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PREVIEW: MTUX SideX 2003 Beta
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 28.12.02 - 17:26:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 10330x
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MTUX, the developers of the SideX Applet Platform are currently working on SideX 2003. While SideX 2002 worked pretty good (see my review here) the new version got a lot of speed and stability enhancements as well as more features and a slightly modified design.

SideX is new Applet Platform designed for Pocket PC 2002. It's simple but powerful and includes great applets. It provides the unique UI for Pocket PC and let you use a lot of additional and useful applets in a smart way.

SideX Features

  • Side In/Out
  • Floating Window Technology
  • Use any custom applets "OVER" your current application at a same time
  • Don't need full Screen
  • Auto Minimize

As before with version 2002, the new 2003 version includes a SysPack plug-in which includes Program Launcher/Settings Launcher, Task Manager, Reset Feature, Button Assignment Applet, Task Manager (Activate/Close Programs), Adjust Volume/Brightness, System Watch (Battery, Storage, Storage Card), System Information Summary as well as the CalcPack, ThemeX (see my preview of ThemeX for SideX 2002 here) and QuickPack 1.2.
In addition SideX 2003 supports Today plug-ins as well now which can be imported. This gives you a fast access to your Today plug-ins, even if your are not on the today screen but want to get that information or functionality.

Overall Design

SideX is hidden on the right side in the "idle mode". You see only two icons. The flash icon closes the running programs and the power icon switches of your Pocket PC. Above, the blue riffled filed, opens SideX.
Tapping on the application name on the top opens the application menu where you can chose the application which you want to access.

Today Plug-In
The SideX 2003 Today plug-in mirrors the same plug-in you already use on your Today screen. However, since you have to "import" the Today plug-ins into SideX, you can select which one you want and which you don't want. In that example here, I have two today plug-ins: Spb GPRS Monitor and Spb Pocket Plus but activates the GPRS Monitor in SideX only.

As you can see in the example above, SideX 2003 shows the same information as the Today plug-in. This gives you access to your GPRS information, even if you are online and don't want to switch back to the Today screen, just to get an overview of your GPRS connection. This is pretty handy!

Depending on the installed application packs SideX includes different functionalities. The most interesting might be the SysPack which includes the Launcher which can be configured by you and is a kind of quick program launcher, the System Bar which gives you a complete overview about the Pocket PC system and resources and the Task Bar which allows you to switch between the different running applications or closing a dedicated one/all.

Final Conclusion

If you are a current SideX 2002 user you will notify that SideX 2003 is running faster and more stable. I've installed the complete SideX engine including all application packs on a SD card and it works like charm, even after a soft reset it launch automatically and fast.
The included basic functionalities as well as the application packs are a great addition to today's Pocket PC functionalities and also the UI redesign is highly welcome. All together MTUX made a great program even better with the 2003 version.

As announced by MTUX, the upgrade from SideX 2002 to 2003 is free for existing customers which is another good reason to upgrade later. Talking about later - even with today's Beta version only, I don't recognized any problems and for me this Beta seems to be more or less the final release version.

The SideX 2002 basic platform is free of charge while some additional application packs costs money. This starts from US$ 9.95 for the SysPack and CalcPack and goes to US$ 14.95 for the ThemePack. SideX 2002 and its application packs are available form PocketGear while the SideX 2003 Beta is available directly from MTUX's homepage.

Cheers ~ Arne

Related Links : [Download Here]


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