A month into my rooted HTC Desire

With help from a friend, I rooted my HTC Desire so I could put CyanogenMod on it using the Rom Manager.

When I first rooted it, I didn’t do anything to it but after a while the same problems started happening with the lack of storage again even under Android 2.2 Froyo. This time, I installed Rom Manager and wiped the whole thing clean.

The Rom was the CyanogenMod 7.1 which means I’m now running Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread)

For the first week I wasn’t sure I liked everything, it was too basic. I had to install all the apps which usually come preinstalled. I had the basic Google apps but for some reason some of them were not installable so for a long time I couldn’t install Google Maps and Amazon Reader for example.

Having the raw Gingerbread Android operating system took a little while to get use to but its just so great not having all that Orange crap on the phone and not being able to remove it. Memory for storage was always a issue and because not every application can be moved to the SD card, it became a balancing act of not installing too much and clearing the cache a lot. But now those days are long gone, thankfully.

One of the highlights so far is the personal Wifi hotspot (MyFi) which was introduced in Froyo but for some reason never worked with my Kindle ever. Now it works and seems pretty stable, which is great. On the other hand the standard Gingerbread camera application is pretty crap and I’ve not really found a replacement worthy of keeping.

It is a real shame I had to root the device just to take control of the HTC Desire. I’m glad to see HTC finally did the right thing and decided not to lock down the bootloader.

Rooting your phone isn’t for everyone and I do have quite a bit more respect for what Orange do to a operating system to provide a usable experience for the most people. Its just a shame they also put all that crapware on the device too. If they allowed people to uninstall the crapware, I wouldn’t have had to root my device.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.