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back to article Vodafone won't act on customers' HTC Desires

Customer anger over Vodafone UK's unwanted Desire app update is receiving national coverage and has its own Web 2.0 campaign, while other customers who merely wish to stream video are still being asked to wait patiently. These two issues are of great importance to a small number of customers, but while the Desire update is …

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FAIL

Vodafone have also borked and bodged the HTC Legend

Vodafone have also recently rolled out a very broken firmware to the HTC Legend based on firmware that even HTC themselves pulled from their own update servers. Plenty of details can be found over on the Vodafone HTC forums.

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FAIL

Too Big

yeah I was pleasantly surprised to get any update for my legend - I'm used to Nokias on Voda where having the 2 huge companies together mean that nothing happens - but the pleasure didn't last long.

I thought he voda forum actually happened because they were so big that someone sneaked it on and didn't tell management.

Unfortunately it seems that management have heard of it now (even if their call centre staff haven't) and so close down any useful posts or dissent.

The recession needs to hit them harder so they become more innovative and responsive.

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Anonymous Coward

Churn

That's why I left Sprint. They started plonking annoying banner ads at the top of menus which I couldn't disable on my Samsung Instinct. When I contacted them complaining of their newly installed spam-conduit, they essentially said 'tough luck'.

So, I'm now with Verizon and have a Droid X. With Android being a more open platform, I'm pretty sure that I'll be kill any such problems, although they haven't come up yet.

Voting with your feet is tough in this time of 2 year contracts. Luckily the timing worked for me.

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erm...

Wasn't Android meant to be the best thing since sliced bread?

(Installing unremovable apps lol. And people still berate the iPhone and Apple's grip over the networks! Maybe the average Android user is worth less to the networks.....)

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Alert

Vodafone Pours Spam On My Desire

"Wasn't Android meant to be the best thing since sliced bread?"

It is. This has got nothing to do with Android it has got everything to do with Vodafone.

Android is just fine ... which is why users are a bit upset that a service provider has installed software on their phones without consent or warning. The delivery of 360 apps via a "system" update is nothing more than a Trojan Horse.

The 360 apps don't even work! So I'm stuck with their junk in my apps list with zero benefit to me.

Even with Vodafone's malware I would still have an Android phone over a Jesus phone any day of the week.

Someone on the Vodafone forums has started a campaign to fine a Vodafone user who uses and likes 360. He is still looking ...

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I entirely agree

> The 360 apps don't even work!

This is the amazing thing about Vodafone. They can't even spam up your phone right. Not one of the handsets I've had from VF has ever shipped with all it's pre-installed crapware working. They release firmware updates months and months after every other carrier, yet they don't seem to bother testing them. I honestly can't work out what they're doing all that time.

I had a C905 off them just as it got released and every single VF-installed app didn't work to some degree or other - most didn't even load, and those that did were so buggy as to be unusable. Then I had a Satio and over half of those apps didn't work either. I haven't even loaded any of the rubbish they put on my Legend, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if most of that was faulty. In fact, I'd be amazed if it wasn't.

I sometimes wonder what the QA team at Vodafone do all day. I'm not joking when I say I've seen three-year-olds with better quality control than the world's largest telecommunications company.

On the other hand, their network coverage (at least where I am) is a lot better than Orange or O2.

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How?

But Android is an 'open' operating system. I'm puzzled as to how Vodafone is stopping anyone from uninstalling its crapware.

If carriers have such godlike control over Android phones, Android's major selling point over the locked-down iPhone (to me at least) becomes non-existent.

For all that I dislike the authoritarianism Apple exerts over its users, I'd rather have Jobs as my oppressor than these scummy mobile phone operators.

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IT Angle

orange

Anyone have any idea when orange will be updating their desires to 2.2?

[Im hoping that orange wont be as stupid as voda]

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Go

re: Orange

Orange have said they should get the 2.2 update out later this month, but if you spend a few mins looking around on forums it's pretty easy to do the update yourself and well worth it- no need to even worry whether Orange are going to package all their junk into the update and the speed and battery life improvements are well worth it.

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Don't hold your beath

My last smartfone from Orange had just the same non-removable crudware: unwanted but non-deletable bookmarks and the like.

Fortunately I managed to upgrade the firmware to the original unbranded version and get rid of their preconceived ideas about what I was interested in.

