Factory reset my Surround a couple weeks ago to research/resolve a Live Tile issue and when I reinstalled my 140+ plus apps/games I left about 20 off, thinning things out a bit. One of the apps I did not reinstall was Attentive Phone, a utility exclusive to HTC devices that offers a few options when answering or talking on a call. I originally installed this app a few days after getting my phone at launch (actually I installed all the HTC apps initially). Shortly after I discovered that my phone would freeze if I tried using the built-in Alarm function and the phone was not on charge, requiring a soft reset.  DavidK originally reported the problem here. and I followed up after more testing here. Based on the feedback from readers, this alarm bug appeared to affect all HTC WP7 devices. My guess is a good number of users installed many of the HTC free apps.

Well I finally got around to testing my alarm and guess what. It works! I have done everything I can to cause a failure. Letting the alarm ring out for up to five minutes, tapping snooze several times, etc. So far, my alarm has gone off 15+ times in the past three days and no freezeups, or muting which was another result if the phone had recently been soft reset. I have read a few posts from users about Attentive Phone being the culprit, and I did try removing that app for a week with no success. As HTC has “admin” privileges with their apps, my guess it that an install changes something on the phone, which does not get changed back when deleting the app. Thanks HTC for that. Based on the below comments, not sure if Attentive Phone has anything to do with my alarm suddenly working.

So I can’t say for sure my alarm finally working is directly related to Attentive Phone or instead my factory reset, but as the trouble started almost immediately I am leaning towards this app being the bad guy. Thank you Microsoft for “not” auto-installing this lemon after my reset. The app is currently at v1.12.0.0, so the any bug may have been corrected, but as HTC has never responded to my email inquiry or my post in their forums, I am not willing to find out, and I suggest you proceed with caution. For clarification, I have not gotten any phone updates yet (thank AT&T for that) and my phone is still running the same firmware I had out of the box.

So, if you have an HTC device and you “never” installed Attentive Phone or have hard reset recently, without installing this app, does your Alarm work (not on charge) without freezing or turning off your sound?

BTW, I have also had problems with my phone getting all whacky when plugging in headphones or powered speakers while playing music or a video. Things like the volume jumping to max and then shooting back down to zero and staying there, regardless of what I tried to do with the volume control. Well this is another one that I can’t recreate since the hard reset. Don’t know why it’s working but I am not complaining. I did install HTC’s Sound Enhancer after my reset, so don’t think that app is contributing to either of these issues. But if Attentive Phone broke one thing, chances are it broke several.


  1. Never had any issues with the alarms in WP7 with either Attentive Phone installed or not installed.

  2. I haven’t had any alarm problems, and I’ve had Attentive Phone installed the whole time. No clue.

  3. Thanks for your comments. Unless HTC caught a problem very early (unlikely) and issued an update after 11/11/10 (the day I installed) and before you installed then I guess that’s not it. Just did some checking in Zune and I installed a good number of apps betweem 11/9 and 11/13, that are not installed in my current build. Think I first discovered the problem the morning of 11/14. DavidK’s first article was on 11/17 after some internal chatter.

    11/9 – Cocktail Flow, Translator (MS), HTC Hub, Robot Strike Bowling (app crashed)
    11/10 – Converter (HTC), Pocket Recorder Pro, Item Comparer, Yellow Pages, Florida Radars, Photo Enhancer (HTC), To-Do Tasks List, miToDo
    11/11 – AT&T Family Map (waste of time)
    11/12 – To Do Today, Password Padlock

    Can’t imagine anything on this list causing a problem relating to alarms. And either there are too many users using an app without a problem (HTC Hub, Cocktail Flow) or an app is so obscure that I may be the only person to ever download it (Florida Radars, Item Comparer), to relate a single app to this bug.

    Looks like this will remain a mystery, at least for awhile. I know using the alarm caused problems on my phone. And there are dozens of other HTC users with the same problem. Those facts can’t disputed. But those experiencing alarm or wacky volume issues may have to wait a little longer for a fix. Don’t think a firmware update from HTC is going to make any difference. Oh well. At least my alarms work.

  4. Attentive Phone has been in my HD7 since it was released. Never had any of the issues you highlighted. In fact, I’m so happy using the alarm while my daughter with the iPhone 4 kept her Samsung wm 6.5 phone for the alarm. :-D

  5. Don’t think there is a trial and the app only runs in motion view.Maybe its just my Surround but when the app is cycling through the images its very erratic. Didn’t bother to reinstall. RAD Now is free and much better for a quick radar view.

