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May 24, 2008

Out of the Shell!

Once upon a time there was a nice Today screen everyone liked.
They filled it with lot's of plugins showing shortcuts and battery status and made it customized.
One day came the evil iPhone, and changed the game rules for everyone.
The Today screen was pushed out and his place was taken by tons of shell applications trying to imitate the iPhone.
This is their story...

Teksoft SkyBox:
This is the first shell application I tried, and I can say it's interesting
I found some nice ideas, but I'm not sure they will boost my device.
I managed to find few bugs, but the main problem I have with this app is that it works really slow,
My second problem is that it costs money too! I mean - hey, there are so many freewares that does exactly the same, why pay money?

SimoSoft iFonz:
One of the most popular freewares out there. Has some good animations

Unfortunately for me, after the start-up animation I got this…

Brrrrr….
Well, you'd have to look for a review somewhere else, I'm uninstalling this one… if it'll just let me…
&$###&@$%&

(still trying...)
@@$%$^&%*
OK, After 2 soft resets I managed to uninstall it.

PointUI
This one is maybe the best freeware shell. It is good, works fast, nice animation, the today concept is good, I like it.


One problem I noticed, the 'back' buttons are located on top - which makes it inconvenient to click it using one hand, something small which is important for me.

GSmart
This one is a freeware as well, it's nice but many of the features don't work perfectly.
Maybe in the next version…


SPB Mobile Shell
Costs around 30 USD but if you are looking for a good shell application - this is the one!
Not bugs free (yet) but I assume most of the things I found will be fixed in future versions.
Great UI, cool icons, good animation, highly configurable. I like it.
The shortcuts are good allowing fast calls making, applications launchingand more.

Summary:
There are few options to wrap up your device with nice UI and cool animations.
You can argue if eventually those applications make a difference when it comes to device performance and usability, my opinion is that most of them don't.

I am using the SPB Mobile Shell which has nice user interface but the thing I like the most in it (and you will laugh about it) is the fact that it can be minimized easily in order to put me back on my Today screen… :-)


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