Monthly Archives: September 2009

Choosing the right accessories for your HTC Hero

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The HTC Hero is the most highly anticipated Android handset to be released. Not only because it’s only the third handset to be released running the new operating system from Google, but because this one is available without network or Google branding. Instead, HTC have put their own interface on top of the Android operating system to make it easier to use and improve how the menu system looks.

There’s no doubt that the Hero is going to be an incredibly popular handset this summer, and if you’ve invested in one, you’re going to want to keep it looking at its best and working to it’s full potential. To do that you’re going to need a few accessories, but with so many accessories for the HTC Hero available, choosing the right ones for your phone can be a bit of a minefield.

To help you decide on the accessories that you need, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 Accessories for the HTC Hero .

1. HTC Hero C300 Leather Carry Case

The Hero is a smart looking phone that needs a smart looking case. The C300 has been designed to fit most HTC smart phones. It has cut outs for your charger and handsfree/headphones, as well as a hole in the bottom to make it easier to push your phone out. It’s made from a high quality leather with grey stitching and a soft suede lining that helps to keep your screen fingerprint free. The front of the case has been toughened to give your screen extra protection against crush and impact damage. On the back, the case has a couple of mounting options. The first is a sprung belt clip that allows you to attach it and remove it from your belt quickly and easily, the other is two stitched belt loops that allow you to keep the case on your belt permanently with no chance of it falling off.

HTC Hero C300 Case

HTC Hero C300 Case

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A guide to the best HTC Hero Cases

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts


The HTC Hero is a difficult one when it comes to finding cases for it. Its funny ‘chin’ – the angled section of the phone under the screen – makes finding a case that fits it well extremely difficult, especially as all the case manufacturers took their time in releasing cases that are specifically shaped for the Hero.

It’s taken a while, but I’ve managed to track down 10 cases for the HTC Hero, so with more cases available and after hearing feedback on some of the cases I’ve put this list with cases that are made specifically for the HTC Hero. I’ll still keep my eyes open for any other cases that come along, and I’ll update this post as and when they become available so you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed or bookmark this post so that you don’t miss out on any new ones that become available.

HTC Hero

HTC Hero

Now before I go on to the cases, there is one thing that I’ve noticed on the Hero that I feel I need to warn you about – particularly if you have a white one. The plastic that the housing is made from seems to discolour quite easily, the dye from clothing or some cases may transfer on to the phone, which will require quite a bit of effort to clean off and it means that if your phone isn’t protected, it might end up looking worn quite quickly on the corners and on the back cover.

Normally, I’d recommend an InvisibleSHIELD full body protector to stop this kind of discolouring of the case, but if you try to remove an InvisibleShield from the phone, it will peel the paint off too, so for that reason avoid InvisibleShield for the HTC Hero.

Noreve Tradition A Leather Case for HTC Hero

Noreve are a designer case that to be honest I’ve never heard of. They produce premium leather cases that give Piel Frama and PDair a run for their money. This case for the Hero fits the phone so well it’s surprising. When I first saw the ‘chin’ on the Hero I didn’t think that this style of case would work, but Noreve have proved me wrong. The case is the same shape as the phone and moulds around it beautifully. The whole case is hand crafted from top quality leather and leaves your camera, charging ports and volume keys accessible. The case has a detachable ratchet clip that locks eery 15 or so degrees on the back that can be removed easily to leave the back of the case perfectly flat.

Noreve Leather Flip Case for HTC Hero

Noreve Leather Flip Case for HTC Hero

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Syncing your iPhone contacts to your Car Kit

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

Bluetooth Car Kits are getting smarter, and most of them now support synchronising the contacts stored on your phone to the car kit to enable faster dialling, caller display, and enabling voice control – even on phones like the iPhone 3G that doesn’t support voice dialling. As great as this is though, it’s not quite as straight forward as you’d think as there are two different ways that phones and car kits talk to each other. I’ll apologise now if this gets a little confusing, but I’ll try and keep it as simple as I can.

Although Bluetooth is a pretty generic technology, there are a number of different bluetooth profiles and each bluetooth device uses different ones. The two that are needed to synchronise your contacts between your car kit and your phone are either PBAP – Phone Book Access Profile or OPP – Object Push Profile, but in order for it to sync, both the phone and the car kit need to support the same profile.

  • OPP – Object Push Profile – This is an older Bluetooth Profile, so should be supported by most phones and car kits that support contact sync. If the car kit supports the OPP profile then it is capable of receiving information that is sent or ‘pushed’ to it. In order to send your contacts to a car kit that uses OPP you will need to initiate the transfer of your contacts from your phone, either one by one or all at once. The only downside to this is that not all phones support sending your entire phonebook in one go.
  • PBAP – Phone Book Access Profile – This profile is one of the more recent Bluetooth Profiles, so not all phones or car kits support it. The advantage of the PBAP profile is that you don’t need to send your contacts to the car kit, the car kit will retrieve them from your phone automatically every time you connect.

Bluetooth support is limited on the iPhone and although it’s improving, it still doesn’t support all Bluetooth profiles – in particular the OPP profile. There is no way of sending any information from an iPhone over Bluetooth. This means that if you have a Bluetooth Car Kit that only supports OPP, you’ll only be able to use the car kit for calls, although features such as last number redial should still work fine. The iPhone does support the PBAP profile though – in fact it supports it brilliantly, so if you want to be able to sync your contacts make sure that the car kit you buy supports the PBAP profile, it should be listed in the technical spec of the user manual.

I’ve got the Parrot MKi9000 installed in my car and every time the car is started and my iPhone 3G connects, the kit checks my phone for any changes and and updates itself. Like I said before, the iPhone supports PBAP brilliantly, and when paired with a compatible car kit it gives you control over the information that is synchronised with the kit. You can chose which groups of contacts to sync – if any, as well as recent calls and favourites.

iPhone Car Kit Sync Options

iPhone Car Kit Sync Options - iPhone OS 3.1

From personal experience I’ve found that the best car kits for syncing your contacts are those made by Parrot. As well as supporting the iPhone fully, they also feature Text to Speech technology that announces the callers name when you receive a call and some will allow you to use voice dialling – even on the iPhone. It does this by matching the wave print of what you say against the Text to Speech wave prints for the contacts stored in the car kit. Most voice dialling kits require you to train your voice to them or to record your own voice tags for the contacts, and this normally doesn’t work too well. The current Parrot car kits that do all this are listed below. If you want more information on any of the kits, just click on the image or read my post on Parrot Car Kits.

Parrot MKi9200 Fully Fitted Car Kit

Parrot MKi9200 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9100 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9100 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot CK3000 Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MK6000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Slim Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Chic Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Chic Portable Bluetooth Car Kit