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back to article Peeved HTC smartphone owners offer bounty for driver fix

A website is offering HTC smartphone customers a $3000 financial reward if they're able to solve a series of graphics and related issues affecting the company's recent handsets, allegedly caused by missing or poorly performing hardware drivers. The organisers of the HTCClassAction.org claim that the problem, which concerns …

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Sae old, same old

It's precisely this type of issue that caused me to give up on my Sharp Zaurus a while back. Cute hardware but software was so flawed that it seemed to be impossible to just find a distro that would a) recognise my wireless card, b) work in encrypted mode c) run a decent web browser. Even with the "open source" solutions, there appeared to be no people interested in producing solid solutions, just the next piece of eye-candy.

An ex gadget freak.

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Lazy HTC

Their phones seem to be designed on a production line with little or no love or thought for the end user.

The fact that they seem to announce a new model every month which has one or more features different to the last model suggests they don't spend anywhere near enough time on the device software. It's partly to keep the operators happy and give them choice.

I'm not surprised they don't bother to support the ATI acceleration. Writing the driver would take time. They'd sooner use tried and tested generic drivers.

It's a shame as the HTC Typhoon and Tornado phones were great.

It's fairly easy to see how Apple revolutionised the industry. Have one well designed, well performing and desirable product with a good profit margin. No need for 20 different models.

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They've got a point.

Can't fault their logic, really.

Come on HTC, if a simple software update will make your flagship devices work better, why /not/ do it?

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Flame

Hmmm

Odd that this subject hasn't already been raised on the likes of Modaco.com? I've posted a link to this story there, raise the profile a bit... In the meantime I've both signed the petition and emailed HTC. Wondering if anything will become of that...

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K
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My mate's HTC Touch Dual is barely half the speed of my HTC Touch

...despite having double the processor speed and double the memory. Everything about it is sluggish. I feel pretty awful for having talked my workmate into buying one.

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Blame the Fins

Maybe they're just copying Nokia who also seem to rush out good hardware but with buggy software that never quite gets sorted before the next model comes along with some other random mix of features. It's a good way of maintaining turnover. After all, if a phone did everything well then there would be no need to upgrade.

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Have they never heard of "Try before you buy"?

These people really should have tried out this product before buying it. I know people will expect updates, but really, you can't rely on those to be forthcoming. If Product v1.0 doesn't do exactly what you want, you're better off either waiting for Product v1.1 or buying something else.

You wouldn't buy a car with a duff engine with the idea in your head that the manufacturer will fix it for you for free at a later time, would you?

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Hmm

Was looking to get a TyTn now my Prophet is out of contract and this has put me off somewhat - might keep an eye on how this develops before getting one.

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Unhappy

never going back

had a vario 1.., some items on the screen wouldnt display half the time, like the start button, without a memory card it needed constant soft resets, and a hard reset once a week. And it had a plethora of other bugs...

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Stu
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Class Action Lawsuit???

I'm not sure they have much of a grounding for legal recourse here.

Lets face it, the device isn't really crippled, because you can watch video and play games on it, quite well imho.

Its like taking Microsoft to court because they dont utilise 100% of the instruction and feature sets that Intel provide in their most modern CPUs and motherboards - which they most certainly dont.

Don't get me wrong, it'll be great if they could write an Imageon driver for PDA Phones, I have such a PDA Phone in the form of the HTC TyTn I, but I'm not desparate for it, video plays acceptably imho.

But hey - whatever they achieve - I welcome it. Just dont go sending HTC to the dogs for it.

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Abosutely.... correct!

I have a TyTYN II and experience exactly this, the screen rotation when opening the sliding keyboard is unbearable, hanging up on a call can take several 2nd's.. love the design, love the features, but the useability really sucks!

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Anonymous Coward

I have a tytn ii

The hardware is absolutely wonderful, allegedly, but is crippled by the crappy generic drivers.

It's akin to running a decent graphics card with the fallback VGA driver in Windows. What's the point of the good hardware if it isn't used? Battery life suffers too, especially when using multimedia apps.

I'm not buying a HTC phone again - i'll wait for a decent Android or Openmoko to become available here.

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Unhappy

(3 yr old) HTC wizard out-performs the Tytn II

MY old HTC Wizard out-performs my Tytn II varient for video, camera, IE scrolling and touch screen

The Tytn II is seriously flawed owing to lack of decent drivers with proper hardware acceleration. As it is just check out the various video's on YouTube.

You'll see the issues everyone is reporting

HTC of course is silent. Some of their support deny there is a problem, some say they know about it. Some even state a fix might be being worked on

Meanwhile no official statement ... just new HTC products .. which also seem to suffer similar

For what is supposed to be a premium product it's very poor. Almost as if HTC cut corners to save development costs. The hardware is capable, it's let down by poor drivers and software

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Good Work HTC!

Keep it up HTC and expect the next generation business school students to to read about your managemnet blunders resulting from your total disregard for your customers, the people who really sign your paychecks, in future MBA program text books.

HT, Peter, Cher will soon share the spotlight with the "Who Gives a Damm?" Hall of Shame along along with EuroDisney, Firestone , the Denver International Airport, Quaker Brothers, Shell, Brent Spar and Sony.

