New Hero smart phone boasts Android brain and human touch


What makes a Hero? Is it the rugged frame? The stamina to last for hours? The power of an Android?

Cellphone maker HTC says that those attributes should be a given for modern cellphones. A true Hero has a human touch.

The Taiwanese manufacturer introduced the HTC Hero today as its third Android phone, but stressed that this device has a brand new interface layered on top of Google's mobile operating system.

"The new interface, called HTC Sense, has been in the works for over two years and is the cornerstone of the company's strategy to set itself apart in the increasingly crowded market for high-end phones," reports The Wall Street Journal.

The big idea behind Sense: It revolves around the way people think, instead of how computers think. PCs divide everything up into programs, individual sandboxes that rarely connect. But humans think in terms of social relationships, argues HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou. It doesn't matter where you play with your friends, they're still your friends.

So, if you can't remember whether your sister emailed you her new address or texted it, you don't have to hunt for the information in both applications. HTC Sense gathers all of your interactions with her in one place. Click on her name and the phone lists her emails, calls, photos, and Facebook updates.

"If you talk to Apple or Samsung, they believe in applications. But I believe content is content no matter where it comes from," says Horace Luke, HTC's chief innovation officer, in an interview with the Journal.

Flash forward

Hero will also be the first Android phone to support Adobe Flash, which drives most online video and many snazzy websites.

"With the new Flash Player 10 just around the corner and HTC officially joining the Open Screen Project, Android, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, and Palm WebOS will be among the first platforms to support full web browsing and access to virtually all Flash-based Web content," writes TechCrunch. Apple's iPhone does not support Flash, except for YouTube clips.

Adobe's introductory video says this mobile version of the program will play 80 percent of Flash video, games, and tools found online.


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