27 May 2010
By Ben Bevins

HTC Desire at work


HTC Desire makes for a pretty awesome consumer mobile — but how does it stack up as a business phone?  Here’s my take.

Email Sync

First of all for business people, email is king. So access to work email on the go is essential in a business phone.

Luckily, HTC Desire provides good support for Microsoft’s Exchange server – which many businesses run their email on.  You can use this to set up Microsoft ActiveSync push email.

I usually sync a month’s worth of email and all my sub folders, I set my email to real time push. I also love having the Global Address Lookup (GAL) for anyone’s email address who hasn’t made it to my contacts yet!!

For some the lack of physical QWERTY keyboard will be a deal breaker. But if you can handle using a virtual QWERTY keyboard to email and tap out messages, this does a good job.

Calendar Sync

HTC Desire from TelstraDesire also supports calendar sync via Microsoft Exchange. This is perfect for managing a busy schedule. You can accept/decline meetings, select the time period you wish to sync and dial numbers directly from the invite!!  Also you can set reminders that will appear on your idle screen or notification bar.

Contact Sync

This is the most useful thing ever. I am fanatical about keeping my contacts up to date. Fully sync’ed with my phone I can call/text/email/tweet or Facebook directly from my contacts.

Corporate Security

The coolest thing HTC have done with Microsoft Exchange is to make it secure for corporates. You are forced to have a password when you sync to your exchange server. More than that, if the password is entered incorrectly 8 times then the device will erase all data stored on the device……COOL.

Productivity apps

Yes there are productivity apps on Android too.

There’s already software that will let you read/edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and attachments. Plus there’s a PDF reader.

But you can also head to Android Market and get yourself some useful tools (although it’s not a huge range at this stage). For instance, AK Notepad, which lets you take notes or ‘Got To Do’ which is an application for managing tasks.

Also, if you need a business-quality GPS solution, check out Whereis Navigator for Android. You can access a 7-day, free trial by clicking on the Whereis icon in your programs list. It’s one of the best GPS apps available anywhere.

Even if you don’t get as excited as I do about corporate security, what do you think about using the Desire as a business phone? Does it have the kit needed for you to convince your boss it’s work worthy?


Posts: 7


  1. megeekhan says:

    have had the desire from release, initial issues with exchange sync have been resolved with latest firmware upgrade from HTC (after having to manually sync for alomost 2 months, go into flight mode and back etc) however still have the same problems with quikoffice, xcell docs are slightly reformatted and some content is lost. After some 25 messages to and from HTC support, absolutelty NO help from Telstra shop phone purchased from (on recommendation from Telstra rep instore that this phone was the best for viewing docs) I still cannot rely on this phone. Great phone let down by poor support, Telstra bloat ware and pre installed apps not working since realease.

  2. Vic says:

    The battery is just horrendously weak. Cannot uninstall branded or other apps (such as Weather ect. The HTC support is a joke. Consider these issues before getting this phone.

  3. David says:

    Well I would like to comment that all my issues had been resolved.
    Last week I recieved an email from Tania at telstra support? and then Steve,both said they would get onto the ELF. Early Life Failure. Steve called me Friday last and said that telstra would send a new phone in the post on Monday.

    Now, both Tania and Steve are excellent to deal with so im not wingeing, this is just an update.

    Its friday and i still have no new phone?

    So I dont know if the replacement will be better or do the same as the original one.
    Ill await my update now till the new phone arrives.
    Thanks for you efforts Steve and Tania.

  4. Grant says:

    Hi David:

    The battery life will be disappointing if you do a lot of internet or other use of the phone. My wife has the iPhone 4 which does have a longer battery life for sure but then it still needs to be charged overnight even with just relatively light use of the phone.

    I think battery life is a general problem. You would be disappointed with any smartphone if you think you can surf the net for hours while listening to music and using the phone. Heavy users will need to be close to a recharge source even for the mighty iPhone 4.

    By the way, the iPhone 4 has fantastic screen, camera and video but I don’t think that the OS is nearly as good as Android and I have had time to compare them.

    The branded Telstra apps I would have thought the best thing is just to ignore them if you don’t want to use them rather than trying to remove them. My opinion anyway.

    I use the android power saving widget and turn off the GPS and bluetooth when not using them. You should also turn off syncing with too many apps at one time like facebook. All that stuff drains the battery.

    I have had my Desire since May and I love it. It is a great phone and the battery life is not an issue for me. I run a home business servicing computers and use the phone a fair amount plus some web browsing and it always makes it through the day.


