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03 Sep 2010
By Billy Byrne
Sep
03
2010

Telstra’s Android devices

blog-telstra-android-NRL-app-banner

Working at Telstra has always presented me with new and interesting challenges. This was especially the case when earlier this year I was asked to lead a new mobile development team specializing in applications for Telstra’s Android devices. I’ve been fascinated by the smart phone industry for some time now and have watched in awe as Google’s Android mobile platform has rapidly captured a sizeable share of the smart/super phone market

Telstra has some awesome Android handsets on the market including the HTC Desire and the HTC Wildfire so it was an exciting challenge for me to be involved in developing apps for this platform. Our first project was the Official Telstra NRL App that was released a few weeks ago. This is a video on demand application that delivers up-to-date NRL action direct to your handset such as NRL News, Match Highlights, Features, Reviews and more. It also includes a search feature that allows you to search through the entire season’s videos by team, category and round. All of this content is unmetered so no data charges apply. You can get this app by going to the BigPond App Store from your Telstra Android handset

Telstra’s Android devices- NRL AppWe used a pure Agile development methodology to deliver this application. Agile is a streamlined methodology that removes the unnecessary overhead found in traditional Waterfall project management. It is very well suited to mobile development as the projects are generally quite small and require little formal documentation or project management.

The Android scene has a great buzz about it worldwide although Australia has still some catching up to do. Watch this space closely as you should see Telstra doing lots of exciting things with Android in the near future.

I’d love to hear some customer feedback on this. For example, what type of apps would you like to see on your Telstra Android handset?

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Posts: 1

319 Comments

  1. Mel says:

    The extensive testing was only performed against windows 95 :-) .

    Fails on both 32&64 bit windows 7 the installer appears to be killing the usb driver. What a joke.

    Role on full deregulation and Telstra exiting communications.

  2. Billy says:

    Hi.

    Please excuse my absence from this discussion over the last few weeks but what started out as an attempt to discuss Android development quickly turned into something very different!

    I only deal with Telstra Android app development and therefore cannot comment on ROM testing/upgrades.

    Billy.

    • Henry says:

      I was hoping that white pages app and yellow pages would work on a froyo N1 – it still does not it force closes although it does work in a froyo desire (I have both) Could you please fix this

  3. rocco says:

    yep, also had issues with Win7 64 Bit, did the upgrade with a WinXP PC without issue

  4. Nemo says:

    Thank you Telstra/HTC and Google. I have upgraded my Desire to Froyo and everything seems to be running really well.

    I downloaded the 2.2 ROM on my XP Laptop last night and everything worked very smoothly. The download took around 90 minutes (can’t wait for NBN). The installation only took 10 minutes.

    I think it would be useful if the latest version of HTC Sync software have been already downloaded on to your laptop/computer before trying to upgrade to 2.2 ROM.

    The only drawback is, not all Apps can be moved to SD card.

    Also check out the handy tips and tricks on 2.2 from Tech Radar

    http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/20-handy-android-2-2-tips-and-tricks-713499

  5. Jason says:

    Yea no issues with a vista PC. Does anyone know the actual total size of all the telstra apps? od what ever else they have on the phone that uses memory? just wondering. Lest hope the next update will be a little smother and quicker. But im happy atm. having fun playing flash for mobile games.:P

  6. Peter Murphy says:

    Can anyone confirm what baseband version is shipped with the new Telstra Froyo Update? Also the build number? Thanks

  7. Josiah says:

    What are you all on about Telstra has released Froyo today and I have downloaded it, and it was flawless on my Desire keep an eye on the download as it reloads 3 times for different settings etc so do not rush it.

    I am still not sure if voice is included will have to see when I dig a bit deeper.

    Remember I am 85 however I did not get it for my birthday

  8. Jason says:

    you do know that 2.2 was released a while ago, its just taken telstra this long to give it to there customers.
    Are you talking about Google voice? its the little microphone in the apps menu voice search. you can also Download Vlingo from the apps store ” its free” I find that it works better then Google Voice.

  9. I Desire Froyo! says:

    Odd that there has been no formal notification to customers about the 2.2 upgrade.

    We all got a push message about the GPS patch but nothing officially regarding Froyo availability.

