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Oct 6, 2010

Review: SPB Mobile Shell 5 For Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian

spb_mobile_shell5

I'm an old fan of SPB Mobile Shell (see this popular SPB Mobile Shell 3 review for Windows Mobile), here are my impressions of SPB Mobile Shell 5 soon becoming available for device manufacturers - which means we will soon see it embedded inside new Android devices (probably not the ones manufactured by Samsung or HTC), Windows Mobile (if we will ever see new ones) and Symbian phones.

Before we begin, I must say that I didn't actually get to play with SPB Mobile Shell 5, so this is not a real "hands-on" review, it's more of a first impression from reading the documentation and watching some videos that SPB sent over. I hope to get a copy soon enough to write a complete review.

General Experience:
So first, I welcome the change in the main homescreen that now seems much more simple and clean than in version 3. The simplicity was a huge advantage in version 2 which somehow become lost as SPB Mobile Shell evolved.

The animation, UI responsiveness and overall look & feel certainly makes it look worthwhile to try it out, especially with the history of previous versions.

Still, you should ask yourself how can SPB Mobile Shell improve today's standards which are all finger friendly, have high resolution icons, responsiveness, animations, finger gestures, widgets (well, maybe not in the iPhone's case) and more…

Let's see what's new in version 5:

Widgets:
Converting icons to widgets seems to be a killer feature.
(Almost) any app shortcut can become a widget – which is indeed a brilliant innovative feature.

SPB-Mobile-Shell-5-Widgets

Folders:
Awesome! A folder that holds a hierarchy of items, high priority ones are always available, the rest are collapsible inside the folder.

SPB-Mobile-Shell-5-Folders

3D style carousel:
Not impressed. Sorry. I never liked it even in previous versions of SPB Mobile Shell and it didn't change. Too much animation, too little accuracy or practical use of the screen real-estate. Not my cup of tea.

SPB-Mobile-Shell-5-MobileSpoon2

Cross Platform Support:
Not sure if for the end users this is important, but I admire the fact that this rich user interface will be available in 3 completely different mobile platforms: Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian. Kudos.

SPB-Mobile-Shell-5-MobileSpoon

Here's a video by SPBSoftware:

What do you think? Will you replace your HTC Sense UI with SPB Mobile Shell 5?

 

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