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HTC Hero gets unofficial upgrade to Android 2.1 Eclair

Sick of being stuck in the Android-update slow lane, HTC Hero hackers have taken matters into their own hands and released a mostly working version of Android 2.1

HTC Hero owners have been twiddling their thumbs waiting for an upgrade to the phone's Google Android operating system. If you just can't wait any longer, you can rocket straight past Android 1.6 Donut and unofficially upgrade to Android 2.1 Éclair yourself, thanks to good old-fashioned hackers.

It's a treat we've been hoping for ever since we saw leaked screenshots on French tech blog Be Geek that purport to show Android 2.1 running on a Hero.

The Android 2.1 ROM is available on the AllDroid.org forums, but taking your first bite of the Éclair isn't for the faint-hearted. You'll have to know how to root and flash your Hero. This means getting elbow-deep in your Hero's guts, so be sure to back up all your data just in case things go wrong.

For the brave, the rewards are great: built-in support for Microsoft Exchange, Facebook and YouTube widgets, and a spruced-up address book are just a few of the features on offer.

Be warned, though, that not everything works in this hacked version of the operating system. You must finger this particular cream-filled pastry at your own risk.

Update: Thanks to tips from the comments, it seems this is a link to get the Hero's gubbins on to the T-Mobile G1. If you're looking for ROMs for your Hero, there are several choices at htcpedia.com.