It's been an odd journey for the HTC Magic to come to the US, we've had a name change (from the HTC Magic), previously unknown announcements, and vague launch dates. Well, according to some incredible research, it looks like the vague "Early August' target date has been specified to be August 5th.
It's not confirmed yet so don't go planning August 5th as your 'go to the local t-mobile store day' but it does fall in line with previous reports. The date was determined by taking a look at the source of the dev server of the official myTouch 3G website. We were hoping for an August 1st launch day but we think a couple days later would still be completely satisfactory.
Amazon UK currently has the HTC Hero available for pre-order. It comes unlocked for the low, low price *sarcasm* of £429.99 which is roughly equivalent to $710. It's hardly a deal but if you want to purchase it unlocked without a contract, this might be a half-way decent option. Amazon UK has the target release date at July 15th, 2009 which is actually not too far away. Obviously, the date isn't set in stone but it does give you something to think about...
Anyone jumping the gun and pre-ordering the HTC Hero?
Undoubtedly, the biggest hit of the HTC Hero announcement had to be the new HTC Sense UI. It was all kinds of slick, sexy, and smooth--to say we were more than impressed is to sell our reaction short--we're as excited to use the Sense UI as we were for the launch of Android back in October.
So color us jubilated when HTC CEO Peter Chou dropped this nugget:
"HTC sense will be available on some other existing devices"
There isn't any set-in-stone confirmation yet but we can't help but wonder how much the Sense UI will improve our current HTC Android offerings. And if HTC offers the Sense UI in there future upcoming Android phones, how much of a leg up do they have when compared to other Android Phone manufacturers? Could the now-vanilla 'ol Android succeed while Sense is available? Will competing Android Phone Manufacturers build their own custom software on top of Android? And what if Sense launches on HTC Windows Mobile Devices?
These are all questions that'll be answered in months, maybe years time but in the meantime let's hope that the T-Mobile G1 and myTouch 3G will get the HTC Sense UI!
Google just announced that they'll be releasing AdSense for mobile applications and developers are beginning to partake in the beta launch. The market for mobile applications is growing at mind-boggling speeds and developers are trying to find a way to effectively monetize it. We know that developers need to feed their family (deservedly so) and one of the best ways to do it is to place advertisements in their mobile applications.
AdSense for Mobile Applications allow developers to earn extra revenue by running either image or text-based advertisements within their application. These AdSense ads are better targeted at the consumer, displaying more pertinent advertisements in relation to the application.
One thing is for certain: Google is going to make big bucks off of this and hopefully developers can earn their keep as well. If having an advertisement in an application means cheaper applications while maintaining the user experience, well, we're all for it.
Aw, would you look at that. One big happy, big-chinned family. T-Mobile UK has renamed the HTC Hero the G1 Touch (falling in line with previous reports) and though the name is admittedly lame and a year outdated, it's always good to strengthen the brand name of the G1.
Like Orange UK, the G1 Touch will be available starting mid-July for the low cost of FREE (new customer, 2 year commitment, £40 a month plan) and a £225 credit which were assuming is for the phone but correct us if we're wrong. Supposedly that's the Flext plan for all you folks across the pond!
And though we're nonplussed by the name G1 Touch, it sure beats the hell out of myTouch 3G which will actually launch after the G1 Touch. Hey, T-Mobile US, where's our HTC Hero love? Are we not supposed to know the Hero exists and spring for the myTouch 3G?
We had known that Orange UK was going to be a carrier for the HTC Hero a month ago, now we know the cost of the HTC Hero on Orange: FREE. Of course a qualifying rate plan is necessary in order to receive the HTC Hero for free (new customer, 2 year contract, £40 a month plan should do the trick). We've always been intrigued on how carriers do business outside of the US, if their business includes free phones, boy sign us up!
If you wanted to get a sense of how the new Sense UI on the HTC Hero works, you should definitely watch the video above. It runs through the various widgets, customizable nature, and endless features of the Hero. Though some of it may look a wee bit similar to ordinary Android, make no mistake, HTC Sense is certainly worthwhile and new enough to learn about.
Tell us what you think of the new Sense UI on the HTC Hero!
