HTC Hero: Tips, Tricks & Useful Apps [v1.6]Tips

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  1. lekky

    lekky Lover VIP Member

    Ok, so thought I’d help out new Hero owners with a little quickstart, including all things you should do as soon as you get your hero.


    Make sure you are running the latest ROM build, if not, update to the latest your carrier/HTC provides before you do anything else. As updating the ROM wipes the data off your phone, doing this first means you will not lose anything! Check out the HTC Support website for your Country and Carrier to see if there is an update available!

    To see if you have the latest update compared to that on the HTC website, check here on your Hero:

    Settings > About Phone > Build Number

    General Notes

    To get the MOST out of Android and your Hero, you must embrace the Google Cloud. Get yourself a GMail email account, use the Google calendar, sync your contacts to Google, use Google Picasa, use Google Calenday, use Google Tasks, use Google Docs.

    General Tips

    You may try out any paid application in the market for 24 hours. If you uninstall the application inside these 24 hours you will get a full refund. However, you may only do this once. If you reinstall a refunded application you may not return it for a refund again.
    Turn off WiFi and GPS if you are not using them. They can cause the battery to drain much quicker than if you turned them off. Toggling between these settings is easy via the default HTC widgets.
    To add a new photo album, just mount the phone via USB to a PC, create a new folder and give it a name. Add your pictures to this folder. Now browse to the “Albums” in your phone and it will automatically create an album with the folder name you specified containing the pictures you added.
    Calibrate your keyboard!!! You will find using the keyboard waaay better. To this via:

    Settings > Local & text > Touch Input > Text Input > Calibration Tool
    There are 3 types of keyboard available for the Hero built in “full QWERTY”, “Phone keypad” and Compact QWERTY”. Give them a try, one may suit you better. To change do the following:

    Settings > Local & text > Touch Input > Keyboard Types
    A Class 6 micro sd card may speed up your Hero.
    If you have both WiFi and data connections turned on, your phone will default to using the WiFi connection as long as you are connected to a WiFi network. So no need to turn mobile data off using home WiFi.

    Phone Status Icons

    Explanations of the icons that appear in your notification bar:


    Adding New Ringtones/SMS Notifications/Alarms

    To add new ringtones or SMS alerts, connect your Hero to USB and mount the device on your PC. Browser to the following folders:

    Ringtones: /sdcard/media/audio/ringtones
    SMS Alerts: /sdcard/media/audio/notifications
    Alarm Alerts: /sdcard/media/audio/alarms

    Copy your mp3 files into either of the folders above. Then go to:

    Ringtone:Settings > sound and display > phone ringtone
    SMS: Settings > sound and display > notification sound
    Alarms: Set the sound when adding a new alarm.

    Then select the ringtone you put in the above folder(s).

    Keyboard Lag
    The HTC Hero keyboard tends to lag quite a bit after maybe a week of using it. There is one very easy way to ease and normally totally get rid of the lag, and that is to turn of the feedback option.

    Settings > Local & text > Touch Input > Text Input > Untick “Sound feedback” and “Vibrate when typing”

    Default Application Replacements

    Your Hero will come with default applications, but sometimes there are better alternatives on the market:


    Handcent SMS is a perfect replacement SMS application. It contains a lot more personalisation than the default application offers, and many users report it being faster too. In order to stop receiving two SMS notifications from now on, open the default SMS application and navigate to:

    Menu > settings> untick Notifications

    Download Handcent by scanning the following barcode:


    The default camera application is not bad, and actually after using Camera Zoom FX for a while I now prefer the default as it is quite a lot faster to open up. There are two options here, change the default camera settings, or download and use the Camera Zoom FX application instead.

    Change to these settings in the default application:

    Quality: High
    Widescreen: Tick
    Auto focus: Tick
    Flicker Adjustment: Auto
    ISO: 800

    The Camera Zoom FX application however manages to produce quite good pictures, and is definitely worth the very small cost (

    taavi191, judithdl, SLYSI3 and 25 others like this.
  2. lekky

    lekky Lover VIP Member

    Applications You Can't Live Without

    These are applications that in all reality should come on the device by default, they are that useful.

    3G WatchDog
    You can use this application to keep a monitor on your mobile internet usage. Use this to make sure you never go over your allowance!

    Download 3G Watchdog by scanning the following barcode:

    This is a fantastic application. It allows you to keep track of your phone if it ever gets stolen. You can remotely lock, backup, wipe and restore data to your phone using the WaveSecure web interface. Must have!


    Applications You Can Live Without, But Shouldn't Have To!

