Desire FAQ


  1. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member


    This is a work in progress. Please suggest topics that you think would be useful, and I will add them in with any relevant information I can find. Please also contact me if you find any typos, errors, or omissions – I want this to be a full and as accurate as possible, but it’s a lot of work and I can only stare at a screen for so long at a time typing it, so I’m sure I’ve got stuff wrong somewhere. Over time I’ll be adding more topics and more detailed information as they arise. Thanks for all your help!


    There are lots of points about the Desire that are raised again and again on this forum. This is my attempt to offer quick help to those who want answers to common questions, by compiling a lot of the frequently asked questions and their answers into one place. On that note, thanks go to everyone who contributes on this forum for the information in this thread.

    I've tried to format it in the most user friendly way possible, with frequently asked questions in the contents list, and the answers clearly defined in hide boxes. If you've read this guide and still cannot find the answer to your question, please start a new thread rather than asking in here. However please feel free to post here suggesting topics I can add to improve the guide.

    Credit goes to nacatomi for compiling the information for the GPS sections!

    1. Battery Life
    1.1 How do Li-Ion batteries work?
    1.2 Do I need to replace my battery, and if so how often?
    1.3 Should I always fully charge and discharge my battery?
    1.4 My phone doesn't charge to 100% if I leave it overnight. Is something wrong with it?
    1.5 My Desire's battery life is terrible. How can I improve it?
    1.6 Is there an easy way to monitor my battery?

    2. Accessories
    2.1 Should I buy a case/screen protector, and if so what type?
    2.2 Can I get a spare battery, and if so which should I get?
    2.3 Can I get a desktop charging cradle?
    2.4 What Micro SD card should I buy?

    3. Customisation
    3.1 What is ‘Rooting’, and is it for me?
    3.2 Am I stuck with HTC sense?
    3.3 Can I change the icons for apps and folders?
    3.4 Are there any apps to secure my phone if it’s lost or stolen?

    4. Known Problems
    4.1 My phone takes a long time to shut down. How do I fix it?
    4.2 There is a physical defect on my phone. What options do I have?
    4.3 My screen doesn’t turn back on properly after a call. Is this a hardware problem?
    4.4 I added high resolution contact pictures, but they are now blurry. What happened?

    5. GPS, WiFi, and Mobile Data connections
    5.1 What are GPS and aGPS?
    5.2 Is GPS free?
    5.3 Are there any alternatives to Google Maps?
    5.4 Does GPS use a lot of battery power?
    5.5 I use GPS a lot in my car – Is it a good idea to get a car charger?
    5.6 My phone gets hot when using GPS with a car charger – Is this normal?

    6. Repairs
    6.1 HTC Desire screen repair guide

    Section 1 – Battery Life

    1.1 How do Li-Ion batteries work?
    The Desire uses a 1400 mAH Lithium Ion battery. What that means in real terms is that you have enough power available to supply 1.4 amps of current at the battery voltage (3.7 volts) for an hour, 0.7 amps for 2 hours, 0.35 amps for 4 hours etc. Hence your battery life will depend on how much current the phone draws for whatever you're doing on it, and how long you continue that activity for.

    1.2 Do I need to replace my battery, and if so how often?
    Lithium ion batteries have a lifespan of somewhere around 400 cycles before they start to become less effective. Basically what that means is that after a year or so, you might want to look at replacing the battery, as it will start to hold less charge.

    1.3 Should I always fully charge and discharge my battery?
    Lithium Ion cells do NOT suffer from the memory effect. You do not need to fully charge and discharge your battery all the time, you can charge it whenever you want by however much you want, although most people find it convenient just to plug it in overnight and let it charge up. It is, however, recommended to fully discharge then fully charge the battery about once every month. This is because the 'smart' circuit inside the battery that measures the voltage and reports how much charge you have left can drift over time, and doing this helps to reset it to give you a more accurate reading of the battery capacity.

    If your phone battery gets so low the phone shuts itself down, DO NOT switch it back on again. Lithium Ion batteries don't like being fully discharged, and it will lower the life span of the unit. If the phone switches itself off due to a low battery, just wait till you can plug it in. The chances are even if you do turn it on it'll shut itself off again before fully starting up.

    1.4 My phone doesn't charge to 100% if I leave it overnight. Is something wrong with it?
    Nope. The phone does infact charge to 100%, but you cannot trickle charge a Li-Ion battery, so when the battery is at 100% the battery stops charging. The battery will then drain as the phone uses power until it gets to 90%, when the charger will kick in again and top it back up to 100%. The easiest way to overcome this is to switch off your 3G, WiFi, and other power intensive systems overnight (See 1.5 for details), which will leave your battery with a good 98-100% charge by the morning. Alternatively, if you switch the charger off and on again, it will charge it back to 100%.

    1.5 My Desire's battery life is terrible. How can I improve it?
    Lots of people can easily get two days of moderate use out of the phone, or one day of very heavy use. If you can't, then here are some tips for improving the battery life.

    Check your partial wake usage. To do this, tap the phone button at the bottom of the home screen, and type in *#*#4636#*#* to bring up the phone's test menu. Then tap battery history, tap the top list box, and select 'Partial Wake Usage'. If there is an application in here with a bar far larger than any others, it is stopping your phone from sleeping and will drain the battery when you aren't even using the phone.

