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Help make my HTC Hero a decent phone! Please!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by osli, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    OK, I've had my Hero (Cingular South) for a couple of weeks now, and have learned how to use all of the features and applications that are important to me, and have given myself time to adjust to the new phone's quirks and abilities.

    And I've collected a list of things that really annoy me that keep this from being a good phone. Googling each of these topics for suggested fixes either turns up nothing useful, or turns up suggestions that raise as many questions as they answer. So I'm posting here, the entire list, hoping that the community can help me eliminate these issues and transform my phone into something truly decent. Maybe one "big" fix will address many of these. Oh, but please don't tell me to wait for 2.0... no idea how long that will take, or if it will fix all of these problems.

    1) Phone unlocks, dials, etc. in my pocket. What good is a slide to unlock screen if there are ways to unlock with hard buttons? Can I disable that behavior of hard buttons so that the phone only unlocks after a slide?

    2) Phone hangs up, dials people, opens random apps etc. while I'm on a phone call. I guess this is what you get for not having a proximity sensor. If I don't hold the phone away from my face for the first fifteen seconds or so, my chin might do all sorts of weird things. I've been on hold by "company X" and the next thing I know I'm hearing my wife's voicemail message. wtf? Is there any better solution out there than having to be very very careful about how you hold the phone when you call people? God forbid you need both hands and have to hold the phone with your shoulder... all bets are off... you might get Obama, or worse.

    3) Keyboard just sucks at knowing what letter you've pressed. I'm using BetterKeyboard paid version now, and it looks better and has more options, but I'm not sure it really does any better as far as wrong keypresses go. Even in landscape it messes up on essentially every word. Is there any better alternative out there? I've used a touchscreen phone with only marginally larger screen in the past and had no trouble, so I can't imagine that it is the physical key size but rather software determination of what your intention is. I've gone through the calibration with no improvement. In fact, I've noticed that in general the screen thinks I'm touching about an eighth of an inch below where I really intended to touch. Any ideas?

    4) Can I alphabetize my contacts by last name? I've looked everywhere and can't find that setting. This would really put me in a better mood when looking for a phone number.

    5) Is there an option or application similar to LockInfo for the iphone? i.e., a way to get a listing of calls, messages, tasks/calendar events, weather, mail etc. on the lock screen? I really miss being able to glance at the lock screen and get a pretty comprehensive update on all the important stuff without having to unlock and go through each application. I didn't see that on the stock lockscreen, but admittedly I've been using an iphone style slider lockscreen for the last two weeks or so and perhaps I overlooked it?

    I've left out the numerous complaints I might have about lag in the UI, lag in dialing numbers, lag in updating the recent call list that causes me to dial the wrong number, a weather widget that says it's sunny in the middle of the night, etc. because I've either found a third party app that works better than stock (SuperDial, WeatherWidget), or am just dealing with it until 2.0 arrives to see what I've really got. If suggestions involve a custom ROM (which I'm fine with), I'd like to know if the Sense UI remains or if I have to use the stock Android or one of the alternative home apps (like open home, or dxtop, both of which I tried and didn't like).

    I just want my phone to be a decent phone. Right now, it isn't. After that, all the pretty stuff is pretty, and cool, and all of that.

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  2. eargdf

    eargdf Newbie

    As for No.5. You can try downloading FlyScreen from the market. It allows you to customize your lock screen. And its free.
  3. lekky

    lekky Lover

    I will assume this is a problem with the Sprint Hero, Euro version doesn't get this.

    Heard people suffer from this, maybe I don't hold it too close to my dface on a call. I think this is something you'll just have to live with probably.

    I'm sure the Euro version uses the same keyboard as Sprint, and as such I can't believe what you are saying!! The sense keyboard is fantastic, and its so easy to know which key you pressed because it pops it up for you..?! I can only advise you to calibrate again, maybe something interfered last time..

    There are other phonebook apps available on the market that may offer this to you. The only one i can think of off the top of my head is phonebook, but have a look in the market.

    If you are suffering lag a lot of the time then that should be looked into, I don't see any real lag using my phone and I have quite a lot up and running most of the time.
  4. zombdroid

    zombdroid Android Enthusiast

    Are you using the Sprint Hero on Cingular South?
  5. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Not entirely sure. Cingular south offers the hero. It doesn't have the chin like the euro version for what that's worth.
  6. cooolone2

    cooolone2 Android Enthusiast

    What problems?

    Never encountered this problem in my back pocket, coat pocket or otherwise...

    Can't really say I have encountered this either. I have had difficulty switching between an active call and another incoming call placing the first on hold and then returning to the original once the 2nd has completed, but I think thats just me...

    When I got my Palm Treo I hated that keyboard too, it took a week or two to adjust. Got the Hero and felt the same for about a week too, lol, was really missing my Treo Keyboard because I got so used to what to press... The Hero keyboard is ok in my book, now that I'm used to it.

    This would be good, I hadn't really attempted this, just accepted the contact listing once I knew where the people were... I just wouldn't list this as a "problem" though.

    Again, good idea, not a biggie, got the suggested app from this thread and will check it out. Again, not a PROBLEM, but choice of function.