  5. Ineke says:

    Update on my ‘muting’ issue. I have contacted HTC customer support and all they can say is that they are working on a patch to fix this and to watch the website to see when it is release. I must say I find this VERY disappointing -- I estimate I am losing 50% of my calls to this issue. If the call comes from a private number or through a switch is is extremely difficult to track the person down to return a call. I really think that HTC should be offering more than thier apology for what is a pretty monumental stuff up -- surely a key component of a mobile phone is the ability to answer a call?

  6. Grant says:

    Wow, Android 2.2 is finally released!

    First I will shut my phone down to get the serial number hidden behind the battery. Whooops that’s right the phone never shuts down normally, must take the battery out to turn off.

    Wow, new ROM. Plug in phone, do sync. Now I’m ready. Get it going. Exciting, very cool.

    Now does anyone know what this f…g USB connection error is? \The ROM Update Utility cannot connect to your Android Phone\.

    They’ve spent two months debugging the release with extensive testing?


    • Matt says:

      Did you sort out the USB connection issue?

      I have no trouble using PC Sync at all, it connects straight away. The first time I ran the RUU to upgrade to 2.2 it found the phone ok, found I was running an older version, said do you want to upgrade, clicked everything, then when it went to upgrade it stopped. It was constantly waiting for the bootloader, yet the phone had seemingly dropped into bootloader mode (black screen with HTC logo, alternating with a report on touchscreen firmware). Then the RUU said can’t connect to phone. I’ve restarted both phone and PC and now it won’t connect via RUU at all, won’t even read the firmware version. But PC sync still works just fine.

      Been hanging out for 2.2 for months now, and was soooooo excited this morning to try the upgrade. Now bitterly dissappointed.

      Cheers -- Matt

    • Grant says:

      Hi Matt:

      It is looking like Telstra should look at the upgrade package as I suspect it is faulty. I had to put my phone into Telstra to get fixed after discussing the upgrade issue with HTC. I had a spurious ‘USB Connection Issue’. The phone had just synced susccessfully so it was the one error that I was sure was wrong.

      I got my phone back in under one week which was good with 2.2 on it.

      Feel free to return it to your Telstra shop. Looks like they might get busy with returns of the Desire for 2.2 upgrades!


  7. David says:

    After weeks of waiting telstra have sent me a new HTC Desire.
    Mine wouldnt answer from the lock mode, and what a pain.
    Steve and Tania from telstra have been realy great and followed it through well.
    Tania is excellent! Steve is great!!!
    Lets see if this one works.

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

      Hi David, Glad to hear back from you. I will pass on the feedback to Tania and Steve.

  8. Grant says:

    I spoke to Telstra then HTC. HTC advised me to get it fixed which I am doing, handed it into Telstra. Unfortunately, I got a shitty little HTC windows mobile in the meantime and when I synced with Outlook I lost all my appointments which means I now have to phone up customers and try to figure out what is missing.

    I have become very dependent on the device for work so when something goes wrong it is a big problem for me.

    Oh, well, wait and see what happens now.


  9. john says:

    I just downloaded the latest version of HTC synch. And despite the fact that it tells me my calander is synched from my HTC Desire nothing happens. This has been an ongoing issue. I can synch to the exchange server with touchdown and that is reliable. What I cant do is synch to my laptop. I had an old windows phone and it wasnt an issue. This phone is magic but this is a serious problem. It doesnt do what I was promised it would do when I bought the phone back in June.

    I took it up with Telstra when I first got the phone and they put me onto HTC. After weeks of trying I was told it is a known issue and promised a patch was coming. I let it go for a while and over the last few weeks I have tried to get through to HTC for help and promised calls dont come. This is now October what does it take?

    Is an upgrade to Android 2.2 in the air? If so will it fix this problem.

    • Grant says:

      Well, yes, Android 2.2 has been released just a few days ago. Read my previous email. I had problems with the upgrade and ended up handing the phone in to Telstra to get fixed. I would be very interested in how you go. I got the error 170 USB Error which is a spurious error as it was connected just fine.


    • robert says:

      I have exactly this same problem. HTC sync claims to sync from HTC Desire to laptop, but it seems to only sync items from laptop to Desire. When I input items into the phone, or change items on the phone, and then sync … they stay on the phone … that doesn’t seem like ‘sync’ to me.

      has anyone else out there had that problem and managed to fix it?
      ever hopeful, I feel there must be a setting out there somewhere, but I cannot find it!

