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Summary:

Dominating the Android world this week was the announcement by handset giant HTC that it will be releasing the most innovative phone to date using the OS by Google, the HTC Hero. This thin, curvy handset shares some of the features of the Android-powered HTC Magic, […]

android-logo1Dominating the Android world this week was the announcement by handset giant HTC that it will be releasing the most innovative phone to date using the OS by Google, the HTC Hero. This thin, curvy handset shares some of the features of the Android-powered HTC Magic, also known as the myTouch 3G, such as a 3.2-inch touchscreen. It will also sport an onscreen keyboard, like the iPhone.

But what sets the HTC Hero apart from all the other Android phones, be they already released or under development, is the user interface. Dubbed HTC Sense, it allows HTC to give its phones a uniform look regardless of the operating system being used. Sense is also designed to be configured by the user to fit their individual needs.

One of the features of Android that has been lauded by enthusiasts is its tight integration with Google services like Gmail. But by forgoing the standard Android interface, OS updates that are pushed to users over the air can’t be applied to the Hero; owners of the Hero will instead have to rely on HTC to provide them. This could set the stage for OS version fragmentation in the Android world that we have warned against.

  1. [...] the whole story on GigaOM or try our ToolbarRelated stories from top sites:NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — As mobile users [...]

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  2. The new UI is nice, even though existing Android phones won’t be able to use it (though with open source that won’t be the case very long, no doubt).

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  3. “But by forgoing the standard Android interface, OS updates that are pushed to users over the air can’t be applied to the Hero; owners of the Hero will instead have to rely on HTC to provide them.”

    Got any proof?

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    1. Good question. Seen too many blogs and articles pull this claim out of thin air.

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      1. Phone OS updates involved reflashing the firmware. Any modifications made by third parties are lost in the process by nature.

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      2. Well, speaking as a journalist in the UK who was at the launch, I had the phone’s designer tell me this himself. So, on his word, I’ll say the sideloading claim is true!

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  4. Like Mark says, we need some proof. I believe the perception is it will be like Windows Mobile and how updates cannot be obtained or applied by the consumer from Microsoft. I remember the hype with the G1 upgrade.

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  5. phew …we need a common development platform ………..now days every god damn phone has it own platform ………….maybe HTML 5 and new webkit based browsers will save the day ?

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    1. HTML 5 is really where Google wants everybody to move. Apps diminish their value, so I can see why platform fragmentation isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Google.

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  6. Actually, it’s also the first Android device that supports multitouch (at least in the browser), and can play Flash content. As shown in this Adobe video: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/devices/articles/htchero.html

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  7. [...] myTouch launch in New York, T-Mobile surprised folks by saying it “has no plans to bring the HTC Hero to market.” The HTC Hero is the upcoming Android phone with the innovative HTC Sense [...]

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