touchflo 3d

We know two things about HTC

  1. They know how popular Sense 2.5 has become
  2. They move pretty fast

We know this because a new build of Sense 2.5 (1922; last leak was 1921) officially supports landscape now.  Of course the excitement has lead to it being cooked into some GSM ROMs and it looks to be making its way to CDMA Touch Pro 2's in the next 24-48hrs.

So what does this mean?  Is HTC doing this for an eventual HD2 with a slider keyboard?  Or are they just doing the obvious: updating their UI for various future devices, including ones with slide-out QWERTYs?  We'll go with the latter for now as this seems like an obvious progression of the TouchFLO/Sense paradigm.

[via HTCPedia]

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Here's a cool trick: if you want either a dual clock or just an analog clock, download this .cab at XDA by ancola66.

First disable your TouchFLO under Today --> Settings, install the .cab, restart device and then re-enable TouchFLO.

To toggle between the 3 screens (regular clock, analog-only or both), simply tap the area below the HTC Task Manager.

I'm running it on my own custom ROM (due out shortly, ahem) and it works very well. It definitely gives the today screen an elegant look.

Edit: One bug is that the analog clock shows "AM" when clearly it is PM. C'est la vie.

[via XDA]

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Until now, if you wanted to run the latest builds of HTC's Manila (TouchFLO 3D), you needed to be running one of the newer generations of HTC phones, as in the Touch Diamond 2, Touch Pro 2, etc. But now Manila 2.5 has been ported to VGA resolution (480x640), and it's already being cooked into ROMs for the HTC Fuze (original Touch Pro). This is all still in early beta, so bugs are likely. But it's good news for those of you with VGA phones. XDA Developers via Mobility Digest

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4

HTC makes sense out of Sense

On top of building phones that continue to increase in sophistication, HTC also has continued to evolve its custom OS skin. We're all used to TouchFLO and TouchFLO3D on Windows Mobile. Android now has the Sense UI, and it's coming to WinMo on the HTC HD2. Above, a presentation from HTC that shows Sense in great detail, and hopefully what we can expect on more Windows phones in the future. [via Mobile Tech Addicts]

And speaking of Sense, be sure to check out Android Central's review of the HTC Hero and its implementation of Sense.

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15

A look at a new build of TouchFLO 3D

Oh, the HTC HD2 (aka the Leo) is the gift that keeps on giving. ROMs have been floating around for a while now, and Pocketnow's taken a new build of TouchFLO3D 2.5, ripped out of a Leo ROM, for a spin.

What's new in Build 1919? There's a Twitter tab, e-mails are much more readable without the old envelope-style view. The calendar app continues to improve. Weather and wallpaper are animated. The Footprints tab (remember that?) is around. Facebook and YouTube integration.

Anyhoo, check out the video yourself after the break. We still don't know what build (or version, for that matter) of TouchFLO 3D may be built into the first official releases we see Oct. 6 Super Duper Windows Mobile 6.5 launch day. But let's hope we see some of this included.

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HTC Leo's version of TouchFLO 3D

You gotta hand it to the cats at HTC: They can sure skin the heck out of Windows Mobile, and they're getting better with every build. We've already seen Manila 2.5 (aka the next generation of TouchFLO  3D). Now Manila 2.6 has been outed from the upcoming (but still unannounced) HTC Leo. And it's a beauty.

Gone are the drab white icons, instead completely replaced by the colorful images we've come to expect on Android devices. There are more bells and whistles for homescreen shortcuts, too. Expect to see this cooked into custom ROMs any day now, and let's hope we see it in an official release soon.

Peep Pocketnow's video of the build after the break.

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And you thought the Android kids were the favorite child of HTC now with that whole Sense thing. We couldn't tell you at the time, but HTC has been hard at work updating TouchFLO 3D. And quite an update it is. Our sources had told us that Manila 2.5 (Manila's the not-so-super-secret nerd name for TouchFLO, btw), basically takes the Windows Mobile out of Windows Mobile, and boy howdy does it ever.

You get a pretty good feel for it in the above video from German site handy-faq. [via pocketnow] Even the deepest settings don't appear to take you out of the TouchFLO 3D environment and kick you back into Windows Mobile. That's been one of our biggest gripes about TouchFLO in the past – it looks great at first, but you lose the experience of it pretty quickly. Well, no more. And although we don't see it in this video, we're also told that there may be some pretty massive Facebook integration to look forward to.

In the beginning of the video you hear mention of the Firestone, which we believe is the first device we'll see with Manila 2.5. (We've also heard the name Leo being thrown around, which may well be the Firestone's more official moniker from HTC, just as the Maple evolved into the Snap, Rhodium to Touch Pro 2, etc. Or it could be the other way around.)

Now that you're salivating ... Will we see Manila 2.5 on upcoming phones such as the Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2? Let's hope so. And if not, we'll remind you of three little letters.

X. D. A.

More screen shots of Manila 2.5 after the break, courtesy of Italian site UDK-lab.

