[sclug] [bristol] OT: Two weeks with the HTC Hero and Android OS

Keith Edmunds kae at midnighthax.com
Fri Feb 12 20:44:21 UTC 2010

Alex has given a comprehensive review of the features (and misfeatures:
yes, camera, I'm looking at you) of the HTC Hero. I've been using one for
around three months and overall I'm very impressed. I can't really add
to his review other than to mention some applications I find very useful
(in addition to the one's Alex mentioned).

Sunrise Sunset - gives, not surprisingly, the time of the sunrise and
sunset in the current location. Useful if you carry out activities that
are limited by daylight (that should get tongues wagging):

Last.fm - if that's your bag:

A [sic] Online Radio - Internet radio:

Night Clock - dim digital clock, stays on:

Kids Paint - draw on screen with random brush size and colour; shake phone
to erase. Keeps my 2 year old amused...

Bubble - spirit level on your phone. Because you can.

K9 mail - still under (very active) development, but already better than
the out-of-the-box MUA. http://code.google.com/p/k9mail/downloads/list

Dolphin - web browser, way better than the supplied one.

Calculator - way better than, etc. Does octal/binary/hex/decimal,
logical, scientific, conversions and - as they say in all the best
adverts - more!: http://brain-overspill.blogspot.com/

CIDR calculator - subnet masks and broadcast addresses and the like. I
know all the geeks like to boast they can do all this in their heads, but
you can always sneak out and check you got it right with this:

Rmaps - lots MORE maps, including all the OS ones.

Volume control - it's (too) easy to inadvertently turn down the ringer
volume. This app ensures that it is always at the level you choose.

aTrackDog - checks all installed apps against the market and notifies you
of any updates. I guestimate that about 3-4% of the apps I have installed
are updated each day.

Finally, two apps that I paid for, both car SatNav apps. The well-known
one is CoPilot
which I used for a while, but I DON'T recommend it. Yes it works, but I
found it a little quirky and it has too many subscreens to find what is
needed quickly. But it's a very personal thing and it may be great for
others. ?23.47. I moved on to Sygic (http://www.sygic.com/), which I
think is much better, albeit more expensive at EUR 49.99 (both prices
quoted are for UK and Ireland, but other regions are also available).
Sygic is very similar to TomTom in its layout, and works very well. No
live traffic info yet, but I'm assured it's on its way.

Happy to answer questions about any of the above.


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