People have been changing the appearance of their handheld’s or smartphone’s operating system for years, and now this is becoming increasingly popular with the companies that release Windows Mobile devices.
But the manufacturers are going beyond simple skins that change the colors of font or the background image on the Today Screen. They are releasing devices that have replaced the standard methods for doing common tasks on the smartphone with their own.
One of the best known of these is TouchFLO, HTC’s system that makes it easier for people to use their fingertips to launch applications and make phone calls. But this company isn’t resting on its laurels; CEO Peter Chou said last week that HTC plans to introduce next year a new user interface that will be better than TouchFLO.
A telecom that’s decided to go with an alternative to the standard Windows Mobile Today Screen is T-Mobile, who has introduced its own system with the Shadow. This includes a series of icons on the left side of the screen that allow users to perform many common tasks directly from a Home Screen, from making a phone call to playing a song. (See image at right.)
Verizon has done something similar with the Motorola Q9m, which also has an alternate Today Screen that allows the user to control many functions of this smartphone.
Done with Microsoft’s Support
Rather than objecting to its licensees replacing some portions of the standard Windows Mobile user interface with their own alternates, Microsoft is actively participating in this.
A post on the Windows Mobile Team Blog indicates that Microsoft worked with both HTC and T-Mobile to create the new Home Screen for the Shadow.
This post also says that more customized user interfaces are in development.
- Brighthand’s HTC Touch Review
- T-Mobile Shadow Slider Smartphone Unveiled
- Brighthand’s Motorola Q9m Review