Then I found out about Orange's commitment to professional customer service and, purely on the strength of that, left them.

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Stop

No Idea When, but 100% certain it will be crud laden.

I debranded as soon as I got mine, and got the over the air update last week. Its the best move in my opinion. If you got your phone from a generic store like CW then it'll be generic by default. so don't worry about it not working!

You may need to unlock the phone which can be done for about 15 squids.

Stop Icon as a message to mobile operators!

Its about time someone started a data network without all the crud. kinda like the bbc is to tv.

these god damn awful customisations cant be bringing that much money into an operator can they?? not when they have to update the versions every two months or so? surely they must go.

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MrT
Bronze badge

PocketLint reports these dates>

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/34654/htc-desire-android-froyo-update

~HTC+4 weeks: Orange

'Weeks not months': Voda

End of September: O2

'End of Summer': 3

'September': T-Mob

TechRadar have a quote from HTC:

"Operator specific versions of the update are undergoing testing and we expect to make them available in several weeks' time,"

So, between 4 and 8 weeks for most.

Question is, why so long? My Desire is from T-Mob and basically is standard HTC with the exception of a T-Mobile splash-screen when starting the device (hardly ever seen because it doesn't need restarting that much), a T-Mob theme for Sense, plus the usual voicemail/3G connectivity stuff - it's not even nobbled by a system-wide proxy like my previous HTC WinMo handsets, so it switches seamlessly between various wireless systems. I do not want a handset that is suddenly cluttered with all sorts of rubbish, pink and grey icons everywhere...

Just in case, has anyone got the details of how to flash the generic HTC firmware without rooting? At least that's only one step removed from the vanilla firmware. Or do we all just kick the networks out, root the phones and build to our own liking? I guess the networks are relying on people just shrugging their shoulders and putting up with the junk like before.

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FAIL

Good to see tradition being upheld

It's certainly a tradition of carriers to royally f*ck up the phones they sell. If it's not blocking off voip apps and removing mapping features on an 'upgrade' it's putting dodgy 'improvements' on the phone that they then can't be bothered to upgrade to the latest baseline when it comes out.

Very happy with my nexus one, brought sim free from the google store. No carriers or phone manufacturers to get in the way with their 'improvements' and break it.

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FAIL

while not quite so bad

Vodafone also sent out an update for the HTC Legend which, although spamless, did manage to break the default SMS app in such a way that it now refuses to jump to the most recently received message, meaning a lot (LOT) of scrolling is needed to get to the message that has just arrived.

It's not the end of the world, but it's quite annoying. Vodafone, when I contacted them, denied the issue existed. Despite it being mentioned on their very own forums and quite well represented by a quick look on Mr Page and Mr Brin's Patented Searching Engine.

Sure, I can install Handcent or ChompSMS or any number of other third party apps, but I like the default one.

Oh, and blocking unwanted mentions of broken stuff is pretty much par for the course on Vodafone's forums. They are spectacularly uninformed and unable to help over there - even the CSRs on the phones think the forum staff are useless - and by the standards of Vodafone's telephone support, that's really saying something.

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Grenade

Breach of contract?

Does it clearly state in Vodafone's (or any other network) contracts they can push their branding shit on customers? Whenever you have a phone issue, networks arealways quick to tell you handsets and contracts are separate and they're only interested in your line rental.

Customers should get legal on VF and other networks that try to pull the software and blocking where the contract doesn't mention it at all.

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FAIL

PAC

I have been with VF for 10 years. For the most part they were OK. Two things in the past 3 months caused me to leave. The first was the going from "unlimited" to a 500mb a month data allowance. At least O2 had the decency of only limiting new customers. VF retrospectively did it to all customers, no bill reduction nothing.

The second was the mess they have made of the vodafone.net mail, voicemail and fax migration. Previously I had a phone number and a separate number used for voicemail and faxes, which got emailed to my vodafone.net. Less than a months notice of the vodafone.net accounts (less than 2 weeks if you wanted the mails forwarded to vf360) and no word of what happens the the voicemail and fax services. In the end they were switched of a few days early with no notice.

Business users want continuity of services, not stuff that gets switched of a moments notice, so that the provider can follow the latest social networking fashion with a knockoff amateur facebook clone excuse for a mail service.

All I can see with Vodafone, is a formally good quality profession network, being mercilessly ruined by an out of control marketing department.

