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VIDEOVIEW: Samsung SGH-i600 Home Screen Carousel/Card Wheel Plug-In
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 03.04.07 - 14:10:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 342544x
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It took a little bit longer for Samsung to release the long awaited SGH-i600 Windows Mobile Smartphone but Samsung used the delay to add something really useful to the EMEA/APAC version of the "BlackJack" - a pretty unique Home Screen plug-in called "Carousel" or "Card Wheel". Since Samsung's first introduction of a Windows Mobile Smartphone (the SGH-i300), the Korean mobile phone specialist always added its own flavored Home Screen plug-ins but this one is really a great and unique one since it adds fast and easy navigation to the i600 in a way, not seen before.

Basically, the Carousel/Card Wheel plug-in provides several decks which are accessed by using the D-Pad. Each deck contains grouped information which can be accessed straight from the Home Screen.

The decks are:

  • Message Center deck
  • Appointments deck
  • Profile deck
  • My Photos deck
  • Recent Songs deck
  • Now Playing deck
  • Favorite Contacts deck

Message Center Deck
The Message Center deck provides access to the Voicemails well as it gives access to the missed calls list. In addition it also gives access to the text messaging inbox (which is unified for SMS and MMS messages) as well as to all available E-Mail accounts:

Appointments Deck
The Appointments deck shows the next appointment with time and location. The next appointment can be opened directly from the Appointments deck to get further information:

Profile Deck
The Profile deck allows to easily change the phone's profile, as used in the Windows Mobile Quick List:

My Photos Deck
the My Photos decks shows thumbnails of the recently snapped photos. Each photo can be opened straight from the plug-in or the whole gallery can be opened as well:

Recent Songs Deck
The Recent Songs deck lists the recently played audio tracks and allows to open the Library as well:

Now Playing Deck
The Now Playing deck shows the current audio track which the Media Player plays and allows to jump the the previous/next track as well. In addition it allows to open the Media Player directly:

Favorite Contacts Deck
The Favorite Contacts deck allows to add the 10 most important contacts from the Contacts list. Each contact can be opened directly to select which number to call or which E-Mail address to use for sending an E-Mail straight from the Home Screen. If the contact has a photo assigned in Outlook, this photo is displayed as well:

Video Walkthrough
To provide you a better idea how the Home Screen Carousel/Card Wheel works bellow you can find a video. The response time seems to be pretty slow which is a result of the screen recording. In reality, the plug-in is super fast and snappy, so please don't be irritated:

Final Conclusion

Samsung's i600 Home Screen plug-in already caught some attention when it was unveiled the first time and for good reasons - it defines a complete new way of navigating through a Windows Mobile Smartphone since the most important applications and information are available straight from the Home Screen. Unfortunately it misses a deck for either most recently used programs or favorite programs (similar to Favorites Contacts deck) which brings m to the next point: The plug-in occupies the whole screen and therefore it's nearly impossible to add further plug-ins nor does the Carousel/Card Wheel plug-in seems to offer an API for 3rd party developers to add further services (like weather forecast, etc.). This is a little bit disappointing since the overall idea is great but having it locked down this way limits the functionality.
Not sure how many users will keep it on the Home Screen - I think I will keep it - at least for the next couple of days.

Cheers ~ Arne


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