Back in August HTC confirmed that certain models in their Android line-up would eventually get an upgrade to HTC Sense, the UI debuted on the well-received HTC Hero. Now HTC Asia has pushed out Sense for the Magic; however it appears to be only for unlocked versions of the Magic (and potentially only Asian-language models) rather than carrier-branded versions such as the T-Mobile myTouch 3G.
HTC have quietly answered many Android developer's prayers, and pushed out the kernel source code for the Hero smartphone. Available to download now - though admittedly of little use to most of us - it opens up the potential for much more modification of the Hero with custom ROMs.
Been holding off on picking up an HTC Hero until your next paycheck comes in? Might not be such a great idea to wait; according to HTC exec Jack Tong, strong sales of the chin-tastic European and Asian Hero are putting the pressure on production of the Android smartphone.
Streaming music looks to be the next step in driving smartphone adoption, with UK carrier 3 to offer the HTC Hero with the Spotify app preloaded and a subscription to the premium service included in the monthly contract. According to Mobile Entertainment News, the Hero will be priced at £99 ($161) with a 24-month agreement, the £35 ($57) tariff integrating Spotify's £9.99 ($16) subscription fee.
Update: 3 UK have put up a pre-registration page for the deal, though there's no specific availability date. The Hero will come with a voucher for 24 months Spotify Premium subscription; that does mean that after two years your monthly plan will stay the same price but you'll no longer get inclusive streaming music.
US friends and lovers: you read the European review and seethed with envy; you read our Sprint review and drooled with delight; now you can buy the HTC Hero yourself and seethe/drool on your own time. Sprint have finally pushed the CDMA HTC Hero out of the door, priced at $179.99 with a new, two-year agreement and following a wretched $100 mail-in rebate.
We weren't short of praise for the HTC Hero when we reviewed the European GSM model back in July, and since then there's been no small amount of anticipation for the US version of the device. That arrives on Sprint come October 11th, and we've been playing with it to see whether its lost its charm in the journey across the Atlantic.
The ROM update for the Orange version of the HTC Hero has been released, and is now available to download from HTC's UK support site. Promising an increase in system speed, together with the addition of touch-to-focus in the Hero's camera, the new software has also been tested by Orange to ensure it's compatibility with their network.
It's taken them a while to catch up, but HTC have finally added the new Hero firmware to their UK download page. The English 2.73.405.5 ROM brings with it a new lease of speed and general perkiness to the Android smartphone, together with adding touch-to-focus to the Hero's 5-megapixel camera.
HTC's UK support site is still wilfully refusing to update and offer a download link for the new HTC Hero ROM, but that doesn't mean English language firmware updates aren't available elsewhere. Over at XDA Developers they're compiling a list of the various ROMs available, including a couple of "Worldwide English" versions, which promise to speed up the hesitant handset.
The first signs of HTC's promised update for the Hero Android smartphone have appeared, in the shape of a download on the company's Nordic support site. HTC Hero firmware version 2.73.405.5 promises to smooth screen transitions, increase HTC Sense performance and the introduction of touch-to-focus in the 5-megapixel camera.
Update: There's talk from a Swedish forum that HTC support in that country are advising not to use this update, warning that it "misses an important piece in the ROM". The "real" one is said to be coming tomorrow, though other users are claiming to have installed it with no problems; might be worth waiting to see what arrives over the weekend. [Thanks John!]
Update 2: We've spoken to HTC and they assure us that there's no problem with the ROM on the Swedish site.