How to install the HTC Hero keyboard on the Motorola Droid

I am really happy with the Motorola Droid, I think it is a great phone with great features. The only thing I haven’t gotten along with very well is the virtual keyboard. This was further confirmed while I was using my iPod Touch this weekend, the Apple virtual keyboard just feels better to type on.  The HTC Hero keyboard has some similarities to the iPod Touch keyboard, so I thought it was worth seeing if I could load it on the Droid.  It turns out that you can install the HTC Hero keyboard on a Droid with a little patience. Here is how you can do it:

Notice: Use these instructions at your own risk. While technically it seems that nothing can go wrong, and it works great for me, you never do know so please be careful.

1) On a computer, go to the xda-developers forum and download HTC_IME.apk and Clicker.apk.  Thanks to cyonogen for getting this out there. Several other sites claimed to have it, but this one worked.

2) Using the USB connector, connect the Droid to your computer and transfer the apk files to the Droid. I did this by creating a folder called htckey and pasting the HTC_IME.apk and Clicker.apk files into them.

3) Safely disconnect your Droid from the computer.

4) On the Droid, go to the marketplace and download eoeAppInstaller. The free version works fine, but if you love being able to do this without rooting the phone, be sure to buy the paid version to  give the developer some love.

5) On the Droid, go to Settings > Applications and check the box for “Unknown Sources” read and agree to the statement about the possibility of really screwing things up if you mess up.

6) On the Droid, Run eoeAppInstaller click and hold on HTC_IME.apk and Clicker.apk and select install.

7) On the Droid, go to Settings >Language and Keyboard. Check the box for Touch Input. Read and agree to the scary warning about people spying on you. Based on my research this is a Google statement covering their butt just in case someone were to develop a touch based input that copied keystrokes.

8) On the Droid, bring up the browser and click and hold in a text input field. Select Touch Input from the menu that is displayed.  You should now have the Hero version of the Android Keyboard displayed.

9) You can also calibrate to be more precise with your typing style by doing the following: On the Droid, go to Settings>Language and Keyboard>Touch Input Settings>Text Input>Calibration Tool

Let me know if and how this instruction worked for you.