Posts Tagged ‘HTC dream’

A Note on Android Battery Life While Using GPS

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The other week I went on a 1.5 hour hike with a fully charged battery and GPS tracked the whole thing with MyTracks and I came away with 30-40% of my battery left! Thankfully for the following week, I remembered to change my phone into airplane mode for the same hike and it still had 80% charge when I was done.

So for all you hikers & GPS trackers out there – remember to turn on Airplane Mode to make your phone stop wasting all its battery searching for a signal out where it has none!

Here’s how to do it for all the noobs – hold the power button down for about one second, and you will be prompted with the menu to the right here.  Touch the “Airplane Mode” option.  To turn it off again, simply do the same thing.

Rogers Disabled Internet on HTC Dream

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

For those who don’t have time or don’t care, here’s a REALLY short version:

Rogers announced Friday night that there is an issue to do with GPS and dialing 911 and that we need to download a manditory firmware upgrade (which wipes all the data on your phone), and they will disable internet access on all HTC Dreams on Sunday morning at 6am. They did exactly that, and now there’s a huge outcry in the community. But for me, without internet access I can’t download a backup app to save all my data such as text messages, apps, settings, etc., and they completely refuse to turn it back on for me – claiming they can’t.

And in long form, here’s the full story.

January 15, 2010 at 6:51pm I received a text message from Rogers:

Rogers/Fido service message: URGENT 911 Calls: Please disable GPS location on your HTC Dream device to ensure all 911 calls complete. HTC is urgently working on a software upgrade and we will provide details shortly so you can re-enable GPS. Instructions: Select Menu – Select Settings – Select Location – Uncheck Enable GPS Satellite

A week or so later, I recieved another text message on Friday night – January 22, 2010 at 8:09pm:

Rogers/Fido Safety Message: URGENT 911 Calls HTC Dream software update: Mandatory software update is now available to help ensure 911 calls are completed from your phone. Please go immediately to on your PC to download. In order to help ensure 911 calls are completed internet access will be temporarily disabled on your phone at 01/24/10 6:00AM EST. To minimize loss of internet service, please complete your software update immediately. Upon completion, internet access will be re enabled within 24 hours. For users of Macintosh and Windows 7, please call 1- 888-764-3771(1-888-ROGERS1) for update instructions. We apologize for the inconvenience but we prioritize customer safety above all.

Now this comes to me as I’m sitting in a pub, unwinding on a Friday night after a long work week – I don’t really care too much about this at the time, and it doesn’t cross my mind on the weekend at all.  Monday morning, I come into work and remember this nuisance.  I have to fill you in on a bit of history with my device.  This is my first cellphone ever – I got it back in June of 2009.  Over a few months, the phone had to be factory reset about a half-dozen times, to the point where it was replaced.  We attempted to upgrade the firmware, but I tried their software on four different computers and with three different HTC Dreams, and we could never get the program actually talking to the device!   Anyways, the new device gave me just as much crap over time, and I had them even write down in their system that it also is defective, but not wanting to have to start my phone from scratch again, I told them to wait until it happened just one more time!  Lucky me – it has worked great for the last two or three months with no issue!  Finally my first experience with a “stable” device – if you would call it that at this point.  Another side-tangent – Spencer and Sean both have the same phone, and have never had to factory reset it, yet I’ve done it well over a dozen times!

Anyways, I called their tech support line in the afternoon and waited 45 minutes to talk to a tech.  We got the program up and running and I cringed when I saw the message that it was a firmware update and I would need to wipe my phone.  I bit the bullet and told the tech that I would complete it on my own after I backed up all my data.

This is where the issue started to grow.

A few minutes after I hung up and I tried to download an app to backup my data it hit me – I need internet to download the app to backup my data.  Then came another automated text message at 4:02pm:

Rogers/Fido Safety Message: URGENT Reminder 911 Calls HTC Dream software update: Mandatory software update is now available to help ensure 911 calls are completed from your phone. Please go immediately to on your PC to download. In order to help ensure 911 calls are completed internet access was temporarily disabled on your phone at 01/24/10 6:00AM EST. To reactivate internet service, please complete your software update immediately. Upon completion, internet access will be re enabled within 24 hours. For users of Macintosh and Windows 7, please call 1- 888-764-3771(1-888-ROGERS1) for update instructions. We apologize for the inconvenience but we prioritize customer safety above all.