  10. Jason says:

    My guess is that its not an easy install, and by easy i mean people like my sister who wants the update, when i showed her the instructions she said are you joking, and that i would have to do it for her. So imagine all the people who will want this update, but are not really confident enough to install it. IE backing up data, syncing it to the pc ” if you had windows 7 and it it failed halfway though the install like it did on my phone, only after taking out the battery did i get it to reset. They will be inundated with support calls, best to not say anything and let people install it over a much much longer period or not at all. Just a guess really. But i cant think of another reason.

  11. Colin says:

    OTA Instructions:

    From home page:
    Menu.
    Settings.
    About.
    Software Updates.
    Check now.

    Much easier than backup, download start update and pray.

  12. scott says:

    I no this is a bit out of date but I thought it was funny, went to Telstra to look at the t-touch and asked if it would be updated to 2.2 and they told me that none of there android products had been updated yet, haha so good to tell them that desire has been for over a week and that they didn’t no! Good job Telstra

  13. SK says:

    Any update on 2.2 for Samsung galaxy S? plzz..

    • Edward Dekkers says:

      Oh crap – here we go again…..

      :)

      6 months from the date the Galaxy S was released at least is my guess.

  14. garry says:

    Telstra will be the last provider in the world to have Froyo released, expect a long wait…

  15. SK says:

    i certainly hope not..!
    Optus has release 2.2 on galaxy today..!

  16. stuart says:

    Samsung having Galaxy S and Telstra having Galaxy 5 is very confusing. Even staff in the stores don’t know the difference. The Galaxy 5 will be a big seller over Christmas and, although it is a low end handset it offers a pretty amazing list of features for the price and is more than adequate for a lot of users. However – the big question – can it be updated to Android 2.2 ? No use asking in a Telstra shop as they just don’t know. Telstra need a dedicated web page link for each handset with all latest info on it.

  17. Chris says:

    So, how far are we away from getting a Froyo update for the Galaxy S. Comon Telstra!

  18. Alizarine says:

    When will Telstra release Froyo for the Samsung Galaxy S???
    I bought the phone on a plan in a telstra shop. The salesman told me that I could update to Froyo.

    I have since found out that it’s not available. I was furious that I was told an untruth. I tried to cancel the plan with them, but Telstra said I had to do this within the “24 hour cooling off period”.

    I love this phone, but 2.1 is just too slow. Please, does anyone have the slightest clue when Froyo will be released for this phone?

  19. Brendan O'Keefe [T-EX Customer Engagement Manager] says:

    Thanks for the questions re. the Galaxy S Froyo. We know many of our customers are looking out for this and plan to make it available in the not too distant future.

    • Mark Cardwell says:

      i am sorry but as a consumer i find the statement of ” in the not to distant future ” to be a rather wasted effort. i could ask anyone what this statement means and if i add the word telstra to it it adds a lot of time to the meaning.

      if this was meant to calm the savage beast that is your customer base then i suggest that you have failed.

      I too am waiting for the update and with your comment am now considering unlocking my phone and going elsewhere.

    • Nick says:

      The not so distant future is getting more and more distant…. any news Brendan?
      Can I also suggest that Telstra do something to clear up the their communiction on matters like this. This website was very hard to find, and your in store reps have little knowledge on this stuff.

  20. Mark says:

    Dear Telstra,

    I know testing needs to be performed to verify how well a new firmware works on your network but unfortunately you are only causing yourself harm by being pathetically slow at being able to get past your own bureaucratic red tape.

    Want to restore faith back in your network? Pledge to your customer that you will:

    - Get rid of your shithouse voice automated system which clearly does not work. Pressing numbers is much more effective and less frustrating. 10/10 users hate voice automated systems no matter what your research says. Someone is lying to you.

    - Outsourcing your tech support to India or other such countries does not work. The only result is alienating your clients and sending them away from your network. Ever considered the direct cost of outsourcing? I bet it’s more than what you are saving from outsourcing.

    - Spend more money on getting the latest firmware updates verified and available for user download. People love to be able to use the latest updates which provide better stability.

    - More is less. Your websites have too much content. The most popular website in the world has to be google. The website is wonderful, fast and effective. Split up your content into different websites/sections. The websites (bigpond/telstra) is cluttered and confusing. Hire a swag of IA specialists to help you get more in tune with your customers.

