HTC Desire Android 2.3 update – installation guide and gallery

We’re going to do it. We’re going to sit here for the next couple of hours and update our HTC Desire with the new 2.3 update that’s just been released by HTC today. Here’s what happens. The update may contain swearing as we’re not particularly technical when it comes to things like this.

Here’s what you need:

Also, just so you know, our HTC Desire is a standard O2 branded model complete with O2 boot screen and the original, untouched, official 2.2 release. Oh yes, we like to keep things official.

htc desire 23 update 1

To explain the process for anyone unsure what to do – this update comes as an executable PC file, which updates your HTC Desire over a USB connection. You download the stuff, open it on a PC, then run the “RUU_HTC Desire Android 2.3 Upgrade (Gingerbread).exe” file while your Desire is connected via USB.

htc desire 23 update 2

AGGGHHHHH. So be prepared for this to take quite a long time. You need HTC Sync installed on your PC as well as HTC’s RUU file, which is another huge 150MB+ download, plus your HTC Desire needs to have at least 30% of battery power to initiate the update process.

desire bootloader

Meet the criteria, though, and it’s an easy task. The updater tool walks you through the steps and it’s entirely automated. Just try not to panic.

htc desire 23 update 3 htc desire 23 update 4

And this is it. Version 3.14.405.1 according to the updater. As mentioned by HTC, the big omission here is the Facebook app, which you now have to install yourself if you have nothing better to do with your phone’s memory.

htc desire 23 update 5 htc desire 23 update 7

The O2 branding has been removed as well, leaving us with a generic HTC Desire that features the HTC boot screen. HTC’s Peep Twitter client is still on here, as it HTC’s App Sharing tool, plus Footprints and its Friend Stream social aggregator.

htc desire 23 update 13 htc desire 23 update 15

Fast boot! That’s a new thing. Gmail, YouTube and the Maps suite remain, although HTC’s Flashlight app has been removed – but the APK is supplied in the update file if you want to install it yourself.

htc desire 23 update 6 htc desire 23 update 8

Given the absence of a detailed changelog from HTC, we’re not entirely sure what else has been chopped. Flash Player support is still in, which is good news – although the 10.3 update that’s on the Android Market will need to be installed if you want the latest version, which will significantly eat into your available memory.

htc desire 23 update 9 htc desire 23 update 10

There are no newer HTC Sense features. The Notifications panel is unchanged, as is the boring old HTC Sense lock screen. Those hoping for any of the jazzy newer Sense tools or apps will be disappointed.

htc desire 23 update 11

Phone performance is as solid as ever. We never had any issues with the HTC Desire on 2.2 and it seems as fast and robust as ever. But bear in mind we’re literally tearing through it as fast as possible and have only had it for about an hour…

htc desire 23 update 12 htc desire 23 update 14

We’re showing 117MB of app storage space available, that’s with only Quadrant installed to take the above benchmark and iPlayer to see if Flash content works. Any questions?

70 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. MonkeyBoy

     /  August 1, 2011

    Could you install & run Storage Info, and add a screenshot showing what it reports under “Total”? I wonder what’s left of the 148 MB available previously on my unbranded Desire.

    https://market.android.com/details?id=net.rockym.android.storageinfo

    • Gary C

       /  August 1, 2011

      That’s a very workmanlike app. It says:

      INTERNAL

      FREE: 115MB
      TOTAL: 148MB

      • MonkeyBoy

         /  August 1, 2011

        Thanks, hoping for more Total but at least we didn’t end up with less Total!

  2. Andrew

     /  August 1, 2011

    Do they finally have support for WiFi proxy settings?

  3. Dan Gilbert

     /  August 1, 2011

    Have you had any problems with the SMS or MMS?

    • Gary C

       /  August 1, 2011

      Embarrassingly, I can’t test that at the moment. My house is in a mobile dead zone where I get no reception.

      It asked me to select my network when I put the SIM in though, so seems to have all the network data pre-loaded and ready to go.

      Can’t see any settings for wi-fi proxy options.

  4. Rich Bird

     /  August 1, 2011

    Could I please ask. How does the 117mb of free space campare to the 2.2 clean install. I’m desperate for space

    • MonkeyBoy

       /  August 1, 2011

      See my thread above, I basically asked the same, and it looks like space has remained equal (not better, but not worse either).

      • mintvilla

         /  August 1, 2011

        it will always remain equal, since its a fresh version with no carrier apps (looking at you orange!!) the HTC desire is split up into 3 parts, system, data, and cache, the cach is 40mb, the system is 250, leaving 148mb for the system, now the htc sense apps take up around 30mb leaving the 120mb mark for apps.

        Ofcause this phone is the most rooted phone available, and apps2sd works a treat for it.

