01 May 2010
By Kristen Boschma

HTC Desire GPS software released, Voice Search added


On Friday evening HTC and Telstra released software that enables GPS functionality on the HTC Desire smartphone.

The software update also introduces a new feature to the HTC Desire – voice search.

Voice search allows customers to use voice commands to find information on the internet more quickly. The voice search feature is integrated with the search functions on the device. It can be activated by holding down the search button (the hard key with the magnifying glass logo on the bottom of the handset) or via the main menu.

The software was made available in two forms:

  1. HTC Desire from TelstraFirmware over the air (FOTA). A notification appeared on the Telstra variant HTC Desire smartphones advising customers that a 4MB update was available. Customers can then choose to install this update over their mobile network or over Wi-Fi (it is recommended that customers travelling outside Australia use a Wi-Fi hotspot). The update will be unmetered for Telstra customers who download the update via the Next G™ network in Australia. Customers receive step-by-step installation instructions with the notification. Customers who did not receive the notification can request the software by going to Settings>About Phone>System software updates>Check now.
  2. Software download from the website. This software download contains the complete updated software package (also known as the ROM) for the device. The package size is around 150MB and should be downloaded to a PC before being installed onto the HTC Desire via the bundled USB cable. Please note this method will erase any data stored on the device which cannot be reclaimed once new software is installed. Customers are strongly advised to back up all data on the device’s removable memory cards before installing new software as files stored on the device’s removable memory card will not be affected.

Thanks for your patience while we designed and triple-tested the software.

Images used under a creative commons licence from Android Dot Com


Posts: 56


  1. Matthew says:

    I assume that this is a Telstra-only release (although I’m still glad that I bought my Desire from the UK) but I am curious as to how the GPS functionality has been implemented. Is this a separate HTC application or is it integrated into Google Maps? It’s my understanding that Google Maps already had GPS capability integrated into it. Am I to understand that the Telstra-branded Desire does not have Google Maps at all?

    • Brendan O'Keefe [TEX Customer Engagement Manager] says:

      Hi Matthew, I have an answer for you from the products team. “The Telstra version of HTC Desire has full access to all Android apps including Google Maps.”

  2. Nemo says:

    I did a ROM upgrade yesterday and both the GPS and the Voice Search functions are now working brilliantly… Thanks to Telstra and HTC for a speedy resolution…

    Now I only hope Google will soon enable their ‘voice turn by turn’ function on Google Maps as they have done so for US and more recently in the UK for Android phones…

  3. Josh says:

    The GPS functionality problem was between the hardware and firmware resulting from the rom that Telstra asked to be rammed over the top of the stock rom, it had nothing to do with the programs that use it. GPS is a hardware, not something bolted onto different apps like maps. This fix however was out when they said it would be and it works. Good enough for me

  4. Soren says:

    Would it be possible to Voice Dialling from Bluetooth enabled? This is a seriously required safety feature.

  5. paul says:

    I never got the notification on my telstra desire. if i use Settings>About Phone>System software updates>Check now do I get charged for the data used?

    Is it a complete rom update or an addon patch that uses up the small desire memory.

    • Brendan O'Keefe [TEX Customer Engagement Manager] says:

      Hi Paul. Here’s an answer to your question. As per the advice above, the 4MB update is unmetered for Telstra customers downloading it wirelessly on the Next G network.
      Alternatively, you can download a new ROM. It’s 150MB and will completely replace the current device ROM.

  6. Alex says:

    Yes, this fix appears to have corrected the GPS blunder that was made with the initial release (I hope it doesn’t break something else).

    I do however have another question about this phone. Why is it that Telstra charge more for this phone than their foreign counterparts, yet provide a smaller microSD card for storage than the unbranded HTC Desire? I really don’t understand this concept of “pay more, get less”. Does Telstra really think that 2GB of storage is enough for such an advanced phone? Is it really that costly to provide a decent amount of storage capacity?

    I have to admit that this disappointed me when I opened the box, especially since I purchased it outright. They did after all provide a 16GB microSD card with the HD2.

    • John says:

      Agree -- I bypassed the dealer shops (Telstra, Optus) and went straight to a Ted’s Camera’s where an 8Gb stick is half the price (Sony!)

  7. John says:

    I loaded the full ROM update last night using my PC. It all went as expected. The phone restored all my settings and data. I had to reload the few extra apps I had but that was easy. The voice search works well, only problem is the Google maps and the GPS still exactly the same. Shows an error of about 30 metres and sometime almost a klm out. Has anyone else had this problem, the phone details show the new ROM details correct so it looks like a call to someone today to explain what the problem is.

  8. Grant Robertson says:

    I’m having the same problem as John above, voice search works but GPS doesn’t.

    • Brendan O'Keefe [TEX Customer Engagement Manager] says:

      Hi Grant, Bummer you’ve got issues with GPS. Anyone with HTC Desire issues, please go to Check out the support feed or contact Customer Service via email or Customer Service Enquiry: 1300-482-482 / +61280147475
      1. Service Date: Monday – Saturday (Excluding Sunday & public holidays)
      2. Service hour: 8:00 AM to 8:00PM (Australian EST)
      Cheers, Brendan

  9. Matthew says:

    Thanks for the update Brendan. I was actually unaware that this was a bug with the hardware interface in the firmware, I was under the (mistaken) impression that this was an issue with software. Good to see that it’s fixed quickly though.

