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Vodafone Update Proves to be Far from Desired


Vodafone Update Proves to be Far from Desired

Vodafone has suspended rolling out a recent update for the HTC Desire, following a torrent of complaints from customers.

Earlier this week, Vodafone began to roll out a major over-the-air update for the HTC Desire, labelled ‘Android 21.-update1’. While many users expected this to be the long awaited Android 2.2 update, it turned out to install a large amount of software based on Vodafone 360 services packages, along with other changes.

These include a new splash screen, a portal to Vodafone’s My Web service, access to Vodafone’s music store and a number of shortcuts on the home screen. Also included were bookmarks for various dating web sites, which many users found inappropriate.

Users immediately began to complain on Vodafone’s forums about the unwanted changes.

“Can someone from Vodafone please explain to your paying customers why you are able to get an update out the door full of branding and unwanted Vodafone applications when you know full well all anyone wants is Froyo, and the absolute last thing anyone wants is misguided Vodafone rubbish that we cannot remove?” wrote forum user edesignuk.

Vodafone customer rhintintin followed up with the comment, “+1”, while Allan87 asked, “Can VF please advise if and how we can remove this crapware, I feel you've just ruined my Desire with software I neither need or want.”

Meanwhile, customers on Vodafone are still waiting for the actual Froyo update, which is already being enjoyed by those who purchased the HTC Desire without a network subsidy.

Vodafone has not said if and when it intends to resume the Vodafone 360 update but hinted that Froyo isn’t too far off. “In the mean time we are continuing to work with HTC and Google to deliver the Android 2.2 (Froyo) update to Vodafone HTC Desire customers as soon as possible," a spokesman for Vodafone told ZDNet UK.

Link: Vodafone forum.

UPDATE 10/08/10

Vodafone has "listened to feedback from customers" (including some pretty peeved TR readers) and has revised their plans, as posted in the Vodafone Support forums:

"The Android 2.2 update for Vodafone HTC Desire users will be based on the HTC open market version of the software and we will customise it to ensure our network settings are installed.

For customers who have downloaded the recent 360 update for Android 2.1, we can confirm that the Android 2.2 update will remove the 360 applications and will leave the homepage and bookmarks on your current settings.

Customers who want to access the 360 services will be able to do so once the Android 2.2 compatible version is available and, in the meantime, can now download apps like 360 People from the Android Marketplace.

We plan to make the 360 apps available in a separate update for the HTC Desire at a later date, giving customers the choice to download it.

We will let you know when the date for delivery of the Android 2.2 update is finalised, but, subject to testing, we expect this to be in 7-10 days time."

Whatever your thoughts are on their original infraction, credit where credit is due: not every company would be prepared to perform a u-turn like this. Power to the people!

Via Eurodroid


August 6, 2010, 9:07 pm

I currently use a Nokia X6 that we locked to Vodafone. It came with unwanted crapware that ate into the already small free RAM. First thing I did was to debrand it and stick generic - and up to date - firmware on it. It runs much better as a result.

Ugh. The sooner the carriers realise that we only want them to be dumb pipes the better.

My sympathies to the poor sods with the Voda Desires.


August 6, 2010, 9:17 pm

What they should have done is put their crapware into the marketplace, makes it easier for them to update as they don't have to sync with Google's main releases. And it pleases the customers that want their phones to be their phones!


August 6, 2010, 9:30 pm

Vodafone know full well that no-one would install this software if they had the option, but they hope that by forcing it on their customers a few of them will use it. All of these things ultimately make money for Vodafone, perhaps through advertising, services or just differentiation.

This amounts to legalised adware, IMHO, and it shouldn't be tolerated.


August 6, 2010, 9:31 pm

There are even problems with HTC unlocked updates it seems. My sister's Sim Free legend got an OTA update which breaks the SMS client, the conversation view goes to the oldest message from contact instead of the newest which is incredibly annoying for a long conversation where you have to scroll to the bottom to see your new message.

She just pressed update without thinking (used to Windows Updates where usually sooner is better for security etc) and now is left with no easy way to roll back and having to use third party SMS client until it's fixed.


August 6, 2010, 9:51 pm

I wonder why they just didn't wait and do this with the froyo update? this is obviously why it's taking so long them adding this to it (and disabling tethering ect).

as there is no root for a desire on froyo yet so all their customers would habe been up the creek so to speak.

but this is a perfect ad to NEVER buy a network handset

Luan Bach

August 6, 2010, 9:56 pm

This news article just confirmed to me why my next phone should be a sim free one.


August 6, 2010, 10:00 pm

This is very cheeky as it was after the fact. If all this garbage was on the phone when people bought it thats one thing but to add it later as an update is a hell of alot worse. I would be ripping. Don't know what the memories like on the desire but on the nexus one I run out easily. They should pull that update right away with an apology for being very naughty boys.


August 6, 2010, 11:11 pm

For a change, Irish networks do something better than their UK counterparts. Meteor rolled out the Froyo update last week over here. (Not branded, either.) They were the same with the Hero 2.1 update. It was out here weeks before it was in the UK.


August 7, 2010, 12:36 am

Incredibly poor judgement from Vodafone. Why do they still think that this is what customers want? More to the point, why did they ever think it was? 360 is doomed to the same fate as Live! anyway.

Boys and girls, buy your phones SIM-free and take a super cheap SIM-Only tariff from whatever network floats your boat.

Adam Foreman

August 7, 2010, 12:42 am

All this will do is force Vodafone HTC Desire owners to ROOT their phones. Something I know Vodafone doesn't want to happen in view of capturing some app sales through the 360 Store.


