Posts Tagged HTC Desire

HTC Desire :: aftermarket 3000mAh battery

I’ve ordered this a few weeks ago for $15 on ebay and delivery from Singapore definitely took its time. Today it has finally arrived and I can tell this battery looks really mean with all the 3000mAh power hidden under the hood — it’s almost twice as thick as the regular one and does require the special back cover to accomodate this thickness (no worries, the new cover was included in the package). Now it’s time to recharge and I wonder how long it might take with the battery of this size.



HTC Desire on Softbank :: update to Froyo

wireless and network settings tab

WiFi hotspot settings

Yesterday I’ve started the update process, getting a few ROM images from the Net and trying to make them work well with SoftBank. First, there was Aug,2010 version of Froyo ROM on MoDaCo, where Paul said he did not change anything except rooting the system. I’ve made a few changes in config files regarding SBM network settings and upgraded. Everything went fine, except the phone started to behave funny and today it even FC’ed its own Launcher (!). The version of ROM was 2.09.405.8 WWE.

Finally I gave up and downloaded official RUU with 2.29.405.5 WWE software. Extracted .zip file and applied all the same changes before flashing. The only difference was, I’ve decided to change ro.wifi.hotspotUI=0 to ro.wifi.hotspotUI=1 and see what happens. The results were interesting — I’ve got two extra menu items (1) in “Wireless and Networks” settings tab, which allow to setup and configure the wireless hot-spot and share internet connection wirelessly. Probably the cellular providers are not very happy with that, which resulted in these items being excluded away on most android phones.

Also, the interesting item was (2) “USB tethering”, allowing to convert the phone into RNDIS ethernet gadget and pour TCP/IP over USB link to the PC.

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SBM :: Froyo update secret radio options

Finally I’ve got time to prepare my personal Froyo image for HTC Desire, which is supposed to be stock WWE image with some tweaks and changes, that should allow it to work flawlessly on SBM network and don’t consume too much battery. First, the emergency call codes are supposed to be changed to the following (110 — police, 119 — fire/ambulance, and it still beats me what 118 means):,118,119

Besides the radio options used in the previous versions, there are a few new ones, not found anywhere else except the Softbank ROM image:

Not particularly sure what do they do, I think I might change hotspotUI to “yes” someday later. Also, “ro.telephony.default_network=2″ does not agree to the following piece found later in the same file, I wonder which one takes precedence, and what is network #2 in this context:

# Default network type.
# 0 => WCDMA preferred.

There’s also a few things not found in SBM image, but present in WWE release:


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Official HTC Froyo (2.2) image for Desire

Here’s official image from HTC, which may contain latest update for HTC Desire up to Froyo (version 2.2). Please, don’t forget to update radio, because Froyo requires at least version 5 and won’t work with outdated version 4.

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HOWTO :: Offline maps with Maverick from Code Sector

I like Google Maps. What I don’t like — these maps are not available offline, which is exactly the time I need them most of all, far away from home and, probably, without a reliable phone data connection. Actiually, there might be some way to cache Google Maps, and I’m sure my phone does that, but I could not figure out how to get it working reliably, it feels like cache time is very limited, maybe hours or minutes — definitely not enough for real-life applications.

Recently I’ve found Maverick from Code Sector. It shows the map, works with GPS and compass and does pretty much everything Google Maps does, and also it can cache and use offline maps. There’s even explanation about how to download and where to save map tiles.

However, the map downloading software just downloads everything within the selected region and did not care much if there’s real map data or just plain sea (Japan consists of many islands), so I did not want  to end up with numerous files with blue color inside and used my own downloader.

Fortunately, I have already downloaded plenty of Google Maps for offline use with some other software, so I did not want to redownload everything again, and just needed a way to reconvert and save map tiles appropriately for Maverick.

Maverick uses the following path for Google Maps : /sdcard/maverick/tiles/googlemaps/0/0/0.png.tile, I just need to figure out what are those numbers and how should I place my files there.

The first number is obviously zoom factor. Google Maps saves maps according to the zoom factor, the lowest zoom level is 0, which gives us 20 = 1 tile, covering the whole globe. Next zoom level 1 splits the globe into 2×2 = 4 tiles. Zoom level 2 results in 4×4 = 16 tiles. And for any given zoom level z we can calculate the number of tiles covering the whole globe as NxN, where N = 2z. Google Maps has only 17 zoom levels for maps, and maybe 19 for satellite images.

