SPB Mobile Shell 2.0

Spb Mobile Shell 2.0 gives Windows Mobile an extreme makeover, giving the drab WM interface some flare and making the operating platform easier to use.


9.0
CNET Rating
9.3
User Rating

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon


Your new Windows Mobile phone is great, right? You know under the bonnet is a powerful machine running the latest version of an OS that's supported by a slew of freeware and shareware applications. The trouble is every time you whip out your new smartphone to impress your friends they end up falling asleep after glimpsing the über-dull Windows Mobile interface. Well, no more.

Design and features
Software developer Spb have the solution to you Windows Mobile doldrums. SBP Mobile Shell 2.0 is an application that sits 'on top' of the Windows Mobile interface giving quick access to most of the phone's functions and menus while also managing to look very sexy.

The shell's greatest advantage is what Spb call 'thumb touch' icons, which are desktop icons big enough to push accurately with your big, fat thumbs. Anyone who has tried to use the tiny Windows Mobile 'Start' menu without a stylus will welcome thumb touch with open arms.

When executed the Spb Shell has three active screen spaces. The first is the 'Now' screen displaying the time, local weather, organiser notes, as well as messages and missed calls and remaining battery life.

The second is a 'launcher' screen; giving shortcut access to almost every application and settings menu on the phone via a 'rotating cube' display, which is very similar to the interface we see on the latest HTC devices. But the SBP shell goes much deeper than just the contacts and media gallery display on HTC handsets. All installed programs, tools, settings, organiser listings, as well as 10 customisable shortcuts can be accessed through this second screen, removing any need to use the ultra-tiny Windows Mobile Start menu ever again.

The final window is the speed dial; a graphical display of your 15 favourite contacts plus a shortcut to your complete contact listings. Selecting a contact from this screen opens the contact's details with access to two phone numbers and a link to SMS the contact.

For the most part the design of all three screens is excellent. The launcher screen is the exception, being slightly more cluttered with coloured icons, although this is a style over substance complaint. We're not sure we'd want to see the functionality sacrificed for good looks.

Performance
Like all software, the performance will depend on the machine you installed it on. We've been testing the mobile shell on an imate Ultimate 8502 and have found no perceptible lag, even with the animations turned on.

In information their Website Spb claim to significantly reduced resources, including memory usage, from their previous Mobile Shell releases. From our hands-on experience the Shell seems very lightweight. Almost all applications load as if the Shell wasn't active, and we couldn't see any significant change in the performance of the handset. Switching between the screens of the shell's interface is instantaneous.

Overall
After reviewing as many Windows Mobile handsets as we have at CNET.com.au the Spb Mobile Shell 2.0 is a breath of fresh air. The interface is attractive, powerful, easy-to-use, and customisable; to a point. Now your new WM handset is ready to show off to your boardroom buddies.

The Sbp Mobile Shell 2.0 is available to download from Sbp Software House and registering the software costs US$29.95.



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JamieB1 posted a comment   
Australia

The Good:Version 3.0 is out

The Bad:Could have had *more* Facebook functionality

I got the free upgrade because I purchased 2.0 in the last 90 days.

The Today and contacts screen is nearly worth the price of admission. Turns a stylus phone into a finger phone.

dreggzy
10
Rating
 

dreggzy posted a review   

The Good:looks nicer than windows mobile 6.0

The Bad:inconsistant and laggy on my treo 750

i got everything working fine but could never make it a permanent fixture and when its not there it wont let me use my phone. strange software, but not bad

miskeen
10
Rating
 

miskeen posted a review   
India

very very god

jazzy
8
Rating
 

jazzy posted a review   

The Good:- Makes your PDA look funky!
- Makes your PDA much easier to use and more accessible
- Easy to set up and use
- 15 day trial is win, you get to see if it works and you like it or not
- if you connect it to the 'net each day it will update a nifty weather report!

The Bad:- Does cost about A$30 or so
- Couldn't work out how to add my own updateable content (like the weather feature)

I've been using this for nearly a week now, taking advantage of some 15 day trial. It works really well. It made my old PDA look at lot spiffier and fun to use. Not sure if I'll keep it at a cost of A$30 or so.




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User Reviews / Comments  SPB Mobile Shell 2.0

  • JamieB1

    JamieB1

    "I got the free upgrade because I purchased 2.0 in the last 90 days.

    The Today and contacts screen is nearly worth the price of admission. Turns a stylus phone into a finger phone."

  • dreggzy

    dreggzy

    Rating10

    "i got everything working fine but could never make it a permanent fixture and when its not there it wont let me use my phone. strange software, but not bad"

  • miskeen

    miskeen

    Rating10

    "very very god"

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