    Lag is an issue but I have not really experienced it after adjusting a few of the settings and suggestions I had found here to affect the operation of the Hero. I have accepted the limitations of the device (few) and have to say that this unit by far is the BEST phone I have owned, hands down. It has done everything I need it to do without exception. Maybe I have low expectations which have been exceeded. This bar set low of course because of my exposure to past phones which could do absolutely nothing well. WinMo platform was horrific, not a single native app worked, the phone locked and required battery pulls constantly to restore any function. Did I say that if I actually used the phone, its messaging capability or web browser that it required my carrying the charger with me? Battery lasted about 4 hours with any use... I can't suggest anything other than like the rest of those who are seemingly unhappy to wait for the 2.0 update if it ever comes. I don't know if it will ultimately make many happy though because of all these problems they experience.

    By your approximation it isn't. The only thing I think the phone really lacks is bluetooth and beaming functioning, hopefully to be included in the 2.0 update? lol... I'm only pointing out a great majority of us are quite happy with the Hero :)
  7. nick325i

    nick325i Android Enthusiast

    All of your issues can be solved. Hang in there or return it. Many people love these phones. :)
  8. lldsandsll

    lldsandsll Well-Known Member

    some people just need to complain
  9. zombdroid

    zombdroid Android Enthusiast

    Interesting. Looks like the same phone, just a different carrier.

    In my opinion, no one can help you like your phone. On this forum, you will find others that describe problems with this phone that most people don't experience. They too have a list of issues they don't like about the Hero. These phones, at least the Sprint model does not "lag" out of the box.

    Solving as many problems as you listed might be very difficult. You might want to consider cutting your losses.
  10. Bnice

    Bnice Guest

    osli, so you saying this phone isn't decent,wow.why is it some people want their phone to do something like another phone does? just go get the phone that do what you want..
    and all phones have problems and this is a Dam good phone...
  11. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it out... some good things about it, some not so good. I'd rather have everything listed on one screen instead of scrolling through to each widget, but I haven't tried many of the themes/skins for FlyScreen... perhaps some of them group things together better.

    In any case, it still allows the hard buttons to unlock the phone, which is one of my other major complaints. I'd have to put a security number in to prevent that.
  12. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the honest feedback. For now, it wasn't exactly my choice to use this phone, but since I have it I want to give it a solid evaluation and try to get used to it and/or improve the things that bother me. It seems to have great potential, and with the open platform I have high hopes that the community will address the many shortcomings. Some already seem to have been.

    If I can't either get used to it or fix it after several months, I'll decide then whether to change phones.
  13. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Some people just want a phone that is above all a good phone. I like the idea of my phone being a good "everything else" but it needs to be good at being a phone first. Which means easy to turn on or unlock, easy to find numbers, dial numbers, etc. without any serious quirks in how the phone works.

    And apparently some people just need to post useless statements that do nothing to actually help people. But thanks for your valued input.
  14. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Glad you don't have any problems with the phone at all, but does that really mean that no one else is allowed to? With an open platform, I'm banking on the power of the community in addressing the problems I have, so that the phone is just as wonderful for me as it seems to be for you.

    Well, I do. Pressing a hard button brings up the lock screen. Pressing the menu button after that unlocks the phone. Or a long menu press brings up the recent application list, which is just a bump in the pocket away from launching an app. It happens to me all the time. I could put a lock pattern or pin on my phone, but I absolutely hate those. I'd like to unlock my phone quickly when I need it, and not have it unlock itself when I don't. Seems a simple enough desire. I could also use a belt holster/case, but I hate those even more.

    Happens to me all the time. I think it is my ear that is usually the culprit, sometimes my cheek. The most common result is hanging up on whoever I'm talking to. Sometimes I get another application launched, another number dialed, or a contact added to my list randomly. Very annoying. Can the screen blank delay be changed to a shorter interval? Fifteen or so seconds seems way too long. If I could change it to like three, I'd be happy.

    Maybe. I'm about three weeks or so in, and only get more frustrated by the day. It misses my keypress about once per word. The Hero has a terrific word prediction and spell correction, which has kept me from going absolutely bananas! But I'm hoping that this is a software thing that has been or will be fixed. I thought Better Keyboard would really help, but I'm not so sure it has. Speaking of... does the calibration for keyboard input apply to the Better Keyboard application, or just the stock keyboard? Bottom line... screen size is adequate and physical button size no different than what I was coming from, so there is no good reason why the Hero is that much worse. I've never seen this praised in a review, so I know it isn't just me.

    The Hero is certainly pretty. And I'm happy with the Browser, contacts syncing with outlook, Google, and ActiveSycn accounts, games, and the multimedia stuff isn't too bad. But as a phone, it is just falling short. There is no reason I should be dialing several wrong numbers and typing hundreds of wrong words every single day.
  15. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    It wasn't exactly my choice to switch to the Hero, but I thought it was going to be a more pleasant experience than has been the case. I don't want it to do things like another phone, I just want it to do things well, period. Different is fine. There are many aspects I like much better, like the scenes and locales, customization, open platform, etc.
  16. cooolone2

    cooolone2 Android Enthusiast

    hahaha, Osli, I wasn't beating you up about your post... I understood completely what you are going through by reading all the similar posts...

