A week ago I was on the verge of throwing my HTC Desire HD in the bin when an unexpected saviour came along. A number of niggles had cropped up in a very short period of time, seemingly beyond repair, and I was at the end of my proverbial tether.
First there was HTC’s News widget, which absolutely refused to update. It was stuck displaying news from two weeks ago. I’m sure you can imagine how that might become slightly annoying; a bit like Groundhog Day but without the laughs. Especially when you consider that the last story it chose to display concerned a suicide bombing. Oh dear.
Just to clarify, under Settings > Accounts and Sync, I had a tick beside Background Data, meaning: “Applications can sync, send, and receive data at any time”. Hear that, News? Any time you like. Any time.
I had also tried simply staring at the widget for 30 seconds. This technique seems to do the trick with the Facebook and People widgets, which don’t – unlike, say, Weather – have a dedicated refresh button.
I looked online and it seemed to be a fairly common problem with HTC News, which can sometimes be resolved by going into the app and tapping Menu then Refresh. But that's not the way it's supposed to work, goddamnit.
I removed the widget, then went into Settings > Applications > Manage Applications to clear the data. Surely that’d do the trick?
Nope. The problem only got worse. I was unable to add the widget (I could tick news feeds but the Select button was apparently defunct) and attempting to open the News application merely brought up a white screen for a brief moment. Excellent. And that was pretty much where I gave up on HTC’s News widget.
Next up: Twitter. The widget informed me that I wasn’t signed in. Ok, so all I had to do was open the app, enter my email address and password, then the widget would kick in, right?
Wrong. On opening the Twitter app, the message “Signing in” was displayed with a spinning wheel. Indefinitely. No amount of rebooting helped. I even tried Advanced Task Killer in desperation, but no cigar. No Twitter widget – or app – for me then. Fantastic. My only option was to go to the full Twitter site on t’interweb; so 2008.
I should point out that the Twitter problem was largely (i.e. entirely) caused by my faffing around with SIM cards. I was in the process of moving to giffgaff, and swapping SIMs necessitates signing back into Gmail and Twitter, among other things.
Still, surely I should be able to move to another network without losing Twitter capabilities? Is that too much to ask in 2011?
Just to push me over the edge – not that this one is Android or HTC’s fault – one of my Words With Friends games became corrupt. To this day, it sits under the Your Move heading, but I’m unable to lay or swap tiles, pass or resign. Brilliant. Serves me right for bigging it up so my much in my review.
But, as I mentioned a few hundred words ago, an unexpected saviour arrived one evening last week. Who was my knight in shining armour? Only Gingerbread, Android 2.3.3.
Not only is my HTC Desire HD’s performance significantly slicker, but HTC News and Twitter are playing ball again. Not that I really use either of them much, but - y’know - it’s the principal of the thing.