    Fantastic applications you may want to give a go, even if you don't like them, they will give you some idea of what apps are out there.


    Note Me
    Brilliant notebook application, very easy to use, but highly sophisticated too (Try 3Banana if you want online sync)

    Offline task/todo list application that syncs with google tasks.

    Whats On
    TV Listings for Sky channels, including all UK regional channels. Use this constantly.


    Places Directory
    Allows you to browse nearby places in categories like Restaurants, Movie Theaters and Hotels.

    Use us to search for places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play then read reviews from an active community of locals in the know. I prefer this than Places Directory.

    Displays real time digital information on top of reality in the camera screen of the mobile phone. Really really cool app. You pick a location, scan the camera around and it will show you exactly where you want to go with a distance notification changing as you get closer.

    Flixster Movies
    Movie Ratings and Reviews, Trailers and Clips plus a lot more. I use this every Wednesday to pick a film for Orange Wednesdays ;)

    Simply glance at your phone and find which friends, favorite businesses, events and music concerts are close by. Use to find your nearest starbucks, atm and what bands are playing nearby.

    UK National Rail Train Departures
    Live Train Departure Boards. If you use trains, then you need this.

    National Rail
    Not Free unlike the app above, but for sure worth the
  3. lekky

    lekky Lover VIP Member


    In my opinion the best twitter app on android. Feel free to ty the alternatives though, of which "TwitterRide", "Seesmic" and "Swift" are leading the rest of the pack.

    Pro Version

    Free (Limited) version

    Facebook for Android
    Official facebook app, currently the most stable. Checkout Bloo if you fancy a change.

    Googles own podcast app, very good app itself, but those who take their podcasting a bit more seriously should opt for doggcatcher below. Use this instead of doggcatcher if you don't use it enough to warrant paying for a podcast app.

    Strange icon but a fantastic podcast app, with a hard working developer adding lots of updates. I personally use this for my podcasts. Well worth the money over the free google listen.

    Meebo IM
    Possibly the best IM app on the android atm. Uses data not SMS. AIM MSN Yahoo Facebook MySpace Google Talk Jabber and ICQ available.

    Must have if you want to connect to IRC on the go. Best IRC app on the market, and very supportive developer.

    System Tools

    Force Close Button
    Adds a button to the pull-down notifications list that, when selected, forces the current app to close. Use this app A LOT.

    Many options to manage apps including backup and uninstall.

    Tracks updates to your apps

    Startup Auditor
    Some apps add themselves to the startup of your phone when you don't want them to, use this to disable those apps.

    Use to check what apps are currently running, and kill/auto-kill any tasks. Works like your task manager on a PC would. Please don't over use this as most of the time YOU DON'T NEED TO CLOSE RUNNING APPS!

    Full Version

    Free (Ad-Supported) Version

    Top notch file manager, probably the best on the android right now.

    Hide media files on your phone, disguised as a flashlight app ;)

    Dynamically manages your phone settings based on conditions, such as Location and Time.

    Bar Control
    Lets you to put links to apps in the notification bar.

    Volume Control
    Control your audio settings very easily.


    Scan a barcode, and this will automatically find the torrent for that item, and add it to your torrent client on your home computer! Alternative is Transdroid.

    Turns your phone into an FTP server so you can transfer files to and from your phone wirelessly from your PC. NOTE: Use SDReScan once you have transferred files to make your phone rescan your sdcard and notice the new files you added.

    The opposite of FTPServer. This is an FTP client that allows you to connect to FTP servers.

    Remember there are new apps coming out everyday, so just drop me an email or tweet if you think others would find a different app beneficial.
  4. lekky

    lekky Lover VIP Member

    [v1.4 Added ROM update info]
    gavinimurthy and alchemistkevin like this.
  5. owen1978

    owen1978 Member

    One thing i would recommend that you put in this sticky is

    Pre-Preparation (before you get the phone or any googlephone)
    Basically what I mean is that people should sync their contacts, messages etc.. into google, or for those who dont have a google account to actually
    open one!

    It just makes life easier!
  6. HNB

    HNB New Member

    Registered just so I could say THANK YOU. I just picked up a Hero recently and these are some seriously pro tips.
  7. Jaffa

    Jaffa Well-Known Member


    They should pre bundle the HERO with a bookmark to this site!!

    Keep up the good work guys
    gavinimurthy likes this.
  8. doc.walsh

    doc.walsh Member

    I found this amazingly helpful. The Market search has to be the worst thing about Android and having someone point you in the right direction is a relief. Even if you don't use all these they give you insight to the possibilities.

