If you are already on Twitter, then its gr8. If you aren’t then now there is one more reason to start tweeting. Now you can win a Windows Phone by using Twitter.
Google Mobile App started supporting Windows Mobile last week. It allows you to perform a google search right from your Today screen without need for opening a browser first. It also gives you quick access to other google applications like maps, reader, blogger, orkut, documents, calendar etc.
Windows Mobile 6.1 is just released and it has some nice interface tweaks and supposed to be more stable and faster than windows mobile 6. Its a great mobile OS due to its familiarity and compatibility with Windows for desktop. However Microsoft has never given much thought to user experience I guess.
I understand that windows mobile resembles windows in many ways and that probably makes adaptation easier but it probably goes too far with windows resemblance that it ends up being a non-userfriendly mobile OS.
I fully agree with Kevin Hoffman that Windows Mobile is a shrunken and crippled version of windows. I don’t see any value of a Start button on a Mobile OS. I have a few suggestions for Windows Mobile User-Experience team:
- Please remove the Start Button, its not needed.
- Show big, finger-friendly icons for various applications right on Home screen.
- Reduce number of screens and taps required to do various things.
- Please do away with tiny text labels and other little user interface elements wherever possible.
I think MS can borrow ideas from Palm, Symbian and other mobile OS. All of them seem to adhere to more or less same user-interface concepts.
Sony Ericsson yesterday announced its first windows mobile phone called XPERIA™ X1. So all those rumors were really true. I am now waiting for rumor about Nokia also going windows mobile way to be true as well 🙂
I don’t know how MS pulled this off considering SE has stakes in Symbain and launced only Symbian powered smartphones earlier. It will be interesting to see if Nokia also takes the bait.
Its seem Windows Mobile is now really looking to grab the mobile OS share in consumer market as well. Its has already got good share in mobile OS for corporate market.
Using fingers on touch screen of your mobile is always easier and convenient then using that dumb old stylus, but then with small elements present on those small screens you need stylus, don’t you? Well Apple said you don’t with the launch of iPhone. With the big icons and buttons it allowed users to do away with stylus and just use their fingers.
Well this proved to be quite a hit as every other mobile manufacturer started working to support that finger-friendly user interface on its mobile phones.
Windows Mobile does not yet support a finger-friendly user interface, although that may change with Windows Mobile 7, but till then you a few options to jazz up your windows mobile phone.
First there is Spb Mobile Shell which costs $30. It hass user friendly Today screen, big buttons and menus for common tasks so that you don’t need to pull your stylus everytime.
Then there is HTC Touch with its TouchFlo system which not only gives you large buttons and a finger-friendly user interface. It also has those iPhone like animations and special effects where you can slide and scroll using your fingers. Its kinda a cool phone but then you can’t just install TouchFlo on any other windows mobile phone. You need to buy one of various variants of HTC Touch phones which come with TouchFlo.
Finally there is Poinui Home which is again a software like Spb Mobile Shell so you can install on any windows mobile 5 or 6 phone. I will say it really scores quite high in coolness department. Its animations are smooth and slick you can use finger to scroll like in iPhone. The animation when it starts up or the animated opening of its various screens and even its about screen effect is really word class and on top of it all its FREE. Ya you heard me right 🙂
It has a few negatives as well – many bloggers say that its uninstall does not work well. I have found its scrolling to be counter-intuitive as it scrolls left when I expect it to scroll right and vice-versa. Also sometime when I am just sliding my fingers it detects a tap and takes me inside the application or opens another screen so it does not work as smoothly as sliding on iPhone, but then I think it has to do with the TouchScreen hardware on windows mobile phones rather then their software. Nonetheless this product is making quite a splash. You can watch its very cool video at Gizmodo.
Just read Microsoft outlines what’s coming in Windows Mobile 7, 8 by ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley. So good news is that MS plans to catch up with iPhone in coolness department, bad news is that its supposedly going to happen only with Windows Mobile 8 and since it gives Apple enough time to take its iPhone to a different level by then, it will be interesting to watch what Windows Mobile 8 really offers.
In a clearly visible agressive marketing campaign Microsoft is advertising about windows mobile powered phones on behalf of device manufacturers. I saw recent ad with devices from i-mate, O2, HP, Motorola and HTC. Interestingly in India Symbian dominates the mobile OS market with Nokia leading the way in terms of device shipments.
India being 2nd most populous country in the world and with a swelling mobile subscriber base, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to advertise windows mobile powered devices and in-turn make its mobile os popular and replicate the windows success once again with mobiles.
Another interesting fact is that there is no piracy concerns for a mobile OS as of now as its pre-installed on devices so Microsoft will surely get its royalty from manufacturers 🙂
For those of you interested in buying windows mobile powered phones, here are some communication channels:
For i-mate – SMS SMART A to 8888 or Call 011-41523030/90, 41523730
For O2 – SMS SMART B to 8888 or Call 9350263618
For HP – SMS SMART C to 8888 or Call 1800-4254999, 30304499
For HTC/Dopod – SMS SMART D to 8888 or Call 9910193399
For Motorola – SMS SMART E to 8888 or Call 1800-111211, 39026686
If you buy one from these guys, tell them that I told you about them, they may give me some commission 😉
For those who are thinking, what to do with such a phone – Just post a comment to this blog or mail me at sachin AT palewar DOT com
My company develops business solutions for mobiles and mobile field force, for more info please visit our website www.palewar.com