June 24, 2009 by Tap
So today's highly anticipated launch revealed the HTC Hero Android phone as everyone suspected. That in itself would have been a bit of a let down since we've known and speculated about the Hero for some time. Hardware wise it's not a million miles away from previous HTC Android phones. Yes, it has a 5 megapixel camera and finally a 3.5mm stereo headset jack but that's not much to get excited about.
But the real news was the announcement of HTC Sense, a customisable UI for Android. Now that's something I can get excited about. Rather than try to explain it, I think the official press release does a pretty good job so here goes:
LONDON – June 24, 2009 – HTC Corporation, a global designer of mobile phones, today debuted HTC Sense™, an intuitive and seamless experience that will be introduced across a portfolio of phones beginning with the new HTC Hero™. With its distinct design and powerful capabilities fully integrated with HTC Sense, Hero introduces a unique blend of form and function that takes Android to new heights.
HTC Sense is focused on putting people at the centre, by making your phone work in a more simple and natural way. This experience revolves around three fundamental principles that were designed by quietly observing and listening to how people live and communicate.
'HTC Hero introduces a more natural way for reaching out to people and accessing your important information, not by following the status quo of today's phones, but by following how you communicate and live your life,' said Peter Chou, Chief Executive Officer, HTC Corporation. 'HTC Sense is a distinct experience created to make HTC phones more simple for people to use, leaving them saying, "it just makes sense."'
HTC Hero continues HTC's leadership in cutting-edge design that focuses on introducing a variety of distinct devices to represent your own individuality. Boasting bevelled edges and an angled bottom, the HTC Hero is contoured to fit comfortably in your hand and against your face while you’re on a call. The HTC Hero is built to last, beginning with an anti-fingerprint screen coating for improved smudge-resistance and a longer-lasting, clearer display. The white HTC Hero includes an industry-first, Teflon coating, resulting in an improved, durable white surface that is soft to the touch.
With its 3.2-inch HVGA display, the HTC Hero is optimized for Web, multimedia and other content, while maintaining a small size and weight that fits comfortably in your hand. It also boasts a broad variety of hardware features including AGPS, digital compass, gravity-sensor, 3.5mm stereo headset jack, a five mega-pixel autofocus camera and expandable MicroSD memory. HTC Hero also includes a dedicated Search button that goes beyond basic search, providing you with a more natural, contextual search experience that enables you to search through Twitter, locate people in your contact list, find emails in your inbox or search in any other area in Hero.
Built on a culture of innovation and a passion to enhance people's lives, HTC shapes the mobile experience around the individual. Debuting on the HTC Hero and available on all new HTC devices moving forward, Sense delivers on three basic principles: Make it Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected.
Make It Mine
Make It Mine is about feeling your HTC phone was created for and by you. To do this, HTC encourages you to dictate and organize how you want to access the people and content in your life in a way that fits best for you. For some, this means adding glance-view widgets that push content like twitter feeds, weather and other content to the surface while others may want quick access to business-focused information like email, calendar and world-times. HTC is also introducing a new profile feature called 'Scenes' that enables you to create different customized content profiles around specific functions or times in your life.
Today, staying in touch with the people in your life means managing a variety of communication channels and applications ranging from phone calls, emails, texts, photos, status updates and more. HTC Sense takes a different approach by integrating these communication channels and applications into one single view, enabling you to stay closer to your important people. With HTC Sense, friends' Facebook status updates and photos, along with their Flickr photos are included alongside their text messages, emails and call history in a single view.
Discover the Unexpected
Many of the most memorable moments in your life are experienced, not explained. HTC Sense is focused on providing a variety of these simple yet innovative experiences on your HTC phone that will sometimes bring you moments of joy and delight. It can be something as basic as turning the phone over to silence a ring or as simple as improving the smart dialler for making calls quicker. HTC Sense also includes 'Perspectives', a new way for viewing your content such as email, photos, Twitter, music and more in different ways.
The HTC Hero will be available to people across Europe in July and in Asia later in the summer. A distinct North American version will be available later in 2009.
I know that I haven't been too complimentary in the past about the look of HTC's Android phones and their chins and I also know that I really prefer to have a physical keyboard but you know what? I'd give up my G1 in a heartbeat for the Hero just to have HTC Sense.
May 26, 2009 by Tap
There's good news for Android fans in the UK following speculation that the HTC Hero will be launched by Orange UK. Although unconfirmed, this does seem likely as back in March there was a fairly credible report that the Hero was going to be picked up by Orange France.
As yet there is no official confirmation and nothing mentioned on Orange UK's website as far as I can tell so I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this one pans out.
Source: Mobile Today
May 25, 2009 by Tap
There's no denying that AT&T has been particularly quiet about its plans for an Android phone release. Last month I speculated that the carrier may have picked up the HTC Hero but now, thanks to engadget, we have fairly credible confirmation that AT&T's first Android phone will actually be the HTC Lancaster.
At first look it seems to be quite a nice handset, an amalgamation of the G1 and Magic and had it been around sooner I would have chosen it over my G1 – or would I? I personally prefer a physical keyboard to the a touchscreen so the Lancaster seems to have everything going for it apart from the display. I'm really impressed by the G1's 3.2 inch HVGA (320 x 480) display but the Lancaster is let down by a smaller 2.8 inch QVGA (240 x 320) display which is a bit of a disappointment.
I'm also not sure about the MSM7225 processor (which the leaked Lancaster datasheet shows incorrectly as an MSN7225). Although, like the G1's MSM7201 the 7225 is a 528 MHz ARM processor, rumour is that it lacks a GPU. I can't seem to find any details on this processor on the Qualcomm website – maybe someone can shed some light on the differences between the MSM7201 and the MSM7225?