    - Love your mobile network infrastructure. By far it’s your strongest point and is the dominant reason why most businesses use you for their mobile phone needs. Your mobile phone plans are finally becoming good. Love the new 24 month $129 plan! Keep them coming :)

    - VoIP is becoming dominant in the marketplace and the more you deny this the more you will lose your foothold on traditional line rentals. Consider dropping line rental costs as it seems excessive whilst you consider moving into the VoIP arena.

    With this all in mind. Have you got at least some kinda of date proposed for the Samsung Galaxy S firmware update?

    Regards,
    A fan of your mobile network but not your service.

  21. Ted Witwicki says:

    Hi
    My Galaxy S came with a clock weather app on the front page. It is called accuweather clock. It no longer refreshes and updates the weather becuase I suspect this app is no longer supported, any advice appreciated

  22. Brett says:

    Ay news on when a 2.2 update will be available, seems every other carrier has provided an update!

  23. Phil says:

    I know its irrelevant to this post but does ANYONE know when Telstra will release the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 2.1 Android upgrade?? Im sick of the dull 1.6 on my X10

    Every other provider seems to have already released it to their X10 customers. When will Telstra do the same? I can appreciate that testing has to be done to ensure uprades work compatibly with the handset and the Next G Network but an ETA would be great. I would rather know the date of the upgrade being reliease even it takes ages to come, than not knowing and just wait and wait.

    Can anyone help?

  24. Nick says:

    still waiting…. 2.2 where are you?

  25. garry says:

    Nothing wrong with Telstra’s Android devices except for Telstra’s pathetic customer support.

    When you buy hardware from Telstra like a phone you can guarantee you wont be looked after by them. Any firmware updates will come months over due.

    I have a Galaxy S and Telstra have been very rude when it comes to statements reguarding the Froyo update. By that I mean all my enquiries are ignored.

    Telstra are a pathetic organisation. They are all about gettin their product off the shelves and once it is they don’t want to know about it.

  26. Pagan says:

    Anybody heard when the 2.2 Froyo update will be made available on the HTC Wildfire?

    Getting impatient … been out in Europe and other countries for a while now !!

  27. The apps developed by the telstra are very helpful for the users,as we know that the telstra is always known for their excellent mobile apps and applications.

  28. James says:

    2.2 on the Galaxy S now please. This wait is ridiculous. It’s also ridiculous that you can’t provide a definite date. A bit of browsing around shows that you’ve been spinning this \it’s coming real soon\ line since September 2010, which makes such a vague estimate completely worthless now.

  29. Mark says:

    Please note that this website exchange.telstra.com.au is extremely flaky. Quite often this website is dead over weekends – Might I suggest you resolve this as well.

    It does not bode well when this is a supposed forum for Telstra and Telstra users to come together.

    Another bump on 2.2 firmware for Galaxy S too. Might I suggest that you have delayed this so badly that you might as well work towards 2.3 (if it’s available).

    Might I also suggest that you remove all those boring apps which you supply with the default firmware with the next update.

  30. kiwited says:

    I agree with Mark. Telstra instead of leading the field is way behind. There is little point in updating to 2.2, 2.2.1 because the others will release 2.3 and Telstra will once again reamin a tail ender.

    Telstra / bigpond should not embed their apps / shourtcuts becuase they are not wanted and delay updates for no good reason.

  31. Mick says:

    I just signed up with Telstra yesterday after negotiating a port out of Vodafone after coverage issues. My Voda Galaxy was running 2.2 for months. I couldn’t believe it when I sync’d my Telstra phone to find no update, then started googling and found this thread.
    C’mon Telstra. Get cracking

  32. Truckie says:

    I think the Communications Ombudsman and Consumer Affairs would be interested to learn that Telstra are selling a product which is obviously not ‘fit for purpose’ (the Samsung Galaxy S), and are seemingly doing little or nothing to rectify the issue. There is NO communication from Telstra, and ringing for support is a joke.

    This could end up costing Telstra a substantial amount in refunds to customers who have effectively had their contract broken by the apparent lack of service provided regarding issues with this handset.

    Other carriers have had their updates out for quite some time (months in fact), and they too load their own bloatware, and test prior to release. What is so different about Telstra’s version?

    Come on Telstra – lift your game….

