The issue of how good or bad the User Interface (UI) on Windows Mobile devices has raged on in our forums and has frequently been the subject of many stories here at WMExperts but one thing is clear, the market has spoken and UI replacements, add-ons or shells have become the new pet-rock of WM devices.
Enter PointUI, a hitherto unknown (except for a mysterious countdown) program this little app almost looks like the designers beat Microsoft to the punch for their future UI as documented in their patent images.
Anyways,what you need to know about PointUI from my 24 hrs of experimenting is after the break, but here's the short version:
- Completely Free
- Quite Stable
- Supports all major resolutions: 240x240, 320x240, etc.
- Low system resources
- Menu animation is great
- Very easy to use
- Includes Weather screen
Essentially you launch the program after the simple installation and it runs through a couple of screens. The program itself does take up a meaty 4.5mb of storage space on your device, so that is something to consider for the space-conscious and it uses about 3mb of RAM, which is not too shabby once you see the graphics. The UI is basically a Today screen replacement, similar to the HTC Plugin, SPB Mobile Shell and others. It shows all your important information with the center area being the “main focus”—from there you can slide left or right and switch from the various menus, which include: Weather, Appointments, Tasks, Digital Clock, Calendar and Analog clock.
At the bottom, you have a set of four icons, which include your Phone information (missed calls, call log, etc), Email counter, SMS counter and a direct link for Windows Media Player (WMP). At the top of the screen you have a device lock, signal meter, radio, volume and battery status and finally Point UI settings. I imagine this main screen will cover about 80% of daily basic phone operation for most users out there. Navigation of the UI is done via the D-pad, stylus or just your finger (it’s very “touch friendly”). Pushing down on the screen will bring you to the program launcher, which I found a bit odd in comparison to SPB Mobile Shell but maybe that’s just me.
Overall I have to admit I’m quite impressed with PointUI. First, it’s completely free with promises of no spyware or sneaky marketing gimmicks and that is quite amazing since it doesn’t feel like home-brew software but rather a very professional product. For everyday phone use the UI is very functional with no lag on my 700wx, in fact it’s just as speedy as a WM device without it and considering all the flashy animation that is involved, this is no small feat. There were no stability issues on my device and outside of getting used to how it interacts once you go beyond the Home screen, it’s quite ready for everyday use.
For power-users, the lack of customizations at this point may be a turn off. I haven’t found a way to change the color yet and there are really no options to the program—you just run it or not. But considering the program is just 1.0, there is plenty of room for development in this area.
Give PointUI a shot if you’re bored with your current device setup—it is probably the most impressive freeware I’ve come across in a long time. You don’t need to uninstall previous setups as it will run just fine even with SPB Mobile Shell, but you may rethink how you use your device with this app. And hey, did I mention it was free?
There has been a minor update already, which allows one to customize which music app, PIM and which mail account gets launched by the icons.
Yup, good point. I installed that version last night and it works well.
Here's a link to do the registry changes for your default apps, for those interested. Nice to see a dedicated programmer(s) on this app.
It's pretty, I'll use it, if and when it is Smartphone compliant. The forum on their site is pretty active. Check it out.
It brings a simplicity to WM. It may not appeal to power users who like looking at a "busy" screen, but this interface could help bring WM to everyone. Another benefit for Treo Users is the simplicity to use it one handed.
I would like to say I am a power user at times and I am really feeling this software. Very clean and simple to use. I only see a few issues. Two of them being because I am running it on the 700w. After opening the software, and the Palm threaded SMS software I am left with 6mb of ram, which in turns slows down my device by 20%-25%. But other than that I am looking forward to seeing what is next.
I have only found one thing I didn't like with this app... There is no X Button for the running programs... although I have yet to try the HTC End key with this app... Anyone know if it works??
HTC End Key is a shortcut app. While running PointUI you cant get to the HTC Close button, but you can still close the currently running app by clicking on the task bar.
also, the tasks shown are all tasks, not active tasks. The ones that showed for me were over a year old...
A good start but still needs lots of work. Also no way to dial a phone number except for recent dialed calls.
Tried. not very promising, but the UI is very similar to iPhone
Thanks for the review on the pointui, it was just what I was looking for!
UI plays very important role in any machine or device because this is what the most of the users are looking for and also of all ages, technology advances, but is it available for all.........
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