At this point, I began to realize how much not having internet on my phone really sucks – the majority of what I use my phone for is via the internet.  I can’t download apps, I can’t get my email, I can’t download maps for Google Maps, can’t FTP home, can’t check my calendar, can’t use Google Talk… I could go on.  I would say over 75% of what I use my phone for is internet related.

I worked a little longer into the evening, and eventually called Rogers again at 11:09pm that night.  Waited on hold 55 minutes before getting to talk to a tech.  I explained to Kevin that if given internet access back for a short time, I can download the backup app and would gladly follow through the upgrade process.  He mentioned that there is the HTC sync software which can backup my contacts and calendar, but I explained that both of those are already sync’d with Google as I’m running the Android OS. I need the internet so I can download a backup app to save my apps, messages and such.  He said he can certainly get me internet access… BUT I have to do the update first.  There is no logic in this, as we spent 15 minutes going in circles!  He progressively got more and more condescending towards me, and started talking about how he’s been a 10 year service rep and such to back him up.  I refrained from lashing back at his incompetence.

Being frustrated, I asked to speak to the supervisor.  I believe his name was Survin?  After a few minutes, the supervisor and I agreed this situation doesn’t really have a resolve and I would not be able to backup my apps.  He claimed that they can not simply turn it back on for me – even just for ten minutes so I can download a backup app.  Apparently the network is blocking me out and there is nothing they can do for me.  I asked him WHY the internet was disabled in the first place, as the first message I got from Rogers indicated that it was an issue with the GPS and dialing 911.  He admitted he has no idea and doesn’t have access to that information – how does the supervisor of technical support not know this? I asked him to look further into this why this issue is forcing our internet access to be cut off and gave him my email to send the details to.  A reasonable request.  He said he would try to do so within 24 hours, but I haven’t heard anything yet.

I got off the phone with them around 12:30am, and proceeded to read more online about this entire issue.  I found an amazing resource at

I officially filed a complaint against Rogers Communications Inc. with the Comissioner for Complaints for Telecommunication Services (CCTS) this evening, but I doubt that will resolve anything quickly.  Sometimes it’s just nice to rant… ergo this lengthy post.  Thanks for reading, or not reading!

On-screen Keyboard for HTC Dream

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Sean just picked up one of these phones, and of course he’s going to out-geek me with it.  Here’s the first trick he passed along to me!

Originally I thought I’d install this just for kicks, but it turns out that it’s actually kind of neat and helpful! This little “hack” for your phone enables the on-screen keyboard that is found on the HTC Magic, but only when your phone’s full keyboard is not opened. So for example, if you’re typing away using the on-screen keyboard (which is handy for single-hand typing) and decide you want to go faster or something – slide out the full keyboard and just keep typing away!

device4-200x300Here’s how to get it installed on your phone:

  1. Download Apps Installer from the Android Market
  2. Go to ‘‘ and search for ‘HTC_IME.apk
  3. Download the Android package ‘HTC_IME.apk
  4. Put the .APK package onto your SD card
  5. Install the .APK package with Apps InstallerNote: If you need to remove the .APK package, you can do so under Manage applications. Under Manage, there is ‘Keyboard Calibration’ and ‘Touch Input’. Uninstall ‘Touch Input’ to get rid of the .APK package.
  6. After you install the .APK package with Apps Installer, reboot your HTC device
  7. After reboot, on the HTC Dream device, go to ‘Locale & Text‘ and turn on ‘Touch Input‘. From here you may adjust the settings and try the tutorial.

My Google Android Apps

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

I got the HTC Dream as my first cellphone back in June of 2009. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to play around with a handful of apps, and the following is a list of the best ones that I’d recommend.


  • AndFTP
  • Barcode Scanner
  • My Tracks
  • NetCounter
  • Phonalyzr
  • Power Manager
  • Shazam
  • Torrent-fu
  • Zombie, Run!


  • Caller Lookup
  • Color Flashlight
  • ConnectBot
  • Countdown Alarm
  • Google Sky Map
  • Innerscope
  • Movies by Flickster
  • Places Directory
  • Proxoid
  • Qik
  • Remote VNC Lite
  • SnapPhoto Free
  • Sound Manager
  • wpToGo

My Tracks – Minnekhada

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Yesterday evening, Sheena, Nate, and I went for a quick hike up Minnekhada to build up an appetitite so we could chow down on a couple platters of Nacho’s later!  I believe it’s my first hike with my phone, so I ran this app called “My Tracks” to record our path via GPS.  At the end, I hit a button and it uploaded it to Google Maps:

Also, it’s got a couple more pages where it can show you your stats, and also a cool graph on your elevation change.


