Just goes to show it was possible and them saying the phone "doesn't have enough RAM" was just laziness.
HTC has hastily backtracked on yesterday's announcement that Desire owners won't get Gingerbread, announcing today that the Android 2.3 update will go ahead after all. Posting on its Facecrack page, the Taiwanese mobile giant said simply: "Contrary to what we said earlier, we are going to bring Gingerbread to HTC Desire." HTC …
Actually Giles, they never said RAM, they said memory. El Reg were the ones who thought memory = RAM (n00bs!).
If RAM was the issue, the Desire Z, which is scheduled for Gingerbread + Sense this month, would be in trouble, it only has 512meg of RAM whilst the original Desire has 576meg.
I believe the issue (if it was technical, and not laziness) is/was with the flash storage, the Desire only has half a gig, the Desire Z has 1.5.
It just isn't
It doesn't matter if the storage is NAND flash or battery backed up DRAM, it's still distinct from memory because of the way it's addressed. Data on storage always has to travel via memory before it is accessed by the CPU.
So if the base 512Mb of Flash in the HTC desire is directly addresed over a memory bus then it is memory. If it is accessed over a storage interface then it is storage. If the code in that Flash can be directly run on the CPU without being paged into RAM then it is memory, if it can't then it's storage.
No matter what the M stands for.
I am going to have to put my patent attorney hat on here...
your colloquialism based analysis is not quite correct
Flash is a form of EEPROM, where the final M stands for 'Memory', much like it does in RAM
As it happens, all memory is a form of storage.
thus, HTC can legitimately call the issue a lack of memory, allbeit Read Only Memory, not Random Access Memory.
that is all.
I'm so glad to see I'm not the last to refer to memory as RAM and flash / hard drives etc as storage! I'm so tired of seeing supposed tech. companies using the term memory when they mean flash storage and confusing the issue. Sometimes their specification pages make it difficult to distinguish which they're referring to
When you're talking about flash storage, it's also valid to refer to it as flash memory, since that's what we call it at the hardware level. Don't believe me - go take a look at the datasheets for pretty much any flash IC, or any IC which contains embedded flash, and tell me what word the manufacturers themselves use to describe their devices...
Granted, at the consumer level it's a bit confusing, especially after years of trying to educate the average PC user that RAM isn't the same as hard drive space, but to anyone who works with flash devices it'd be entirely understandable why HTC would have used the M word in this context.
Then again, most of us who work with the stuff regularly tend to just refer to it as "flash", which makes me wonder if the comments from HTC got a bit distorted somewhere between the engineers who came up with the original explanation and the PR bods who released it into the big wide world - I can easily imagine the conversation between someone in HTC PR and HTC Engineering:
PR: "hey Joe, in this email you sent about the Desire not running Gingerbread, why would the camera be an issue?"
PR: "yeah, you said it can't run Gingerbread because the flash isn't big enough"
Eng: "Oh... no, not that flash, the flash memory"
PR: "Ah, right, that makes more sense"
*tappity tap* press release goes out using the M word...
You mean Flash, as in Flash memory, as opposed to Read Only Memory and Random Access Memory...
See the problem?
Your original article translated "memory" to RAM, which is dodgy at best, especially when dealing with non technical press releases from someone at HTC who probably doesn't have English as a first language! Chinese whispers in its most literal form.
Best to avoid using the word "memory", as it is completely misused by world + dog.
Unless Sense is a massive resource hog, 512MB of storage should be fine - the Sony Ericsson Arc has 512MB storage (and 512MB memory) and that runs Gingerbread fine - default install has 320MB storage remaining (so Gingerbread and Sony Ericsson's pre installed apps are using about 190MB).
It's not so much the amount of Flash but how it's partitioned. 512mb is more than enough for OS+Sense+bundled crapware but the OS+Sense actually has to fit into the /system partition, usually allocated with only a little slop for it's initial shipping OS. There could be gigabytes of free space elsewhere, it wouldn't help.
Not a big problem if you're prepared to repartition the Flash but doing it non-destructively is challenging and it's risky enough you wouldn't want to do it on an OTA update. And it takes space from somewhere else, bad news if that's user space.
It might be more accurate to guess HTCs previous choices in partitioning made a normal upgrade impossible. I suspect a rough ride for many users unless HTC find some really good hacks. Freeing space is easy enough, just symlink things like /data/local to sdcard but its hard to avoid repartitioning.
... made Sense UI use what it really needs, it'd be a start. Try running Andriod Assistant on a stock HTC Desire and wonder why, when it frees up as much as 130MB of RAM, you never see that in the User pool - it's locked for System use and the amount reported in Setting>SD & Phone Storage never shifts.
