I told you it was coming. This blog post is a review of the HTC Hero. Unlike the winners of the HTC Evo (I'm still jealous), I had to buy my own phone. Don't get me started...it still makes me sad that I didn't win. But only a little. Because the Hero is a very cool phone. Android is absolutely amazing. I don' t know much about phones and operating systems and all the technical stuff, but I do know that Android is probably one of the best things out there, as far as cell phones are concerned. Combine that with some of the cool features HTC has developed in their phones and you have got one pretty sweet phone. So far, the FREE apps I have found in the Android Market are great; so great that I haven't even really had to think twice about searching through the paid apps (not that SOMEONE would let me pay anyway...) Yet. I take that back; I did pay for one app, which I will talk about in a minute. But it was only 99 cents and I was given permission. ;-)
As a warning, I am totally going to geek out in this post. If you are in the market for a cell phone, this particular post is a MUST READ! And if you don't go for the HTC Hero, a phone that sports Android as the operating system is a MUST HAVE. I am now convinced of that. Kris is beyond ready to get his own Android phone after seeing mine! In fact, he's actually watching YouTube videos right now comparing the HTC Hero to the Samsung Moment.
So after our torturous hike last weekend, I told Kris if we got to the top of Cove Mountain and there was NOTHING to see, he had to go and buy me the Evo. When we actually got to the top of the mountain and there was nothing to see, I knew we didn't have the money for the Evo he rightfully owed me. But I still kept teasing Kris about it. He's a good sport and he wants me to be happy. So he worked out a compromise. He reminded me of the Hero and how much I had wanted it back when I first learned of it. A compromise was quickly reached and that same night, he bought me the step down from the Evo. I have been in love ever since. Whether I am talking about Kris or the phone is debatable! Open to interpretation...
Now, let's talk about apps! I'm not even sure where to begin...
I guess I'll start with my favorite and the most practical for me. It's the WWDiary. It's a tool for people who utilize the tools given in Weight Watchers. I LOVE this app. It is everything I could want/hope for in an app!! It's basically like being on the WW website, only it's on the phone and it is right there with you, wherever you are.
See the little bar code on the right? If you have the bar code scanner app (which I do and will discuss momentarily), you can actually scan foods and it will automatically input the name of said item into the diary. It won't automatically input the calories, fat and fiber, but it's easy enough to add it manually.
Next, you've got your food journal. The top shows you how many daily points you have left. The left side shows your activity points. The right corner shows you your weekly points (WW calls them flex points). Once you have added an item, it saves it so if you have that same item again and start to type it in, a drop down menu will appear and you can just select it.
Here are two more screen shots. There is a points calculator, a place to track your activity, and a way to track your weight (which I am not posting a picture of!).
Next up, let's talk about Scrabble. To my knowledge, the iPhone is the only phone you can use the Facebook Scrabble app on. That makes me mad and makes me hate the iPhone even more. ;-) I love Scrabble. I'm addicted. And I don't like that I can't play it on my phone. But I succumbed, needing some way to get my fix. I paid 99 cents for an app called WordWise. It's not nearly as great as the Words With Friends for iPhone (or iPad, I found out recently) but it is sufficient until Hasboro gets their act together and decides to offer Scrabble to the rest of the mobile world. Of the handful of things I am passionate about, Scrabble IS one of them! Now, if I could just find a good BRIDGE app for my phone...I'll have to put Kris to work on that one.
HTC is all about "scenes" from what Kris has told me. I have 7 different "pages" (6 plus your home screen) that I can put things on rather than just looking at all my applications in a big long list. There are widgets and other things you can put on these different pages. Highly customizable. So, I found a ton of free games that my kids can play and of course, I have a special "page" just for my kids. And let me just say that my kids LOVE this phone! They are always asking if they can play on it. It's so
And while I am talking about games, I need to share this with you (primarily SippyCupMom and anyone else who owns an iPhone!). This game is completely useless, mindless and not really all that fun, though it is addicting. I just like the level where you can throw an iPhone in the trash!
The next two apps are things that I would not want to live without on any phone. The first is the ability to tether my phone to my laptop. It's taken a week of searching but we finally found a way to tether my phone! That means that now, as before on my Instinct, when we are travelling I can connect to my phone's internet and blog while Kris drives! :-) Really, it's just great for any time you are somewhere that does not have internet. Places are becoming more and more stingy with free wi-fi and so having the ability within my phone is a MUST. I was SO excited to find this app in the Android Market and could not believe how simple it was. The picture may not mean much to some...but it does to me! I tested it out earlier, so it does work!
This app is one that I could do without if I had to. I did without it on my Instinct and just had Kris buy me a cheap MP3 player. Most of you who have followed me for a while know that I love listening to books through Audible.com. Their player is supported on a number of phones, but isn't yet supported on the iPhone or Android phones. Until now. There is actually a Beta version for Android! I'm testing it out and so far so good! I'm thrilled about this app. They have already said on their website that they were expecting to release Audible for Android summer 2010, so the full version IS coming soon, but today for the first time I stumbled upon the Beta version.
Oh and I couldn't figure out how to download it from the website at first. It was Kris who looked at it and told me that I could use the bar code scanner app that I had:
See it in the top right? It uses the phone's camera and looks like this before you scan something:
Kris told me that if I pulled that program up I would simply need to scan the code box on the computer screen. It looked like this:
See that black and white box? Yeah...I just scanned it and that was all it took. It started downloading to my phone! How cool is that?!? So now I have the ability to listen to my audio books on my phone again-a luxury I have done without for almost 2 years now. Sure my MP3 player is nice and small and I really like it, but if I can do everything through my phone, why not just use the one device?
I also love having such easy access to my Google calendar. That was a big complaint on my Instinct...I had to get on the web to view and use my Google calendar. There just wasn't an easy way to utilize all the things I love about Google Calendar. But that is not an issue at all with the HTC Hero. It has a fully functional Google Calendar app, as well as a widget for the calendar too that you can put on one of your pages.
OK...I think I have highlighted MOST of what I wanted to regarding the awesomeness of my new phone! Plus it's almost midnight and I have to go to the office tomorrow, so no sleeping in for me...