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May 18, 2009

Review: VITO Winterface V1.31

winter2 winter

Windows Mobile has a variety of shell applications meant to replace the standard UI and make it more simple to access and invoke programs.

Some Shell apps try to wrap the entire functionality including PIM, media and more (TouchFlo, SPB Mobile Shell), while others focus on the launching capabilities.

Winterface by VITO Technology, belongs to the second group as it is a perfect copy of the iPhone's Winterboard and focuses on simplicity and performance.

General:

VITO's Winterface includes configurable pages holding shortcuts icons. Just like with the iPhone, you don't get complex screens with calendars, tasks or hosted lists like in TouchFlo, instead - you get easy access to your favorite tools, applications, web-sites and contacts.

Some people will say it's too simple, others will say it's exactly what they need.

Overall, the application works beautifully; it's fast, responsive, stable, the finger gestures are working well (unlike other WinMo apps that will open occasional item instead of scrolling...) and it's fun.

Skins:

Two skins are available with the standard installation. I personally liked the light one better than the popular dark one. You can select to see or hide the upper bar and also to include or disable the lock screen (see picture above).

winterface1 winterfaceEditMode

Managing Shortcuts:

Adding shortcuts is simple, you just need to use the main menu and add the relevant item from a list.

Deleting or moving icons on the main surface is done by pressing the screen for a couple of seconds that makes the entire surface "editable":

winterface44

Contacts:

This is a cool capability that actually is missing in the iPhone (although some hacking apps do that): you can select your favorite contacts and add them as icons to a specific page. A great way to invoke calls easily using minimum clicks.

winterboardphone phone

Special Icons:

Winterface includes some special icons that take you to a customized screen (like Profiles switcher or Tasks Manager), or change dynamically (clock, weather, emails, battery, etc.).

It's a nice addition to the standard shortcuts because it gives you a glimpse of the information you need (for example - new SMS message) without having to navigate from one screen to another.

Here are 2 examples: profile switcher and running tasks:

WinterfaceProfiles WinterfaceRunningApps

On top of that, there are some "toggle" buttons that will switch the Bluetooth, Wifi and phone - on and off using one click:

specialicons

Weather App:

VITO Technology has recently added a free stand-alone product called: Weather. 'Weather' can be accessed like any other application but the icon (when added to Winterface) displays the actual weather information. 'Weather' is completely finger-friendly and easy to use application. It's a nice addition to Winterface.

You can download it for free in here.

weatherrr weather

Areas of improvements:

One of the most important things for me are my daily appointments and tasks. The first thing I did after purchasing an iPhone was to download a tweak that displays the calendar on the lock screen - I would love to see something similar with Winterface. If anyone knows about such thing - please let me know.

 

Summary:

If you are looking for a lightweight shell that focuses more on the 'launcher' side and less on wrapping the PIM applications - VITO's Winterface might be the perfect alternative for you.

Sure, it looks very similar to the iPhone's shell, but if you don't mind turning your winMo phone into an iPhone, you will enjoy a clean, elegant and useful application.

Download VITO Winterface trial (Price is $19.95).

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1 comments:

Olga said...

The contest “Give a new face to Winterface” is open. It will last till 21st of June, 2009. Great prizes are available for the best skins: a mobile device for the winner and bonus cards ($) for second to fifth place. Read the details on the VITO Technology blog here: http://blog.vitotechnology.com/?p=78.

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