Tag Archives: htc desire

Dreamweaver CS5.5 PhoneGap apps: performance issues on Android

This is a follow-on from my earlier post about building a simple PhoneGap app using Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5. I built it on Windows targeting Android. I liked the development experience up to the point of trying the app: it looks great, but performance is terrible. That is, you tap a button and there is a perceptible pause before the app responds. It is worse in the emulator than on my HTC Desire, but still poor.

I had thought it was a configuration setting – though Dreamweaver makes it rather hard to access the build settings – but I am now wondering if jQuery mobile plus PhoneGap is just too demanding for most Android devices out there right now. Admittedly my Desire is a year or so old now. See this thread for example:

JQuery Mobile on Android is definitely slow. (Tested A2 and A3Pre on Samsung Galaxy S, HTC Desire, ZTE Blade (edit: 2.2 Froyo) – with PhoneGap, stock browser, Opera Mobile)

Something has to be done. The experience is low quality.

It is worth noting that PhoneGap is not yet a version 1.0 release – I was told it may be done by July. Further, you do not have to use jQuery Mobile with it in Dreamweaver; it just happens to provide a great set of user interface widgets. It may be better on Apple iOS; I have not tried that yet.

Nevertheless, this looks like a significant issue if you planning to dive in and deliver Android apps using the tools in the new Dreamweaver.

Ten reasons the Apple iPhone 4 beats the Android HTC Desire

I’ve recently been trying the Android-based HTC Desire for some development research. I’ve also been using the iPhone 4 since its release in the UK. How do they compare? Yesterday I posted Ten ways the Android HTC Desire beats Apple’s iPhone. Now here’s the opposite – ten ways the iPhone is better. Conclusions then? Maybe in another post.

1. The iPhone gets left alone by the operators, presumably at Apple’s insistence. When the OS is updated, everyone gets it at around the same time and from the same source – Apple. Contrast this with Desire, the software for which is customised by each OEM with different apps and possibly some bits missing. Orange UK removes Google Talk, for example. Right now everyone wants Android 2.2 “Froyo”, but whether you have it or not depends on which operator you are with and/or whether you are willing to hack your phone a little to remove the branding.

2. The iPhone is more beautiful. The Desire is not bad, but purely as a design object does not come close to the iPhone with its smooth lines and solid, cool metal and glass construction.

3. The iPhone is a better music player. Not surprising given that it evolved from the iPod family of devices. iPod for iPhone is delightful to navigate, does videos and audiobooks, and integrates with iTunes for buying songs over the air. Now, you could always install Amazon MP3 for Android to enable OTA music download, whereas – no surprise – this is not available for iPhone. The speaker is better on the iPhone, not that you are likely to use it much for music.

4. The battery life is better. My Desire is only a month old, but I struggle to get a full day out of it if it is used with any intensity for wi-fi, 3G internet, web browsing and so on. The iPhone normally makes it. Neither is great of course – there are simpler phones that last for a week, though they do much less. The Desire’s battery problems are mitigated by the ability to carry a spare, though given the way the back case clips on I suspect it might break if frequently removed and refitted.

5. The iPhone has better text input. It is not too bad on the Desire, bearing in mind that it is a touch device only, but the iPhone has that great press-and-hold edit bubble that lets you move the cursor (though the Desire has the optical joystick which also works for this). Another iPhone advantage is that if you touch the wrong letter, you can slide to the correct one, whereas the Desire keyboard uses this gesture to enabled accented characters and so on, which is less useful for me.

That said, the iPhone has its annoyances. Here’s one that drives me nuts. There must be a lot of people at Apple called Tom, because whenever I type my first name it wants to correct it:


At this point, if I hit return I get Tom. If I hit spacebar, I get Tom. In order to keep what I have actually typed, I have to tap the word Tom, which is counter-intuitive as it feels like selecting it, then it goes away. Having mentioned it here, I am sure someone will point out a way to fix it; please do.

