June 14, 2010

Memory limitation on Android

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Recently a few friends who got the HTC Desire started contacting me to ask how to install applications to the microSD card. Unfortunately, this is not possible for Desire’s Android 2.1, well at least for the moment. I know this maybe a dissapointment and has been a major short coming for an otherwise awesome OS. Shame on Google for not sorting this out sooner BUT WAIT, there’s a silver lining after all.  Android 2.2 aka Froyo resolves this issue. The even better news is Froyo is already available on the Nexus One so an update should be available anytime soon for the HTC Desire. Based on rumours the release date for the Froyo is June 23rd but as some of us know the release date announced from HTC sometimes does not materialise. Keep your fingers crossed for this one Desire owners 🙂

Low storage warning

Low storage warning

If you’ve taken a look at the specifications you’ll notice that the HTC Desire comes with 512MB ROM and 574MB RAM. Now even if you can’t install applications to the microSD card that’s still a lot of space to install stuff on right ? Sad to say not all the space is available to you. To make things easier you can look at ROM as the computer’s hard drive and RAM as the temporary memory. Android has to use this precious 512MB space on the ROM for the  operating system which leaves you with 140MB on a new Desire – severely limiting the fun on the Desire. So what about the extra 574MB RAM ? That’s basically your swap space and used for application data and it’s volatile which basically means it gets wiped off every time you switch the phone off.

Free space

Free space

Now this is where the iPhone excels compared to the Android. It allows users to install applications onto the phone without having to worry about RAM, ROM or external memory until they run out of space. That’s just awesome right ? BUT there is a limitation to the mighty iPhone as well. With iPhone 3.0 you can only display a maximum of 11 pages or a total of 180 icons including the 4 in the tray at the bottom. What happens when you try to install more than what you can display ? Well nothing really, the iPhone still allows you to install it but then you’ll have to use Spotlight to search and launch the application. Now can you even remember what applications you have installed without having to look at the icons in the first place ?

Once the HTC Desire get’s the Froyo update, the memory limitation will be a thing of the past. For those who can’t wait for the update on the HTC Desire and need to access the microSD card to install applications now, ROOT is the answer. Rooting the phone allows you to install the Apps2SD which allows you to utilise the microSD card for applications. Those adventurous and daring enough have done it and are now enjoying the HTC Desire even more.


  1. Yes it would have been more pratical to b able to download extra apps on the SD card without the hassle of going thru the rooting process since the space on the phone is limited. But as everything has its pros and cons and with too many apps, it will also effect the speed of the phone. So its always better to know what apps you REALLY want and keep it to a minimum if possible. As for current Desire owners, the only thing to do aside from the rooting option is to look forward to the Froyo update. June 23rd, we have a date 🙂

    Comment by jardindesoleil — June 14, 2010 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  2. True but the Desire has extra RAM for applications to use when it’s processing so it shouldn’t effect the performance when you’ve loads of applications installed that much, but it’s always a good idea to have more free space. Froyo we want you !!

    Comment by yoga — June 18, 2010 @ 9:39 am | Reply

  3. […] I’ve mentioned previously, Android phones have internal and external storage. Just because you have a 32GB microSD […]

    Pingback by Android Low on space « just.yoga — February 18, 2011 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

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