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HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview

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A lot has been said about the Google Android operating system, created for communicators and other portable devices on the hubra, but not everyone knows that the classic interface, known from the previously introduced models from HTC G1 Dream and G2 Magic, is not an integral part of the platform and can change dramatically.
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
Notable interface changes can be seen in the widely advertised HTC Hero communicator model, which is known to be sold in Russia.The review is made with the help of the HTC Dream G1 communicator and developments of the project team androidfan.ru which allow run firmware images without reflashing the device
Careful – lots of screenshots, Probably a lot of traffic.
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
HERO launch screen. Instead of the shimmering ANDROID inscription present in the G1 firmware, HTC decided to use its own logo, from which we can conclude that the PR for android itself, apparently, passes the final stage, and the vendors are now PRing themselves.
Immediately after starting (by the way, oddly enough, it is not very long, I expected more time), the system prompts you to choose the current locale. The Russian language is present right at startup, which is great.
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
The difference after launching the firmware is obvious. Immediately after selecting a locale, a tutorial on how to use the onscreen keyboard, which, by the way, is absent in the official G1/Magic firmware (but present in unofficial ones), is launched. Screenshots are posted in the order of the tutorial.
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
I think that the use of such a textbook is very, very justified, because when you first get acquainted with the device not all the subtleties and not always clear what is what.
After learning how to use the keyboard, the settings wizard launches, which is basically similar to the one present in G1, but allows you to skip the activation of your Google account.
A screenshot of the "Auto Sync Setup" screen:
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
A screenshot of the Account Setup screen:
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
In the sync settings, you can specify Google accounts, Echange Active Sync (!), and regular email. As you can see from the snapshot, HTC has finally (by popular demand and feedback) introduced synchronization with the local computer in the third android-built model. Also couldn’t be happier.
The most unexpected screen is setting up social media accounts! Our phones are the most internet-enabled phones in the world. Facebook, Twitter and Flick and even some other networks happen to be available on the device as widgets and native clients. For me personally, it blew my mind.
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
After completing the setup process, we are prompted to view a tutorial on how to use the phone :
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
I will not review this textbook in this post.
After closing the initial setup wizard – there was a window, with a spinning image of waiting, which is usually used in AJAX-services, and it hung very, very long :
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
However, the wait was not in vain and my gaze was opened to the delightful, striking Hero desktop. The look and usability of this interface differs from the G1/Magic interface like heaven and earth:
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
The clock, presented as a desktop widget, has a nice, soft animation of the hands turning to the correct hour. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to capture the video, but it’s a must-see. In general, the smoothness of the graphics and widgets on the android platform is incredible, it seems impossible to combine such beauties with such a responsive interface.
The big "Phone" button, just beckons you to press it, which, in fact, I did :
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
Since I refused to integrate with the Google account (skipped the setup at startup), the numbers show only the balance check account number recorded on the SIM card. However, even here we can see that the dialer interface has also been drastically redesigned – now it looks smart and ascetic business style, from which we can conclude that HTC Hero is a device that will be positioned as a business class device. Well, at least it looks like it.
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
The gray icons at the bottom of the screen allow you to move through the dialer tabs, only in the G1 they were at the top, and in HERO – at the bottom. Moving the controls to the bottom of the screen makes it more convenient to operate the device – your fingers are not too "spread out". You can move both by horizontal scrolling of the trackball, as well as with your fingers across the screen, and in both cases, there is a smooth, very pleasant scrolling of the selection of icons, with very realistic physics. In general – the physics of graphics, in this firmware is just at the top, it seems that you really pull and move something, and everything happens very, very smoothly, nice and neatly.
If you go back to the desktop shot, you can see two more on the sides next to the "Phone" button. The triangle up, in the circle to the left of the phone, is the menu call button.
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
The menu, however, is pretty much the same as the standard one, except for the design colors, and for some reason, the lack of a scroll bar on the left, as it was in G1. So, it’s a little hard to see where you are, and a little inconvenient.
The "+" button to the right of "Phone" offers to add several sets of items to the desktop: HTC Widgets, Google Widgets, Shortcuts and Folders. Since the last three are also present in the G1, I decided to see what the HTC widgets were. To my astonishment there was no end:
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
Twitter is finally (!) available as a widget! Well, there’s a whole bunch of widgets on the list, this is just the first screen of that list.
The appearance of the widgets is also radically changed. The widgets themselves, as far as I understand, can come in three different sizes – compact, medium and extended. Here, for example, is the HTC desktop calendar widget :
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
If you look closely at the calendar widget above, you will notice that even the name of the month on the icon above the calendar is in Russian! The level of localization, I’m sure, will be just fine!
And now the main, and probably most important difference between Hero and G1/Magic. Brace yourselves. HERO has seven (seven!) desktops! That’s fantastic. Scrolling between desktops is done in three ways, unlike the two G1 variants: by moving the tap with your finger in an empty area, trackball and a special bar that appears when the "menu", "Phone" and the "+" button to add widgets is hidden :
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
In the locked state Hero as well as G1 provides some information to the user: time, date and operator name:
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
Pressing the hardware menu button directly on the desktop reveals a few more curious facts :
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
The Hero menu includes a "Themes" item. Themes are several sets of pre-installed widgets on the desktops, which depend on your occupation – communication, Internet, multimedia and other. The topic of widgets and their sets deserves a separate consideration, which I’m going to devote another article on the already updated Hero firmware, which will be available for my G1.
And finally – turning off the device :
HTC Hero: Software Interface Overview
As you can see, even this item is not unchanged, and more functionality is available in Hero compared to G1.
Unfortunately, in this post I don’t have time to review all the new features of the Hero, but as I said above, they will be presented to the hubrasociety in the near future, on updated firmware, which is also heavily redesigned compared to the current one.
This post was written by Nick Denry, who doesn’t have a habra account yet.

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