HTC to start rolling out Gingerbread to Desires

The long-awaited upgrade to Android 2.3 for HTC Desire and Desire Z handsets should arrive before the end of July, HTC has said after initially deciding not to make the move to the OS

The Android 2.3 operating system, also known as Gingerbread, will be available to download to HTC Desire and Desire Z handsets before August.

HTC Desire Z

HTC will roll out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update to the HTC Desire and Desire Z (above) before August. Photo credit: HTC

HTC's testing of the build for the Desire has gone well and the Taiwanese company expects the update to start rolling out before the end of July, it said in a post on its official Facebook page on Monday.

In addition, HTC updated its Facebook pages on Tuesday to inform Desire Z owners that Gingerbread should reach their handsets within the same time frame.

"We are in the last stages of testing and plan to start rolling out the update over the air in the coming weeks. It may take a little time to reach all of you across every network, but it should have reached everyone by the end of the month," the company said.

The news will likely be welcomed by Desire and Desire Z owners who have been waiting patiently for the update. Google began rolling out Gingerbread for Nexus One and Nexus S in February.

At one point, it looked like the Desire would miss out on the OS upgrade. On 14 June, HTC said it would be unable to bring Android 2.3 to the handset as it does not have enough memory. Two days later, the company reversed this decision to say it would bring Gingerbread to Desire but would need to remove apps from the Sense UI in order to do so. It has still not said which elements of Sense will be omitted.

The incremental OS update will bring better power and app management, a redesigned on-screen keyboard and near field-communication (NFC) support for NFC-enabled handsets.

Unlocking bootloaders

HTC is also getting ready to deliver on a promise made in May to unlock the bootloaders for its phones, which will allow developers to install unofficial software on the devices.

"While we wish we could flip a simple switch and unlock all bootloaders across our device portfolio, this is actually a complex challenge that requires a new software build and extensive testing to deliver the best possible customer experience. We're thrilled to announce today that software updates to support bootloader unlocking will begin rolling out in August for the global HTC Sensation, followed by the HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile USA and the HTC EVO 3D on Sprint," the company said on Sunday.

At the moment, HTC is testing out the unlocking capability, which it expects to be fully operational in early September on handsets with the preparatory software installed. It intends to push out the unlocking to other handsets in due course as part of maintenance releases or new shipments.

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