man, this topic is annoying me and it's not the first time that it annoys me but
now I want and have to rant about it because it starts to seriously hurt (me).
One of the benefits of having a Smartphone is the fact that it is a kind of
micro computer. So far so good and with most Smartphones you can install your
own applications to make it even better and provide the appropriate applications
for your needs.
However something is wrong here and it's a basic customization functionality.
Sure, I can change the Home Screen look & feel of a Windows Mobile Smartphone
and if I'm a little bit talented I can even create my own Home Screens by
tweaking the Home Screen definition file (which is a XML file). If I'm less
talented I can download great 3rd party Home Screens (most of the for free) but
for some reasons I cannot change the Start Menu order.
Put it this way: I'm a
pretty "traditional" PC and mobile phone user and I love to group everything in
directories. For instance on my PCs I have a pretty clean Start Menu where I
have grouped all applications in (for me) meaningful categories:
As you can see above - I don't have too many categories on the first level which
provides a pretty sleek look & feel and since I've used the first Windows Mobile
Pocket PC, I always did the same with my Pocket PC Start Menu and Programs
folder to get a similar look & feel:
However, for some reasons this regrouping isn't allowed (anymore) with Windows
Mobile Smartphones. Let me take the Samsung SGH-i600 as an example (but same
happens with other Smartphones, it's not Samsung related). I don't want to have
such a crowdie Start Menu which requires a lot of scrolling:
No, I would prefer something cleaner like this (which is a very old topic Carlo
wrote about in his tip: '"8"
is the Smartphone's sweet number'):
But no, if you follow Carlo's tip today, doesn't matter if you try it on your
Smartphone or via the PC's Explorer, you are not allowed to change anything. On
the Smartphone the Cut & Paste option isn't available and therefore you cannot
move a simple shortcut:
Now, if you think you can be smart and edit the Start Menu folder via your PC
you will notice that the shortcuts are write protected:
Oh no? I don't have the permission to move a simple shortcut (except from the
applications I installed myself since these files are not write protected ROM
files) on my own phone? Who the heck made Start Menu shortcuts protected System
With the very early Smartphones, for instance the i-mate Smartphones from HTC,
these files weren't protected at all but you was allowed to reorder the Start
Menu. However, also the latest HTC phones got this protection. Thankfully there
was a kind of unofficial unlocker available which changed the Registry values to
unlock the files again but this unlocker is working with HTC Smartphones only
(and it's not supporting Windows Mobile 6 anymore). Other manufactures aren't
supported and therefore, there is no way to easily edit the Start Menu of a
Windows Mobile Smartphone - without deep-diving into the Registry.
heck? Who thinks to know me better than myself? Who wants to dictate me how my
very own Start Menu has to look like? I don't know, I've addressed it at both -
Microsoft and the manufactures but nothing changed so far and therefore I think
it's time to bring this topic to everybody's attention.
Would either Microsoft
or the manufactures please stop with this stupid paternalism of the customers?
We know best how our Start Menus should look like. It's appreciated if a
suggestion is made, after a device is switched on the first time, but it
shouldn't be that hard coded at all.
UPDATE: Here we go, if anyone else is looking for a solution as well,
the good old
SDA Security Unlocker also works fine on the i600! Now my
Smartphone looks like I want to have it but anyway - why to force customers to
run such software (even if this piece of software is trustworthy)?
Cheers ~ Arne