August 7, 2010, 1:07 am

Very annoying - The "update" has nerfed the ability to EASILY put the stock ROM on, added a splash screen, slowed the phone, broken the SMS threads (SMS messages are now duplicated plus they are split to all the source messages at the top of the thread and destinations at the bottom), added bloatware - THAT DOESNT WORK and if it did only works over your 3G connection, not your Wifi (wonder why hmm?!) - reset the browser homepage (not acceptable on a desktop PC let alone a smartphone) and most distubingly put links to adult and dating websites on the browser bookmarks. Overall Vodafone have been very, very naughty people. Thanks for making my handset a little worse!!


August 7, 2010, 1:47 am

I avoid buying phones/contracts directly from the networks as most of them are branded and sometimes locked. I find better deals online (free) and they have all been unbranded and unlocked. Same as sim free.


August 7, 2010, 2:17 am

And this is why I never, EVER buy phones from a carrier. Also, is there any reason why one would not root his Desire, considering flashing a custom ROM is the only way of getting rid of the Sense crap?


August 7, 2010, 3:05 am

In the parlance of the Current Big Brother...

vodafone orange T-mobile and indeed ALL NETWORKS - LEAVE OUR #ANDROIDS ALONE!!! just give is a FAST chunk of Cloud - CHEAP then piss off!

Im delighted that 3 don't add anything to the mix and were first with the FroYo OTA Updates - Big Up for the Little Guy


August 7, 2010, 3:37 am

@DavidDB i'm jumping to three when orange refund me the massive data charges I got hit with. Something on my phone has went rogue and is consuming vast amounts of data which has cost me around £45 since I noticed and put a stop to it. Orange were more than happy to let me go way over my data limit, so although it technically wasn't their fault I was still pissed. Rang them up, currently getting refund sorted, then jumping ship to a 3 (sssh don't tell them) a network that warns you when you go over.

This is why I went sim free 18 months ago, don't have to put up with any crap.


August 7, 2010, 4:11 am

Recently Vodafone changed their homepage to this 360 crap for their mobile network. It sucks, it takes ages to load, even in a 3g area and a phone like my C902 (horrid, can't wait to change it) just isn't up to displaying all the silly pop-up bars opened. The available pop-ups suck and I am seriously considering changing provider. However, they all seem as bad as each other so what to do? Unlocked, unbranded handset and choose a network is my next move. And to think I almost considered the desire on vodafone. Glad this broke before I made that error!

Dean 2

August 7, 2010, 12:51 pm

I know many people have things on the phone they don't want to lose but if the worst comes to the worst you could try a factory reset



August 7, 2010, 2:37 pm


As far as I'm aware factory reset like on most phones and OSes only restores the phone to the original state of the CURRENT ROM or firmware that is on the phone so if you've already updated i.e. flashed to the new firmware with the 360 crap you're stuck with that.


August 7, 2010, 5:30 pm

I bought a Desire a month back - man am I glad I didn't get it on Vodafone in the end! This would have seriously angered my blood.

After Vodafone's website couldn't actually tell me when I would get one, I ventured into one of their bricks and mortar shops where I was waiting for 15 minutes before realising the sales monkey at the counter wasn't serving a customer, and was really just chatting to his mate and ignoring everyone. So I butted in and asked if they had any Desires in stock, and after he went to look I was told no... they didn't think to put "out of stock" or "coming soon" on either of their 3 Desire display models around the shop. Tw@s.

So I bit the bullet and bought it SIM free off Amazon (I had some vouchers thankfully). It still cost a little more than I wanted to pay initially, but in retrospect it was definitely worth it. Not only is it an excellent device, but as I'm sat here running the legit 2.2 update with HTC Sense on mine, reading this particular article helps me justify that initial heavy expense to myself even further haha.

Cheers TR ;)


August 8, 2010, 4:42 am

Haha. It's funny because the name of the phone yes. is in the title...you see...hilarious!

<Just watched an episode of family guy>


August 8, 2010, 4:14 pm

Although I've rooted and had FrYo for the best part of a month I have to say that T-mobile's Desire ROM was perfectly fine. It's pretty much untouched with no crapware or annoying bookmarks. They even kept the USB tethering.

Big fail for Vodafone though. I wouldn't be happy. Saying that though the power is in your hands to make a GoldCard and flash a generic HTC ROM.

Don Kanonjii

August 10, 2010, 3:32 pm

Called VF last night. They have asked for my handset back to see if they can do. I have given them 3 options as well as demanded a courtesy phone.

1)revert it back to 2.1 as was without any warranty violations

2) Upgrade to 2.2 with no VF branding as it had non in the first place.

3) if they are unable to do the above then I want my contract cancelled with no penalty.

People, at the end of the day, this phone is your property. VF have no right to alter the device whatsoever without your full knowledge and consent. It is akin to me walking in to your home and installing an operating system of my choice along with other apps and bookmarks that were wholly innappropriate on to your PC and it then not working properly. I am sure Otelo and Ofcom would have a field day with this one.

Remember the phone belongs to you, not Vodafone. They have modified our property without full disclosure/consent.

Graham Carr

August 10, 2010, 5:17 pm

Is this going to delay the rollout of froyo?


August 10, 2010, 6:45 pm

Official Voda staement:

"We've listened to feedback from customers on a number of points around the recent 360 Android 2.1 update and made some changes to the roll out plan," a Vodafone spokesperson told TechRadar.

"The Android 2.2 update for Vodafone HTC Desire users will be based on the HTC open market version of the software and we will customise it to ensure ournetwork settings are installed.

"We will let you know when the date for delivery of the Android 2.2 update is finalised, but, subject to testing, we expect this to be in 7-10 days time."

And about time too!

Geoff Richards

August 10, 2010, 8:18 pm

Thanks Japester. We just updated the story to reflect this at the same time. News travels fast :)

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