X06HT Desire (HTC Bravo) from Softbank Japan – One year later…

When iOS and Android started making waves a couple years ago, it took a while for a decent Android smartphone to come out in Japan. I waited patiently, for quite a while, until I saw what I liked. I do think I made a good choice with the HTC Desire. I bought the Desire from Softbank in April, 2010 and, because of production shortages of the AMOLED screen, finally got my hands on it over a month later in June. Having used this phone for well over a year now I am still quite satisfied with the specs. It has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a decent 5MB camera and good 720p quality video.  The only negative I have found with this phone is that the internal memory seems to fill up quickly when installing apps.

After the Froyo (Android 2.2) update came out from HTC and Softbank I expected this issue to disappear because moving apps to the SD card was finally officially supported. While there seemed to be improvement in battery life and new camera features after the update, I still got memory warnings even when I moved all the apps I could to external SD storage and had to finess the phone in various ways when I wanted to install new apps. Later on I learned that this is because a part of the OS called the Dalvik-cache is located in a smallish partition which, in hindsite, HTC maybe should have made a little larger.

During the past year I have applied all the over the air updates from Softbank and, as mentioned above, enjoyed some good OS improvements when Froyo (Android 2.2) came out. I kept everything stock because I hoped that Softbank would continue to support this model. I was hoping for tethering support, skype support, Google Voice support, etc. Softbank delivered on the Froyo, but recently I heard that they will not do an OTA (over the air) update to Android 2.3. You can get it on the HTC Dev Center but when I looked closely I saw this,

The following regional variants are not-compatible with this upgrade: Germany (Deutsch Telekom), North America, South America, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, and Arabic language speaking countries in the Middle East.

Hmmm. I guess it works somewhere, but not in Japan or these other small countries listed?

Rays Login Widget (version 0.2)

Since I want to learn more about WordPress I am working on a plugin that handles various login related tasks. Version 2 adds the ability to customize the login picture on the wp-admin.php login page. I found a plugin called “Login Logo” by Mark Jaquith which does exactly what I wanted to do and merged that code into my Login Widget (see this post for more info on the first Login Widget).

Now if you upload a graphic named login-logo.png to your wp-content directory the plugin will use it as the logo instead of this one:

I’m not really writing this plugin to share – simply for my own benefit in learning and in customizing my sites. But if it is useful you are welcome to it:
Ray’s Login Widget (version 0.2 .zip archive)