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IMG_5082 Only 2 days after I posted the list of problems with my HTC Hero (The Not So Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: My List Of 20+ Problems With HTC Hero) Sprint and HTC released the first firmware update.

The Update

To update your Hero, go to Settings->About phone->System updates->Firmware update.

The update took about 10 minutes to install, weighed 3.7MB or so, and rebooted the phone twice – once to install and once to reboot after the installation, so make sure you don't need to make any important phone calls during that time.

After the update, I immediately noticed the broken application icons (issue #4 on my bug list) fixed. The phone seems is definitely quite a bit snappier, which I hope points in the direction of some fixes in the battery and lag department (issues #1 and #2).

Since there don't seem to be any official details out from HTC or Sprint at the moment (I found out about the update by doing a random Google search and arriving at a random Facebook post), I cannot see the final bug fix and feature list, but here's what I managed to gather so far from my own observations and online [1] [2]:

What's New

Fixes

  • broken app icons are fixed. This issue was also known as the boot caching issue
  • broken app names are somewhat fixed. Some of mine weren't but I reinstalled them and so far they display correctly
  • the major battery draining 100% awake SMS and letting the phone go to sleep after boot bugs are fixed. I've gone ahead and uninstalled HandcentSMS to see if my visual voicemail notifications will come back (they seemed to have gone away after I switched to Handcent)
  • not receiving SMS when low on space is fixed
  • memory leak related to bluetooth is fixed
  • dialer app using too much CPU bug is fixed
  • daylight savings time calendar issue is fixed
  • the stereo headphone issue is fixed

Improvements

  • the phone is a lot snappier – the lag is pretty much gone in a lot of cases but it's still there in others, especially in the Phone app and the browser. For example, I killed the browser and started it again – it took 20 seconds before google.com was loaded, 10 of which I spent staring at an almost completely white screen
    I have a feeling it is due to fixing something with the cleaning up of the old uninstalled apps. My theory is that the Hero didn't uninstall the apps properly, perhaps leaving their cache behind, thus slowing down more and more as I tried out more and more apps
  • Update: I just charged the battery and I think the battery charged a lot faster than before, which is a really good sign
  • loading of app lists seems to be a lot faster. By that I mean any time the phone shows a list of installed applications, it seems to show up a lot faster than before (Add shortcut, Manage, etc)
  • camera quality is improved

New Features

  • app search – if you push the search button from anywhere inside the Market app, it now pops up the app search dialog rather than the regular google search
  • there are 2 new icons during a phone call: mute and speaker. I took a photo of this, which you can see below
  • the green Android dude looks more 3D-ish now – a minor but nice UI change

Problems

  • a lot of users are reporting that some of their apps, including paid ones, have gone missing
  • the haptic feedback (vibrate on press) in the Phone app is now permanently on, even though I turned it off in the keyboard settings. I am fairly sure it's either a bug or a new "feature" that we didn't want, as it doesn't respect phone-wide settings

Miscellaneous Notes

  • the update did not fix the all-day event 1 day too early notification problem
  • I did not find an update for the voicemail app that some people mentioned (mine is at v5.0.0.32)
  • the "linked program is no longer installed on your phone" problem that I'm having with my Twidroid shortcut every time I update it is still there (it goes away after phone reboot)

IMG_5083 IMG_5082

Overall, I'm very happy that Sprint and HTC are coming through. I was really afraid they would wait for the next big thing (Android "Eclair" 2.0) instead of releasing the necessary bug fixes but, thankfully, that didn't happen.

What else did you notice with the new upgrade that I missed? Is anything broken?

<h2>The Update</h2>

<p>To update your Hero, go to Settings->About phone->System updates->Firmware update.</p>

<p>The update took about 10 minutes to install, weighed 3.7MB or so, and rebooted the phone twice – once to install and once to reboot after the installation, so make sure you don't need to make any important phone calls during that time.</p>

<p>After the update, I immediately noticed the broken application icons (issue <a href="http://beerpla.net/2009/11/16/the-not-so-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-list-of-20-problems-with-htc-hero/#4-application-chaos">#4</a> on my bug list) fixed. The phone seems a bit snappier, which I hope points in the direction of some fixes in the battery and lag department (issues <a href="http://beerpla.net/2009/11/16/the-not-so-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-list-of-20-problems-with-htc-hero/#1-lag">#1</a> and <a href="http://beerpla.net/2009/11/16/the-not-so-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-list-of-20-problems-with-htc-hero/#2-bad-battery-life">#2</a>).</p>

<p>Since there don't seem to be any official details out from HTC or Sprint at the moment (I found out about the update by doing a random Google search and arriving at a random Facebook post), I cannot see the final bug fix and feature list, but here's what I managed to gather so far from my own observations and online <a href="http://androidforums.com/sprint-htc-hero/19317-update-available-sprint.html" rel="nofollow">[1]</a> <a href="http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/24618?start=45&tstart=0&reqsorting=dec" rel="nofollow">[2]</a>:</p>

