Spb Mobile Shell Review
Spb Mobile Shell Delivers Best Windows Mobile User Interface Enhancement, Today Plug-Ins and Launcher Menu
As I mentioned last week in my Moving to Windows Mobile Treo Pro post one of the most unique and useful features of Windows Mobile is its powerful and versatile Today screen.
I particularly love how the Today screen allows you not only to quickly view important information such as your Messages and Appointments but also provides fast on-screen One-Click access to other equally useful applications such as Google Search and Messenger as well as a new Comm Manager (screenshot below right) found on the Treo Pro that allows you to quickly control your Phone, Bluetooth, WiFi, Microsoft Direct Push and Data Connection.
Additionally, each corner of the Today screen conveniently triggers a different application. The top left corner opens the Start Menu (below left) that is a simple application Launcher and gives you quick access to Programs and Settings. The top right corner opens a new on-screen Task Manager (below right) that allows you to quickly view your available Program Memory and view and/or close any currently running applications (thanks to multithreading Windows Mobile allows you to run multiple apps simultaneously).
At the same time, the bottom left corner (image below left) gives you direct access to your Contacts while the bottom right corner opens Pocket Internet Explorer.
Overall, having the ability to access such a multitude of information and applications via a simple one click from the Today screen is clearly extremely useful and a rather efficient way to get things done quickly.
Having said this, as I have outlined above, while the standard Windows Mobile Today screen and its many other user interface ramifications are certainly “great” they fall short of “brilliant”. As I quickly learned using my Windows Mobile Treo Pro, if you want to discover “brilliant” you’ll first need to install Spb Mobile Shell.
Spb Mobile Shell is an absolutely essential application that completely and radically transforms the user interface on your Windows Mobile device and overall it’s a utility that very significantly and meaningfully enhances your overall smartphone experience on a daily basis. To be honest I feel that Spb Mobile Shell has actually played a very significant role in my recent move to the Treo Pro and helping me to overcome some of the reservations that I had about its Windows Mobile operating system.
Now that I’ve properly introduced this superb application, let’s take a closer look at exactly what Spb Mobile Shell does and how it enhances your Treo Pro or Treo 800w smartphone.
For starters, as you can appreciate from the screenshots above and below, the “before” and “after” look and feel of the standard Programs and Settings for example is completely revamped by Spb Mobile Shell and becomes a great deal more user friendly. Among others, these screens conveniently organise folders at the top while leaving any remaining cells free to be populated by the most recent applications that you have opened from within those folders.
Going back to the Today screen below, here Spb Mobile Shell provides you with four unique tabs – Home, Time, Weather and Dial – which are lined up horizontally in four cells that allow you to quickly access applications, view information and dial favourite numbers.
The first Home Tab (below right) is opened by tapping on its battery icon (that conveniently displays remaining battery power) which opens a “quick launcher” panel that allows you to launch up to 12 of your most recently used applications or you can even set up to 12 of your favourite and most regularly used apps.
The second Time Tab (below left) displays the current time in a graphically rich analog clock and the panel that it opens shows the local time for three world cities of your choice as well as quick view and access to your alarms.
The third Weather Tab (below left) offers a rich graphic of today’s weather plus forecast temperatures and conditions for Night, Morning, Day and Evening as well as a full four day forecast. It’s amazingly well implemented and I find myself using it all the time.
The fourth Dial Tab (below right) meanwhile provides you with five quick-dial cells from where you can either call with one click or also send a text message by pressing and holding the cell (which also shows you all available numbers for that contact).
Another thing that Spb Mobile Shell does after installation is reassign the Windows button on your smartphone so that it stops launching the Start Menu and instead opens Spb’s own menu (below left) which is much more complete showing your 12 most recently used applications at the top and six other folders (Organizer, Internet, Multimedia, Tools, Programs and Settings) from where you can quickly find and launch your apps. Virtually the only complaint that I have here is that once inside a folder a quick keyboard search (type “G” to find Google Maps for example) is unfortunately not (yet) supported.
At the bottom of Spb Mobile Shell’s menu are three other icons. The first on the left takes you to the Now Screen (screenshot above right) displaying a large date and time, weather, missed calls and unread messages, phone profile (to quickly set to Normal, Silent or Vibrate) as well as next alarms, appointments, calendar and battery and signal levels.
The next icon is for Contacts (above) where you can add up to 11 photo or name speed dials, view more detailed contact information as well as access Spb Mobile Shell’s own Contacts application (which I found to be only moderately useful).
Perhaps even more importantly, one of the coolest and visually stunning aspects of these Spb Mobile Shell screens is that they offer a range of superb “transition animations” – with effects such as sweeping, sliding, folding, revolving and flipping – that make it an absolute pleasure to interact with this application and ensures that you properly impress those who mistakenly believe that the only device capable of doing this sort of thing is the iPhone.
Overall, Spb Mobile Shell is without a doubt one of the best value applications that you can install on your Windows Mobile Treo smartphone. I absolutely love the Today add-ins that it offers (particularly the quick launch and weather) and its much more complete Menu to access your applications is both very rich graphically and extremely modern thanks to its animated transitions.
Spb Mobile Shell is available from our Windows Mobile Software Store normally priced at $29.95 but thanks to our 20% off coupon code you can now get it for only $23.96. Simply enter the coupon code BESTSELLERS in your cart to apply this discount.
Separately, if you’re looking for some more in-depth information about the Treo Pro please read these previous posts:
Treonauts always look for the very best…