HTC’s (my) Hero (via postie)

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So this morning arrived my ‘free’ upgrade’ from Orange of a HTC Hero. Of the phones they had, that weren’t an iPhone, this seemed the best bet as it’s running Android. What made the decision for me was that it’s possible to root it and use it as wf-fi/bluetooth to 3G access point. Which it now does. The firmware flashing process wasn’t that difficult, as I’d prepared for it over the weekend. There were 2 methods suggested and the one that worked was installing an earlier Orange firmware, a package from the SD card, then installing then custom loader then the custom ‘rom’ (which appears to be a custom android install + uncrippled bluetooth stack.

What is best of all is that even though it has a wierd shaped usb connector, it does actually take a standard mini-usb cable and will charge from that, so *not* requiring a custom cable or charger, which is great! 😉 The interface is actually really nice (the HTC flow(?) on top of standard android) and sync’ed easily with my google contacts. My previous device is a Palm Centro, although I was waiting for the n900 as that can run the Garnet PalmOS emulator, then again the Hero was free and gtives me a 3G capable sim for nowt. Getting the contacts from the Centro to the Hero (can you hear me say ‘o’!? ;o) ) was actually remarkably easy. Open the contact list on the Palm device, send group (which means send all) to another bluetooth device (which was my HacBook Mini9) as a vcf file, then import those into google mail (‘My Contacts’, not ‘all’) and lo and behold, they all sync’ed!

What is taking some getting used to is the on-screen typing, as the Centro and my n810 both have physical keyboards. Turning on the haptic response has helped somewhat, but I can still see some really bad drunken texting appearing at some point in the future! 😉 However, in its favour it does have auto-rotate input screens, so typing in landscape mode is possible and a bit easier. So far I’ve downloaded Opera and a video player from the ‘Android Market’ (free apps) and of course with the custom firmware I can install them to the card too. All in all, it’s actually a rather nice device and I look forward to finding out what it can do. Oh, it also has a ‘standard’ headphone jack so doesn’t require silly adaptors unlike that other popular smartphone from the fruit company. So, so far all pluses!

More to come soon!

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