Gingerbread on the Desire

The plot thickens. Last week HTC kicked up a bit of a storm by announcing that the Desire wouldn't be getting an official Android 2.3 Gingerbread update due to memory constraints, saying there wasn't enough space on the phone for Gingerbread and HTC Sense. Then, 24 hours later the manufacturer responded to feedback from Desire owners and changed its mind, committing to delivering Gingerbread alongside a trimmed-down Sense UI.

Now Australian carrier Telstra has indicated it's willing to go even further to get Gingerbread onto its Desire handsets. On its software updates page, the network lists a HTC Desire Gingerbread update as due for release in August, with the following description --

"Due to the increased memory requirements of the ‘Gingerbread’ update, new software that does not include HTC’s Sense UI is being prepared."

So that means it'll be completely stock, vanilla Gingerbread that'll be offered to Telstra-branded Desire owners this August. If accurate, this is a pretty important development. It's also an acknowledgement that a significant minority of customers would be prepared to ditch the manufacturer's custom software to get their hands on the latest version of Android.

Because of the logistics of moving from a Sense ROM to stock Android, we think the update will be an optional one for Telstra customers, perhaps applied by using a RUU as opposed to the usual over-the-air upgrade. It remains to be seen whether other carriers will follow suit and decide to offer power users a way to leave Sense behind in favor of stock Gingerbread. Nevertheless, we'll be following this story with interest in the weeks ahead to see how things progress.

Source: Telstra; via: Engadget


Reader comments

Australian carrier says it'll ditch Sense to get Gingerbread on the HTC Desire


Well Verizon did request stock Gingerbread for their Xperia Play instead of Sony's skin that's on the Play everywhere else in the world.

Stock FTW. I think all carries should do this. Android is all about being open and having options. I should be able to choose what I want on my phone, and be free to remove anything I don't want. This can be achieved with root, of course, but I think the average user who doesn't want to mess with their phone to that extent should be able to choose what they want too.

Did I wake up in the Twilight Zone? First Moto unlocks the Atrix and now carriers are demanding sense be dropped for its customers to get the latest version of android. All I can say is wow.

I would love to see all phones come stock Android and offer a download for their flavor of "GUI" as Samsung is doing with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. That way users who love the interface the phone manufacturer develops can have it and those who don't care for it can have a stock Droid. It would also speed up OS updates as the two are developed independently rather than baked together.

Perfect answer for a great phone that lacks interior memory capabilities. Stock vanilla Android, not much better then that. Great answer, more carriers along with the Manufacturer should do these kinds of modifications. What you will have is a Nexus One in a Desire shell. Great Phone.

I'm not liking this idea. I think this would be a bad idea for normal consumers that don't even know what Gingerbread is or what stock Android looks like. They'll update their phone and everything is just different. Their Sense widgets will be gone and all their customization. I know for sure my mom would be pissed if she updated her Evo, and Sense was gone. It just doesn't make sense to me, no pun intended :).

Phone manufacturers wouldn't have that problem if the widgets weren't tied to the software. Pre-installed widgets are fine, but custom software that just eats up space, and ram isn't. Consumers are buying their devices in the first place. Just because they want widgets to dress up their plain android devices doesn't mean they want custom software as well.

Maybe this is could be a future Win/Win for everyone? Buyers get a leaner,faster stock OS,then phone manufacturers could sell their OS overlays in the Android Market.

obviously you are not from australia and don't know Telstra. (I can say yes to both for me)

The truth would be more along these lines.

HTC: Gingerbread and sense wont fit on the desire
HTC: Hang on, we got it to fit by stripping it down. It JUST fits.
HTC: Here you go Telstra, here is the update for your testing
TELSTRA: umm excuse me HTC, We cant fit our crapware on it.
HTC: I know, there is only just enough room for Sense
TELSTRA: Really? Remove Sense then so we can put our crapware on it
HTC: (Bending over) Oh ok...

I know for a fact that Telstra get the generic ROM images from HTC, and once they have them, schedule time to 'test' them for network suitability. There can be up to a 6 month wait for a date to become available for the testing team to fit a phone update into their schedule.

90% of the 'testing' is putting Telstra branding on the phones, changing/disabling options, installing crapware that leads to Telstra 'added value' services eg:
* removing a link to HTC for downloading additional FREE ringtones, and replacing it with a link to Telstra for downloading additional PAID ringtones...
* removing links to free/paid media content supplied via HTC etc, and replacing it with a link to FOXTEL - which is - yes you guessed it - chargeable content through a Telstra owned media company....

..... so please, spare me from the "oh, isn't it good that the phone companies are forcing HTC to supply vanilla Gingerbread" comments.

If you think Sense clutters up Android, wait till you see what Telstra has in store for you!

The only reason I rooted my Desire initially was to REMOVE the Telstra crapware..
Now I have the added bonus of using custom roms and not having to wait 6 months for the next Android update.

At the moment I am running Gingerbread AND sense 3.0 on my HTC Desire... Telstra might be the best phone reception in Australia (which is why I use them) but they sure are experts at f'ing everything else up...

Best network reception in Australia? CHECK
Use a non standard 3g frequency that no one else in the world uses so that they can lock you in? CHECK

Warmly, Marty