Earlier this week HTC released an update to the software on its Hero handset, but T-Mobile customers who thought their handsets were equally Heroic are being left behind. Users of HTC's Hero handset have already got their hands on the latest update, which improve the interface speed while fixing various bugs on the device. But T …
Update Any Good?
I'm thinking of getting the Hero, has anyone who has applied the updated noticed a difference?
Still better than O2
My wife's Nokia N95 has not had _ANY_ patches for it ported. The O2 load arrived with the following merry set of wonders:
1. No deallocation on VOIP buffers resulting in a guaranteed crash after 5-7 minutes of VOIP talking.
2. Guaranteed crash when using packet data. Again - probably a memory leak.
3. The original painfully slow camera
And so on. These no longer appear in the generic Nokia N95 load. No fixes available for the O2 load of course. Why bother? So frankly, HTC is still better than the "market leader". At least some fixes are forthcoming at some point instead of deliberately denying them to their customers.
Hero on Orange...
.... can't download from HTC, it reckons it's not valid for my serial number.
Thankfully, MoDaCo to the rescue and my hero is now the whizzy lag free device it always should have been. Fringe benefit is the lack of additional crap that orange install for you ;)
Fail - because operator specific firmware is a pain in the ass.
HTC's Hero RSS feed not updated yet
I bought this phone on a T-mobile contract - subscribed to the HTC's Hero update support RSS feed which doesnt actually display the new update yet :(
@ Patrick - I'm probably going to wait for T-Mobile to release their varient of the patch as have been happy with the phone so far & can live with a small delay - very cool phone though!
Set your expectations low ....
Having repeated issues with my Orange Hero, I've called Orange 4 times. Three times I've been told that there is no firmware update for the Hero and that I've been misinformed. Despite giving them the HTC URL. On one call, they advised me that they were aware of the update but had no intention of making it available to customers as it didn't represent a significant improvement over and above the existing level.
None of this comes as a surprise. I suspect they are working on it like T-Mobile, but not expecting anything soon.
Another Hero on Orange
No, the update from HTC won't install on my Orange phone - tried the day it came out and it claims the serial number is 'invalid'.
TBH, I think the best thing to do is send the phone back - if companies keep releasing stuff that's not ready for primetime (A2DP on the Hero is AWFUL), they need to be pushed with RMAs.
T mobile are the same for a lot of HTC stuff.
I wanted the WM6.1 update for the tytn2, Tmobile tech support said it would be July 2008 (following the february 2008 release) that was around 15 months ago.
I don't think T mobile put the idea of supporting existing customers in the same way they do those new ones. Or they are just rubbish at after support for their phones once new ones arrive.
Then again anyone who buys a G2 phone which uses facebook and twitter access as a major selling opint needs to get out more and get a life.
I can confirm
My Hero is holding out for the update, despite HTC thinking my S/N isn't suitable. I tried waving the thing at the website and shouting, but still no go.
I have the Hero on Orange and I am pretty annoyed with them. The phone itself is no laggier than any other phone I've owned but of course I would like it to be at its best. I've emailed Orange twice with no reply and I've called them only for them to deny knowledge of any update.
I've read differing statements around the web on what Orange plan to do (update to be released on Friday, to be released in two weeks, no update to be released etc) but no definitive answer has been given. I just wish they would give us an answer so I'd know whether I should just go ahead and root the phone to install the HTC version.
Firmware next week on Orange
According to orange I spoke to yesterday they expect the firmware ready around next friday, fingers crossed.
Orange have always been terrible for updates too.
My original N95 would still be on V11 and crashing if I hadn't hacked the phone to be a generic Euro model. It is perfectly stable on V30 now. Even better, voip works over wifi now too.
Sometimes the problem isn't the carriers though. For some reason even unbranded uk n97s are currently stuck on v11 when world+dog has had v12 for a month. It's not even a feature adding update, it fixes well publicised bugs!
I can feel another hack to generic euro model coming up!
