As you probably already know, Android 2.1 (well known as Eclair) is the last version officialy published for our lovely Hero. With new phones such as Desire (HD) and Legend, HTC obviously has better things to do than keeping their old phones up to date.
However thanks to Villainrom guys, HTC Hero is still alive and kicking. They have various ROM versions available, some of them are based on official HTC build (with HTC Sense), but some of them are more like “vanila” built, with no HTC Sense at all. One of them is Froyd Villain 1.5, which is the one that I’ve decided to play with this weekend.
Honestly, I like to keep things on my phone working, but since I was totally frustrated with inability to do wifi tethering (even with anetShare or wifi tether apps it didn’t work with Mac) I’ve decided to jump into unknown and spend some time playing with Froyo this weekend.
First off, installation is really easy. Just follow these instructions and within half an hour, you should be running brand new Froyo device. First boot will take a while, but be patient it will payoff later :)
Now here are my first impressions after few hours of playing with Villain’s Froyo:
– It’s incredible fast. Works without any lag and it’s probably 2 or 3 times faster compared to official HTC 2.1 Build.
– It’s much more customizable than official build. There are more tweaks for advanced users but even for “ordinary” users there are more ringtones, wallpapers etc. stuff
– Since it’s Froyo you can opt to install app on SD card
– Wifi Tethering is working (tested with anetShare)
– No HTC Sense at all. That means, no HTC Widgets (like cool weather widget for example), no fancy dialer etc.
– Even though it’s pretty stable, it’s still buggy and some things are not always working as expected. For example my official HTC headphones are not recognized at all. Phone reboot solved that problem but still there isn’t any visible indicator showing that headphones are connected. Same stands for charging. I also had hard time to figure out how to turn off spelling and prediction.
Bottom line, I really like it but I also miss HTC Sense a lot, so will probably give it few more days and then try other (Villain) HTC Sense based release which still *should* work faster than official build plus there should be tethering available.
Here are some pics (created with dropcap2 app):