Android features

Application and power management have also been improved and users are better able to see what’s running and how much memory is being used, with the option to kill apps when necessary.

Downloads can be viewed and managed from one place, VOIP is directly integrated and the user interface has had some cosmetic work.

Highlights for developers include faster running Java, improved multimedia and near field communications (NFC), assuming you have an NFC enabled handset.

Unlocked bootloader announcement

HTC also announced today that it would deliver software updates for bootloader unlocking of  HTC Sensations in August.

The bootloader is the software that launches before the operating system, and is normally locked to make it hard for users to alter the firmware on the device, for instance by flashing a custom ROM. Unlocking the bootloader allows the user to change the firmware – although this normally voids the operator’s warranty.

HTC’s unlocked bootloader is aimed at phones which are not shipped by network operators. Stage two, the actual unlocking capability, which is currently in the testing phase, is expected to be fully operational by early September.

“HTC continues its commitment to unlocking bootloaders and supporting the developer community,” the company said.

“We’ll continue rolling out the unlocking capability over time to other devices as part of maintenance releases and new shipments.”

HTC recently moved its European headquarters to Slough in the building that formerly hosted O2’s UK HQ and announced the imminent arrival of the Evo 3D smartphone.