To keep you guys updated on the target release dates for the HTC Hero: The Hero is supposed to hit European shores with T-Mobile and Orange sometime in July. Asia will enjoy the Hero later in the summer. And yes, our lovely continent North America will lag behind once again with an even-later-than-Asia 2009 target date. Sigh. Why does Android always come last for us?
Also, Engadget reports that the HTC Hero won't be a 'Google Experience' phone which may or may not be a good thing. The good thing is that HTC gets to do really cool stuff with the UI and isn't forced into including Google applications, the bad thing is well, there is no bad thing anymore! (check updates) that it doesn't look like Android Market will pop up on the Hero anytime soon. You can still get your third party applications, just not OTA. That's obviously a downer and we're not sure if that's a trade off worth taking
What do you guys think?
UPDATE: one of our keen readers pointed out that Android Market seems to be available on the demo HTC Hero units. Take a look at the picture after the jump. Hopefully, Android Market stays on the Hero after the public release or Google plays nice and allows Android Market on non-Google Experience phones. Android Market is just too big a feature to miss out on!
UPDATE 2: False alarm guys, sorry. Android Market is all systems go on the HTC Hero. The only minor issue is not being able to get OTA firmware updates. Which after judging T-Mobile's handling of the Cupcake release, may actually be a good thing.
If you wanted to see product shots of the HTC Hero, we got 'em. It looks like the HTC Hero will only be coming in 2 colors: white and bronze/brown. They both seem to have a classy trim to them which will certainly heighten the luxury feel. Also, you can see that they have dedicated hardware buttons for make call, end call, home, menu, back, and a search button. We're beginning to really like this phone...
What color do you guys prefer?
hit the jump to see more press shots of the HTC Hero!
A video was just posted on the new HTC Hero UI dubbed 'Sense'. There's not much to the video other than some brief scroll throughs of contacts and the like but you can definitely see the TouchFLO 3D-inspiration of the interface. We're very excited to use this on the Hero and we're hoping that it doesn't bog the phone down too much, we still want our snappy performance, right?
A couple folks have gotten their mitts on the HTC Hero and it definitely looks a lot better than what we first saw. The chin is all there all right and it definitely juts out more than previous Android chins have. After seeing these pictures, we can't quite decide whether we love the styling of the HTC Hero or nonplussed by it because in some angles it looks magnificent, flush with aluminum trim and superb lines but in other angles that chin looks too jarring.
Early reports seem to indicate that the HTC Hero is very, very thin yet feels more substantial than previous Android phones. It seems like the Hero will feel important, to say the least.
Hit the jump to see more hands-on pictures courtesy of gizmodo & slashgear!
If you want to see how Flash runs on the HTC Hero, feel free to head over to Adobe where they've got a video look at how it all works. Overall, everything about Flash and Android looks pretty darn good--you can double tap to full screen flash videos, play flash-based games, and even access web pages that utilize Flash. For the video they played the trailer for Transformers 2 and utilized Expedia's Map feature (which is flash based). It's pretty much everything you ever wanted to do on the web, on Android.
As an added bonus, you'll get to see multi-touch demonstrated in the video as well! (hint: it works well)
The fun is just beginning! The HTC Hero is officially official and boy it looks like HTC really pulled all the stops for this one. We're going to try to keep you guys updated with every bit of HTC Hero news we can dig up so keep watching this space as news seems to flow in pretty quickly.
The HTC Hero will be the first HTC device to launch with HTC Sense, the new UI that HTC is actively showing off. It's the widget-based, sleek and sexy UI that we once knew as 'Rosie'. It pretty much rocks.
You'll be glad to hear that multi-touch will be supported on the HTC Hero (not sure how wide support will be)
The white version of the HTC Hero will sport an industry-first Teflon coating to keep it clean and spotless. The finish is supposed to be 'soft to touch' and will resist dirt, stains, and even fingerprints. Though white obviously gets dirty easier than black, why couldn't they just offer the Teflon option to black too?
Flash Support will launch with the HTC Hero. Double-tap to watch full screen. Sweet!
3.5 mm headphone jack
System-wide search and Social Networking Tools figure in heavily on this device
The HTC Hero is really looking like the device that'll save Android and put it on par with the Palm Pre and iPhone 3GS. We're really excited about this device and can't wait to get more details on it! Stay tuned!
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