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:
Hope he doesn’t mind, but i thought I’d post an image from his blog here;
Yep! It is finally here and it is not a leaked version or a Beta release. I received a Press Release of the software and will be installing it in a few minutes. Expect to see a detailed post about Shell 3.0 in the next few hours. Meanwhile, watch the video below:
The leaked Growing Panel that we love so much… turns out it has a lot much more to it. As you can see in the screenshots below, the panel adjusts itself according to the time – The first screenshot is for Christmas with tree lights on the plants in the background and a slight layer of snow on the ground, the second one is for Easter (time to hunt down the eggs!), the third one is for Halloween, and the fourth one is… well all you beautiful people out there. :)
The screenshots are courtesy of Sera_6969 at XDA Forums… unfortunately for me, when i switched my date to 12/31/2009 23:59:00 to see what it shows for New Year’s (which it does), a message box popped up saying that the Beta version of Windows Mobile 6.5 is to be expired on 7/7/2009, and that followed by a white screen with the text saying something like “This Beta version of Windows Mobile has expired…” And it closed down access to the phone – The start menu was displaying and all, but wouldn’t open. Tried soft-resetting twice but after no luck in getting access to the mobile had to do a hard-reset. Bye Bye WinMo 6.5. (At-least for the time being…)
Update: It should be noted that the leaked SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 package is not the final version. It has a few bugs and hiccups but overall works really smooth. It is best that y’all wait for the final version to hit their website.
SPB Software House is close to releasing SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 according to their website, but it seems a leaked CAB file has made its way across the internet which I, of course, installed as soon as i found it! Any Windows Mobile user should be familiar with SPB Shell for Windows Mobile. At one time it was the only software out there that allowed a great deal of customization to the Windows Mobile user interface, but now with the simple yet powerful and sleek looking PointUI, Touch Flo 3D 2, TouchWiz, etc. making their way into the market, does SPB Mobile Shell stand a chance? More importantly, does SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 deliver what was expected of it?
In short – it does! Ok so the interface does look kind of plain (especially in comparison to TouchFlo3d and PointUI) but with skinning capabilities (which will hopefully happen soon), SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 might just come out on top. It is a powerful, extensive, and easily customizable replacement for the Windows Mobile interface. I won’t be using it much on my main Today Screen – especially when i love WinMo 6.5’s today screen, but i will definitely be purchasing the panel version once it hits the panel library.
Some notes on Mobile Shell 3.0; Includes two Home screens – Professional and Lifestyle. Provides the ability to customize the lifestyle home screen by adding and removing widgets – widgets can be dragged to any location on the screen. Carousel Contacts is a fun and exciting way to go through favorites. Implements Facebook integration to update contact pictures and retrieve additional details for contacts. Programs and other pages load all information on the same page for easy scrolling rather than flicking through multiple pages.
Check out the screenshots below…
Click below to see all images…
If you are an Xperiancer or use any other Win Mo device, then take note: Maple Douglas at XDA Forums recently completed an extensive guide for Xperia and Windows Mobile. It is by far one of the most useful guides available out there and he promises to keep it growing with time. A definite must-read for any Xperia newbie.
I just wish he had written this when i had purchased my Xperia a couple of months back and was a newbie in the WinMo world, but i guess better late than never. Though i haven’t browsed it completely yet, it has already brought to my attention a fix for TouchWiz (Omnia’s Interface) for WVGA devices!
Already added to the top of my favorite’s list, bookmark it now: http://geekedout.se/winmo.php
Using TouchFlo 3D 2 on your Xperia? If yes, then you’ll be happy to know that XDA-Developers have released a set of tweaks for TouchFlo 3D 2. The set includes:
Though the tweaks were released for Touch Pro & Touch Diamond phones, they are working perfectly on Xperia. I used it to show the Programs tab in Touch Flo 3D 2 and to revert back to the original Xperia Start Menu. To download, head on here.