Lars Aronsson of techcredo.com has put together one of the most comprehensive guides to Windows Mobile available on the web. There is so much information we decided to break it down for our readers in numerous blog post. The first part covered Tweaks, Tips, and Optimization for Windows Mobile. Part 2 highlights essential software. Part 3 covers User-interfaces. Enjoy.
I think I could have made an entire site just about the various user-interfaces of Windows Mobile (it's a versatile cameleon!), but for now I will settle with supplying links and videos. Since the native interface of WM 6.1 is a mess, there are plenty of attempts to improve the UI and cover up the eyesores, with various degrees of success. So far, I have changed the way I interact with my phone at least five times - all very different from each other. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Spb Mobile Shell. Perhaps the most popular and widespread user-interface, alongside TouchFlo 3D. I used this for quite a while, and experimented with tweaking - this skin changer (based on MortScript) is a must and fully automates changing the look of Spm Mobile Shell. Version 3 of the interface was recently released and offer many improvements.
- Touchflo 3D. This is the fashionable 3D UI HTC use for their Windows Mobile phones. It is actually a customized build of PointUI, which you can have a look at below. Touchflo 3D in its different incarnations (as of March 09, a beta of Touchflo from the upcoming handset HTC Touch Pro2/Rhodium running on an early build of WM 6.5) has so far been my main choice in 2009. Since there are so many different ports available, I will link to a few of them and let you decide which one suits you best. Though the easiest way to get a fully functioning Touchflo 3D running with all the glitches ironed out, is probably to flash a ROM with the UI built-in. Installation links for WVGA devices:
HTC Blackstone/Rhodium Project - Full Manila HD Cab
- PointUI Home 2. Very quick, smooth and sleek - impressive coding. Home 2 brings good solutions and has built-in support for customization and user-made applets. I looked forward to version 2, but its release was somewhat of an anti-climax. Mainly because the UI didn't utilize the entire WVGA space on my Xperia, but that has luckily changed with the maintenance builds. Home 2 will probably be my preferred choice later on once the Pro version is released.
- Samsung TouchWiz. TouchWiz is the drag & drop widget interface Samsung use on their Omnia devices, for example. Check out the page below for the files required to get this running on your handset. Installation can prove to be a bit tricky, but if you follow the instructions it should work. For WVGA devices, I have this fix under the index of goodies labeled TouchWiz_WVGA.rar which you should extract to the Windows-folder on your phone, overwriting the original files.
- FEWidgets. This is basically the TouchWiz interface, but developed by nicodega over at XDA. I think it actually works better than the port in some ways! Will require .NET 3.5 to run.
- BellUI. This is a port of the BellUI, which is also a customized build of PointUI Home 2. In fact, I see no reason installing this, other than for the hell of it and to have tried everything.
- Wisbar Advance Desktop. I played around a lot with this when I first got my Xperia and was disappointed with the lame Panel interface. I even got an Android theme going that looked very similar to the real thing. So you can basically make Wisbar Advance Desktop (WAD) look anyway you like, and design your own user-interface. But WAD isn't without shortcomings, so I haven't used it much since then. However, I noticed that there's a new release available as of 16 March 2009 that might make the application more enjoyable to work with.
- Manila 2D. This is Touchflo 3D's predecessor. I haven't tried it myself since the Manila 3D from the HTC Touch HD has been available since late October last year. But this list wouldn't be complete without it, and feel free to give it a shot!
- More interface related material at 1800 PocketPC's UI Section