    We’re sick and tired of being given the run around.

  33. Harrison says:

    I’m here to add a bump for the Galaxy S Froyo 2.2 update. I started off at the Samsung site and was pretty confused when Keis told me I couldn’t update to 2.2. After finding this site I’m now very disappointed in telstra.
    By all means make us install your useless apps which we delete asap but if you’re going to delay it this long at least give us a temp update we can use untill you finish making your bloatware and then just force us to install the bloatware.

    If this continues long I think we should follow Truckie’s advice and speak to the Communications Ombudsman and Consumer Affairs. The update already exists, why can’t we use it?

  34. Truckie says:

    Just rang Telstra support (again – about the 16th time I’ve tried to get an answer), and the ‘consultant’ had no clue.

    Does Telstra even monitor this forum, or are we just wasting our time? What about you Billy Byrne – any comment?

    Any sort of response from Telstra would (I’m sure) be very much appreciated (except the “it’s coming real soon” one which we’ve all heard numerous times).

  35. cade says:

    Well I can see two things wrong here , (1) Samsung & Telstra girl-fighting over who’s responsibilty it is to push ( and pay for ) the update to be released & (2) again Telstra has shown it’s total in-aptitude at follow up customer service . If it’s really not working as advertised the contract is void..take it back under the 24month warranty & get another brand of phone ( I have a few Samsung items & they make good stuff..but are shocking with updates..possibly one of the worst ) , or contact the ombudsmen . Telstra have shown they won’t act until the ombudsmen or contracts are on the line..unitl then they will pretend they are listening , lie about release dates & forget 2 seconds later .

  36. Pagan says:

    Got sick of it last night and upgraded via root access – side effect all the Telstra crud is gone and I have v2.2.1 working beautifully,

    Little bit of short term pain and risk for long term gain.

  37. Antony Burgess says:

    I rang Telstra today. I was assured by the Telstra shop that 2.2 was installed, when it was not ( 2.1 was installed). I had indicated that I wanted this phone so I could run Skype. Of course Skype won’t work with 2.1. A typical frustrating experience – the 3rd consultant had no idea. Indeed his final advice seemed to mix up T-Mobile and Telstra (according to Samsung Hub T-Mobile
    has released the 2.2 upgrade through Kies mini). No mention of when and how Telstra will release 2.2. This misrepresentation is costing me money in international calls.
    It really is Telstra’s obligation to provide this product – their misrepresntation is causing considerable inconvenience

  38. The mobile product team says:

    Galaxy S Android 2.2 Update.

    Hi everyone, we share your frustration regarding the timelines for the release of Android 2.2 for the Galaxy S.

    Unfortunately in testing we’ve identified stability issues with the software and this is delaying the release. Samsung is currently addressing this as a matter of urgency. We will provide you with an update as soon as we have a resolution.

    Thanks for your patience,
    Telstra mobile products team

    • Alex says:

      So why no one from the support people I talked to does not know this? Even that kind of update will be far better than usual “have no clue what are you talking about” (typically expressed as “we have no information and no release date”.

      Also would you care to comment on an issue of if this phone is fit for purpose? Especially when it is very clear that 2.2. does not fix the lag. And judging by the 2.2 time to market I will be out of warranty when/if 2.2.1 is out.

      This is the last time a refer to this matter before taking ALL of my business out of Telstra, BTW

    • James says:

      How come the one man band behind DarkysRom is able to get a stable update out faster than your mammoth company working in tandem with Samsung’s mammoth company

      You guys are a joke

  39. Mark says:

    These \Stability Issues\, do they apply to all Froyo releases on the SGS, or just with some of the Telstra bloat your’e adding to it? I strongly suspect the latter!

    Why can’t you release a vanilla Froyo now (which from all accounts and other Telcos is fine) with a suitable disclaimer, and then take as long as you wish getting your bloated version working, (say in another six months).

    Remember – satisfaction is what retains customers. Now, ask yourself a question, are you providing customer satisfaction?