    On an unrelated note, it’s also good to see at least one Australian carrier finally sitting up and taking notice of the new advanced devices entering the market, although I wish you guys would give up on the exclusive deals with manufacturers! :(

  10. Katrina says:

    Mmm, I didn’t get the notification either and only stumbled o this site in my desparate attempts to install full speech to text SMSing and to discover why Android TTS does not appear to be enabled. I’d already downloaded the voice search .apk file and installed it. But I’m with Soren, voice dialling is a must. It seems without Android TTS enabled the functionality of the phone is greatly reduced?

  11. John says:

    Called HTC and they informed me the update has a known issue and another will be made available soon.

  12. colin says:

    hi to alll i am keen to get the desire but have learnt that thae handset does not have the option to auto answer with ahandsfree bluetooth surely such a modern piece should do this willthis come in a future update

  13. Iain says:

    Please excuse my ignorance, but after reading Nemo’s post, am I to understand that the GPS function on the Desire using Google Maps does not have turn-by-turn directions?
    If so, what is the point of this GPS? Does it just show your current position? Does a 3rd party GPS program need to be installed to achieve this?
    If a device is advertised as having a GPS function, I would have thought it would be a GPS function that is usable.
    If someone could clarify this it would be appreciated.

  14. Matt says:

    I have just purchased a Telstra HTC Desire. I cannot for the life of me work out how to locate and download apps!

    Any tips welcome.

    I note comments from Verizon customers that indicate that there is possibly an Android-Market app to help you find apps?

  15. Jason says:

    I wish the facebook app worked correctly. It looks up facebook and gives me errors all the time, Tried shutting down, I keep getting the same message. So log out, log back in and then all you get is a message saying loading and then nothing appears…WAY TOO BUGGY, when my old nokia 6120 can do it faultless everyday all day. Terrible for such a smartphone.

    Wait the message is “An error occurrerd while fetching data” Same message now for 3 days. Can we please get a fix.

    Any tips would be appreciated.

  16. I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!

  17. Ross Holmes says:

    I recently purchased the HTC Desire phone and noticed that the GPS software Google maps does not have turn by turn voice directions. Does anyone know how I can get the‘voice turn by turn’ function on Google Maps from

  18. Ross Holmes says:

    In reply to the comment from Website Design the link refers to turn by turn direction for google UK maps does this work with the Australian maps?

  19. Ross Holmes says:

    Can u give me directions on how to get the turn by turn direction for google UK maps does this work with the Australian maps? onto my HTC Desire phone.

  20. No, it’s too complex.
    Read all the info on the links I posted, also Google \turn by turn gps navigation htc desire\ and similar phrases.
    Also have a read of and look at some of the links on that page.
    I did mine a while ago and can’t remember all the steps and apps that need to be installed to make it function correctly.
    But some the apps that come to mind are:
    Maps [brut]
    Navigation Starter
    Voice Search

  21. Joseph says:

    Is this fix of the GPS problem released by Telstar only for Australian customers? I have the same problem in Europe. Can i upgrade my phone to use this software?


  22. Peter says:

    I’ve recently sign up a Desire with Telstra.
    my question is, do i need to have Mobile Network and GPS turn On to use the Google Map ?
    I’ve try with just GPS and it doesn’t work without Internet connection.

  23. Short answer is Yes.
    You need a “Data Pack” as part of your Telstra plan which gives you internet access.

  24. John says:

    Suggest Copilot Live V8 for SatNav as it works very well and I get turn by turn anounced over my bluetooth(Blueant SA).

  25. daryll hull says:

    As with others, when will an upgrade be released to provide voice dialling on Desire on bluetooth? Telstra tech please?

  26. Ross Holmes says:

    Does anyone know of any GPS software for the HTC Desire that does not use an internet connection/wap session.If so please advise what the name of the software

  27. gclau says:

    I recently bought a HTC desire in Malaysia. the distributor installed NDrive for me saying that I could use this GPS software without internet connection. But this NDrive doesn’t work as well as Garmin that I know. Really hope someone can let me know of any GPS software that doesn’t need an internet connection. You may reply to Thanks a lot….

  28. Ross Holmes says:

    Does anyone know of any GPS software for the HTC Desire that does not use an internet connection/wap session.If so please advise what the name of the software.

    • Sean MacDonald says:

      Try MapDroyd, you can download maps to your flashcard to use the GPS in an offline mode. I have only played with it a little but looks good at first glance.

  29. I have been using Mobile Maps by Sygic
    and found it to be excellent.

  30. Ross Holmes says:

    Does anyone know where I can get Bible software for an Andriod HTC desrie phone. I am looking for free software that does not need an internet connection to read it.

  31. Walter Bolton says:

    Is “voice turn by turn” available for Google Maps for South Africa on the HTC Desire?

  32. Warren says:

    How do I get my HTC Desire to do voice activated calls over my blue tooth. Last 3 Nokias handled this easily????

  33. dayne seaman says:

    hi, i have a v*daf0ne delivered desire, but has the same problem, but htc when i talk to them say it is a hardware problem and they have no record of this problem happening, and vodafone say its a faulty handset but from all my digging around on the net it seems to be firmware can any one help? if i install the telstra rom will this fix it??
    any help would be great cause htc costermer service seem to think nothing is wrong…..

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