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.

Thanks for letting us know Ricky!

photo courtesy of slashgear

 

Reader comments

HTC Hero Release Dates, Not a Google Experience Phone?

17 Comments

Well, in one of the Slashgear pictures you can clearly see the Android Market. So I'm PRAYING this isn't true. Because I've bought so many apps, you have no idea. It would be such a shame if all that money went down the toilet. :\

No problem guys, Engadget is reporting that it's been confirmed that firmware updates are no longer over the air, but the Market is just fine. And I agree, I had actually changed my mind about getting the phone if the Market had not been there, apps from 3rd party devs is what makes Android even better.

The Rogers HTC Dream & Magic in Canada are not Google experience phones (they have MS Exchange sync) but come with Android Market installed. So it would appear that Market access doesn't require the phone have the 'Google experience.'

Really the cellphone carriers are just adding garbage on top of Android and marketing it as their own unique features. Kinda like how Dell loads all the crap on their computers. I'd rather get a clean Android smartphone with the option to add more features as I want without bogging down the system or draining too much battery power on idle.

Well, in one of the Slashgear pictures you can clearly see the Android Market. So I'm PRAYING this isn't true. Because I've bought so many apps, you have no idea. It would be such a shame if all that money went down the toilet. :\

3freester

I'm thinking about getting this phone...I know it supports Exchange sync and it is not a "Google Experience" phone, but does that mean it won't support syncing with your Google Account at all?

i loved the google experience, used it for my business, wish the hero was as lucky, htc sense looks so good im contemplating buying it from the amazon.co.uk for 700 dollars

-true android fan

Running the Hero firmware on my HTC Magic. This phone is so much better than the 'google experience' which seems more than happy to remain a less-than-iphone experience. the HTC Hero however is much better than the the iPhone! Well done HTC! And shame on you Google for not bring something like this out on the rest of the Android phones!

Anyone know the release date for North America? and if ATT will supply it? And can it stream live sports, not like the standard phone plans a lot of phones can do.. but i mean with this new flash player can it stream sports...

Well good that sprint will carry it. but horrably wrong tha we wont be able to use google apps with it . that is the deal beaker. i wont get it . i use google maps everyday