<h2>Fixes and New Features</h2>

<ul>
<li>broken app icons are fixed. This issue was also known as the boot caching issue</li>

<li>broken app names are somewhat fixed. Some of mine weren't but I reinstalled them and so far they display correctly </li>

<li>reportedly, <strong>the major battery draining 100% awake SMS and letting the phone go to sleep after boot bugs are fixed</strong> </li>

<li>loading of app lists seems to be a lot faster. By that I mean any time the phone shows a list of installed applications, it seems to show up a lot faster than before (Add shortcut, Manage, etc)</li>

<li>there are 2 new icons during a phone call: mute and speaker. I took a photo of this, which you can see below </li>

<li>the green Android dude looks more 3D-ish now – a minor but nice UI change</li>

<li>improved camera quality – I'll have to do some tests to validate this one</li>

<li>memory leak related to bluetooth is reportedly fixed</li>

<li>daylight savings time calendar issue is reportedly fixed</li>

<li>I did not find an update for the voicemail app that some people mentioned (mine is at v5.0.0.32)</li>

<li>the "linked program is no longer installed on your phone" problem that I'm having with my Twidroid shortcut every time I update it is still there (it goes away after phone reboot)</li>

<li>the phone still lags for me overall. I really do want to be one of the people who don't experience any lag but it does, although seemingly less than before</li>

<li>the haptic feedback (vibrate on press) in the Phone app is back, though I turned it off before. No big deal – guess it got overwritten during the upgrade </li>
</ul>

● ● ●

Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer, blogger, and future millionaire (that last part is in the works). Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

In the meantime, if you found this article useful, feel free to buy me a cup of coffee below.



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  • Sean

    thanks for the heads up! I'm downloading right now and hope it takes care of some of the lag. Looks like we'll need to wait for 2.0 to get rid of most of it. Sean

    • CR

      The firmware update fixed my headphone issues as well as some lagging. I was also having trouble typing in landscape…that fixed as well. Good luck guys.

    • Dusty

      Hi,while trying to update my HTC Hero,i quickly found out there is no System Update under "about phone"

      Help would be appreciated.

      • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

        Dusty, are you using a Sprint Hero phone? If so, I would recommend talking to someone from Sprint. If not, I'm afraid I can't help as I have a Sprint phone.

        • Dusty

          I'm actually using Cellular South,I'll call them. Hopefully they are the same.

        • Dusty

          I talked to someone and they said it's available through the Android Market,I can't find it.

          But the Sprint Hero and the Cellular South hero and the same.

  • Bob

    The dial pad works much better now.

  • rolefourlife

    I'm seeing a lot more available memory. Before it showed about 75 and mow I'm getting over 90. Making it overall snappier

  • rolefourlife

    Oh, and also I noticed my phone still says cdma evdo rev 0,

  • daniel

    i installed the update and it still says awake 100% i dont know what to do.

  • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

    @daniel
    did you unplug the phone? It counts plugged in time as time awake.

  • daniel

    well when it updated i had it connected to my laptop and i took it off after it was done updating and still said 100% awake

  • john callahan

    It looks like the camera was updated, added white balance and pixels button

  • Dave

    My bluetooth problems are fixed. I had a headset that would not connect 90% of the time and would eat up my internal storage. Now it connects flawlessly and doesn't lose any internal storage. Also, before I had 50 MB available on internal storage, after update I'm at 104 MB with nothing uninstalled or changed, only running the update saved me 54 MB of internal memory.

  • counterfeit187

    in regards to the callander problem. I'm pretty sure it is supposed to notify you of an all day event one day early. This doesn't seem to be an error as far as I know. I think it's a good thing to have an early reminder, i.e. for my phone to tell me something like "Mom's birthday tomorrow."

  • Tyler

    After the firmware update, my 3.5mm headphone jack isn't working. I've got headphones plugged in, but the sound is all coming out of the external speaker.

    Although some of the other updates are nice, this is not a good look!

  • Tyler

    After a little googling, i'm not sure this is necessarily related to the new firmware. A number of others have reported similar headphone detection problems unrelated to firmware upgrades.

  • Russ

    In regards to the headset recognition problem… I have noticed that if I boot the phone with a headset plugged in, it won't recognize it, even if I unplug it and plug it back in. However, if I reboot the phone without the headset plugged in, it will then recognize it when I plug it in. I'm not sure if the firmware update fixed that problem, but I'll find out soon.

  • Mikey

    In reference to the headphone issue not working, I found this happens when ever you restart the handset with the headphones plugged in, disconnect and restart and it should work fine, I no longer restart it with headphones plugged.

    Love the device !!!!!!! but still trying to get use to the small screen, if only it would have had at least 3.5 screen it would have been a definite keeper.

  • http://@MyDailyRoutine @MyDailyRoutine

    Does this upgrade apply to Verizon's version of the Hero (The Eris) Feedback would be much appreciated.

  • Hollie

    does this apply to all the HTC Hero's? as i only bought mine on Monday. Pleased with it so far.. my firmware software says 1.5. Am i ready for a update? As i'm unable to click the Firmware option in the settings.