It even takes out the time when we were sitting at the top for 20 minutes, and gives us an average speed when moving! Neat stuff – I’m definitely going to use this one more!

How I Almost Got an iPhone

Friday, May 29th, 2009

It all started back in early April, when Nate was back on leave, and his phone died and he picked up a blackberry!  We hung out a lot, and I had ample opportunity to play with his phone, and I was out on the road a lot with him too.  Even though the device wasn’t customized or optimized for me, I still found it to be a great tool.  As a business owner, I needed to be in touch with what was going on, and for the first time I experienced how instead of much of a nuisance and burden a phone can be, it could be an immense time saver and organizer.  I’ve gone over 22 years of my life without a phone, and six years now running my own business.  But as my business grows, the concept of a cellphone that can do all the things that they can do today finally becomes a reasonable idea.

300_blackberry_boldI struggled with this sudden turn of feelings towards a phone for a few weeks, but quietly researched further.  It would have to be a smart phone with a few key capabilities:

  1. Email (obviously)
  2. Real internet browsing
    (not the blackberry HTML only browser)
  3. Capable of VNC
    (so I can control my computer at home)

The newer blackberries, such as my personal favorite the Bold, seemed like the better choices.  However, it looked like I’d have to pay for a VNC client, and the browser still wasn’t all that amazing.  Also, blackberries seem… just older in the technology world?  An odd statement, but I mean that there are technologies out there like the touch screen, and better GUI’s that I saw in the newest blackberry – but it was slower and seemed an early attempt and fixing that issue.  I’m sure they will get better as time goes on.

I went a few weeks with the thought of getting a blackberry in the back of my head until I talked with several people about blackberry versus iPhone.  If I was to get a phone, I wanted to make sure I get the best choice for what I need it for.  I’ve seen a lot of what the iPhone can do, especially through Mark, but it also popped up on my radar that Craig had switched from iphone_homeblackberry to an iPhone!  Both people of which I highly respect in the tech world.  After talking with them, and several others, I leaned stronger and stronger towards the iPhone!  It had everything I need – the only problem…. it’s an Apple device.  Apple and I don’t get along – it’s good for some people, but frankly you can achieve the same means in the same time and effort on PC or Mac, it’s just a question of how your mindset works.  Some people’s minds work more towards mac, and some more towards PC.  I’m definately in the PC mindset, and have always been – but for a phone, it might be nice to have a flashy GUI that I don’t have to do much with and it will work mostly good.  I say mostly good because mac and PC both crash just as often – mac people just won’t admit it – it’s the same with the phone.

Now, along comes the new iPhone 3.0 – with amazing upgraded features such as multimedia messaging, and an amazing feature to use bluetooth to tether it to your laptop to get internet access via your phone!  Yada yada… I was almost sold on it up until yesterday.

I heard about Android probably over a year ago on slashdot sometime, but over the last year I didn’t hear too much news about it except that it sucked and was disappoing.  Android is an open source operating system for mobile phones, built by Google – so this was a little sad news that it wasn’t any good.  Pelley tipped me off to the fact that Rogers is finally debuting the first phones in Canada with Android in a few days, and so I decided to actually take a look for myself.

htc-dream-2After spending hours watching YouTube videos showcasing the phone, and reading countless articles comparing it against the new iPhone 3.0 which will be out this summer, I found that this phone didn’t disappoint in any way!  This was amazing news… as I’m a massive Google fan too!  Specifically, I’m looking at the HTC Dream G1 phone – which I might pick up on Tuesday, when the finally debut in Canada.  Basically it’s the blackberry meets iPhone, with Google as the glue!  It’s got almost everything the other two phones have, and more.

This phone has a touch screen, and a firm fold out to reveal a full keyboard which is far larger than the blackberry one.  It can already be tethered to your computer to provide internet access like the new iPhone will do.  The whole thing is open source with some great app developers with some wicked apps for things like telling you what some is playing, telling you the constelations in the stars – or where a planet is in the sky, scanning a barcode and quickly telling you the best prices online, lots and lots of games, and much more!

It seems like remarkable timing on Google’s part to release their phone in three days from today – literally as I’m breaking down and finally seriously contemplating getting a phone.  Maybe – it was meant to be?