SPB has finally released Mobile Shell 3.0 and simply put, it is Amazing!
Once installation completes and the shell is launched, you are taken to a sleeker version of SPB Mobile Shell 2.0 home with message information, notifications, calendar, and weather. This screen is known as the Professional Home screen. But wait! with the flick of a finger up the screen, the home screen is switched to the lifestyle home screen which provides a completely different look and feel. This lifestyle home screen is fully customizable allowing the user to place widgets and application launchers of their choice on the screen as needed. Apart from application shortcuts and widgets, the user can also add calendar entries, images, contacts, and more. Furthermore, the lifestyle home screen is split across three pages – flick to the right or left to change to the page – thus allowing you to manage similar widgets on the same page.
Clicking on the lower-left button activates the SPB Carrousel – a 3D interface which lets you scroll from one SPB screen to another. A quick, easy, and visually appealing way to get to some of the screens. A similar Carrousel is available for browsing favorite contacts, which again is an appealing way to get to your favorite contacts, but definitely not the quickest. The favorite contact screen (non-carrousel) is more convenient and easy to access. Additionally, you can modify the layout to your needs.
The Programs launcher is divided into two sections, the recently launched programs and all programs. Instead of having the user flick through pages when browsing programs and settings, SPB has shifted to kinetic scrolling. Personally i love this change. Paging may have been useful but it definitely slowed down quick launching of applications if you had to change a few pages before getting to the application required.
The program runs on virtually all Windows Mobile 5/6/6.1/6.5 devices with QVGA, WQVGA, Square, VGA, and WVGA. Available at a price of $29.95, it is available as a free update to those who recently purchased SPB Mobile Shell 2.0. SPB Shell 3.0 performs flawlessly on the Xperia.
Honestly speaking, though SPB Shell 2.0 was one of the best UI replacements for Windows Mobile, i was never much of a fan. It felt restricted and plain – regardless of the smooth animations. Even on my Xperia, though i had the panel version installed, i used it only occasionally; mostly when i had a new skin to try out. But with Shell 3.0, SPB has won me over completely. It is customizable to a great level, provides a lot of cool features, has facebook integration to update contact pictures (no more cropping and copying of pictures to the mobile!), is extremely touch-optimized, extremely smooth and appealing animations, love the carrousel, and the lifestyle home screen is simply awesome. If i were to rate this software, it would definitely rate a 5/5.
I personally however will not be using SPB Shell 3.0 as the main Today Interface much, i simply love the new 6.5 today screen! I will however wait impatiently for the Panel version to become available and purchase it right away. This time i can guarantee that i will be using the SPB Shell Panel quite frequently.
Head on here to download a trial copy or to purchase it now…
Wallpapers: Once you install SPB Mobile Shell 3.0, the first thing you’ll notice (like me) is that most of your wallpapers don’t work well with the lifestyle menu. I won’t go into detail, but you specifically need 960x768 images. To download a couple of wallpapers specifically for SPB Shell 3.0, head on here.
A couple of images for you to give a quick look at SPB Shell 3.0:
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