HTC Android 2011 flashback

Android on HTC phones as of June 2011 - lacking but promising

David Filskov June 2011

Tested on htc phones: Hero, ChaCha (aka Status), Click (aka Tattoo), Buzz (aka Wildfire) with original and developers ROMs.


Android is generally a stable and fairly mature (partly) cloud syncing platform. It still lacks simple/basic stuff as Undo and ToDo/tasks but has many useful features. Overall it looks fine and loading times seldomly slow you down. The software doesn't help you position the cursor (it lacks arrow-keys) but does a better job than e.g. iOS and webOS. Also it doesn't sync everything (only your mail and contacts - no bookmarks, SMS'es, apps, home-screen icon etc.) so moving to a new Android phone isn't smooth.

One click on the home button _always_ brings up the home screen (unlike in webOS which requires two actions and iOS that sometimes has as folder blocking the home-screen icons). The entire home screen software can easily be changed though - it's called a "launcher".


  • There's no easy access to brightness - you must add a widget which is rather comprehensive. Many brightness apps often don't work on some phones.

  • Lowest brightness too bright at night on many phones (htc ChaCha seems OK though).

  • The caller's voice in the headset is often WAY too loud even when set to mininum volume. SMS or ringing sounds aren't dampened on phones so they hurt your ears and might even give you heart attack.

  • No silent profile settings - e.g. sms and reminders cannot override silent mode - not even as vibration while ringer is off.

  • Sometimes the calendar opens week view. Sometimes day view. Sometimes it shows tomorrow, sometimes today. It should always go to today in time view.

  • Date not shown in header beside the time (only in the notification area).


SMS'es aren't fully shown in notfications or lock screen even when no other notifications are present and the notification area is blank. Also there's no reply button - it takes at least two clicks to read the entire message or three to reply (PalmOS requires no clicks to read, one click to reply but interrupts with a pop-up - Android could've easily had been one action to read, two to reply).


  • Calendar doesn't sync or search more han 1-2 months in the past (webOS and iOS has the same problem. Old PalmOS searches/syncs ANY year).

  • Calendar events that repeat, often syncs a day early (timezone bug?). Their reminders always happen on midnight or - if set to e.g. 12 hours before the event - at noon a day too early.

  • Calendar reminders always set per default - manually remove necessary for each event.

  • Calendar reminders easily overlooked.

  • In a calendar event you must scroll all the way down to reach Save which is slow - and inconsistent - since in a contact you can just press menu and Save is there.

  • Timezone say Amsterdam in an event even though you chose copenhagen in google calendar online (might be only in Android 1.6).

  • Weekly events sync 1 hr too early (might be only in Android 1.6).

  • Repeating events (e.g. weekly) where you delete one instance still show up on Android on the free day.

  • The colors aren't the same as in google calendar (eg grey becomes blue).

  • If you are creating a new calendar appointment and a reminder pops up and you dismiss it, the appointment you were creating is deleted - along with the text you wrote. If you're editing an existing appointment the changes are lost.


  • The middle name isn't always shown - not all letters of the name are shown. No way to shrink font / scroll or break the line.

  • Editing contact: home deletes data! Back saves (in email home saves as draft).

  • No way to add webpage to contact.

  • After editing/saving a contact note, the changes don't show until you reopen it.

  • Contact-notes area is way too small - only line only even though your note is 20 lines (only in Android 1.6).


  • Copy-paste from email puts all text on one line (line breaks are removed).

  • No way to collect mails from all mail accounts - one at the time only (4 clicks/actions each).


  • Global auto rotate / orientation ignored in browser - always auto-rotates to the left (perhaps only in Android 1.6).

  • In the browser the status bar (time, signal strength, notifications etc.) is hidden on some Android versions.- Tapping or scrolling brings up zoom buttons but they often block the view for too long.