Thursday, October 8, 2009

SPB Mobile Shell for Windows Mobile

The one thing that prevents the Omnia i910 from completely obliterating the iPhone is the user interface. I'm not sure why you'd make such a fantastic phone that's so difficult to use (read: navigation is atrocious). You can spend all kinds of time editing the registry, installing cab files, and basically hacking the hell out of the phone, or...

You can simply install SPB Mobile Shell. As mentioned before, I've always balked at the price of this download, but after having used it for a couple of weeks, I'm sold.

My initial download was version 3.0 just a couple weeks ago, but yesterday as I was getting ready to purchase a registration number, I saw they had upgraded to 3.5, so I went ahead and upgraded to the latest and greatest.

There are some great updates in 3.5 (3D e-mail and text views, the 3D carousel, additional widget pages, integrated Facebook and Twitter functionality, etc.), but with these updates come a few bugs.

3D Text and E-mail views don't work with the icon that brings in all three communication options (phone log, texts, e-mails). In order to get 3D text and e-mail to open when you tap the icon, you'll need to use the individual widgets (you can't use the combined 3 icon widget). You will also need to set the default view by holding down each icon, selecting "default action," and selecting "open 3D viewer."

Another significant bug (SPB is promising to fix soon) is that the "reply" and "reply to all" buttons don't populate the "to" field in your texting program unless "threaded/conversation" view is switched off. Again, "reply" and "reply to all" WILL WORK from the 3D view, but you must disable threaded SMS for now ("conversation view" on the Omnia).

The super cool (but otherwise useless) 3D Carousel (see photo above) doesn't work on the Omnia, because Omnia doesn't have a Graphics Accelerator --Omnia II has a processor fast enough to use software acceleration that will work well. You can see it working here.

Rather than completely reinvent the wheel, here is a great review on ZDnet (with video presentation) of SPB Mobile Shell. The review shows what's new in 3.5, and then takes a little time to go over the features of the whole program. It's a great way to familiarize yourself with what SPB Mobile Shell is all about.

Just FYI, a couple of my favorite things about SPB Mobile Shell are being able to install shortcuts to any app on pretty much any screen (it's so much easier to access your phone's programs), the superior contacts management, the superior calendar functionality, and being able to add photos for contacts from Facebook (seems trite, but I love this feature).

SPB Mobile Shell is a vast improvement over any interface I've seen for Windows Mobile touch phones, and is the last piece of the puzzle to make the Omnia i910 the ultimate iPhone killer.


1 comment:

janice said...

I just downloaded 3.5 yesterday before finding this post and it was as 3.0 and is as 3.5 the BEST accessory for the i910. It works better than the touch wiz and touch flo UI's which have progressed. Hadn't discovered the 3-D feature, but now it's all I can do to not play with it!