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CUSTOMIZATION: Spb Software House unveils Spb Mobile Shell for Pocket PC
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 06.02.07 - 15:47:24 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 12929x
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The Microsoft Windows Mobile Pocket PC user interface has not been significantly changed for the last six years, since the Pocket PC platform was introduced in April 2001. Originally the Pocket PC was a PDA designed for stylus navigation and long but infrequent periods of general use. It has since evolved into many things, including a phone. Along the way, though the people who use a Pocket PC and the tasks it is made to perform have changed, the main interface has not. The development goal of Spb Mobile Shell was to close this gap between the old Pocket PC interface and one people should expect from such a smart, modern and powerful device today.

Spb Mobile Shell introduces the next generation user interface while keeping all advantages of Windows Mobile. It dramatically improves the standard interface and adds features that most would expect from a modern PDA phone. This program is designed for ROM and it will not be a surprise if in a little while most Windows Mobile devices will bundle this operating system upgrade taking the Pocket PC user interface to the next level. Therefore, Spb Mobile Shell is the first program a Pocket PC user should install on a device running plain Windows Mobile.

Creating a new user interface is quite an ambitious goal. If this could be accomplished easily it would have been done already by either Microsoft, an OEM, or an ISV. Spb Software House has the unique expertise necessary to achieve this goal. By using feedback from hundreds of thousands of users and years of experience in the field of mobile interface design, Spb Software House was successful and created Spb Mobile Shell.

The key features include:

  • The most relevant information is displayed on one screen
  • Phone style menu
  • Weather forecasts
  • Photo speed dial
  • World time
  • Launcher
  • Big dynamic tabs on Today
  • Color based themes
  • Smart contact search
  • Auto-hide mode for Today plug-ins

Spb Mobile Shell preserves values of an open platform, which is more difficult than creating a closed vertical platform. A few operators and OEMs have tried to customize their devices to look like a consumer phone, but this left some third party applications and built-in system features unusable (for example, adding a full-screen Today plug-in would crowd out other Today plug-ins).

Spb Mobile Shell targets people who need the power of a Windows Mobile phone, but are not happy with the standard Pocket PC user interface. It is designed with phone users in mind. All scenarios were evaluated with the understanding that the Pocket PC is first and foremost a convergence device. However, Spb Mobile Shell will work well on a Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC without phone. Non-phone users might use it differently. For example, you might want to use a more complex configuration on your Today screen and may not use the Now Screen as often as phone users will.

Spb Mobile Shell was designed as a product that an OEM can ship in ROM, as is. In fact, once you install this program you may think that this is an ideal program to come pre-installed on a device. It even makes more sense for those regular users who never buy software online.

Spb Software House has worked with OEMs in the past, and knows they have tough requirements for resident software to reside in ROM. For example, many ISVs do not care about subtle issues such as the amount of available virtual memory inside the process named device.exe. As a result, if too many third-party applications are installed on a modern 3G HTC device, your favorite SIP might not work anymore even when there is enough program memory available. In designing a product for ROM, from the very beginning of development Spb Software House takes great care to consider all of these issues and potential impacts to your device.

Spb Mobile Shell is currently available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Polish and Traditional Chinese languages. A free 15-day trial or the full version of Spb Mobile Shell for US$ 29.95, are available from Spb Software House.

Enjoy ~ Arne

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