  10. Juergen Stark says:

    had Desire for 10 days, racked up 700mb of data usage!-without downloading anything.
    Apparently I was not “closing” web sessions. Telstra shop staff advised (on purchase) to click ‘home’ button to close session.which I did. HTC now tells me the only way to close a web session is to turn off ‘mobile network’ settings menu after every session, i.e. every time I leave a website and return to do other things on the phone.
    Any thoughts?

  11. Juergen says:

    I cannot find any reference to 2.2 on either the Telstra or the HTC site. where did you find it?

  12. When I bought the desire the telstra shop guy told me he would give me the best deal on mobile for my needs. I just recieved a text from telstra saying that i have exeeded my account cap? I thought they gave mne about a million dollars worth of free calls and a data download the size that would suit NASA. I cant believe these phone companies! They give you a $79.00 capped account with $500. worth of free calls and a 12 gig data account.
    I couldnt use $500. worth of calls in two months, and I dont know where the data download is going.
    I checked a few emails and uploaded a half dozen photos.
    I just dont get it!

    I sell real estate. I have a customer that wants a 4 bedroom home with a double garage and two bathrooms.
    Imagine the outcry if I sold them the property and when they move in its a 3 bedroom with a single garage and one bathroom.
    I clearly state what Ive got for sale, have too, its the law.
    But phone companies can say, you have this or that, you sign up and its crap!

  13. Regarding my Telstra HTC Desire problems answering out of locked mode:

    I submiited a few post regarding this problem on this forum a few weeks ago. I must say that Telstra just about immediately answered and told me that someone would contact me. They did (someone in Melbourne) and he determined that my HTC Desire was going to be replaced with a new one and that I would not be charged for any calls. Finally I picked up my new HTC Desire from the Telstra shop in Townsville (Stocklands). I now have to send back my old HTC Desire to Telstra. Except for the time it took to find a new Desire in stock, I found this service exemplary. I also have no more problems (it appears) answering out of locked mode.

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

      Hi Peter, Glad to hear you have your new Desire, and your are happy with the outcome. Thanks for taking the time to give us some positive feedback :-) Brendan.

  14. liz says:

    Unable to answer important calls, tried to update but already have latest update on phone ROM Version: 1.16.841.1, Telstra who talked me into getting this phone don’t seem to care

  15. Grant says:

    I got my Desire back with Android 2.2 on it and all is well. I really do love this phone. I’m also now using Google Calendar so I don’t risk losing everything when I sync with Outlook. This is much safer and I can check my agenda wherever I am.

    My wife has the iPhone 4 and I have to say that the Desire is much easier to use. It is the search features which make the difference. There is really no point having ‘favourites’ when you can just key in the first few letters of the person who you want to call. I honestly bought the iPhone thinking it would be easier to use but really it isn’t. The other thing is the iPhone screen is cluttered as it has only one button at the bottom and so no context senstive menus.


  16. Rajesh says:

    I’m trying to upgrade to 2.2 and having exactly the same issue that Matt above had, with RUU found the phone fine, found that I had an older version, went through the steps… and got stuck at the Bootloader, until it gave me a USB connection error. Now everytime I try again it can’t even verify I have an older version, it just bombs out with a USB connection error.

    Any ideas if/when this will be fixed, or do I have to take it back into a Telstra store just to get the firmware upgrade?

  17. Dave says:

    Thanks very much Telstra. After sitting on android 2.2 for months ‘testing’ it, you’ve finally released it for the HTC Desire and of course it won’t update due to an error 170. Luckily my phone is still in warranty, so keep an eye out for it as I’ll be sending it back as soon as I can.

  18. Bruce C says:

    Is this 170 error fixed or not?

    I’ve tried everything it happens all the time on W7 and all our machines are upgraded.

    Telstra have delayed months and tested nothing your upgrade will crash and then the phone cannot sync the ruu

    Don’t use this upgrade.

  19. Matt says:

    After some more web searching yesterday I found this site:

    I followed those steps and got it working! I’m using Win7-32bit. All I can is do the steps as they are listed. Make sure you go back to PC Sync 2.0.40 (link is on the page about half way down). Turn off all network access on both the phone and your computer. It then worked fine for me.

    Stupid though that Telstra and HTC have not tested this using the latest PC sync and also win7.

