Did Sprint's Hero update kill copy-protected apps?

Since Sprint released a Hero update users are reporting that some apps have disappeared from their phones.

Scott Webster
Scott Webster has spent the better part of his adult life playing with cell phones and gadgets. When not looking for the latest Android news and rumors, he relaxes with his wife and son. Scott also is the senior editor for AndroidGuys. E-mail Scott.
Scott Webster
2 min read

DoggCatcher Screenshot by Scott Webtser/CNET

Sprint rolled out an over-the-air update to its HTC Hero earlier this week to address a couple of bugs and add a few small features. But since the release, some users are reporting that copyright-protected apps have disappeared from their phones. Did this "fix" accidentally break something entirely different?

Those who have lost the copyright-protected apps also report that they can't even find the apps in the Android Market even if they have already paid for them.

A quick look around a few Google and Sprint discussion boards shows that the problem is not isolated to a few users. And developers are hearing directly from frustrated customers who downloaded their apps.

SnoggDoggler, the creator of the podcast application DoggCatcher, received e-mails from users who lost the app immediately after installing the update. After a little bit of detective work, SnoggDoggler narrowed it down to the app's copy protection. The developer also conducted testing with a user and found that by toggling copy protection on and off, the app would appear and disappear from the Android Market.

SnoggDoggler offers a beta version of its application that's unaffected by the update, but as with most beta apps, it's subject to bugs and quirks. Until this issue is resolved, SnoggDoggler and other developers must either resort to a non-copy-protected version or simply make their app unavailable to select handsets.

Other apps known to be affected by the update are Twidroid Pro, Advanced Task Killer, My Backup Pro and Documents To Go. Are you a Hero owner or Android developer experiencing the same issues? Tell us below.