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Unhappy

Vodafone strikes again!

Us Nexus One users had a similarly raw deal when Froyo first entered service. You would think that froyo should have been rolled out to ALL Nexus One owners but vodafone wanted changes made so it wasnt rolled out for another few weeks!

Google want to have serious words with Vodafone, after all they are the chosen premium carrier to promote the Android phones, and to be perfectly honest Vodafone are absolutely destroying it for European customers.

Get your angry comments ready for when Gingerbread arrives people!

Vodafone = poop

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Stop

Vodafone Desire users win first round

http://www.gomonews.com/vodafone-android-disaster-has-netherlands-learned-from-uk-mistake/

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FAIL

Shame

Odd that they can't remove things when we CONTINUALLY get told by Android fanbois how wonderful it is to have a phone which is theirs, is an open platform and they can do what they like with it. Apparently not huh?

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Bronze badge
Thumb Down

The reason for that is...

...because the unwanted (and very buggy) applications have been rolled into the software update. That puts them into the area of the phone which is not accessibly unless one has root access.

The self-same apps are available from the Android market, all Vodafone needed to do was to send people a text message and invite them to try them out. If people then didn't like them they would be able to uninstall without problems.

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Grenade

Yeah, whatever...

At least we don't have to use fucking iTunes.

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Stop

Re: Shame

You do know the difference between firmware and software right?

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Grenade

Not A Problem With Android.

"Odd that they can't remove things when we CONTINUALLY get told by Android fanbois how wonderful it is to have a phone which is theirs, is an open platform and they can do what they like with it. Apparently not huh?"

This has nothing to do with Android. There isn't much Android can do when Vodafone deliver spam and bugs via a trojan horse.

The phone is mine it's just Vodafone don't respect that minor fact.

Its no problem, if Vodafone don't do something I will just debrand it myself.

If you've got any phone on the Vodafone network you should be worried because they are going to roll out this junk to every device they can. They clearly don't bother testing any of their updates and their App dev team clearly haven't got a clue so you should all be worried! They want all their users getting it on via Flirtomatic! Judging by the lack of info I think that's were most of their PR people spend their time.

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lol at silly idiots

...silly idiots who still buy contract phones via networks. Until the end of the contact they own your phone, you don't so they can put whatever they want on it.

Get an unlocked, non-network linked phone and pop a sim in it. You can enjoy phones without limitations and with the latest firmware.

Its time to break the link between operator and phones, its a very bad one not in the users benefit at all.

Really when will people learn. If vodaphone tried they on me I would launch a misuse of computer act on them, if streaming didnt work then take the phone back and go shit crazy! They only want your money not you!

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Bronze badge

Speading incorrect information...

...is the mark of someone who hasn't researched it.

Vodafone do *not* own your phone, they sell you an airtime contract and the phone is your property from day one. If the firmware wasn't branded at sale time, they have no right to do so at a later date.

There are several press releases stating that Vodafone were not branding the Desire, and indeed asking them at purchase time in many different stores and their staff elicited the response that they had not branded it and would not do so in the future. That means that Trading Standards can be involved, and as you say the CMA probably applies.

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Anonymous Coward

one thing about Android though

People hate Windows Mobile but at least with WM you are "root" and you don't need to hack your phone to access the file system. and remove applications. Most of the Apple fanbois' comments here are misguided but still there is some truth in the fact that Android shields the user from accessing the basic system housekeeping stuff unless you hack the phone to be root.

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Black Helicopters

A while ago

I got fancy phone on contract with T-mobile didn't do what all the manufacturer advertised and had nothing in their adverts to say that was the case.

When I contacted them I got "We do not support that."

IANAL but kicked up false advertising and not fit for purpose fuss and got refund + cancelled contract. May be worth a try for those that are really pissed off.

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This sort of thing is just...

...one of the reasons why I bought my Nexus 1. I can't honestly see me ever getting a mobile from a carrier again - vanilla is just better.

A question though - if you have a privately owned Desire, and Vodaphone new about it (from the IMEI or something) would they try and update it accidentally? And if they did, where would you stand?