    • Grant says:

      Hi Matt:

      Good on you for finding a solution online. It is a shame that HTC/Telstra between them can’t find some pretty obvious problems with the upgrade package. It isn’t rocket science you just need computers setup with XP/Vista/Windows7 and then test the install package and write the instructions accordingly if there are any potential issues. I did this with windows mobile packages which went out to healthcare customers. It was just me doing the development, testing and deployment. I would have hoped large companies like HTC and Telstra could supply one measly technician a day or two to do such testing.

      This is a failure of testing and quality control and as a result Telstra/HTC will pay a much bigger bill getting the phones back for doing the job in their repair facilities. Yes, my phone had to go in for repair to get this upgrade done.

      Anyway, I’m sure it won’t happen again. Well, fingers crossed.

  20. Stilgherrian says:

    And for those who don’t have Windows PCs handy, because they use another kind of computer, where are they with this HTC Desire upgrade?

    • Grant says:

      Then buy an iphone…:) to go with, I presume, the Mac you own.

      The biggest problem with a Mac is that globally they represent only about 5% of systems and so many software companies don’t have the resources or the desire to have two teams of developers one working on windows and one on Mac to produce software, in this case the upgrade.

      There are enough problems with supporting the various versions of windows too I would think.


  21. Stilgherrian says:

    Grant, “buy more hardware” isn’t exactly an economical answer.

    There’s a whole bunch of cross-platform development environments available, so there’s no need for there to be two teams of developers for what should be a simple application.

    Indeed, since a smartphone is itself a computer, why does it need another computer to upgrade its own software? Windows, OS X, Linux… all can be updated without having run software on another machine. And Android is, essentially, Linux.

    • Grant says:

      I did software development for over 15 years including .NET and the surprising thing is just how many things can go wrong.
      Cross platform development I think was a holy grail for quite a while but it rarely seems to work for the simple reason that the development environments and tools are monumentally complex and there is no way you can port a .NET application to linux or vice versa (not without a huge amount of work). There are some ways of incorporating DLL files and compiling them in a different language and then incorportaing them into a project but that’s about it. If you add any other complexities like database, it can be between difficult and a complete rewrite depending on the application.

      You do have a point though about whether the phone itself could just be a dumb receptacle with the package downloaded onto the phone SD card. The package could then be installed using an on phone utility. Obviously they don’t do it this way but it probably could be.


  22. john says:

    A question?

    Before I take the risk and go for 2.2 does anyone know if the new update works with Windows 7 on a 64 bit operating system?.

  23. john firth says:

    The 2.2 upgrade it full of problems be warned you cant restore your backups programs and data and they are now telling me you will never be able to. This means you will need to set up your programs and all phone information and all will be lost pitty they dint tell you before you do the upgrade

  24. Dave Ingra, says:

    What have Telstra done with this update ???? My Froyo OTA (WiFi) update (130MB) to a UK sourced phone (but done in Australia) left everything intact. No resync required and all the apps stayed in place. There was a subsequent update (30MB) too which ‘just worked’.

  25. john says:

    Downloaded OTA 2.2 last night and all seemed fine. Just discovered it wont register to synch to my laptop. It runs a 64 bit operating system. Have what appears to be latest version htc synch version 3.0.5422 installed. On the htc site it says it is for 2.1. Is there one for 2.2 or should it be working?

  26. john says:

    with 2.1 installed I have been using phone with silent notification for SMS and sound for normal phone. Is this feature missing from 2.2? If so does anyone know a way around it. I use the phone for counselling sessions and the unpredictable intrusion is not welcome

  27. John E. says:

    Downloaded version 2.2 via OTA, no problems. Downloaded Sync 3.0 to my Vista 64 bit OS. No problems, able to sync Desire phone with no issues. In my view the new program now allows the syncing of additional material to my PC. -- photos etc. I updated from a Nokia to the HTC Desire, one issue I have is -- when connected to blue tooth, no automatic answer provision. Is this possible with this model?

  28. Jake says:

    I had a terrible 170 connection issue.

    I found a fix that worked for me on windows 7!
    >Right click on the installer..
    >Click on Properties..
    >Compatibility Tab
    >Run in Compatibility with Windows XP (SP3)

    Run the RUU and it should work a treat now!

    Hopefully this works for others aswell!