  6. I’ve had no issues with Alarms; I use them all the time on my HTC Surround. I have very few apps, but I do have Attentive Phone.

  7. Again, thanks to all for posting and unequivocally verifying that Attentive Phone had nothing to do with my, and apparently many others, alarm woes. But that does leave the question, if not then what, unanswered. I know a hard reset corrected the issue for me and as I assume everyone reporting has “not” had the displeasure of a reset yet I have to further assume that HTC did not add this bug to the OS as a feature. So that l leaves one of the third party apps listed above as the potential culprit. Can’t imagine how but its got to be.

    Would be sharp if Microsoft could implement some CSI type of feature where you could register a known bug and then MS could analyze your device to see what apps/conditions you have in common with others reporting the same problem. Without a tool like that, finding this bug would be less likely than a needle in a haystack. Oh well, at least there is a fix, as painful as it may be.

  8. Have you done any updates (NoDo) or HTC specific updates? I heard that HTC has sent some updates that is supposed to address the alarm issues as well as increasing the volume of the device.

  9. No. Aside from Dev unlocking two weeks ago and sideloading two utilities ( Reg Editor and Explorer) no other tinkering. Being on AT&T, Updates =0.

    And on 1/3/11 when the first update rumors started floating around I recorded all my OS & firmware info so I could compare in case I got a surprise update one day. Honestly, don’t think I tried an alarm since early December as I don’t particularly like soft resetting (it brings back memories of those dark Tilt2 days). But I know the wacky sound thing was still there until shortly before my hard reset.

    Don’t think HTC or Microsoft could have slipped in an update without my knowledge (prior to 1/2/11) so the only other explanation is a rouge app that somehow changed one or more settings. Aside from pornography not sure what the Marketplace police are looking to keep off my phone. Bad code would be something.

  10. From what I heard, HTC is sending out firmware updates on top of NoDo but who really knows what that fixes until the update actually gets sent out. I too have a Surround and I had hit this issue very sporadically. Something about having the alarm time out with the phone plugged in and the date is a odd number, etc… However, to work around this issue, I stopped using the OS alarms and started using alarm apps. They offer a lot more functionality and much more options. The one I am currently using now is called Free Talking Alarm Clock. Nothing extremlly special about the app but it does get my lazy ass out of bed in the morning!!


  11. That’s why I have not tried any of the backdoor methods for updating. Wanted to be certain that I got the proper firmware update from HTC, to hopefully correct issues like alarms. But it may not even be an HTC issue as it turns out. Although it is still peculiar that primarily HTC devices (a couple unverified Focus reports) are affected. Maybe another HTC app or the way a rogue app reacts to HTC’s firmware.

    I downloaded Alarm Clock Pro, but as it needs to run under lock screen, its really only useful for sleeping. Something I seem to be doing less of while I try to unravel these mysteries. I use alarms for lots of other things and rely on my electric + battery clocks to wakeup. In Florida, power winks are common occurrences.

  12. so has zune been installing your apps for you or do you have to hunt each one out of the marketplace after a hard reset? all my customers have told me that zune hasnt been re-installing apps. any trick to get zune to put that shit back on the phone without looking up each one again?

  13. If the 140 apps I had installed (plus another 30+ that I previously uninstalled) before my hard reset, Marketplace installed 26 apps at some point while I was resyncing all of my media via Zune. I didn’t get any messages but when I unplugged the phone they apps/games were there.

    I can’t be certain, but based on what I have read, if you actually purchase an app (free or $$$) through the phone, it will be automatically restore on a hard reset. Typically, I browse via my PC, purchase a selection, then find/download it via my phone. Not sure if all of these 26 were purchased/selected via the phone Marketplace interface, but very possible.

    Of the 26 autodownloads, I think 6-7 were apps I previously discarded so they had to be deleted. But later I discovered that any app that I first trialed and later purchased, installed the “trial” version which was a PITA. I had to go back through every app and verify that I was actually running the trial version, then replace it. After finding 6, I simply deleted 3 more that I suspected were trials and reinstalled the paid version.

    For the reamining 100+ apps, I had to search Marketplace on my phone and manually download each app. That took almost 3 hours. And that was with the new filter trick, adding “app” after an app name to avoid music and other unrelated stuff in the search. No NoDo here as I am an AT&T customer.

    Zune should have a simple screen where you can uncheck the apps you do not want to redownload, or do it for me when I delete an app. And “all” purchased apps should download automatically regardless of how they were purchased. Maybe by 2012-13.

  14. jimski, your a wealth of info. thanks man.

    “maybe by 2012-13″… i wouldnt even hold your breath for those dates at this point… :)

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