  9. Perihelion

    Perihelion Well-Known Member

    Fantastic thread, grabbed just about every app suggested. Major props to TS.
  10. Caspa

    Caspa Well-Known Member

    Just joined... Getting a new business line first week of Jan and its gonna be a Hero on Orange, woohoo cant wait!... Fantastic thread... +1 to you...
  11. whiteflashuk

    whiteflashuk New Member

    Excellent thread indeed, many thanks for the heads up in regards to all these awesome apps!
  12. alfiebengal

    alfiebengal New Member

    Thank you thank you thank you, you made my day.
  13. RetiredFinally

    RetiredFinally Well-Known Member

    Boy that is one of the best stickies for Android, all those apps I had found but a few but nice to know I made some good choices!
  14. premiump

    premiump Well-Known Member

    Superb Sticky - many thanks :)

    I was never sure about Handcent, but now I have had my Hero for just over three weeks, I'm starting to experiment a lot more to see what I like and don't like.

    Keep these recommendations coming :D

  15. kilikopele

    kilikopele Member

    This is one of the best intros I've EVER read. Agree with the poster above, this should be a mandatory link right on the <insert phone name here> home page.

    I've written a lot of documentation in my day, but you, sir, takes the freakin cake!!

    Thanks for the guide!
  16. ridesno159

    ridesno159 New Member

    Thank you! I think I might have scanned everyone of these. The best thread for a new android user. Thanks so much!
  17. Nedski

    Nedski Member

    Excellent post, loads of useful advice and apps.

    Can I just add the following:

    When setting your message notification do so from:

    Messages > Menu > Settings > Select Sound

    And if you like wakening to a favourite tune you'll need to add the following folder


    while you have the Hero mounted on your PC

    Your ringtone should now show up when selecting Alarm Sound.

    HTH [​IMG]
  18. Willoe

    Willoe New Member

    I must say... The honesty and simplicity of your posts lekky are phenomenal! Thank you for taking the time to do this! I just bought the HTC Hero yesterday and have been tweaking it since I got it, and stumbled across this forum in my searching. I will most definitly be downloading some of those Aps, and appreciate the write-up that you put along with it. There needs to be more people like you out there on public forums like these! =D
    I also agree, that a link to these types of sites should be a must with the new phones.
    Take care of yourself and Merry Christmas! =D
  19. murf43143

    murf43143 Member

    Thank you kindly! Just a note:

    The Force Close Button app now has a small fee associated with it. .50 euro,
  20. 98clru

    98clru Member

    You can automatically import contacts from some other web based email:
    settings> accounts and import

    You can import and export contact lists in gmail (click on contacts then on upper right of contacts window). This can be used to import outlook contacts too. I personally export my contacts as a .csv file monthly then save to google docs just in case, as a backup. When using google sync on my blackberry curve suddenly I have 3 and 4 of the same contact. I was not the only one to have that happen. What a mess to clean up and I had no backup. Even google can have a screw up now and then!
  21. Zorro

    Zorro Member

    these are totally awesome tips, especially useful apps section.

  22. JayCee

    JayCee Well-Known Member

    Guys given the title of this thread there are quite a few posts in it which bear no relation to it.
    If you have a question why not post it in a separate thread as normal.
  23. rainmanne

    rainmanne Well-Known Member

    does not seem available from the market anymore
  24. billsmed

    billsmed Well-Known Member

    If you have a Gmail account and you have Gmail set up on your phone, there is an easy way to do this. First, open Contacts in Gmail from your computer and you should see your phone contacts. After you Edit and Save the updated contact information, it will automatically update your phone's contacts (People App). It works the other way too. Any new contact you enter in the phone will automatically update to your Gmail Contact list. This probably works with Outlook as well, if that's the way you have it set up, but I have not tried it.

    The update may not appear until Auto-sync is run. You can force Auto-sync to run if you uncheck then recheck Auto-sync. To get there, choose menu/Settings/Data Synchronization/Google. If you have the USB cable hooked up between your phone and computer, I believe it will automatically update your contacts. You don't even have to Mount the USB.

  25. KppsK

    KppsK Member

    Hi Guys,

    Sorry for jumping here in this thread , I think that you can help me. I just get my htc hero, and put the charger on. On the top of the phone there is notification led (red light, probably because of charging the battery), but there is just one notification led, which is turned on. My question is, is just one led or two? Because I see another led, seems to me like a led, at the corner of the earpiece.

    Please let me know, if this is fault device, so I can return it.

    Thank you.

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