  29. Nicky says:

    I’ve had my Telstra HTC Desire for 4 months now, after using a variety of smartphones (a new one almost every year) for the last 6-7 years. While it’s one of the best phones I’ve ever had, there are 2 glaring issues which, if I’d known about them beforehand, probably would have made me second-guess this purchase:

    1. Despite the fact that it’s supposed to be fully a customisable device, Telstra have hard-coded it so that it is impossible to remove any Telstra-specific apps that you don’t want. There is NO way to delete those Telstra apps, which largely do not work if you are using Wi-Fi anyway. This is despite a sales-rep in a Telstra shop assuring me that they COULD be removed. The only way to get rid of them is to flash the ROM with a generic Android ROM, which is a little daunting for most people and apparently voids the warranty anyway. I could understand Telstra putting their own things in, but to make them unremovable makes the whole concept of Android a bit of a joke, and makes we wish I’d bought a generic handset from overseas instead.

    2. HTC Sync, to sync between Outlook and the Desire using a cable, is a complete and utter disaster of an application. I acknowledge that this isn’t a Telstra issue, it’s an HTC/Google issue. Coming from a WinMobile device where I could sync Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Notes easily, it was a shock to discover that I can NOT sync Tasks or Notes. Further, the sync randomly randomly corrupts my Outlook contacts each time I sync (and yes, I’ve tried 3 different versions of HTC Sync). As a result I’ve done one sync and then turned it off for Contacts, then fixed up all the corrupt entries in Outlook, and now only sync my Calendar. The only thing that makes me dream about my WinMobile days, quite honestly!


    • HTGC says:

      Nicky, Totally agree with the HTC Sync problem. The corruption of contacts and deletion of calendar items when you don’t want them deleted is appalling design. I have also had an ongoing correspondence with HTC support re syncing correctly (it wouldn’t see calendar or people) to no avail. We (my company’s IT dept) thinks there is an issue with HTC Sync 3 operating in a domain environment and with MS Outlook hanging off an exchange mail server. You’d think HTC would have sorted this. If you rely on your smartphone for business I cannot recommend this device. It is getting close to going back to an old Nokia E71 at this point, which ran without these kinds of issues.

  30. Vivien says:

    Hi have just got a HTC Desire from Telstra and we cannot syn to the Exchange Server. Everything that we do with Iphones we have done with the HTC. Spoke to a Telstra guy last night and he said that there is a unique setting on our server that must be configured to allow the syncing and it is only Unique to the HTC. He of course said he had only seen this once before and couldn’t remember where or how to fix. HTC help no help and Telstra online help, no help. Can anybody help with this problem.

  31. John Mackay says:

    Have had my HTC Desire for a month and it is now back to be looked at/repaired for the second time (I got it back Tues and Wednesday still had the same problem).

    Every time I use it as a Phone the person on the other end tells me my Voice keeps fading in and out and they only catch half of what I am saying (it has OTA 2.2), even the person at the Telstra Shop said the same thing when I rang and complained it was still faulty.

    Really becoming annoyed with this phone as I work for myself and calls are important, I see on Whirlpool (linked as my Website) there are 5 pages of Microphone complaints for it and no answers, does anyone know any more.

    I am at the point where if it comes back and is still useless, I am thinking it is time to just lose out and junk the Desire and fork out more dollars and buy a Motorola Defy (it has the Blue Tick so may serve me better).

    Would prefer if Telstra would replace the Desire with a Defy (or any Smart Phone other than Desire that actually works as a phone) for me, however that seems unlikely, however I just cannot work with this phone any more.

    • Grant says:

      I would just stick with the replacement phone that they should give you. I think that the third time it goes in they are obliged to replace the phone (with a new Desire) and this is fair enough as some phones can’t be fixed.

      I have had one minor issue with mine that has been fixed but I love the phone. It does everything I want and makes my life easier.

      I’d stick with it, there are potential problems with any phone you buy.

    • John Mackay says:

      I will see how it goes Grant, as of today (Dec 30th), the Phone is still in the shop and I still feel frustrated as I have had use of the Desire for 3 weeks out of the 12 weeks I have actually owned it.

    • Josh says:

      I wouldn’t go the defy i’ve been through two replacements in 4 weeks with earpiece speaker problems.

  32. Justin Coates says:

    I am having connection problems with my TIVO. I can use the wifi hotspot to connect to my computer and my Tivo. On my computer i can access the internet and all is good. My problem lies with the TIVO connection. My phone sees the TIVO but the TIVO cant seem to connect to the internet to down load its menues it just comes up with Connection errors. It has asked if my ISP is blocking certian ports. Is this the case or has anyone had any luck with the TIVO connection and settings.


    Justin Coates

  33. Binocs says:

    Does anyone know if new Desires sold by Telstra now have Android 2.2 already installed?

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