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Kickin' it like it's 1991, Windows Mobile has teamed up with Naughty By Nature to release a NBN-themed HTC Touch Pro 2. In addition to giving away the phone, they're also offering up airfare and tix to a show in Los Angeles. More info on that here (pdf link), and find more at Facebook.com/windowsmobile.

And for more rap from the Windows Mobile crew ...

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Here's a grilling an interview with a couple of HTC Europe execs from Polish smartphone site PDA.pl. [via] It can be a little painful to watch, for both sides, but the questions asked are reasonable:

  • Where's the 3.5mm headphone jack?
  • There's hardware for an FM radio, but why no software?
  • Why aren't "older" phones getting the latest version of TouchFLO 3D?

We can live without an FM radio. This is 2009, after all. And getting custom ROMS with different software is no sweat on HTC phones. But we'll jump on board the 3.5mm headphone jack beat-down. Like it or not, that needs to be standard.

Update: Yep, looks like there are issues with the video. So, here are the answers -- highly paraphrased, of course. And, really, any answer works for any of the questions. Here goes:

  1. Want a headphone jack? Use the crazy little adapter HTC provides. Or get a Touch HD.
  2. Um, we'll look into it.
  3. HTC has many great new phones.
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1

TPro Skin for S2U2

A bit ago we reported on a "slide to unlock" application for your Windows Mobile phones, S2U2. One of the more common remarks  heard when people see S2U2's unlock screen is "Wow, just like the iPhone." which, for some, is synonymous to fingernails scratching a chalkboard.

XDA Developer member demonizator, has developed TPro v1.0.0, a skin for S2U2 that gives the application a Touchflo 3D appearance for those prefer less of a iPhonish appearance.  The application is still in the Beta stage but works nicely.  In using TPro on the AT&T Fuze, I only experienced one brief delay when unlocking the phone.  Otherwise, the Today Screen popped up instantly.  I have to admit, I like the appearance a little better than the stock S2U2 appearance.

You do need to turn off S2U2 before installing TPro and there is a separate .cab file to uninstall the skin.  So if you like the concept of a slide to unlock application but don't want to loose the Touchflo feel, TPro might be worth a look.

[Read: FuzeMobility]

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Bonus tip of the week: TouchFlo 3D e-mails

Here's a bonus tip of the week for you folks with TouchFlo 3D, courtesy of FuzeMobility [via].

There's no denying that TF3D is a sexy little UI, but it'd be nice if the e-mail preview envelope showed a little more text. And, as with all things HTC, the wizards at XDA Developers have found a hack. Here's what you'll need to do.

  1. In the Windows directory on your phone, back up the following files. 77fb7fad_manila and 21449ae5_manila. We're going to overwrite these. While you're at it, go ahead and back up your phone. (But you already knew to do that, right?)
  2. Head over to the XDA thread. You can either download the replacement files themselves, or a couple of handy on/off cabs.
  3. Go to your today screen settings, and turn TouchFlo 3D off. Repeat: Off. Not on.
  4. Either run the proper cab file, or copy over the new individual files into the Windows directory.
  5. Turn TouchFlo 3D back on. You may need to soft-reset.

That's it. The envelope should now be behind the e-mail preview, allowing you to see more with a quick glance. Let us know in the comments how it worked for you.

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15

Touchflo 3D vs. SPB Mobile Shell

One of the attractions to the new HTC line-up is TouchFlo 3D. There is no argument that graphically, Touchflo 3D is a eye catching application. While it may be pretty to look at, how functional is it? Before Touchflo 3D hit the market, one of the more popular Today Screen alternatives was SPB's Mobile Shell. There are some reservations over Touchflo 3D's usefulness and SPB Mobile Shell might be a viable alternative for those HTC owners who are looking for something different. Could Mobile Shell hold it's own against the animated graphics of Touchflo?

We decided to compare these two applications and as Michael Buffer so aptly put it, "Let's get ready to rumble!" (key techno dance music please). Read on after the break to see how they measure up against each other.

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5

FuzeBerry Theme for TouchFlo 3D


One thing I like about Windows Mobile devices is the ability to customize the appearance to match your personality and tastes through themes. The one thing that I can live without is the gray color scheme of the AT&T Fuze. To call it drab is an understatement. Fortunately, with the introduction of the Touchflo 3D interface it was only a matter of time before someone figured out a way to easily customize Touchflo’s appearance and add a little spice to the Fuze’s appearance.

Enter MobileMatt.net where you can find Touchflo 2D, 3D, Touch Command and Windows Mobile themes. Touchflo 3D users take particular note of the Touchflo 3D skin. MobileMatt just posted the 3D Skin (Fuzeberry) v3.0.2 in our forums and adds a few extras to Touchflo including a Calendar, Call History, and Comm Manager Tab. The Skin will accept any wallpaper for the background to add more customization. The Skin does require .NET CF which is downloadable from the website. It's a theme that's similar to the BlackBerry wireframe themes, which we point out here in the spirit of the Smartphone Round Robin -- maybe it will make Kevin like TouchFlo a bit more.