If we have latitude and longutide, the tile number can be calculated with the following code snippet (in Python) :

def coord2tile(lat_deg, lon_deg, zoom):
      lat_rad = math.radians(lat_deg)
      n = 2.0 ** zoom
      xtile = int((lon_deg + 180.0) / 360.0 * n)
      ytile = int((1.0 - math.log(math.tan(lat_rad) + (1 / math.cos(lat_rad))) / math.pi) / 2.0 * n)
      return(xtile, ytile)

And in the Maverick the X coordinate becomes the folder name (inside the zoom folder) and Y coordinate becomes the file name (sans ‘.png.tile’ extension), so the proper place for Google Maps tile is /sdcard/maverick/tiles/googlemaps/ZOOM/X/Y.png.tile

The whole world at zoom levels 4~6 does not take much space at all, whole Japan at zoom levels upto 13 is about 200mb, and some areas of interest, like Tokyo and Osaka at zoom levels up to 15 add about 800mb, so whole map of Japan takes about 1GB of map tiles and fits to 4GB of memory card (it takes more space on SD card because of large cluster size).

Predownloaded Google Maps

Whole world, zoom 4~6 (17mb) :
(MD5: C066DC7B3652661FFC70AB1128A63EDF)

Japan, zoom 7~12 (140mb) :
(MD5: 143D82C97E011EF403905647FA144997)

Japan, zoom 13 (200mb) :
(MD5: E91F1610B3428DD2ED47524B16B0BDFA)

Levels 14 and beyond take too much space, so you may download partial maps around the places you like yourself.

Also, be careful, if your SD card is formatted with 16kb cluster size, maps tend to occupy 3-4 times as much space as their size. 1GB of maps took about 4GB of space on my device, so if your SD card is small, it might be a good idea to format with 2~4k cluster size.



No more OLED HTC Desires from Softbank

Softbank has decided to stop accepting orders for HTC Desire from Jul, 29th. Instead they brought out a press-release about “Desire II”, with LCD screen instead of OLED (probably because of Samsung OLED display shortage).

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Simple MMS introduction for Softbank users

There are SMS messages, which can contain about 160 characters. Japanese uses multi-byte encodings, so the actual character count is much lower. Also, people like to send pictures taken with the built-in cameras, music and other things which don’t fit well into 160 byte limit.

Therefore, MMS (multimedia messaging service) was born. It works like this: you get a short SMS message using SMS protocol, and then your phone has to use data connection to receive the rest of the message from the server. SMS messages work everywhere, but ways and protocols for retrieving the actual message are different from one provider to another. If these protocols are not followed, only “subject” line of MMS message will get through, which is actually delivered via usual SMS.

This is why we need specially tailored application to receive MMS messages on softbank, another specially tailored app to receive MMS messages on DoCoMo and so on. Also, this is the reason, why originally iPhone did not support MMS (it was added about a year later) and why HTC Desire still (oficially) does not support MMS, however there are a few versions of custom-made software, which, more or less, aleviate this problem.

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Notifications about timezone

It’s very distracting, but every time HTC Desire lost signal for a while, it tries to reacquire time information and for some unknown reason there’s no TZ info included. There’s no solution for this problem, except moving to the area of better reception quality. Native SB firmware has the same problem.


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HOWTO :: Convert to SoftBank

I’ve found wonderful gem on android forums:

Just took my A8181 which I got from HK to Softbank after flashing one of the ROMs above, shop people confused for a bit as IMEI wasn’t in their “stock database” but eventually caved in and gave me a sim w/smartphone data plan.

They spent about 30 minutes poking around the phone, comparing it with the plastic model they had in store “hey why it says softbank here and only says HTC on this one??” and had to make a few calls to their boss to confirm. I *think* i heard them mumble “rooted”? once before but I’m not sure the guy was too far.

I’m sure I would have to get a 2 year contract with a useless phone otherwise, just to use it’s sim.

Looks like there’s hope to get imported phones to work legally in SB network.



How to compile kernel — part 2

In the part 1 I explained how to compile a new kernel, and here’s the explanation how to upload the newly compiled kernel to your device.

  1. make sure you really have arch/arm/boot/zImage file (about 2MB in case of HTC Desire/Eclair) present after your kernel compilation was over.
  2. download AnyKernel template by koush and unpack it somewhere
  3. copy your zImage file to the template /kernel directory, there supposed to be another zImage file there — just replace it
  4. go back to the template directory, you will see three subdirectories: META-INF, kernel & system
  5. zip them all (zip -r ../ *)
  6. sign the and flash it to your device
  7. scripts included in the template will unpack your current boot.img, keep ramdisk, but replace the kermel
  8. enjoy!

Big thanks to Bartosz Ponurkiewicz, who gave me nice advices and warned about common problems on the way!

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