May 12, 2009 by Tap
In case you hadn't noticed there's been a sudden outbreak of rumours and leaks regarding forthcoming Android phones. I've intentionally avoided getting drawn into this since spreading rumours without all the facts a) seems a bit pointless b) has a habit of biting you in the bum. This whole 'Bigfoot' saga is a case in point.
At the beginning of last week BGR broke the news of T-Mobile's purported US Android roadmap which made reference to the G1 v2 a.k.a Bigfoot. BGR followed this up a few days later with a supposed image of the G1 v2 but there was just one problem – the phone looked nothing like the Bigfoot mentioned in the leaked T-Mobile roadmap. Then on the 11th BGR again posted the same G1 v2 image this time saying that the phone was in fact being manufactured by Motorola, killing the assumption that the v2 would obviously be HTC kit.
Then things went from bad to worse that same day when Unwired View broke news of a Samsung phone called the Bigfoot. Interestingly enough this did look like the Bigfoot phone mentioned in T-Mobile's roadmap. Confusion sorted right? Wrong. Tmotoday then posted an update saying that according to a source involved in the supply chain, the G1 v2 is still being produced by HTC and is codenamed 'Bigfoot'.
So who do we believe? Is the Bigfoot the same as the G1 v2 and just what does the Bigfoot actually look like? Is it an HTC, Motorola or Samsung phone? I'm none the wiser and until I see some official confirmation, Bigfoot stays off my Android phone list.
May 5, 2009 by Tap
Remember that nasty pink apparition called the HTC Hero which surfaced at the beginning of the year? Refresh your memory here. Well it's back again, thankfully not in bright pink, but still not much of a looker in my view.
Back in January when the G1 was the only phone available, the Hero might have been something to get excited about but now well... what's so great about it? I mean how will this phone differentiate itself now that we have the HTC Magic and especially since Samsung has finally shown its hand with the I7500? Of course we won't know how this phone stacks up against the competition until we see some detailed specs but as things currently stand HTC is going to have to surprise us with something different if the Hero is going to stand any chance of being a top selling Android phone.
Source: code android
April 22, 2009 by Tap
New information on HTC's Android Hero has surfaced over on xda-developers. According to the post, an employee at a wireless developer firm "just received word from the US carrier (cannot disclose who yet) that the release date for the HTC Hero (Android) is October 11th 2009."
Now I don't usually give these kinds of unsubstantiated posts too much credence but a few things got my attention. Firstly, the forum member's provider is AT&T. That, in itself, is meaningless but consider the following. Last month fairly credible news surfaced that the HTC Hero had been picked up by Orange. Now considering that Orange and AT&T are GlobalView partners, it seems logical, at least in my view, that the undisclosed carrier is in fact AT&T. Until I hear otherwise, that is my assumption and if it's true, that means AT&T subscribers may have to wait another six months before they get an Android phone.
April 18, 2009 by Tap
So Friday the 17th came and went with no sign of Vodafone's HTC Magic. Yet another deadline slips thought I this morning as I prepared to lambast them for leaving us hanging once again.
But wait, what's this email in my inbox - could it be? Yes folks, better late than never, the HTC Magic is now officially available for pre-order and, as previously reported, will be available free on plans from £30. Visit Vodafone to get yours now. (Will only be shipped 1st May.)
April 3, 2009 by Tap
I've been watching, with interest, the news regarding the delay of the HTC Magic which initially surfaced on Mobile Today at the end of March. I actually first got to hear of this delay mid-March via a trusted source but was asked to keep it quiet as it had only been communicated within Vodafone up to that point.
I can now confirm that Vodafone's HTC Magic will be released in the UK on the 1st of May and will be available for pre-order from April 17th. The phone will be available on a £30/month tariff and will include 600 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited Internet and email. Right now I'm assuming that the phone itself will be free although I'm waiting to hear confirmation on that and will update this post if that is not the case.
Update: The HTC Magic is now available here.
March 31, 2009 by Tap
Speculation about the release of a second Android phone by T-Mobile USA began a few weeks ago when Amazon started to advertise the G1 at just $97.99 on new contracts. The thinking was that T-Mobile was trying to shift stocks of the G1 to make room for their next phone.
Now it seems that speculation may have been correct as a T-Mobile branded 3G HTC Magic has been spotted on FCC lists for US release. Of course this doesn't 100% confirm the phone's US release but it does make for a potentially interesting race between T-Mobile USA and Vodafone USA (Verizon Wireless) when you consider that Vodafone has the Magic scheduled for release in Europe this April (although I wouldn’t hold by breath for that release date ;-).
So does T-Mobile have a surprise in store for US subscribers and who's going to be next to officially release the world's second Android Phone? Stay tuned for more details.
Source: Cell Phone Signal
March 25, 2009 by Tap
Rumours of HTC's Android Hero phone surfaced in the middle of February this year when HTC's supposed 2009 line-up was revealed on ppcgeeks. We haven't heard much about it since but it looks like the Hero has finally been picked up by Orange.
Orange France has already released the G1 as the HTC Dream (they couldn't use the G1 branding as T-Mobile has exclusive rights to that) and now, according to Mobinaute, they will be following that up with the HTC Hero. But that's not all - they reckon that the Hero will be followed by another Android smartphone a few weeks after that. Orange is definitely on a mission here and is keen to capitalise on what they see as the revenue potential of the Android Market.
Even more interesting, although this could be speculation, is that by the end of this year, Orange, in addition to HTC, plans to have Android phones from Motorola, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. That last one especially comes as a welcome surprise as Sony Ericsson, although a member of the Open Handset Alliance, seems to have been very quiet on the Android front this year.
On the OS front, word is that Orange will be releasing the cupcake update for the HTC Dream by the end of April and a second "major update" a month later. Sounds mighty interesting.