  • @MyDailyRoutineCan'tREADtoWell

    That's the Sprint Hero dude. No one cares about the Eris or Verizon. It's shit.

    • Spadoot

      Dude, that's really rude. If you can't be helpful, why would you waste the time to write something so harsh? Grow up, you're not 14 any more. I hope.

    • http://androidanarchy.com tfs

      I agree…grow up. Everyone on here is trying to help answer questions. Thats what this is for. Don't mess it up by being rude and immature.

  • Z-LIBERATOR

    yES IT APPLIES TO YOUR NEW PHONE TOO AS FAR AS THE ERIS NO UPDATE YET, DO YOU HAVE THE SAME ISSUES?

    @MyDailyRoutine Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 12:52 am
    Does this upgrade apply to Verizon's version of the Hero (The Eris) Feedback would be much appreciated.

  • joe d

    im having issues restarting my hero…everytime i do, i get a force close on everything, cant make calls, go online, nothing…cant go into settings…what do i do?

    • JG

      I'm having the same problem after the update. I had a similar issue before, not related to the update,and it was due to some apps I had installed from the market. This time it's definitely due to the update, and maybe an incompatibility with one of my apps. Did you get your issue fixed? Thanks.

      • LJ

        I have the same problem, It sucks.
        I can't send or receive texts, calls anything, can't enter anything that came on the phone like youtube, the flash app my wifi works and my dolpinhbrowser and my music app from the market but thats it, my phone never gets signal, it doesn't even roam like my antenna doesn't even exist. I'm extremely P.O. and kinda dissapointed with either HTC, Sprint, or Google and Android.
        @JG But out of curiousity to try and help me out. What app messed up your phone? Please Reply with the names of apps you deleted to fix your problem. Oh yea my HTC Syne won't work so I can't even back my stuff up so I can hard reset it or something. :(

        • LJ

          Okay, I clear all the data for my apps (carefully-one by one) and now everything seems to be fixed, Been working Flawlessly for 2 weeks now, hoping its permanent and considering rooting :D Thanks for all the help.. Not. lol

          • Klop

            FYI, with 1.6 it seems to be an issue when you have more than about 70 apps. If you restart and it starts force closing like crazy and won't get a signal (happened to me 3x), go in and uninstall a couple of those pointless apps you've tried and restart. The fix works :-)

  • Jaime

    I lost two paid apps. I cannot search for them either. I even tried downgrading again to see and search again to no avail. My only resort was to flash it back to the last state I had the apps, but I really do not want to have to do this since I want this update. What are we supposed to do about the paid apps?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/archon810 Artem Russakovskii

      Probably just wait :-/

    • LJ

      You Can Find Just About Any App Online for Free (Paid or Free) all free online. Example: PicSay Pro. a couple bucks on market… google "PicSay Pro.apk free of .zip" but it must have the apk in it thats androids version or compressed files and folders." and download the file and extract it from your phone via Micro SD card. you can download it straight the to Micro SD Card from the phone itself online from the browser (I use Dolphin Browser-the original before stupid ad update) just go to Settings/Applications/and check "Unknown Sources" :) Hope That Helps :)

  • darrel simons

    thank you for the info!
    found your blog via one of the android forums,
    enjoyed your review (99% spot-on imho) and have already updated firmware!

  • Alex

    Hi I use the firmware update and everything but I am having problems where my Sprint HTC hero is repeatedly turning off after even the slightest of touches to the back or even the sides. I literally cant drop it more than 3 inches onto a pillow without it shutting off. Its such a pain bacause it takes so long to power on..Please Help!!!

    • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

      Alex, sounds like you have serious hardware problems with your Hero. You should have it looked at.

      • Alex

        I had brought it in to the sprint store and recieved a new phone in which the problem still occured. After that, I brought it in once again and they just exchanged the battery. still the same problem….could it be something i downloaded? any other Ideas? thanks man

        • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

          I can't think of anything that would do it. Mine definitely doesn't do it. May I suggest asking on some Android Forums such as http://www.androidforums.com ?

  • Jason

    Anyone else having trouble downloading pictures from email. It says "fetching", but takes forever. Thanks

  • kenny

    To switch between open apps. just hold the home button for ~2secs. Accidents discovered that one. (pre-update)

    • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

      Kenny,
      that is indeed an Android feature, except it doesn't switch between open apps – it only switches between the last 6 used apps (which could have been closed since). Not the same but definitely helps.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/littlemermaidaj Arielle

    Hello. I am (thinking & contemplating) purchasing an HTC. It is VERY important to me that the phone has a decent battery life. Can anyone tell me what I have to do to achieve this? Thanks!

  • http://www.freewebs.com/littlemermaidaj Arielle

    I am thinking about buying the HTC hero. I am really impressed with what people said it does. But, there is a problem. It's really, really important that the phone gets a decent battery life! Can anyone tell me (specifically) what I can do to resolve this problem. Thanks!!!