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Old October 11th, 2012, 01:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Notsure Is aftermarket support for the Hero just about done?

The HTC Hero was a landmark phone in many respects, a pioneering rallying point for the Android platform. The aftermarket support for it was furious, with thousands of developers clamoring to make a better ROM alternative to the default OEM ROM. The first few iterations were touch-and-go, but in time the Android developer community hit its stride and produced some impressive results far exceeding what HTC originally did.

I wasn't courageous enough to leap onto that bandwagon 2 years ago. Being out of work and on a tight budget, I didn't want to risk bricking my phone and having to buy another. So I waited... perhaps a bit too long. I finally flashed CM7 on my phone and I couldn't be happier, as well as kicking myself for not having done this a year ago.

I wouldn't have believed that I'd be enjoying my old Hero this much. And of course, gobbling as much useful info as I can, left behind on the banquet of activity that went on over the past couple of years. What people have been able to do with this phone is astounding.

But now... it looks like the party is not only over, but the gates may be drawing closed on the parking lot as well. With the Hero unable to leap beyond Gingerbread (the processor is just not capable enough), what does that mean for this venerable phone? Is it likely that we won't see much more support for it in 2013? Or... is there evidence of some real hard core developer devotees of the phone still determined to make the most of this now long obsolete phone?

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Old October 12th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, I'm just guessing here, but I would assume that by now the vast majority of the dev community that was around for the Hero has moved onto a new device. There may be some diehard coder folk around somewhere still, but I doubt it. The Hero has seen it's heyday come and go IMHO.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 05:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Actually, you'd be amazed that there's still developers out there that are porting ROM development to the HeroC. There's even an alpha of JellyBean for the Hero!

But you're right that a majority have moved on. It only makes sense. Luckily a few still check back on the Hero forums now and then to answer questions. I have learned a great deal from them. I'm still not quite self sufficient, though. I've been struggling to get my phone's security state to S-OFF. Apparently once SuperUser is installed, the phone security is temporarily turned off through various API functions, but then security flips back on when activities are done. But some things can't utilize it, thus requiring S-OFF to be set. I have tried a number of avenues, all of them blocked... leaving me little choice but to invoke a stock RUU. I've got a few inquiries out so hopefully it won't come to that.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Check out this article on XDA, regarding TWRP. It sure suggests that the Hero is still receiving a lot of enthusiasm. I'd no idea that there are both GB and JB ROMs being ported for it. Hopefully these later ROMs will introduce efficiencies that can help make the tiny processor function a little smoother where graphics are concerned (like page and icon scrolling, as well as launcher loading).
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Old October 17th, 2012, 12:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Indeed, the Sprint HTC Hero does still have a developer following. I have seen ports of CyanogenMod 9 and CyanogenMod 10 in the works over at xda-developers. I am going to be 100% honest with you though. I think that Gingerbread based ROMs, like CyanogenMod 7.2, were the pinnacle of our venerable little handset's life.

The Sprint HTC Hero utilizes an older ARMv6 type of CPU and virtually all of the newer devices out there have moved on to an ARMv7 type, with the 64-bit ARMv8 on the horizon as well. So, a lot of the advantages offered by the newer ARMv7 technology do not translate super well to the older ARMv6 architecture. Basically, the developers have to do a "hack job" to get things to work better. Frankly, to me, that our handset even has a full on Gingerbread level kernel, which is 2.6.35, is a huge achievement in itself. The official kernels from HTC stopped back at 2.6.29 for Eclair. From what I have heard, the Jelly Bean based ROMs may be a bit smoother than the Ice Cream Sandwich ones because Project Butter helps out the UI smoothness regardless of the kernel it is on, as it is more about code in the OS than the kernel itself. Of course, full hardware acceleration would help immensely too. But getting that to work with the old Adreno 130 GPU has been difficult, but may be achieved someday. Anyway you slice it, technology moves on at full steam ahead. The Sprint HTC Hero had its day, and continues to be a good example of great technology that can still be useful today.
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