Simply put, cool just got more cool. With today’s announcement of SPB Software upgrading SPB Mobile Shell for Windows Mobile Professional to version 3.5, they’ve crammed enough new features and enhancements to make the update almost worthy of a full new version number. To be honest, there HAVE been programs see a jump in version number for less of an update that SPB Software has put together for us.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been running the Windows Mobile UI replacement for the last couple of days on one of my phones, and while the new version has seen a bump up to 11 MB in size, SPB Mobile Shell 3.5 handles resources beautifully. In never slows down nor consumes an inordinate amount of RAM.
Version 3.5 builds on and refines all of the major UI enhancements that version 3 brought to a handheld. The update includes additional widgets ranging from enhanced clock and weather widgets, to Facebook and Twitter widgets, to the much longed for Tasks widget. The previously existing widgets have all seen refinements in functionality and aesthetics, as has the whole system for managing them.
SPB Mobile Shell also adds refinements in the areas of the information screens it provides. Additional weather information is available for the selected city. An integrated image viewer has been included for the picture frame widget. A 3-D message viewer has also been incorporated, allowing users to read and reply to email and SMS directly from the application. Contacts now include optional support for direct dialing or sending of an SMS.
In addition, version 3.5 enhances the functionality found in the Professional and Lifestyle layouts. Users can now disable one or the other, as well as control the number of virtual panes available to scroll between. You can set either one, three or five panes to be used. What’s really cool is to have five panes in the Professional layout and five panes in the Lifestyle layout, allowing the user to quickly navigate between different a total of ten different virtual screens, all not counting the other screens provided in the carousel!
In summary, SPB Software has put together a fantastic update with SPB Mobile Shell’s 3.5 revision. All of the features they added are well thought out and integrated intuitively. My only hopes for a future version is that they open the SDK for developing widgets. I’d really like to have access to a couple that aren’t provided, including a button to turn off the device, a meter to monitor the free memory in storage and in a memory card as well as a few others that I’m sure will come to mind after finishing here.