6. App availability is better on the iPhone and the quality is better. I say this with reluctance, because the iPhone App Store is also full of rubbish, but overall I find the standard slightly higher. This is actually logical: the Apple App Store has a higher barrier to entry, both financial and in terms of developer skills. In addition, the App Store is nicer to use than the Market, and works better. In my case I had to open a port on my firewall before I could download from the Market at all.

7. The iPhone scores on “it just works”, with greater UI consistency and a sense that Apple has thought about all the common actions on a smartphone and made them work well. Often the iPhone goes one better and makes everyday apps fun to use. The messaging app on the iPhone, for example, is attractive as well as functional. The Desire equivalent is effective, but dull. The single main button on the iPhone makes it quick to learn, whereas the Desire’s five buttons (Home, Menu, Trackpad, Back and Search) give you more to think about, and mean more frequent switching between touching the screen and clicking a button. The Desire is missing some basic things out of the box, like a notes app, though you can add one for free from the Market.

If money and freedom are no object, I’d suggest iPhone over Desire for someone who wants to get on with their work and not tinker with their phone.

8. The iPhone has a better screen. 960 x 640 vs 800 x 480, and is a little better in sunlight than the Desire.

9. I prefer the Exchange app on the iPhone. For example, I use a lot of folders, and the iPhone shows me these on the main screen. On the Desire, I have to click Menu, then Folders, then select a folder from the pop-up window.

10. The iPhone has smooth, attractive transitions between screens. For example, if I am on the home screen and tap Mail, I get a nice zoom animation. On the Desire, screens typically just appear, or there is some lag and brief ugliness. It all contributes to a smooth-as-silk impression operating the iPhone, whereas Android feels rough and ready by contrast.

All these things are relative. Next to my old Windows Mobile 6.0 phone, Desire is delightfully smooth.

Ten ways the Android HTC Desire beats Apple’s iPhone

I’m just getting started with Android development, for which I got hold of an HTC Desire. And I’ve been using Apple’s iPhone 4 since its release in the UK. So which is better? There’s no satisfactory quick answer to that, though the two phones are certainly comparable; perhaps too much so, judging by Apple’s lawsuit. I thought it would be fun though to do a quick couple of posts on how they compare, of which this is the first. Reasons to prefer iPhone coming next. The following points are based on the Desire running Android 2.2 “Froyo”.

1. You can plug in a micro SD card to expand the storage. Apple does not support this with the iPhone; it may be because it wants to control what goes on the device, or because it uses storage space as means of selling more expensive versions of its devices.

2. Related to (1), you can copy a file to the phone by attaching it to a PC and using the filesystem. To do this with the iPhone you need additional software, or a solution like Dropbox which copies your document up to the Internet then down onto the iPhone.

3. You don’t need to install iTunes to get full use of the device. Some like iTunes, some do not; it is better on the Mac than on Windows, but it is great to avoid that dependency.

4. You can share your internet connection without fuss, either by creating a portable wi-fi hotspot, or through a USB connection.


5. Adobe Flash works on Desire. Coming soon is Adobe AIR, which will enable developers to create Flash applications as well as Flash-driven web content.

6. The platform is more open. Developer registration is only $25.00 (vs $99 for iPhone) and there are fewer restrictions concerning how you develop your application, what sort of app you create, or what language you use. The standard language is Java, which is easier to learn and more widely used than Apple’s Objective C.

7. The Desire has instant screen switching. Press home when already on the home screen, and you get thumbnails of all seven screens; touch a thumbnail to bring it to the front. Widget support means you can put those screens to good use too – not just for storing app shortcuts.

8. The battery is removable. The obvious advantage is that you can carry a spare with you.

9. It uses a standard USB cable. A small point perhaps; but it is easy to lose your cable or not have it with you, and being able to use a standard cable is convenient.

10. There’s no issue with the antenna when using the Desire without a case.