I'd switched to the google 'Home' rather than use the TouchFlo interface (Settings->Applications->Manage Applications->TouchFlo->Clear Defaults - then hit the home key and use 'Home' instead) as it made the handset a little more responsive. I downloaded and installed the update yesterday from the HTC support website and it feels like a completely different phone. This is the handset they should have shipped! Much better!
Void of warranty???
Just out of interest we all know what is ment by "ways to install the standard release from HTC"
But if you were to go down this route then why does it void your warranty? for example (and used in a slight different context), most computer systems state in their terms and conditions that software is not warranted, and the fact the software being loaded onto these handsets is from HTC themselfs then I can't see how this voids anything.
I always thought warranties covered hardware and failures as such with it.
"losing access to all those features to which T-Mobile likes to provide quick access."
I could understand the delay if there really were additional features added by T-Mobile, however as far as I can see it's just a link to their rubbish internet portal - which is usually the first thing to be removed from the home screen.
Thanks god for Modaco and xda-developers :-)
The update is worth it.
Patrick - I have applied a version of the update from Modaco, and it makes a big difference to the speed, especially scrolling between home screens. Well worth applying.
Where are all the Android fanbois?
... where are all the comments about how much more open and freedom-giving Android phones are, blah, blah, blah. Oh, turns out that they aren't. You still need to "jailbreak" them to make them fully functional. The networks still have final say over what you can and can't do with "your" phone. Google has no power over them in any way, shape, or form ...
Not HTC but similar T-Mobile branding issues.
Bought myself an Nokia N79 otherday on t-mobile, version 11.xx. Using a bit of software, i had it de-branded back to nokia wthin 20 minutes, then ran the proper nokia firmware (v30.xx).
The difference is incredible, not least of which is the fact that ALL the tmobile branding shite has vanished.
Only branding they should have is the tmobile sticker on the phone..
Bugs and speed
Sorry, are we talking about the same phone? I have had a T-Mobile Hero for a month and can tell you for a fact it has no "bugs" - at least none that I can find - and the system operating speed if just fine too. All in all I am supremely impressed by it and have no intention of buggering about with the firmware in pursuit of some spurious and negligible benefits aimed at the "must have the latest" tech-head fad.
One URL is all you need
So far, I've tried 3 different ROMs on my Touch Diamond 2, updated the radio version four times (with improvements each time), and I'm totally free of any branding or bloat from my network operator.
Ask around there on how to update or get the update
SIM free or iPhone
I bought a SIM free phone this summer, and will never go back to operator subsidised, operator broken *h*te again. I may go for t'iPhone at some point because Apple at least seem to have the right idea - "Back off bucko - this is *our* phone, not yours"
Another frustrated Orange customer here. With an invalid s/n, I just gave up. I've now installed the MoDaCo patch with very few issues, and it's wonderful now! It really is how it should have been at the beginning. I'd like to see a review of this phone now that it's been updated. I'd dare say it'll get that ever elusive "iPhone killer" title...
Operater preloded crap
Had to get me a new phone due ti it being drowned in local canal.
Orderd me a Sony ericson (Just needed a basic fone to make calls)
Cam with preloaded Operator crap.
Soon went online and re flashed the thing..
End result = a quicker faster more responsive fone
Yep, me too. I took advantage of a total system crash (the only one I've had - used to happen semi-regularly on WM5) to install a ROM from xda-developers and upgrade to WM6.1.
Of course, it might probably void the warranty but since that only applies for 12-months* (yet they sell us 18-month contracts!) I figured it was worth it. And it was, but if networks don't want us to do that then they need to pull their socks up and act like the software vendors they should realise they are.
*[Not technically true, but try explaining this to the poor call centre grunt: http://www.moneyweek.com/personal-finance/moneyweek-saver-the-law-that-can-save-you-money-64003.aspx]
Who says you have to jailbreak to get "full" functionality? Quite simply, you don't.
In the iPhone world you have to jailbreak the phone in order to install applications outside of the App Store. No such issue with Android phones, since it is an user-selectable option to allow applications to be installed from locations other than the Android market
You do have to "root" the device if you want to play around with system files, and this isn't a user selectable option and requires a little hacking around, but to be honest on a consumer level device this is perfectly appropriate - consumers are notorious for finding ways to destroy their device, and for the vast, vat (did I say vast? I mean really vast!) majority of users this will not hinder them from using their device in anyway, but it will make the device more robust.