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Unhappy

Yeah well, I'm waiting for copy and paste on my iPhone

At least you probably have a copy and paste feature implemented. My iPhone can't copy and past, or sync notes, and doesn't have a ToDo app. Figured in the Feb. update they'd add that. Nope. Just some stuff I don't need (well simulated GPS is probably going to be useful at some point.)

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shoddy wireless needs fixing too

hey, can we also have a bounty for fixing the wireless too. stick these devices on proper EAP (WPA-Enterprise) networks that have features such as CCX and WMM enabled and they dont like it much

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Lack of drivers have driven us to this!

The first time I heard about the HTC Kaiser (TYTN2/MDA Vario III) was in an email from HTC describing the handset as:

"More powerful than any mobile communications device you've seen before"

See advert here: http://www.htc.com/product/03-product_tytn_II.htm

As a technology geek who is always looking out for the latest must have gadget the specification and manufacturers description of the Kaiser made me think it was a perfect replacement for my XDA Orbit (HTC P3300)

My first impressions when I saw it in the flesh were - OK it's a little bulky and isn't the lightest handset I could have purchased for over £400 BUT the features packed into it make thoughts of size and weight disappear immediately.

I fired it up and my enthusiasm continued as the Kaiser seemed so much faster than my previous handset. I was really happy with my purchase until I opened the keyboard. The Kaiser automatically changes orientation from portrait to landscape, but I never expected the delay that followed. It felt like I could climb and descend Everest before returning home to make a cup of tea, only to find i had some spare time left to write a concerto before it had finished rotating (ok, it's not that bad, but you get the idea!)

My attentions then turned to the "3 megapixel CMOS color camera with auto focus"

I was very interested to see the dramatic improvement the extra 1MP offered over my XDA Orbit so I hit the camera button. I was indoors at the time and the camera didn't seem to like this at all. The display lagged BIG TIME making it impossible to get the shot I wanted. On the majority of shots I ended up with a 3MP unrecognisable blur. Where better light was available it did improve but there is still a big delay often making me miss the shot I want ESPECIALLY if there is any movement in the shot.

I have played a few 3D games but the lag and slow responses of the screen often make them unplayable.

For the latest most powerful handset it also shows a lack of response on the home screen - even with few programs running.

So overall my impressions were - good phone, but whats with the lag? I refer you back to the HTC Kaiser marketing:

"More powerful than any mobile communications device you've seen before"

If HTC expect their customers to take marketing of their future handsets seriously then they need to listen to what we are saying here and on many forums.

As HTC customers we collectively spend a lot of money on our handsets and we are the life blood of their business. If HTC want our custom in the future they need to consider the impact of leaving us with the impression that they are happy to take our money then leave us with an inferior product.

I hope for their sake and the future development of otherwise great products that they resolve this driver issue.

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Terrible!! Terrible !!

Its a real shame, with all the hype for this phone at the early stages of its release and end up with a sluggish pisce of S##T..... I used to use my camera on my old SE K800 nearly every day for work and yes it had an excellent flash but this HTC can barely take a stable picture !! You need a tipod !

Typing in phone numbers is also a pain and should work fine but no......... several emails direct to HTC customer services since Nov to now and not one single response other than someone will get in contact with you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh Fu#k em........

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Anonymous Coward

seen this on the forums months ago

...and laughed. How we laughed. At least me, with my "out of date" xda orbit, and my mate, with his "out of date" htc prophet did.

Bitterness at watching the best ROM tweakers decamp to the latest and greatest hardware turned to schadenfreude as the plaintive threads from users of devices with these badly written video drivers mounted up.

with the issues reported I'm glad I couldn't afford to upgrade!

ha, ha.

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Alien

Get a life

Where do these people get time to worry about crap like this!

buy a decent phone like a Sony Ericsson and stop whinging

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RE: Get a life

I was rempted to get an SE phone, but I absolutely hate the buttons on them

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Paris Hilton

Stupid excuses

For the individual who made a car analogy, the difference *is* that you can take it for a test drive, and have a reasonable expectation of testing the main features (engine, brakes, steering, comfort). How many mobile phone vendors will let you take a phone for a "test drive" that will allow you to test the features? None. Unless it's outright "not fit for the purpose" (of making calls), you have no recourse.

As for the other people saying that HTC don't have to supply decent drivers, there are plenty of people who buy a piece of hardware according to the specification. And if you do that, you have reasonable expectation that the hardware will perform according to the commonly-accepted level of functionality for that hardware, not be crippled by a bad implementation.

[Paris, because anyone who comes up with those excuses is well-suited for her]

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@get a life

S/e phones are good only if you either want a camera, or a music player. It does not have the features to compete with smartfones. Your comment is rather pointless and adds nothing.

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great comments

I loved reading some of these comments. People who hate the iPhone, consider the latest round of FREE feature additions to the EXISTING phones....

Apple is updating the phones thru software. No need for a NEW phone, just improve your old phone. ---- OH wait, you bought a HTC gizmo rich and programming poor phone and the only way to improve is to BUY a new phone.

