Microsoft has officially announced a new version of Windows Mobile that adds support for capacitive touchscreens and multi-touch, as well as a number of other tweaks. It is not the more significant revamp of this OS expected to be unveiled later this month.
Capacitive touchscreens — which are operating with a fingertip instead of a stylus — have become nearly standard on smartphones. Microsoft created its OS to be used with resistive touchscreens and a stylus, but Windows Mobile 6.5.3 changes that.
This new version has an updated user interface with larger buttons and controls that make it easier to use with a fingertip. In addition, it includes a new magnifier, which lets users enlarge the small buttons on third-party apps that haven’t been redesigned for capacitive displays.
Microsoft says that multi-touch support has also been added, but doesn’t say what gestures have been included.
Enhanced Start Menu, Faster Browser, Etc.
Windows Mobile 6.5.3 also brings improvements to Internet Explorer Mobile. Microsoft is promising quicker page loads, and that this browser offers better performance when zooming and rotating pages, as well as when scrolling pages.
In addition, the Start menu now allows users to re-arrange the icons with drag-and-drop (shown here). Previously this menu — the main application launcher for this OS — had very limited tools for re-arranging icons.
Microsoft has also simplified the set-up process for phones running this new version.
It’s not yet known when updates to this new version will be released for current models. The timing for this will be up to the manufacturer of each device.