Oh great ****ing install process.
"Slightly irritatingly for some, you need a Windows PC to install the ROM - Linux and Macs are a no-go"
It means I cannot install it.
That's more than slightly annoying for a device I chose because with WiFi and Mass Storage support it should never require a Windows OS to do anything.
@ Dave Fox
So not being able to update your phone to the latest OS version whenever you like is still to be considered offering full functionality? Give me a fucking break. If you can't do this without "jailbreaking" then you DO NOT have a fully functional phone. In other words, Android phones are as prone to crippling limitations as iPhones are, only for different reasons.
Warranty will not be voided.
During the rooting and upgrade process you can make a backup image of the phone with its stupid orange dress on. If anything goes t1ts then you just simply restore from the backup before handing it back to our love hating orange overlords.
I think you misunderstood Dave's response.
With Apple's handsets, you're penalised for Jailbreaking. With Android, WM and most others you're not. At worst you lose a warranty, which is pretty understandable.
With Apple's handsets, you can't install whatever software you like. With Android, WM, etc you're absolutely free to install whatever software you want. There is a small limitation in Android that you've got to check a checkbox before this can happen- a simple but effective device-integrity procedure.
Anyway, you CAN upgrade Android to the latest version on the Hero. Absolutely whenever you want. It's just that the operator-related stuff isn't included- or rather the operator-branded version isn't ready yet. You can even install Android on, say, the HTC Kaiser- a WM phone by default.
Any problems that do arise are due to the network rather than the phone hardware or OS.
Mr. Larry Page
Stop bitching yo, this is how all motherfokin ver 1.0 fones are.
Oh come on, yes the operator gets final say on what's on the stock image. no different from hundreds of other phones. You'll get the images in a few weeks no doubt.
What's really different is how modable the android OS is once you jailbreak. There is a huge difference with what you can do (Get pirate apps vs completely written parts of the OS, different schedulers, etc), and no doubt long after apple have lost interest in the hardware your phone is running, there will still be mods coming out for my G1. And once its rooted, you don't have to play a cat and mouse game with google to keep it routed. Google couldn't give a rats ass if your phone is running a stock image or not.
Cyanogen mod has made my G1 a totally different phone.
Hell, you need to jailbreak your iPhone to run two applications at once!
Re: @ Dave Fox
Um... no. You're missing the point. The only reason Orabile customers are not able to install the update is because the carriers have not released their versions of it yet. Once they do, everyone will be able to update. HTC do not let you download the update if you have a carrier branded s/n because they don't support them, the carrier does. And if you install non-carrier sanctioned software you cannot get support for it. It's NOTHING at all to do with the operating system of the phone, it's EVERYTHING to do with company politics and support contracts.
If you had a non-operator branded phone, you'd be able to update it whenever you like. Very much unlike the iPhone, which you'd STILL have to jailbreak.
Would you consider updating your review of the Hero with the new firmware?
Save yourself the trouble...
...and buy an iPhone. Go on, you know you want to!
new review update?
with such changes by firmware - what is the Reg policy on updating the original review?
does a fix or feature suite improvement in the firmware warrant a revisit?
G2 = lag
I had the G2 and it was so laggy that it was basically unsable. Seems hit and miss if yours is or not, which frankly is pretty damn poor quality control. That and the camera is a joke. Had it a week and put it straight onto eBay.
Just waiting for the factory unlocked iPhone 3gs to arrive from oz now, should've gone iPhone in the beginning.
2 ways to get the update
Either change the last few numbers when you enter the serial number in the HTC website
or use one of the custom or generic firmware updates from http://preview.tinyurl.com/nzgy2j
No need to wait for the crippled version from Orange or T-Mob
Better than 80%
@Patrick O'Reilly Applied it 2 days ago. It's very smooth. Can make the main screen seamlessly 'flutter' with quick side to side sweeps :)
The Reg really should review its review...
Holding out for a ... blackberry ..