    Some suggestions.

    Wear lose fitting jeans and the buttons won't get press while walking.
    Use speaker phone so you dont press it to your ear or cheek.
    Look for voice dictation app so you dont have to type.

    hahaha, I just joking and making light of your situation... :D

    Smile, better days are ahead with the Hero, keep the faith!
    I mean my Hero isn't perfect... I found two dead pixels and it can't do BlueTooth Transfers... Booooooo...


  17. BrianR

    BrianR Member

    How are you holding your phone that your CHIN even comes close to it? Unless your head is fetus size, your chin should be at least 2 inches away from touching any part of the phone. Unless you are one of those wacky people that holds their phone in a way that makes no sense for holding a PHONE.

    Here are some helpful images to learn how to hold a PHONE.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Even this will do:


    How NOT to hold a phone:


    Step ONE, put the EARPIECE AT YOUR EAR.

    See if that helps at all.

    (BTW, I understand the Obama photo has been photoshopped.)
  18. Bnice

    Bnice Guest

    BrianR,,,,,Ha Ha, that's funny
  19. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I had to go back and look at my original post to see if I actually said that. To my amazement, I did. I obviously meant cheek, not chin. If you had read on to later posts, you might have noticed that I said both my ear and cheek were the culprits.

    But the pics were good for a laugh anyway. I think I remember that rubberband hands-free phone holder... wasn't that an ebay auction from about ten years ago? lol!

    So any useful tips for the problem I'm actually having with body parts that actually do contact the screen when held properly, per your instructional photos above?
  20. BrianR

    BrianR Member

    LOL. I actually didnt even read the rest of the thread, after your post, I couldnt imagine how your chin was touching it.

    As for any tips - no. I dont doubt it happens to you and others, but I personally dont have any problems with my face causing problems during calls.

    It's a great phone - and certainly has it's problems. I hope you get your issues straightened out, and thanks for taking the photos in the humor they were intended. :)
  21. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I'm thinking that the ability to shorten the timeout delay would go a long way. Maybe I'll post that as an app request.
  22. osli

    osli Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I guess there aren't any practical solutions for now. FlyScreen is pretty, but way overcomplicated and no quicker than just unlocking the phone - and it doesn't prevent the accidental unlocking. Using a security code I suppose is practical, but I can't stand them and shouldn't be forced to use one. A better contacts app might be out there that allows alphabetizing by last name, but that doesn't change the behavior of the contacts list in the dialer apps - which is by far the primary place I need it.

    I think there are suggestions that could solve many or most of these problems, but I'm not a programming jack so I'm unlikely to implement them myself. For anyone interested, here's what would be really nice:

    1) Disable the second menu press and long menu press to unlock behaviors. Simple, effective, no brainer.

    2) Offer a settings options for the screen timeout during call delay, from the stock 10-15 seconds down to two or three. Or, even better, modify/replace the stock phone/dialer app so that during a call the screen stays active but instantly swaps to one with a couple of sliders to access common functions (as opposed to simple tap buttons), such as "hang up", "keypad" and either home screen or main call screen access.

    3) Settings toggle to alphabetize contacts by either first or last name, and have the behavior universal across any app that accesses the contacts list such as phone/dialer replacement apps. Alternatively, offer that settings option in a replacement phone app like SuperDial.

    4) Write an iPhone "lockinfo" app clone. :) Or something similar... simple yet informative, one screen, just an overlay of your current lockscreen.

    5) Offer a global screen calibration tool. I think this would go a long way towards making the keyboard work better. My problem is that I consistently touch higher than where it thinks I have, or conversely I consistently touch lower than where I think I did. Didn't have this problem on other phones, so I'm not sure exactly is responsible. But I'm always accidentally hitting the character below then one I intend. Happens on the keyboard, phone dialer, and even when selecting icons or moving them around and during games. Keyboard touch calibration doesn't really seem to change this at all, so I'm not sure exactly what it is doing. My guess is modifying the overlap settings or something - it doesn't seem to be remapping touch areas at all, because I have intentionally typed the phrase one letter off to the left and didn't remap those characters one letter over. In fact, I can't tell that it changed at all. And I also doubt that it is applying this calibration to other apps like BetterKeyboard, much less globally. Please offer a global calibration function. One that was variable depending on screen angle would be really slick, and make way too much sense to ever find its way to fruition!
  23. Will22

    Will22 Newbie

    God damn it, BrianR!
    This is one of the most complete and detailed phone manuals i've ever seen! :D
  24. nick325i

    nick325i Android Enthusiast

    Lockbot is an Iphone lock clone. can't use menu to unlock have to slide.
  25. captkoons

    captkoons Lurker

    There is no company named Cingular South.

HTC Hero Forum

The HTC Hero release date was July 2009. Features and Specs include a 3.2" inch screen, 5MP camera, 288GB RAM, MSM7200A processor, and 1350mAh battery.

July 2009
Release Date

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