By September 29, 2009

SPB Mobile Shell 3.5 review

CEZoom2 copy A welcome update to one of the best enhancement to your Windows Mobile phones arrives today. Pleasingly, the software adds several updates to an already brimming feature list.

SPB Mobile Shell has always been one of the best looking Today Screen replacements for Windows Mobile. The combination of a slick interface and some light, handy shortcuts led for a much more pleasing user experience. Each incarnation improved greatly upon the last and this update is no slacker.

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Most phones running Windows Mobile 6.1 come with some sort of enhancement to the Today Screen to make your phone more usable and finger friendly. These implementation are normally high quality and you’ll never move back to the stock Windows Mobile interface ones you have used one. There are many on the market that are made by various software house across the net. SPB have been working at one for years turning out something of a must have.

One thing I can say disappoints is the portrait to landscape orientation adjustment. It’s messy on screen rotation devices like those with slide out keyboards. When using the Twitter, Facebook and search widgets you’d be better of using the on screen keyboard. Rotating the screen disorients all of the widgets and leaves you rummaging around, looking for the one you want.


A lot of care and attention has been placed into increasing the usability of the software. I would say it is on par with Touchflo 3D if you have any HTC devices. Whilst it isn’t as deeply embedded into the operating system as Touchflo on the Diamond2 and Touch Pro2 it does have a few nice features to many attract some custom.

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Fiddling about with the layout and swiping from desktop to desktop reminds me very much of an Android device. There are plenty of options for customisation and a few pretty alternatives for standards features like the clock or weather just so you can get the right widget to fit your perfect setup.

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The 3D email viewer is a nice interface to work with and it will turn some head when shown off. It does seem a little over the top considering some of the omissions I am going to mention later however the zippiness of the animation does not impede the system performance or browsing time. Unfortunately hitting reply brings you into the typical SMS client of Windows mobile, little bland under the icing. I also could forward an SMS, which was a bit of a pain.

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It would have been nice to have an alternative to the Start Menu like Touch Flo 3D. Or the SMS client to have been given a bit of a makeover. One of my biggest concerns is that SPB is releasing this so close to the release of the Windows Mobile 6.5 update, however they ensure us that this will work with the 6.5 version flawlessly. There are some simple bits and pieces to be downloaded for a little more in the way of visual treats.

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In the fierce and highly competitive world of Today Screen replacements you will be hard pressed to find a home screen that is an stunning to look at as SPB Mobile Shell and whilst it lacks some of the niceties of other programs it holds enough in the way of variety to personalise your phone to perfection. 3.5 is a great update and given the leaps and bounds this software has taken over the years one can only imagine that 4.0 will be something of an operating system replacement, SPB are getting that close.

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List of new features:

  • Improved SPB Carousel design (e. g. added reflections and some additional interaction gestures)
  • Gravity sensor support in the SPB Carousel
  • 3D email viewer
  • 3D SMS viewer (with contact pictures)
  • Access to online catalog in “Change Background” dialog
  • New “Add Widget” dialog
  • Widget skin selection with preview
  • New widget: Tasks (customizable task list on your home screen)
  • New widget: Picture Frame (widget and full-screen slideshow)
  • New widget: Facebook Status
  • New widget: Twitter Status
  • New widget: Four instant wireless switches (WiFi, Bluetooth, Flight Mode, Phone Switch)
  • New widget: Internet Search (with instant suggestions)
  • New widget: Birthdays reminders (never forget about your friend’s birthday again)
  • Contact widget: ability to choose default action
  • Wireless manager widget: icon shows current states, popup shows current states
  • Weather widget: support for more advanced skins with detailed forecast and current conditions
  • Streamlined background change (with cropping and easy to view local gallery)
  • Current weather conditions (in addition to forecast)
  • New skins for most widgets
  • Professional home customization using widgets
  • Option to have only one home screen (lifestyle or professional)
  • Option to change number of screens in lifestyle or professional layouts
  • Weather in Agenda
  • Force feedback on tap and hold
  • Option to choose the default tab for Contacts and Launcher
  • Improved design of most dialogs (popup menus, settings etc.)
  • Category filter in the contact list
  • Improved widget edit mode (widget can be dragged to other pages, recycle bin for easy delete etc.)
  • Color themes support on Windows Mobile 6.5
  • Integration with SPB Weather and SPB Traveler via widgets
  • Improved “Choose Shortcut” dialog with similar look to SPB Menu
  • New widget: Operator Name
  • New widget: Date
  • New widget: Alarm
  • Option to disable tap and hold
  • Redesigned settings dialogs
Further Information and Downloads

SPB Mobile Shell for Windows Mobile touchscreens

Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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