The Competition: HTC Hero (Android)


Do Android Hero's dream of electric steeds? (Too obscure? Never mind!Our sibling site Android Central is all over the new HTC Hero announcement -- the latest Android smartphone and one that looks decidedly different from its G1 predecessor.

We weren't exactly fond of the G1's user experience, but did lust after their notification system and push Gmail. Does this latest entry, with its Senses UI, up the ante? And should Apple be worried yet, or is Microsoft and Windows Mobile still the low-hanging fruit in Google's sights?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

The Competition: HTC Hero (Android)


Nice looking phone, and the Senses UI looks pretty cool.
I think this platform will eventually will outpace Apple, simply due to the number of available developers that can be bought to the table. The App store may be the only thing keeping Apple in the lead in a couple years.
Now it depends on execution. It will be interesting to see if the HTC can actually get it out there in volume.
I hope this gets some play on the round table tonight.

Some very nice touches in there particularly, the Weather and browser bookmarks UI. Apple could definitely learn couple of things from this.

When trying to d/L apps and upgrades with Cydia the blue bar reaches the VERY end then this ERROR mess pops up: "Couldnt configure pre-dend dpkg for grep, probably a dependency cycle". Next "Restart Springboard" button appears then Cydia CRASHES!!! Can some1 plz give a solution for this problem?

@ Dmys
It does. And I'm with you, I'll just get an itouch for my app store fix(and since my ipod is 4 years old I need one anyway).

i dont know i have really been taken in by apples simple elegant approach seems like a lot of key gestures for simple stuff. i do like the customizing though and hope apple takes notes like 5 sms alerts for the millions of peeps that all check there pocket when the tone goes off? the other thing is make a phone that is not a iphone copy cat do something new and inventive not how close can we get to the iphone and not get sued.

@only1jonarius: like every article states " Before you decide to jailbreak and unlock there are a few things you should know. If you do not know what you are doing - please do not attempt this as there is a possibility you can permanently damage your device. "
I would assume you don't know what you are doing since you are posting a jailbreak question in an article about the HTC Hero... But good luck...
Now about the HTC Hero... The Sense UI looks awesome tight and polished, lets see if the UI is as easy to navigate as the iPhone... Second and funny, I noticed that there was no sight or mention to MMS within that promo video for the HTC Hero First Look, Sense UI Walkthrough... I saw SMS alot but not a mention of MMS,,,

ive been watching videos of this for about 30 minutes now all over the net,
Conclusion. No thanks. Doesn't look snappy or fast at all.
There's some REAL footage out there where you can see some guys using it, and its pretty slow. He was scrolling through his contacts and it was very very laggy.

@earless puppy i did post in the forum under jailbreak @ 2:50 and there was NO reply. So I took these boards in oder to get a valuable answer. Im in no way, shape or form dumb. Thanx

There may be enough left-over market share to support a couple OS's like WebOS, Android, and Windows Mobile -- but after using them all for years, and recently switching to my first iPhone (the 3GS), I can see what they're all trying to emulate. So far they haven't got it right. iPhone has entrenched itself as a standard, I doubt we'll be seeing dedicated ports for anything other than iPhones/iPods. I can't stop playing with my new iPhone -- which has never been an issue with my WM or Android devices ;)

@earless puppy: All Android devices support MMS. Don't worry. ;)
@Benji: do know that WinMo still is currently beating Apple in market share. Not by much...but they are still above. And WHAT on Android "emulates" iPhone? Please inform me. Because sliding notification bar, app draw, widgets, desktop-experience, flash, Jay Leno chin...nothing on an Android device says "iPhone" in the least way. And in the end...your opinion is opinion. So yeah...

I love having the opportunity to test various phones and OSs for work and must say that I like things about every smartphone OS just as much as I hate things about each one. But the sense UI on Android looks sick. I'm not sure what this would do to Apple if anything, but I for one, want this device. I hate that I can not afford to get both the HTC Hreo AND the iPhone 3GS

Android is the killer system which makes everything possible even between programs.
Sense is the first UI created upon Android the world have seen, and its for sure also a killer.
Hero is cool, innovating, personal, customizable, it’s everything the iphone can only pretend to be!
Hero FTW!!!

@simon : yes, you can switch between normal and landscape to type your messages, mails, view flash videos in full screen by duble clicking... etc...

I got this phone five days ago and it is amazin it does everything I want and more, I wanted an iPhone but didn't want shit o2 tariffs however i got this on the day it got released and I love it!

I got the HTC Hero last weekend and I must say, this thing is so much better than the iPhone. It's sleeker, more customisable, and it has flash! Plus, you can get it on much cheaper contracts than the iPhone. I have the Orange £30 a month, and this phone came free. It's got all the stuff I found good in the iPhone... and more.

"I doubt we’ll be seeing dedicated ports for anything other than iPhones/iPods"
That's because almost everyone other then Apple follow standards, so for most devices you don't need dedicated ports.

All handsets are starting to look the same, but what apple doesn't get is that the whole home screen full of square App buttons is a thing of the past. It's no longer about some cool urbanspoon app. It's now about the OS and how will integrates the communication aspect of the phone with the technology after all at the end it is a phone. HTC Hero will definitely take a chunk from the iphone, the days of screens with just app buttons is done.

Biased website, constructive criticism has been removed, there was 49 posts, now there's 32......
go figure...

Does anybody know which sort of video files are supported? I remember the Instinct solely might dl 3gp using opera mini. I downloaded the twist ap, possibly that's the problem? How can I watch movies from sites other than youtube? Which file varieties? Normally I am given the choice of 3gp or mpeg4. Cannot get either to work. Thanks in your time! Damn I want I was eligible for the upgrade to EVO!

Thanks for the nice article, I'm very excited. I have had my telephone for simply over a month now and am actually enjoying the entire loose apps from the android market, with the ability to have the web and navigation at my fingertips all the time. The one not up to thought function is the picture/video textual content messages, as they are not downloading properly.

Edwald,Once you choose a foreign language keyboard you do not always have to poke.wait.popup.swipe ... the most important character will appear just by swiping up where the character is hidden ... for example: on a German keyboard swipe up on "a" and you get "ä" ... makes typing rather fast