Two down, one to go. Both T-Mobile and Orange have received the Android 2.1 update for the HTC Hero handsets, however Three users are still waiting. They were targeting a “Mid to late July” timeframe however the company has now confirmed that it has been delayed.
Brendan Arndt from Three said that the software has been submitted to Google to get the “final go-ahead” and that “we’re not clear on the timescales for this yet.” He blamed the fact that Three operates within a smaller team than some of their bigger rivals and a number of recent high profile launches including the iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S has stretched the team.
To be fair he apologised and said that “2.1 Hero update hasn’t gone through testing and approvals as quickly or as smoothly as we’d have wanted.” We also now know that the update will be over-the-air (OTA) and will land in a single package as opposed to the previous updates that came with a preparatory update before the full Android 2.1 download. There’s still no timeline for release but Arndt promised to reveal further information as soon as he has it. Fingers crossed it at least lands in August…
Brendan Arndt (Three) comment in full:
Thanks for all your patience regarding the 2.1 update for HTC Hero. We have now tested and approved the software and this has been submitted to Google to get the final go-ahead. We’re hoping that they can push this through as quickly as possible, but we’re not clear on the timescales for this yet.
Really sorry for the delay on this update. We’ve been working really hard to approve and launch lots of handsets and updates this month including iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S, and the 2.1 update for Hero has had to queue up alongside these other big launches, particularly the Galaxy S which took a number of versions of software to get right. We’re a smaller network than some of our competitors, and while that has its advantages it also means that our testing team doesn’t have limitless resources. We’ve done our best to manage priorities, but the 2.1 Hero update hasn’t gone through testing and approvals as quickly or as smoothly as we’d have wanted – HTC did have to supply us with a couple of versions until we were satisfied it was bug free. We really wanted to get this to you for the end of July, but we’ve missed our deadline – I’m really sorry I can’t bring you better news on a Friday afternoon but at least you’re now in full possession of the facts.
As soon as we know more from Google on their timescales we’ll let you know.
The 2.1 update for Hero contains a lot of new functionality. Most Heroes on our network are currently on 1.6, so this is a big version change. Our testing process is not about adding in Planet 3, but we need to check that any changes don’t break the functionality we have already built for the phone, like Skype, Windows Live Messenger and My3. We also need to test that it works seamlessly with our network settings, and that the technical changes don’t impact the way you can send MMS or roam onto 2G for voice, text or data for example. The reason we want to do a thorough job on this is because of the big version change – 2.1 to 2.2 for example would be a much simpler process – plus we’ve had to prioritise this testing along with all of the other updates and launches we’ve currently got on the roadmap. We promise that we are going as quickly as we can, and we’ll get the update to you as soon as possible.
To answer a couple of the other questions that have been asked, the update will come as one package and will be delivered OTA. You’ll get a notification in your top notification bar when it’s ready.