For example, I've got one here and AndAsst currently shows Used:304MB, Free 111MB Total 415MB, but the system reports 26MB available on the internal storage.
If they got to grips with the memory load of Sense, gave it what it needs rather than some vague stab in the dark figure allocated and locked by a default HTC build, have it flush old items from the System caches, or even had a crack at coding a dynamic shift of RAM between System and User into their ROMs, then most Desires should get around 50-80MB more User storage to play with. Locking enough RAM to run seven home screens stuffed with loads of active widgets should be a User-side memory load, but even users who only have static app icons suffer because the RAM is locked for Sense.
... without all the uninstallable shovelware it comes with. If I want twitter (I don't) or maps (I do) then I'll install the latest version from the market and not lose several meg of precious flash storage to the factory-installed version whenever it needs updating. This would alleviate the limitations of onboard flash if that's really what was preventing Gingerbread + Sense.
Is the Shovelware still a feature of later HTC androids?
You can install Gingerbread without Sense and have no issues.
To install Gingerbread with Sense you need an EXT3/4 partition, as there is no room for apps.
If HTC release with Sense, they might require a section of your memory card been used for ALL apps or more likely they will strip out much of Sense.
Perhaps they decided that only 9 months update support was Dire.
I would expect at least two years worth of updates, minimum (many people are on 24 month contracts) and I would like at least 3 years Like other (i) manufacturers.
I am still concerned that they even thought about terminating the product updates so soon, and will consider heavily before I purchase HTC again, knowing that they expect my phone to expire so soon.
If/When a phone does reach EoL they should just make vanilla updates available, pretty much straight from Google. This way at least security issues will be patched with minimum fuss.
All of those moaning biddies on Facebook must feel like they have overthrow a middle eastern dictatorship they way they are going on! I have a desire Hd and it has the official HTC version of gingerbread on it. To be honest, it doesn't bring anything new in terms of features and i can't say that the power management is any better than froyo in day to day usage. It's a small victory
@Steve and Tony
Last time I checked, flash was both memory and randomly accessible. So the mistake was in your assumption rather than what anybody called it.
Anyone with a desire will instantly know it means internal storage as there is barely enough room for any apps as it is.
The flash cells may indeed be randomly accessible *for reads*. They may even be configured for direct code execution, for anyone willing to take the several hundred times speed hit. They aren't ever actually individually write accessible, though the interface may pretend otherwise.
In reality 99.99% of Flash actually sits behind a controller that presents a block device interface to clients. Meaning they only provide random access storage in the same way that a disk drive is random access storage. In phones, it's all configured as block device storage, not RAM.
I'm seriously thinking about going down the mod route as I don't really rate the whole Froyo + Sense mash up anyway. "My Desire" (to quote Electric Six) is playing up badly too many times at the mo'.
I keep finding the backlight won't stay on properly, it keeps dropping my email setup, the memory gets hogged by background apps I don't want running AND the bloody HTC & Google location services keep coming on when I've disabled or force closed them. Ras'n'fras'n'HTC'n'Google'n'thing!
BUT I"LL NEVER GET AN EYEFONE!! Sorry about that. It's not an Apple thing it's a something else thing. Apps n such. I hate paying for things that everyone else can get for free.
I'm from Yorkshire, wadda you expect.
Seriously - I'm surprised that anyone reading this site is still using the stock rom anyway.
Root using Unrevoked > Choose a rom that supports A2SD or Data2Wherever > Partion Card Accordingly > Flash Rom.
Oxygen is good for the plain 2.3.4 look, MIUI with D2W is good for a more polished interface, or there are plenty of Sense based roms - Starburst is nice and works great with the Data2Ext scripts - you can have anything up to 2GB internal storage. I usually go for 1GB.
HTC were probably right. This is going to get really messy for non-rooted stock users.
A Fresh install of stock froyo with HTC Sense on a Desire leaves you with about 140meg free to install apps. This doesn't go far - install a few big apps like google earth and that soon disappears. Of course, you can move some apps so SD using the Froyo method, but most people don't know this so won't bother.
So what happens when you try to push an even bigger version of Sense to them? The install will fail, users confused and annoyed, wondering where they can't update thier phone or have to delete their apps to get it working again.
Of course, Rooters and Modders already know that you can install App2Sd or Data2Wherever - right now I have MIUI running with 1GB of interal memory using an EXT 3 Partion - but that involves - rooting the phone, partitioning a card correctly, downloading and installing a rom - not really ideal for non techys eh?
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