I decided to go with the Hero and move off my blackberry, the Hero was very shiny, no lag, great phone apart from exchange wouldnt work for me. After the first full charge in the battery and the consequent excessive first use playing about with it the battery was discharged in a little over 4 hours, promptly sent it back to orange and I'II stick with Rim's offerings where stuff just works, granted they have a piss browser but at least they have battery life, reliable mail and even see fit to include an albeit crappy flash for the camera.
What I don't understand is why the underlying mobile OS can't support post installation of the carrier 'customisations'. So every model starts with the base, and then the carriers can do all the limiting and ui destroying tweaks they want?
Given that the carriers always want to do this, its surprising thats its still an issue unsolved by the manufactures.
So basically you bought a phone you didn't read any reviews for and then promptly punted it on ebay before you checked whether there'd be an update to fix the VERY marginal lag issue. More fool you. Congratulations on wasting your money.
Paris because she allows far more access than an iPhone.
HTC and mobile operators....
HTC only support handsets that they've sold directly, or via SIM-free routes. They will always tell operator-provided handset owners that their serial numbers are invalid because they are no longer responsible for the support and warranty of such devices. I had exactly the same issues with T-Mobile Vario variants of Hermes (V-II), Kaiser (V-III) and Raphael (V-IV, Touch Pro) handsets - and this is one of the reasons that many folk venture over to xda-developers, as mentioned by others.
So, T-Mobile has taken on all support and warranty of any T-Mobile branded devices, and similarly for Orange. HTC have nothing more to do with them.
Taking an image from ROM is not as simple as it seems though, if you want to revert things back to stock in case of warranty 'issues' - heres the link for Kaiser (Tytn-II, Tilt, etc) - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=337066 - it's more than just running a device backup using SpB or Sprite, for example, as these don't image the firmware, just the device data and settings. Check the wiki on xda-dev, there's probably a base ROM already there.
Of all the operators, Orange seem to be best at keeping up with the HTC releases - after a while they'll stop but T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone all seem to give up sooner.
My G2 has the HTC untouched update availabe from MoDaCo. I've been using it for the better part of the week and I can't sing its praises higher.
It's a completely different phone and everything works beautufully, even with a lot of apps installed.
I can't understand why T-Mobile/Orange are taking so long. How many days does it take to add their logos/web shortcuts to HTC's vanilla update?!
@AC - No I didn't buy a phone that I hadn't read any reviews on, I bought a phone that I'd read plenty of reviews on. However a lot of those reviews said that the lag wasn't noticable. I for one, found this lag to be very noticeable.
See vid here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f54S94bP4Po
Mine's gone back
T-mobile denied me the update, the phone's unusable. I can't charge the thing twice a day, and I'm damned if I'm turning off mobile data and wi-fi... what's the point of the phone if I have to do that? Why they didn't just put a faster processor and better battery in this thing, or wait until it was ready before releasing it, I don't know.
T-Mobile customer -updtd OK from HTC site...
Started reading more about this and I managed to update my T-Mobile HTC Hero phone using the update issued from the HTC website just following the instructions on their site. Accepted my serial number ok and let me download the firmware.
I purchased my handset from an online company that is well advertised on this site :D. The handset was unbranded so it had no T-Mobile logos on.
My firmware version was previously build 1.76.405.6
Ran the update forgetting to back up my photos and Footprints but luckily they were stored on the card and were still there after the update - phew!
I am now running a snappier interface - Not sure if all those valuable mili-seconds I have saved have been worth going through the update but I can now sleep better.
If I hadn't rooted the unit and installed the update from MoCaDo, I'd have done the same.
As a network partner, T-Mobile (and Orange) should've known about this update for some time and should've been preparing since then.
My last four phones have been from HTC and every one of them have improved drastically with the first firmware update. Arguably they should just test for a lot longer, but I imagine there's huge pressure on the industry to get phones out quickly.
Paris because she knows exactly how to root a unit.
G2 Touch Update lands in 10 days
According to the t-mobile forums the update for the G2 Touch should be out within 10 days. t-mobile will update the forum on Wednesday to confirm timelines.
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