  40. David Lindsay says:

    they still havent got froyo for galaxy? a friend of mine got a galaxy s and i thought oh cool a new android recruit. he swaid he hated it and it was slow and crap so i checked and he was running 2.1 and i told him the update should be out by now and that will speed his phone up and impress him. that was a while a go, guess i under estimated telstra slowness again. just gets worse and worse

    • James says:

      If you are still running Eclair (2.1) on your galaxy, you need to root it (gain admin access) and then flash any of the several Froyo ROMs available. It is extremely easy and safe and you will wonder why you took so long in the first place. There are also a number of fixes to the lag issues – they will fix the crappy RFS filesystem Samsung uses. Start at http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/ and go from there. No sense waiting for Telstra or Samsung to get their act together.

  41. James says:

    Hey Pagan, can you please email me so that I can talk to you about how you did this.

    sa.iblys [at] gmail [dot] com

  42. Andrew says:

    Google is your friend…

    How about http://www.addictivetips.com/mobile/how-to-root-and-unroot-samsung-galaxy-s-i9000-with-a-single-click/

    As far as NextG goes – it works like a charm.

    Cheers

  43. cade says:

    I know it’s probably a touchy subject due to the fact that Billy works in application development for Telstra , but hopefully Telstra follows Google’s line they are taking with honeycomb & making sure it’s un-adulterated on devices . No telco ad-ons . If people really want a trading post , whitepages or whereis app..they would go the marketplace & download it . I use Telstra for their excellent network/3G , not their apps . Give us a clean version of Android or at least an option to ( not six months after the rest of the world ) and we will chooses what apps we want . Sounds fair to me , we pay the phone bills !

  44. Mark says:

    Hear Hear Cade.

    I finally took the plunge last Friday and flashed Darky’s rom 9.2 and have not looked back. Next G network still there but none of the bloat. Much faster, neater and more stable without constant reminders of whose taking your money.

    Free at last.

    Mark.

  45. Brett says:

    I too just installed Darky’s 9.2 ROM and it is awesomely fast, Next G works perfectly. I was even able to unroot to ensure Good for Enterprise worked. All good!!!

  46. James says:

    +1 for Darky’s Rom. Works like a charm. Thanks for nothing and goodnight, Telstra. Have fun stuffing around trying to get Android 2.2 to work while I’ve already got 2.2.1 working perfectly, and without any of your bloatware.

    Installing Darky’s Rom is not the easiest thing in the world and I am contemplating doing a small write-up / blog post about it.

  47. kiwited says:

    Hi

    My Telstra Galaxy S, the firmware is:

    PDA:JH3/PHONE:JH3/CSC:JH3(Tel)

    Will Darky’s Rom 9.2 update this?

    Can I pay someone to update it for me?

    • Mark says:

      Hi Kiwited,

      PDA:JH3/PHONE:JH3/CSC:JH3(Tel) was the sorry state of affairs my Telstra Galaxy S was in before I flashed it to Darky’s rom, so the answer to your first question is yes.

      If you are unable or unwilling to do it yourself then you have two options – wait, or ask someone to do it for you. I wouldn’t be offering a financial reward for what will take 10 minutes to achieve. Note that in doing so you will be invalidating your warranty. That said – you can probably flash PDA:JH3/PHONE:JH3/CSC:JH3(Tel) back onto the phone and no one would be the wiser, except yourself of course ;)

  48. Daniel says:

    How the hell can Darky’s 9.2 Rom work perfectly on the Galaxy S and Telstra not have their release out yet?

    Darky’s Rom is made by one guy one guy. Samsung/Telstra are massive corporations in charge of making their ROM and getting paid to do it.

    This makes no sense. If this is the case then the Samsung/Telstra software developers are not good enough to warrant their positions of employment. Plain and simple.

    The fact it’s not out yet, that Telstra and Samsung representatives are giving mixed responses to this issue means that they are lying about what’s really holding it up.

  49. Marvy says:

    As another week chugs on by i too join the ever growing list of people banging there heads against the wall trying to get any sort of answer from testra about when 2.2 will be available for my 2 Galaxy s phones.
    Samsung keep telling me they are done with it and it is with telstra, no one at telstra in any department they transfer you to has any idea at all.
    please please mr telstra gods give me some idea of what you are doing, really dont want to void the warranty and do the darky rom but geeez come on !!!

  50. Daniel says:

    If the Galaxy S update arrives and it’s only 2.2 and not 2.2.1 I’m going to get a custom ROM.

    I’m giving it until the end of the month, if it hasn’t arrived by then it never will.