Changes to Windows Mobile 6.5

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The dramatically different honeycomb interface for the upcoming version of Windows Mobile has been updated based on user feedback. Its removal was, in fact, one of the biggest changes announced at the recent MIX09 conference. Although the layout itself is the same and the icons are in the same place, they’re bigger now than they were before. But the most notable difference is that the hexagonal outline around the icons is now gone.

I thought the hex grid gave the phone some character, but according to Product Manager Loke Uei, the users who tested this layout complained it wasn’t “finger friendly” enough. Another change involves flick scrolling – it now stops at page breaks instead of scrolling all the way to the bottom of the list. The lock screen was also updated to include alerts and notification. Finally, some behind-the-scenes updates made the OS more touch responsive.

Also revealed during the keynote were additional more details about the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Each Windows Mobile 6.5 phone will offer one Marketplace app with the purchase. Already there are over 20,000 apps available for download.

In addition to applications, widgets will also be available for download from the Marketplace. These widgets can be coded in HTML, CSS, AJAX, and JavaScript and get access to Flash and ActiveX controls on the device. To the end user, the widgets will appear on the homescreen the same as apps, but for the developers, this means widgets they’re already building for the web or other mobile devices will now be supported on Windows Mobile with few modifications needed.

You can learn more about widgets and see some examples on the Windows Mobile Developers blog.

Here’s one example, a weather widget:


Photo credit: Brighthand

The Discussion

  • User profile image

    I liked the honeycomb for the same reason you said, its adds some character.  Who ever put together this side by side comparison should have used the same backdrop and icons for effect.  I really hope 6.5 makes optimal use of transparency.  For example, I think apps like MSN depicted in your post would look better if they showed the background image where in this instance the color black is used.  Also, it would be nice if the screen size/resolution can handle it to show more than 3 columns.  Perhaps it does support this, I just don't know.

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