If you read my review of the TyTN II, you might be forgiven for thinking the device is god’s gift to business people and professional mobile users everywhere. Unfortunately, a problem has been discovered in all of the newer HTC model range which appears to be caused by broken or mal-engineered device driver software on the devices. Such a problem is technically fixable by a software update.
The site HTCClassAction.org is offering a $4,000 bounty for anyone who can successfully fix the poor graphical software of the TyTN II.
The company, “High Tech Computers” (HTC), a Taiwanese Microsoft Partner who are market leaders for creating the most powerful handheld devices on the marker have been under fire lately from websites and blogs claiming that the manufacturer “neglected to include the necessary drivers needed for the devices to come to their full potential”.
The main complaints surround the poor graphical performance of the HTC TyTN II. Specifically, laggy web page scrolling, choppy 3D rendering in GPS software such as TomTom and the inbuilt camera.
The HTC TyTN II itself is an awesome device, with impressive overall specifications, including (as I reported earlier), a built in graphics chip using the Qualcomm MSM 7200 chip. However, for the hardware to work to its full potential, the software manufacturer (in this case, HTC) first needs to load the correct “drivers” onto the device to handle putting graphics onto your screen. This makes the HTC TyTN II feel, at times, unresponsive.
Ironically, older devices don’t have this problem – as one user demonstrates on a YouTube video:
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIJWAu6IRe4 400 300]
Magician (left) = old device with proper driver
TyTN II (right) brand new device with inadequate/broken drivers
Business users might not encounter such problems as the device is more than capable of checking email, and light web browsing. However graphical performance is compromised for games and the device doesn’t feel as responsive as it should do.
If you have a TyTN II, consider contacting HTC to let them know that you want updated drivers. Click here for more information.
Confirmed Affected Devices (list copied from HTCClassAction.org)
HTC TyTN II (MSM7200), also known as:
T-Mobile MDA Vario III
HTC Touch Dual (MSM7200), also known as:
HTC Touch Cruise (MSM7200), also known as:
HTC Wings (MSM7200), also known as:
HTC Titan (MSM7500), also known as:
Sprint Mogul PPC-6800
HTC Vogue (MSM7500), also known as:
HTC Touch P3050 (this is not the normal HTC Touch)
Verizon Touch XV6900
HTC Libra (MSM7500), also known as:
HTC Iris (MSM7500), also known as:
HTCClassAction.org – “Because HTC dropped the ball, and it’s about time they pick it up!”
Engadget – “Driver trouble makes angry mobile owners rush castle HTC with burning torches”
Wireless Week – “Smartphone Owners Unite Over Performance Issues”
TheRegister – “Peeved HTC smartphone owners offer bounty for driver fix”
If you’re after a PDA business phone, to check email, browse the internet, play a few ‘simple’ games and use as a superfast 3G data modem for your laptop, or to play back wmv or .3gp movies – the TyTN II is still a very good choice. What needs to happen here is that HTC pick up the ball, and release a patch to fix the drivers for the QualComm chipset in the affected PDA’s. Within 12 months of the Apple iPhone launch, the iPhone Safari browser (although slower than a dialup modem) is already responsible for 1% of all web browsing, thanks in part to the sheer usability and strong hardware performance and strong driver support at Apple for their own device. Let’s hope that Microsoft see the problem and have a chat with their hardware partner!
I’m sure Steve Jobs is watching this hardware manufacturer integration fiasco and rubbing his hands with glee!
Is your device underperforming? Please let me know in the comments section.
I get the feeling that HTC needs to streamline their portfolio of products so that they can better support their existing clients. This is what annoyed me the most about my last HTC encounter. They never seem to do anything about bugs in their products – be it hardware or software.
The bounty is now up to $5,199.51 🙂
Someone please take it!