  5. older

     /  August 1, 2011

    Do you know if support for SIP and WebM video included in this build?

  6. Aff, for all the hassle i’d rather just go cyanogen way, get GB with added funkiness.

    • RP

       /  August 1, 2011

      What exactly are the advantages of rooting, beyond installing custom ROMs? Do you have any more freedom with what apps you can move to, and run from an SD card, for example?

      • mintvilla

         /  August 1, 2011

        yes you do, search google for reasons to root, but basically you get a quicker faster rom of gingerbread, version 2.3.5 which is the latest version of gingerbread. Theme support which i love, you can change your partition layout to get more room for apps, or use apps to sd, though you need to partition your sd card for that.

        get a lovely clean version of android and you can also overclock.

        i cant recommend CM7 enough.

        • Dean

           /  August 2, 2011

          Thinking of giving CM7 a punt.

          My Desire is on locked onto Orange. Would I need to get the Desire GSM, or Desire CDMA package from the Cyanogen site?

  7. Thomas S

     /  August 1, 2011

    Still only one exchange account support within the HTC email app?

    • Gary C

       /  August 1, 2011

      I’m… not sure. I don’t have any Exchange accounts to check that. Sorry.

      • Thomas S

         /  August 2, 2011

        I tried. Only one exchange account is supported.
        Now I’m stuck with this rom. Can’t go back on official FroYo, can’t root, can’t do anything.

        • Matt C

           /  August 3, 2011

          On the plus side, Exchange Activesync now actually works correctly with Hotmail, so you can pull in your Hotmail contacts and calendar.

    • KTP

       /  August 3, 2011

      Like 1 exchange account isn’t bad enough …

  8. Those requirements also means that Linux users are barred from upgrading to gingerbread, doesn’t it? Darn!

    • MarkG

       /  August 2, 2011

      You made the choice to run a minority desktop Operating System…

      Linux is best served up as servers. (I have a Linux server at home, and it’s great), Linux on the desktop is a disaster, you can thank the 10 or so different companies along with KDE and Gnome all pulling it in different directions….

      Use the right tools for the job. Linux is for servers, Windows is for desktops.

      • Bob

         /  August 2, 2011

        Wow!

      • KTP

         /  August 3, 2011

        That’s bullshit. Linux is equally impressive on the desktop as server. The core of linux is the same, just stick with distros that use teh same package manager and you have no worries. Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint..all rocking solid, Mint is probably the best distro ever made. The few times I HAVE to boot a windows system, I feel like blowing my brains out in misery and oh the insane update system spitting out endless security updates. Linux you have no worries and shit just works.

        • LiamKav

           /  August 3, 2011

          Linux is never patched? Well, that’s a relief. Thank god there are no updates, and the ones that there are are as piss easy to install as clicking a big yellow shield and saying “install”.

          (Of course, this isn’t about which OS is best. This is about HTC putting out an update and only chosing the most common OS to put it out on. Mac user’s are probably equally as upset and are crying into their latte’s as we speek.)

  9. At

     /  August 1, 2011

    How to I get rid of it?

  10. stephen

     /  August 1, 2011

    is this your own guide?

    If so, dunno if you mind it being ripped off word for word .. (and not credited on)

    http://tech-gadget.co.in/2011/08/htc-desire-android-2-3-update-%E2%80%93-installation-guide-and-gallery/

    • Peter

       /  August 1, 2011

      If you view source on that page you can see the images are being pulled from Eurodroid. Stealing words is bad enough but stealing bandwidth is worse.

      • Gary C

         /  August 1, 2011

        That’s the modern peril of the RSS feed I’m afraid :(

        • Matt C

           /  August 2, 2011

          Modify your post to use copies of the images but rename them. Then replace the original images with comedy ones, but keeping the original file names so the comedy ones show up on their site.

          That’s what I did when someone did the same to me, although I went further than comedy and put up porn ;)

  11. I am surprised they didn’t bundle a newer version of Flash ‐ that means you have to waste space for a library that is replaced by the Market version :(

    • Peter

       /  August 1, 2011

      I’m surprised they didn’t unbundle everything that is already on the market.

  12. joe

     /  August 1, 2011

    done it. it works. Hardly a revolution but there are a few little UI polishes here and there (browser refresh button, switch off menu…) and it seems to be a bit smoother but that may be because I havent swamped it with apps yet. I thought it would add the manage apps button to the settings menu but it hasn’t.

  13. Still undecided as to whether it’s worth the hassle to upgrade my Desire with this. Any opinions as to how worthwhile it is to upgrade vs keeping the old Android 2.2?