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Thumb Down

You know what

I set a little time aside this weekend, re-flashed my HTC Desire and am now running free of all Vodacrap branding under Froyo (which if I may say so is very nice). Sure Vodafone have screwed this up (again), sure they're treating their customer base like shit, just like they shafted us with their 500MB cap, but I've learnt from it and they'll never be getting my business again (and presumably many others), it's one of those things isn't it, no point getting annoyed, hit them where it hurts and they'll learn.

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FAIL

Idiots

I wonder how many HTC Desire users have now rooted their phone because of this?

What really hurt was that in order to install their firmware update I had to uninstall some apps to make space. Thinking I was getting Froyo, I took it on the chin.

But imagine my surprise when I found a load of crap on my phone I couldn't get rid of, which meant I couldn't install all the apps I had on my phone prior to the update!

Plain and simple, they affected the performance of my HTC Desire with the update.

If they pushed out Froyo then at least I could have moved apps to the SD Card to save space, I might even have lived with all the shite on my phone.

Instead I ended up rooting my phone, I wasn't going to, I had no intention of doing so too.

But now I have Froyo without the Vodafone mess. Mmmmm Fruity Frozen Yoghurt goodness!

BTW, don't use Goldcard nonsense to update your phone.

http://rootmydroid.co.uk/guides/desire/howto-root-your-htc-desire/

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HTC Desire

Well I am about to send a letter requesting my phone be returned to the way i purchased it or my contract be terminated due to these changes and the update not doing anything to notify me of the changes before they were made to my phone.

Consumer Direct seem to think I have a case

Based on the information supplied within your e mail I would advise that you could argue this upgrade has significantly changed the terms of your contract without your agreement as you were not given the relevant or full facts. The phone is no longer of a satisfactory quality or fit for its purpose . It would seem reasonable to request the phone is reinstated to the previous settings .

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Its no problem, if Vodafone don't do something I will just debrand it myself.

It's no problem, if Apple don't do something I will just jailbreak it myself.

I suspect, though, that Apple is rather less likely to release an update which adds bookmarks for naughty websites and breaks SMS...

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Grenade

Big Publicity

I think you missed something in your article which is pretty relevant, namely the amount of people (potential Vodafone customers) who have seen this story. I don't have a Desire, and I'm not on Vodafone, and after this I never will be. That should worry Vodafone rather more than the small number of folk who liked the facebook page.

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Pirate

Stop winging and start Hacking

To fully explore Android, you MUST have a rooted device, once this is done install Froyo yourself or settle for the network provider controlling your device, who knows where I'd be if I'd waited Froyo to be ported to my Magic? but with CM6 I am running Froyo and have been for the past month

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Boffin

Not Quiet Correct...

On the HTC Desire it is easier to install a generic HTC Rom WITHOUT rooting the phone.

Once it is generic it will get updates direct from HTC cutting out the operator. You will still get whatever apps HTC decide to put on the generic rom, but most of HTC's apps are genuine goodness, which makes for a plesant surprise.

I have to confess that when I bought the desire I expected it to be the same as the Nexus (same os an all) except it has a nicer trackball! but I was dissapointed to find how locked down it is. If I were to make the chioce again the Nexus one would be my choice. Google had it right selling an unlocked generic phone, they just didn't do a very good job of telling joe public why it was so special. its a shame they are pulling the plug.

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Boffin

Debrand without root

It is possible and quite easy to debrand the Vodafone crap off and upgrade to Froyo without rooting.

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Silver badge

Well, it's Voda users own fault

If they had actually bought their phones from Vodafone instead of leasing them from Vodafone, then they would have some say over what went on them...

Wait, what?

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Silver badge
Happy

The happiest day of my life....

....was the day I went SIM-only on my O2 contract, and started buying phones unbranded from retail channels. And O2 are one of the good guys, in my experience.

GJC

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Chz
WTF?

Phones from Carriers?

What a novelty! I thought everyone had moved on to getting their phones and contracts from 3rd parties (Carphone Warehouse and the rest). You get an unbranded, unlocked phone that's free of crapware and easier to sell down the line.

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Grenade

And what the heck is T-Mo up to?!

Am still ticked off that T-Mobile's decided to sit back and not release Froyo on the Desire also until next month...NEXT MONTH!!! and the reasoning behind it? they are busy "branding" it. Cut the bloody crap and just give us what we bought, a usable phone which works our way and not the way of some moron corporate entity who doesn't give a rats arse about how we actually want to work.

