The popular HTC Sense Home Tab modifier, Cookies Home Tab (CHT) is on the road to being updated. Version 2.0 Beta has been released to the public over at XDA Developers. The highlights of the update include:
- left/right sliding pages configurable from 1 to 7 pages (separately configurable for portrait, landscape and lockscreen)
- redesigned softkey area, bottom menu and tab slider (tap and hold the slider button, don't just tap and release)
- quick links can be configured in any row by column layout
- new links that are can be freely moved anywhere on the screen (free links - add from popup menu)
- free links have a slide-to-launch feature on the lockscreen
- more widgets: email, sms, RSS, weather, clocks (digital, flip and analog)
- add-on widget framework: widgets can be made by anyone and installed as an addon cab
- widgets can be pinned into place and some can be freely re-sized
The most noticeable change with v2.0 Beta is the softkey redesign. A softkey panel overlays the traditional Sense slider. If you press and hold the three-directional arrow icon, the Sense Slider will appear. I'm not sold on the softkeys yet but if you end up preferring the more traditional look, you can turn the softkeys off in the Cookies Home Tab Editor (which is also in the v2.0 beta stage).
Version 2.0 requires Sense 2.5 running on a WVGA or VGA Windows Phone. HVGA is not supported. You will also need .NET CF 3.5 which can be found here. Unfortunately, settings for previous versions of CHT are not compatible with v2.0 Beta. There is good news though, exported settings for v2.0 will be forward compatible with future 2.xx versions.
While v2.0 Beta looks really good it is a beta version. We still we have to toss out the customary caveat that the beta version may have bugs and you should proceed at your own risk. In testing out v2.0 Beta I did experience a few bugs ranging from Sense restarting on a finger swipe to the Cookie's main page being off-set just a smidgen. Nothing critical but just signs that this is a beta version.
Cookies Home Tab has built a reputation for bringing extensive customization and functionality to HTC Sense. Version 2.0 lives up to that reputation and then some. Once the bugs get ironed out of the Beta, v2.0 will be hard to beat.