    • Joe

       /  August 2, 2011

      It’s not a big hassle to be honest, once you’ve done the downloads the update takes maybe 10 mins. You do have to re-download the apps you’ve lost but i found that I realised I didn’t even use half the stuff i had previously installed so I now have just essentials on there.

      Is it worth it though? Very small visual changes, boot up and shutdown is faster. Can’t report on battery life yet… If you have a network branded desire its probably worth it to expel the bloatware, mine was unlocked but it’s nice to get rid of the compulsory facebook install anyway. I don’t know why they kept friendstream and peep though, maybe they are hardwired into sense.

  14. cartus

     /  August 2, 2011

    storage info for 2.2 total is 151 mb

  15. mr.O

     /  August 2, 2011

    If you want quantity (I mean, many apps) yous hould stay on 2.2, but if you want speed …then upgrade to 2.3 . (my benchmarks 1149 score on 2.3 and 750 on 2.2).

  16. Ed

     /  August 2, 2011

    I been having wifi troubles since this update, keeps dropping out which it never did before

  17. cobite

     /  August 2, 2011

    OK NOOB questions ahead

    • Is this a stable build (i.e. will work as normal for the best part and won’t require constant tinkering)
    • Do I lose all my paid apps when the phone goes back to stock (I don’t mind taking a list of all the stuff I have installed and re-installing but don’t want to have to repay for apps already purchased)
    • All my contacts and emails and SMS etc are in Google so I don’t need to back them up – or do I?
    • I don’t use Facebook on the phone (sometimes I use it on the web) but my contacts are linked to their Facebook profile – will this still work or will I have to get the HTC Facebook App on the phone?
    • It says all operator customizations will be removed – I presume I won’t have to set up the phone with the operator sms/mms/internet settings again – or will I?
    • Is this a good improvement on Froyo?
    • Is there a noticeable difference in internal memory?

    Cant think of anymore NOOB questions at the moment but just curious to know if it is worth it as I don’t really want to go down the rooting avenue and I really just want the internal memory to not suck and I don’t want to have to be constantly playing with the phone to get it to work

    • Gary C

       /  August 2, 2011

      - Totally stable. It’s an official HTC release, despite the weird disclaimers.

      - Your paid apps will be deleted off the phone, but they’ll show up in the Android Market app as “Purchased” so you can download them again for free.

      - Contacts are OK as long as you’re linked to a Google account, Gmail emails obviously fine too. SMS messages will be wiped, so you’ll need to back them up yourself.

      - Don’t know!

      - It should detect your SIM and ask you to select a network, then automatically apply the correct details. If not, they’re easy enough to locate through your network and input manually.

      - It’s hardly any different, to be honest. If you’re happy with how your phone’s set-up and working, there’s not a huge amount of point.

      - About 20MB less for me, but this depends on how much network stuff was pre-loaded on your phone.

      Deleting the Flash Player updates gave my Desire loads more free memory, so maybe try that first!

      • cobite

         /  August 2, 2011

        Thanks for the honest reply
        Yes deleted the Flash updates a few weeks back and massive increase in memory.
        Might just stick with Froyo as phone is unbranded and no bloat-ware so I probably wont see much improvement by upgrade.

        Looks like I will hold out for Nexus 3 and go with vanilla Android. Would love it to be a HTC device but cant be putting up with all the manufacturer junk and operator bloat-ware and think vanilla is the way to go (Vanilla Ice Cream even better!!)

        • Gary C

           /  August 2, 2011

          Oh my god. I’m actually going to be typing “vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich” 20 times a day in a few months time :(

          • Gary C

             /  August 2, 2011

            Let’s hope Google doesn’t develop an app called “chocolate sprinkles” that only appears on some Android phones, otherwise… :(((

  18. dave b

     /  August 2, 2011

    Very pleased with upgrade. No longer having to clear cache. Have downloaded more apps than I had , yet still have tons of memory left. Well done HTC!

  19. EightRooks

     /  August 3, 2011

    Sigh. Was hoping HTC would have got Sync working with XP64 (yeah, yeah. laugh it up, didn’t want Vista when I got this PC, can’t afford Win7 right now), but it seems not… so this is useless to me, sadly. Oh, well. One more reason to plan for a new handset.

    • KTP

       /  August 3, 2011

      If you’re running XP 64 bit, I’d be inclined to say, you are the idiot here, not HTC.

      • EightRooks

         /  August 3, 2011

        One of the most common problems when I worked tech support for a while was Vista randomly leaving people’s routers unable to see the internet, with no guaranteed solution, and I went through enough hell trying to sort those calls out I decided I never wanted Vista on any PC of mine. Windows 7 didn’t exist at the time I bought the PC, and I had 4 GB of RAM, so XP64 it was. And currently I can’t afford Windows 7 plus the hard drives I’d need to back up all my music and work-related files. I didn’t call anyone an idiot – I merely said this update was useless to me, which it is. (For all its advances under the hood, Windows 7 is useless to me, for all intents and purposes.) But hey, by all means carry on acting as if your choice of operating system makes you a better human being. :rolleyes:

        (Sorry for the tangent, mister Eurodroid, I’m just sick of people like that.)

