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How to Get the Most out of Your HTC Hero -- Usage Hints and Tweaks

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 6/30/2010

To get the most out of your HTC Hero you need to know a few things to help it run quicker and to easily operate the phone.

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    A Few Usage Tips

    Navigating around the Hero can be quick and easy if you know what you're doing. Here's a few pointers:

    • If you press and hold the home button (the little house) it will bring up a list of all your open apps and programs to quickly switch back and forth from where you're at.
    • A "long click" is often good for many operations. This just means pressing and holding something for a few seconds. This will normally bring up a detailed menu for various operations (including going back and forward in the web browser and cut and paste functions).
    • The "menu" button is your friend. If you ever wonder "How do I do this with this app/function" just hit the menu button. More often than not it will give you the option you want.
    • The on-screen keyboard can be a little obnoxious at first but it gets better with use. It is important that you calibrate the keyboard to you--this will make it a lot easier to use. To do this go to Menu > Settings > Locale & Text > Touch input > Text Input > Calibration Tool. It will then calibrate it to fit where your fingers tend to land. This only works for the slim vertical keypad not the long horizontal one it will give you when you turn the phone on its side. However, I find this not to be a problem. Once you get used to the vertical one optimized to your fingers you can type quite quickly. Also, in that same Text Input menu it's a good idea to keep word completion on. It will gradually learn the words you tend to use the most and help you get there quicker.
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    Tweaks for Speed Purposes

    It's true, this phone is not the fastest. The things this phone tries to run are processor intensive and the little guy will really struggle if you overload it. Here's a few tips on how to keep your phone running smoothly.

    • Turn off the vibration/audible response. This is a feature that provides feedback in the form of vibration or audio when you push the screen. This is enabled when you first get the phone but it slows the phone down tremendously and will annoy you to no end. There are two features here you have disable. To make sure the audio feedback is off select menu < settings < sound & display < then scroll down to "audible selection" and make sure it is not selected. To turn off vibration feedback go to menu < settings < locale & text < touch input < text input < unselect "vibrate when typing."
    • Be careful not to run too many things at once. It is hard to tell sometimes but Android will often keep up apps that you thought you closed. Especially with programs like Sprint Navigation you need to press Menu < Exit for it to close the program down.
    • At the same time beware of Task Killers! I've tried a couple different task killers on my Hero and every time it slowed the phone down more and shut down things it wasn't supposed to.
    • On the same note, be careful of some apps that run processes in the background. For instance, I tried one app that would let me remotely turn the volume up on the ringer in case I lost it on silent mode. Sounded like a great idea except that it slowed the phone down noticeably. General rule, if your phone suddenly starts slowing down its probably because you installed an app you shouldn't have.
    • If your internet is slow, use your Wi-Fi when possible (especially if you're at home or at work where one is available). It will dramatically increase your speed.

Guide to Getting the Most out of the HTC Hero

Just get your new HTC Hero? It is an amazing phone but can be a bit overwhelming at first. Here is a guide to getting your phone optimized so that it will become an incredibly powerful tool to improve your life.
  1. Guide to Getting the Most out of the HTC Hero -- Setting Up
  2. How to Get the Most out of Your HTC Hero -- Usage Hints and Tweaks
  3. Guide to Getting the Most out of the HTC Hero -- Great Apps