OH, you poor soul. Enjoy your new, new, new , new phone, phone, phone........ :-)

en

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Boffin

Happened before

Well, this isn't the first time a drivers blues have ever emerged from HTC. The original HTC TyTN was plagued by a particular ATI Imageon driver bug that causes TCPMP and various other applications that have ATI Imageon optimizations to fail. And oh, the secondary camera is only accessible using a proprietary HTC SDK which they're refusing to give out unless you sign their NDA. This obviously stiffles mobile video conferencing over the internet.

I won't be surprised if some of the XDA-Developers folks are hard at work to put out an unofficial patch already. The said Imageon issue with the original TyTN was solved very shortly after discovery by an XDA-Developer member who developed an unofficial patch. I'm using it, and it does work albeit not perfectly - a bit of glitching is still visible on the video. But at least it's not the whole screen going amok to the point where I have to soft reset now.

That said, anyone willing to try to hack their original TyTN to get the onboard but disabled GPS chip working again? The folks at XDA-Developers gave up because the chip appeared to have been disabled at hardware level (read, cut connections, missing antenna connections) during manufacturing.

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TyTN II issues ARE real

Thank you so very much for this story! I found you by surfing the internet looking for a fix. Your story is the next best thing!

I researched for 6 months before buying my newest PDA/Phone, and I chose the HTC TyTN II . My last was a 6 year old Compaq. My 6 year old Compaq running windows CE is faster at a lot of things (like QUake) than my TyTN II !!!!!!!!!!!!

On paper, the TyTN II was everything I wanted, and I mean EVERYthing I wanted. I ended up spending about $1000 US to buy one imported, because I did not want AT&T's version called the Tilt.

Within the first few minutes of using my new device, my heart started sinking further and further. Believe me, the display issues are very, VERY real.

The worst part about it is that my 6 year old Ipaq outperforms the TyTN II in some ways and that is just beyond ridiculous.

How a company such as HTC could knowingly allow such a promising device to be released without driver support is in my opinion beyond unacceptable. There is absolutely no way these issues could be missed, I mean NO WAY at all, yet HTC chose to sell it this way.

Unbelievable.

Please, get your hands on one for yourself and try it for a day or 2. You will completely understand.

HTC claims that the TyTN II is a rich multimedia experience blah blah blah. What is IN FACT is a clunky, slow and frustrating experience.

Thank you again for your article. I am glad that there are people like you who care about us, the consumer.

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glad to see

that this is finally getting in some headlines - htc needs a swift kick up the arse - they used the msm7200 chipset in a few of their phones and falsely advertised them - yes they have hardware accelerated graphics but the hardware hasnt been activated (the drivers dont use the hardware), rendering them utterly useless for things such as video playback or games.

being an owner of a tytnII i am mightly p!ssed off.

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re: Stupid excuses

"How many mobile phone vendors will let you take a phone for a "test drive" that will allow you to test the features? None."

What about all those high street mobile phone shops that have rows of working phones out for you to play with? iPhones, Nokias, Sony Ericssons, Samsungs etc.

My girlfriend was interested in a Samsung phone, so we went into a shop and asked to have a look at one. After a couple of seconds of looking at the build quality and a couple of minutes of trying to figure out how to write a text it was immediately written off.

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Re: Stupid excuses

I have this phone and whole heartedly agree that there is an issue with the video display on these devices. I used to have a TyTn and had encoded various films to work on that device, all of which worked fine. I copied them onto the new phone and can't play them back at any decent framerate (I get about 1 frame per 2 seconds). And it's not just films it affects, everything relating to the display of graphics on this device runs slow, be it scrolling past a pic in IE, trying (in vain I might add) to use the camera or looking through your pictures. And that's NOT an exhaustive list of issues.

In response to 'What about all those high street mobile phone shops that have rows of working phones out for you to play with? iPhones, Nokias, Sony Ericssons, Samsungs etc', I have to say I live in Nottingham in the UK. I've been to EVERY mobile phone retailer within the city centre (about 20), all of which were unable to show me these hands-on as such as nobody keeps these in-store. It's all well and good saying you can test a Samsung or SE phone at the shop, but they don't retail at the same rates as the TyTnII.

I used to have a TyTn, the video playback was flawed but nowhere near as bad as this problem. My TyTnII however can't go back because I've had to sign up for an 18 month contract which I can't back out of without paying it off.

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Unhappy

Reg's "TYTNic" quip seems correct

Or maybe they should have called the TyTN 2 the "Kobayashi Maru console" - highly advanced, but doomed to a no-win scenario.

Pity.... I had spent the last month looking around at a lot of shops here in Singapore (who do NOT have live/working demonstrators, generally) and had just about settled on the TyTN 2 over the Nokia 6110 or N95. Reading this story, and especially the htcclassaction.org site is causing me to reconsider. I was hoping that somebody would build a nice 3G phone with a good camera, decent organizer and camera, and what I'm seeing here is a lot of dealers trying to present Nokia as the 'lowest risk' solution. Having had a first-gen N70, I'm not as amenable to that line as I once might have been, but still... can't anybody else get it right?

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