Thursday, September 9, 2010

Android 2.2 (Froyo) on the HTC Hero (CyanogenMod)

Sprint made it clear awhile back that the CDMA Hero would not support Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) while all of their other Android phones would. Why did Sprint decide to give up on the Hero? There's not a good answer to that question. A lot of folks in the development community claim it's because they want people to buy Evo (or some other 4g phone) and pay the $10/month "cool" tax. Whatever the reason may be, it's not stopping us from putting Android 2.2 on our HTC Hero.

So far, there has been no success in porting an Android 2.2 ROM with the HTC Sense UI, so if you were hoping to keep Sense then you're out of luck (for now). There has been success, however, in porting Android 2.2 and there are a number of themes out there that are just as convenient as Sense (though they don't have the Sense widgets or apps). Consider "Launcher Pro" if you need a "Sense-like" UI.

All that being said, let's get down to the task of getting Android 2.2 on our Rooted HTC Hero for Sprint.

What you'll need:

1) Rooted HTC Hero for Sprint: Option 1 or Option 2
2) Nandroid Backup Installed
3) Cyanogen's Mod (Android 2.2)
4) The Google Apps Addon pack (big thanks to Cyanogen and his people for making this possible)
5) The newest Sprint Radio

Alright, here we go:

Step 1) Place Cyanogen's Mod, Google Apps Addon, and the newest Sprint Radio on your phone's sdcard in the root directory (i.e. in the first level of your sdcard [not inside any folders]). Do not extract any of these files.

Step 2) Boot your phone into Nandroid using your method of choice.

Step 3) Make a backup of your phone's current state.

Step 4) Do a WIPE of your phone (- Wipe data/factory reset)

Step 5) Select - Apply sdcard:choose zip and then choose Cyanogen's Mod and press HOME to confirm that you'd like to install it.

Once the MOD is installed, you will be returned to the Nandroid Menu. Before rebooting your phone and having fun with Android 2.2, you'll want to install the Google Apps Addon you downloaded.

Step 6) Select - Apply sdcard:choose zip and then choose the Google Apps Addon and press HOME to confirm that you'd like to install it.

Once the Apps are installed, you will, once again, be returned to the Nandroid Menu. Before rebooting your phone, you also want to upgrade your radio (OPTIONAL).

OPTIONAL Step 7) Select - Apply sdcard:choose zip and then choose the new Sprint Radio and press HOME to confirm that you'd like to install it. The installer should walk you through the flashing of the new radio.

Once the new radio is installed, you'll be back at the Nandroid Menu and it might say that it is clearing "cache..." Just wait a minute and then go ahead and - Reboot system now

Your phone will reboot. You'll see the HTC splash screen (it may appear to hang on the HTC screen but don't worry). Next you'll see the Cyanogen splash screen. It WILL hang here for quite some time (on the first boot). Just be patient, your phone is just getting it's "first time" configuration. It may got back to the HTC splash screen and then back to the Cyanogen splash. This is all normal.

Eventually, you'll end up in your new Android 2.2 HTC Hero and you will be happy.

NOTE: this ROM works best after several restarts, so once you get your phone set up after the initial install, go ahead and reboot it once or twice.

And there you have it: Android 2.2 on your HTC Hero for Sprint. Take that Sprint.

Quick Review (9/17/2010): I've been running CyanogenMod on my phone now for 2 weeks and am nothing but pleased with its performance. It's very fast (faster than Zen Aria) and very stable. There are a few features that don't work all the time and the camera is still a little buggy but I don't use my HERO for a camera very often. The battery life seems a little better than the stock OS and a little better than ROMs running the Sense UI. Overall, this is a massive improvement on the stock HERO and with nightly updates, it's over-the-top. If there is one drawback, it would have to be that there is no Visual Voicemail.

Bottom Line: oh yeah, you want it.

RUMOR: There are folks in the development community who say that Sprint will be releasing an update to the HTC Hero in October 2010. Some think that this update will be Android 2.2 others do not think so. Sprint has been pretty clear about not wishing to load Android 2.2 but then again it's pretty clear that people are upset about this and it wouldn't be the first time the Sprint admitted a mistake. We'll see.


  1. I know nothing of this, just saw this type of phone on ebay and wondered about it. This forum was very nicely done, even this 58 year old thinks he could root his phone, if he knew what the stuff in the article was about. We always want our Devices Faster for sure. Thanks again, ChrisGotchacom

  2. hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)