        • LiamKav

           /  August 3, 2011

          As far as I can tell he only pops up on these threads to slag off Microsoft related products, so I wouldn’t worry.

          It is annoying though. Almost as annoying as when you’re trying to fix an IE problem on your work computers and all the Wise Lords Of The Internet can say is “urgh, IEsux only idiots would use that install Firefox duh.”

  20. Easyplastic

     /  August 3, 2011

    The disclaimer says something about loss of some SMS/MMS functionality in some regions (like Germany, the Americas, some asian countries etc.).
    Any ideas on the implications, exactly what functionality is lost. i.e. will I be able to send/recieve SMS when roaming from for example Germany?

  21. Thomas S

     /  August 3, 2011

    Can’t go back on 2.2 :/

  22. Simon Baynes

     /  August 3, 2011

    Does wireless tethering work? The reason I went to Cyanogen was because Orange crippled it.

  23. KTP

     /  August 3, 2011

    The one thing that makes this whole upgrade worth while: FACEBOOK App removal.

    I’m not sure since when, but now I can’t uninstall that ZuckerShit app (which I may add, stupidly installed a while bback from the marked (not the built in stuff).. which takes large amounts of precious space and just plainly sucks. Now the only option is to nuke the last update, with best regards from, Mark “all your base is belong to us” Zuckerfocker.

    Google+ all the way.

  24. Chris

     /  August 4, 2011

    Newbie upgrader.
    I am really keen for this upgrade from 2.2 specifically to fix the Bluetooth reboot issue.
    Instructions in the post state: “You need HTC Sense installed on your PC as well as HTC’s RUU file, which is another huge 150MB+ download,..”
    I do not quite understand this as Sense is loaded on the Phone only. Where do I get HTC sense to install on the PC? Or is this not quite correct & a cut down sense is actually part of the EXE install? There is no reference to Sense in the PDF within the download.
    Can someone kindly point me in the right direction?

    • RP

       /  August 4, 2011

      I’m assuming it should say HTC SYNC

      • Gary C

         /  August 4, 2011

        Yes, yes it should :(

        • Chris

           /  August 5, 2011

          Thanks Guys, I hadn’t thought of that!
          Once I have checked & noted my T-Mobile Settings, I may go ahead this weekend.

  25. vince

     /  August 6, 2011

    just want to ask if its true that if you install an app and you used a App2SD to transfer it to phone memory, all will be transferred to MMC and the only thing that will be left on the phone memory is the image of the app.

  26. Phil

     /  August 22, 2011

    I have just updated my Desire A8183 (frequency 855/2100) to gingerbread 2.3 (previously it was and Australian Telstra phone), all went super smoothly except when I looked at the new phone identity on the phone it says it is a A8181 (900/1900 bandwidth).

    Previously I read that a firmware upgrade couldn’t change the frequency so I am a little worried.

    I am using in New Zealand with Telcom which works on frequenct 850/2100. The phone is working but I’m not sure if it is just picking up 2100 frequency shared by Telecom NZ and Vodafone or ir I have actually changed the phones frequency or whether the identity has just incorrectly changed without the phones frequency changing?

    Does that make sense?

    Has anyone else had the same experience?

  27. Pete

     /  August 30, 2011

    Beware using HTC Sync to backup your contacts. I did it before updating, tried to sync back and it just gives me an error but does not say what the problem is. I still have everything on my SIM card, but now comes the monotonous job of re-entering all those contacts as the full-featured Android ones.

    • Pete

       /  August 30, 2011

      Turns out everything WASN’T on my SIM (forgot I changed providers a short while back), but HTC Sync did at least copy my contacts across to the PC because I found them in the Windows Contacts folder. Had to export them to my MicroSD as vCards and import them using the phone contact manager. Annoying but got the job done.

      • Nat

         /  October 19, 2011

        The easiest way to keep your contacts is to have your gmail account synced. After the upgrade, all your contacts etc with be sent back to your phone.

  28. georgia

     /  October 30, 2011

    might be a silly question but is there anyway to update the phone without it being on? my desire keeps constantly rebooting itself and it cannot get to the home screen so i have to take the battery out for it to stop rebooting. i have been told that if i update the system it should work again?

  1. Guide to Update HTC Desire to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread | Smartphone Specs
  2. HTC brings caveat-filled Gingerbread to Desire – ZDNet UK | What's New UK

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