For now I'm giving T-Mo a chance, but if they try anything remotely like Vodofone than the first thing I'm doing after being subjected to a fouled up spam filled update is rooting it. You have the choice T-Mo, give us users what we bought, or we remove all your crap!

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Anonymous Coward

Shambles!

Vodafone is terrible, should have stuck with O2. I made a HUGE mistake moving. From the very beginning the signs were there. A delayed phone, not days, but weeks. Then the deal I was offered over the phone, vodafone didnt believe, customer service implied I was lying, so they checked the audio of phone conversation only to find I was telling the truth. Then the 500mb policy changes, so when I requested the fix to my contract be done when the contract was started, they refused to do that, they insisted that the terms and conditions with the changes to 500mb FUP HAD to be incuded. Now this, unusable phones, this is a shambles of a company. I can only blame myself for being idiotic enough to go to vodafone I suppose. 100,000 colleagues, I will ensure our intranet has this advertised.

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Megaphone

Get what you pay for

If you have a phone that came free or is heavily subsidised what do you expect? Better to buy unlocked handsets direct from HTC. Sure it's more expensive but that's the price of freedom. I'd rather contribute toward HTC's profits than any telco.

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Looks like they've listened...

From the Vodafone eForum...

Hi everyone

We’ve listened to feedback from customers on a number of points around the recent 360 Android 2.1 update and made some changes to the roll out plan.

The Android 2.2 update for Vodafone HTC Desire users will be based on the HTC open market version of the software and we will customise it to ensure our network settings are installed.

For customers who have downloaded the recent 360 update for Android 2.1, we can confirm that the Android 2.2 update will remove the 360 applications and will leave the homepage and bookmarks on your current settings.

Customers who want to access the 360 services will be able to do so once the Android 2.2 compatible version is available and, in the meantime, can now download apps like 360 People from the Android Marketplace.

We plan to make the 360 apps available in a separate update for the HTC Desire at a later date, giving customers the choice to download it.

We will let you know when the date for delivery of the Android 2.2 update is finalised, but, subject to testing, we expect this to be in 7-10 days time.

Thanks

Administrator

Vodafone eForum

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Thumb Up

Not a U Turn...

nooo siree, not at all..

http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/vodafone-htc-desire-update-expected-in-7-10-days-708953

At least they listened, now we only have to have their crud if we ask for it...

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Anonymous Coward

Missed the point

Bugs R Us, you have missed the point. If vodafone had said that it would be branded and all this would be there from the beginning, we would have no reason to complain. However, it was advertised as unbranded and came unbranded. To be honest, most people probably wouldnt even mind except its got some bizarre thing which no one in the right mind wants. Id say its as bad as PHORM given the use of data submitted for "recommendations", the unapproved usage of data when its been limited already, the extended battery usage, the addition of porn-equivalent nonsense to your phone and worst of all the inability to remove all this.

So clearly, we didnt get what we paid for.

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Anonymous Coward

Well well

As I typed ... vodafone announce removal of 360 from 2.2.

Thank you very much The Register

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Thumb Up

VICTORY WE WIN SO MUCH FOR YOUR THEY WONT THEY JUST DID!!!

Hi everyone

We’ve listened to feedback from customers on a number of points around the recent 360 Android 2.1 update and made some changes to the roll out plan.

The Android 2.2 update for Vodafone HTC Desire users will be based on the HTC open market version of the software and we will customise it to ensure our network settings are installed.

For customers who have downloaded the recent 360 update for Android 2.1, we can confirm that the Android 2.2 update will remove the 360 applications and will leave the homepage and bookmarks on your current settings.

Customers who want to access the 360 services will be able to do so once the Android 2.2 compatible version is available and, in the meantime, can now download apps like 360 People from the Android Marketplace.

http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/topic/70251-htc-desire-firmware-update-100810/

We plan to make the 360 apps available in a separate update for the HTC Desire at a later date, giving customers the choice to download it.

We will let you know when the date for delivery of the Android 2.2 update is finalised, but, subject to testing, we expect this to be in 7-10 days time.

Thanks

Administrator

Vodafone eForum

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Grenade

Oi! I got first dibs...

I dunno, coming on here, not reading stuff... ;)

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Anonymous Coward

C'mon El Reg - update the story

voda have made moves to put this right, at least do the right thing and update the story to reflect this. Perhaps Jobs could learn from it.

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