Sprint has warned owners of the HTC Hero that they will need to back-up and sync data before installing the upgrade to Android 2.1. That’s because the update will delete all data and information on the phone.
The update, numbered 2.27.651.5, brings an impressive range of new features, including:
- Adobe Flash support;
- free Google navigation with spoken instructions;
- speech-to-text conversion for some apps;
- support for Microsoft Exchange e-mail;
- searchable text message archives; and
- a new version of the Sense user interface including a “FriendStream” collating updates from multiple social networks.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that there’s a fair bit of work to do to make sure you minimize data loss:
- Contacts must be synced to an e-mail account so that they can be restored after the update.
- Text and messages must be individually forwarded to an e-mail account if you want to keep them.
- Paid apps can be reinstalled from the Android Marketplace via a list in “My Downloads”.
- Free apps must be reinstalled from the marketplace manually, so you’ll need to write a list before installing the update.
Some data will be lost whatever you do, namely:
- any saved voicemail messages from more than five days before applying the update, and any unplayed voicemail messages more than 20 days; and
- e-mail and calendar settings.
Meanwhile multimedia files will be unaffected as they are stored on a memory card, though this should be removed before the update.
The data deletion appears to be the reason that the update can only be applied by downloading on a computer rather than through either an automated or manual over-the-air update. By making sure people have a chance to see the warning on its website, Sprint should cut the number of people who lose data and (perhaps more importantly) be better placed to defend itself against any complaints.