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Hack Away at TouchFLO 3D

Most of us aren't quite able to play around with TouchFLO 3D yet as it's only available on the HTC Diamond and the Touch Pro (we're still crossing our fingers for September, by the way). However when we do get our hands on TouchFLO 3D goodness, it looks like we'll be able to hack away. The fine folks at Pocketnow have a couple of posts detailing some settings you can change up.

  • The first is reordering the TouchFLO tabs to something that makes a little more sense for your workflow.
  • The 2nd isn't TouchFLO per say, but instead details the settings you'll need to change in order to make the Diamond's 'zoom wheel' (that's right, it doesn't scroll, it zooms) work in applications not titled “Opera” or “Outlook.” It's registry-riffic, so save it for later.

Meanwhile, feel free to kick back and ogle our first look at the Diamond and dream about the CDMA version we're expecting. It's going to be a great fall, folks.

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24

HTC Diamond Fans Out Around the Web

Hands-on of the sort slightly more details than our paltry HTC Touch Diamond vs. Xperia X1 moment are tricking in around the web. Surur points us to a nice one over at mobile review, who write:

Already today, judging by the Diamond’s engineering samples, it’s safe to say that HTC has come up with a decent offering – probably, it’s a mixed bag design-wise, but it represents a logical leap forward in all other departments, aimed to hit the mass-market hard and appeal the users outside the circle of Windows Mobile specialists.

Of course, they follow that up by saying it ain't a “communicator.” If you want even more Diamond-dulling you can take a peek at Jeff Kirvin's take, like many he's shying away from the smallish battery and decrying the lack of an external memory card slot.

Some of our luckier colleagues in the WinMo Blogosphere are currently attending Mobius, where they're getting to mix it up with all sorts of devices, including the Diamond. Joel over at geek.com posts up some good thoughts on it that you might not have seen before.

Of course, as you might expect, BGR has got a hands-on as well, though they worry that TouchFLO 3D isn't quite as fast as it ought to be. Like everybody else who's commented on that speed thing, they're hoping/assuming that it's a “this isn't quite the final build yet” thing.

...All in all, if HTC can get the Touch Diamond out on schedule (rumored as early as June for the Taiwanese market), they should be able to easily sell the two million they're hoping to.

Thanks, Surur!

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Interview with Touch Diamond Developer

Vincent of PhoneMag.com got a sit-down with HTC's Horace Luke, their Chief Innovation Officer. Backing up his sweet job title, Luke talks about the philosophy behind TouchFLO 3D. I gotta say, Luke and I must be on the same wavelength, because there are two things about TouchFLO 3D he mentions that I also mentioned during our WMExperts Podcast this week. The first: that a touch interface isn't so much about just “TAP TAP TAP!” as it is moving and dragging.

The second: The Touch Diamond has a great feature built-in with its accelerometer. When you receive a call, you can just set your phone face-down on the table and it will ignore the call. That's really perfect. They've taken a common social cue, namely:

Talking to this person right in front of me is more important than this call, so I'll see who it is and then set the phone face down so they know I'm interested in this in-person conversation.

...and turned it into a feature on the phone. HTC: we love you.

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5

TouchFLO 3D: The Windows Mobile UI Remixed

After reading around the web and looking at various reports, it's pretty clear that while the Touch Diamond's hardware is certainly top-notch, much (if not most) of the innovation is in TouchFLO 3D. Here's what's great:

  • Rather than having to initiate it with a swipe, it replaces Windows Mobile's standard Today screen (shades of the Xperia X1 Panel interface here)
  • TouchFLO 3D also appears to be very well integrated in the OS. It's less of an add-on and more of a new philosophy towards Windows Mobile. For example, the 5-way is also touch-sensitive so you can rotate your thumb around it to zoom in and out. It also demonstrates the power of Windows Mobile's data structure -- TouchFLO 3D has previews of emails, allows you to examine your pictures, and plays your music directly within the interface.
  • TouchFLO 3D tech is also built-into a custom build of Opera 9.5, which we've previously been enthusiastic about. But get this, no matter what your zoom level is, the text automatically wraps to the zoom. This is in contrast to the iPhone's browser, which sometimes is unable to get the text to wrap properly.
  • TouchFLO 3D is, in fact, 3D in its animation effects. The Touch Diamond, unlike previous HTC devices, appears to be fully hardware accelerated and uses that power to full effect.
  • Speaking of hardware, I can say from personal experience with some devices that Windows Mobile -- especially browsing on Windows Mobile -- feels like a completely different and more usable animal when it's on a high-resolution screen. 240x320 will be officially antiquated and a sign of a bad user experience when the TouchFLO 3D devices start hitting the market.

...The net effect is a device that we're not embarrassed to call an iPhone killer. The UI looks to be nearly as intuitive and there's a core tradeoff that I think a lot of people will be willing to make. The bad part of this trade: the occasional UI dissonance between TouchFLO 3D and the standard Windows Mobile is more than offset by the power of Windows Mobile's ability to use a giant swatch of powerful, enterprise-class applications.

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