    From here you can try fixing the problem by either uninstalling the app, or turning off any features that could be keeping the phone awake. Some common ones are frequent updates for things like email clients, flikr, and weather apps. Try changing the update intervals to gather data either manually or less frequently. The problem can be less obvious, for example an app that blinks the LED light on the phone as a notification will sometimes stop the phone from sleeping. If you aren't sure what the cause is, start a thread on the forum. Someone has inevitably been there before, and will be happy to help.

    Take control. It's all very well expecting the phone to do everything for you, it will if you like. But with some very fast, simple steps you can vastly improve your battery life. First and foremost, choose to manually update apps that use the internet, such as email and news feeds. Periodically updating these services eats power, and by choosing to do it yourself you can do wonders for your battery life. It only takes an extra 5 seconds. If you really don't want to do it yourself, set it to less frequent intervals, for example every hour or so.

    Possibly the best way of improving battery life is to take control of your connections through homepage widgets. Downloading an app such as SwitchPro or Extended Controls is the most elegant solution, but most cost about

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  2. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    Post reserved for more, as apparently there's a character limit for posts.
    shanifak likes this.
  3. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    And reserved again.
  4. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    And again.
  5. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    And one more for good measure.
  6. gibbs1984

    gibbs1984 Well-Known Member

    What do you mean reserved?

    Looks good though, well done :)
  7. kboya

    kboya Well-Known Member

    good work, sir!

    I'll have some suggestions for ya
  8. Mushhushshu

    Mushhushshu Well-Known Member

    Cool idea - should be a useful resource.

    My suggestions would be a list of known bugs (like the bookmark sort order thing which comes up daily) and also a basic section on rooting.
  9. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    You can only have a certain number of characters per post, so I've taken the first few posts to make sure I can fit everything in at the start of the thread.

    Yea I need to expand on the rooting section, but first I need to read up on rooting and actually understand it myself. ;) Known bugs is a good idea, I'll have to include that as well.
  10. gibbs1984

    gibbs1984 Well-Known Member

    Oh right, I see, good idea.

    I think this should be a sticky.
  11. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    I've already sent a request for that to lekky and he agreed, he suggested I put the reserved posts in first though to make sure nobody replied beforehand. I didn't realise there was a character limit on this forum so hadn't done so.

    Edit: Just added a section on SD cards since people ask about them a lot.
    Shofar likes this.
  12. Shofar

    Shofar Well-Known Member

    My vote for a sticky too.
    Thanks.

    Suggestion till we get FOYO:
    Freeing up memory.

    How quickly does reading books and viewing movies drain the battery?

    Under cases add Hard and Hard leather. (should be good for a few laughs if nothing else).

    Guide to navigating Menu: settings.
  13. Replay

    Replay Active Member

    Very well written. Thanks.
    I suggest adding it to Desire's WIKI.
  14. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    Updated again. 3,449 words so far!

    Thanks for the input, I've added them to my list. :)

    Thanks, and it might be worth adding a link to the thread to the article, but as this is an ongoing, changing project it would be a pain updating it in two places. ;)
  15. ukzen

    ukzen Well-Known Member

    This should be stickied ,if kept up to date will become a perfect resource for newbies and others
  16. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    It has been stickied! ;)
  17. tomvdp

    tomvdp Active Member

    Good reading!

    Maybe add a note about screen protectors and the proximity sensor. They shouldn't overlap.
  18. nacatomi

    nacatomi Well-Known Member

    Nice Work.

    Maybe add something regarding the poor resolution contact pics when syncing to google. Maybe a section for Recommended Car Accessories as well.
  19. davejo

    davejo Member

    Great post and thanks for all the info :D
  20. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the recommendations all - I'm writing them all down, but it might take me a while to get to a few things!
  21. lob

    lob Well-Known Member

    Looks good...
    How about a list of all the unadvertised features (Restart button combination, Enter recovery mode, access service menu).

    Thx
  22. Lagerfiend

    Lagerfiend Active Member

    With the Power down thing, i have noticed mine powers down quickly if i make sure i do it every morning even if i dont need to.

    I believe the longer it is powered on the longer it takes to backup and power down.

    just my 2 pennies worth :)
  23. Markg

    Markg Well-Known Member

    On this point-

    It's good advice but not that easy to do sometimes, when the phone has turned off there is no way of telling whether it is off completely or just the screen is off. If you press power, even just briefly to check, and the phone is off, then it will try to power up. Is there any way of enabling a longer press to turn on the phone?
  24. pacman10

    pacman10 Active Member

    Great post. Good to see all the stuff in one place instead of having to hack through a jungle of comments.

    Here's a tip on setting up WiFi at home. OK, it doesn't just apply to Android systems but I've seen lots of grief about it on the various forums and the solution is so simple

    If your phone won't connect check whether your home wireless router has the MAC address filter switched on and, if so, add the MAC address of the phone to the Accepted list.
  25. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Well-Known Member

    Added a slight update and changed the formatting as per a suggestion. :)

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