GEEK! has been placed on an indefinite hold for the foreseeable future as I've ran out of time to keep it up to date. For the mean time it will remain alive at this address in archive form. You can reach me via @geekonthepc. Thanks to everyone who read and got involved with the site! Who knows - when I get the chance I might start posting again! Wish me luck at Oxford Brookes University studying Mobile Computing! :)
HTC have just released a software update for the Sensation and Sensation XE. The update, which is described as an “enhancement” update is around 60MB in size and takes around 5 minutes to install. It is listed as version number 3.33.401.6 for the Sensation and 3.33.401.106 for the Sensation XE.
HTC have been rather vague in any improvements/updates that have been implemented. As far as I can see, these are the changes:
The “Android is upgrading” phase that occurs when rebooting the phone from ‘cold’ has been removed. The phone no longer attempts to optimize apps when starting up. This appears to have drastically improved boot time – now around 20 seconds from power on.
The autocorrect keyboard has had fixes implemented now meaning it works properly again with apps such as Twitter (it stopped working after the initial release of ICS for the devices).
Spelling corrections in the UI – e.g. “develop option” now rewritten as “developer options” in the Settings menu.
The device now responds much faster from sleep – the initial release of ICS left the device taking 2-3 seconds to respond to a wake-from-sleep request in some instances.
Bluetooth streaming appears to have improved on my initial tests – the bitrate of Bluetooth streams was dreadful with the initial release of ICS but now seems to be better, although only time will tell if this is actually the case.
ADDED: My phone no longer spontaneously reminds me every so often that it is up to date and that no updates are available.
However, some users are already reporting major issues with Wi-Fi on some devices since the update. According to some users, Wi-Fi will no longer connect properly (especially over longer ranges). I’m not personally experiencing the issue but will report back if I start to run into issues.
Most stock Sensation/XE users should be able to update OTA now. If you’re using a network supplied phone, it may be a little while longer before you receive the update.
Sometimes with Windows, I come across issues where I can’t delete files on my hard drive because I “don’t have permission” to delete them. I typically tend to come across the issue after Windows has installed Windows updates – I end up with garbled folders that I can’t modify or remove.
Thankfully, there is a solution. I’ve come across a program called Unlocker – which is a Windows extension that forces files to delete even if your user can’t.
It’s free and can be downloaded here. Use it with care (don’t remove any files by mistake), but it can be a great tool for removing temporary files.
Reports are starting to flood in to the official HTC UK facebook page that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available as an OTA update for stock (unbranded) HTC Sensation handsets in the UK – at last!
I haven’t got anything on my Sensation XE at the moment so I can only assume that right now it’s only rolling out for the Sensation but stayed tuned for more info.
If you have an HTC Sensation phone in the UK, check for updates now!
Update 2.21pm: A whole bunch of others have also said they can now see the update on their UK Sensation phones.
For many months now I’ve been looking for some good value tracking software to install on my netbook and (potentially) my portable devices. As much as I hope my netbook never gets stolen – you can never be sure what might happen and it’s better to be prepared.
It was only today that I’ve finally found the answer. It’s called Prey. It’s an open-source piece of kit that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, that’s the last you’ll see of it. Make sure when you install it to select the option not to install start menu shorcuts as it will make the software harder to find by an thief.
From here onwards, all of your settings for the program will be managed online. Log onto your account at the program’s website, and you’ll be presented with a handful of useful properties.
For example, you can get the program to take logs of any wi-fi networks it’s connected to, together with pictures from any connected webcam and screenshots of your display. These are then summarised in reports that are emailed direct to your inbox for your viewing pleasure. Believe me – you’ll be astonished at what it’ll pick up.
I happen to think this is an essential for anybody with a laptop that they care about – the software is totally FREE and could help you (and the police) in what would otherwise be a relatively hopeless situation. The program won’t hamper your computer’s performance at all (using just 5MB of RAM in Windows) and you’ll forget you’ve even installed it.