Pocket PC/Smartphone customization ?

Question: if you have a Pocket PC or Smartphone device, how many of you have customized the Today/Home screen ? – if so, what software did you use to customize the UI ? – what customization features are important to you, image rotation, image fading, crop, and what about direct placement of items on the home screen (smartphone only) ?

– Mike

Comments (12)

  1. I just bought a SPV C500 (Audiovox 5600, or whatever it is the name), and I am in the process of customization. You are asking about a software tool. Does such thing exists? I experiment with Notepad and that’s about it. Where can I read about image rotation, fading, crop and so on? Because so far I’ve found about direct placement, and nothing more.

  2. Mike says:

    There are a number of tools available for creating custom "themes" for Smartphone and Pocket PC – here’s a link to the Microsoft tool – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=1d9f75aa-daa7-473c-a30f-cdc8c87ba75b&displaylang=en

    Homescreen Designer – http://www.ruttensoft.com/smartphone/homescreendesigner.htm

    Theme Changer – http://homepages.inspire.net.nz/~gambit/

    – Mike

  3. Pieter says:

    I have been using my iPaq 4150 on certain days more than others. Recently I bought a GPS receiver to use navigation software and since then I carry my pda with me all the time.

    I have used the Theme Generators for PPC and SP. I like the SP one better but for both there is room for improvement. For my pda I think it is most important to channge the "desktop-image".

  4. Mike says:

    What improvements would you add to the Smartphone Theme Generator ?

    – Mike

  5. Knox says:

    I have a mpx220. I care less about the image and theme and more about the exact information being displayed. I used RJShortcut, a plugin, to customize the shortcuts on my home screen. I hand tweaked the XML, a process which I hated. I would like a tool that let you drop in plugins and show you the output.

  6. Jason says:

    I edit the XML files by hand in Notepad.

    Mike, when will Microsoft release an updated Theme Generator for Smartphone?

    It’s almost embarrising for Microsoft that the only way to change the home screen is to download an old tool called "Theme Generator v1.0 for Smartphone 2002". There have been two releases of the OS since 2002 and there are many customizations missing.

    But I guess you are asking because you are preparing for a new version to be release along with the next version of the OS. Am I correct? I hope I am. 🙂

    And even better if it also supports current Windows Mobile 2003 phones.

    I know Homescreen Designer is available from another company, but I really don’t like the GUI in that application.

  7. Mike says:

    now that’s a good question…

    I worked on the original Pocket PC and Smartphone Theme Generators with one other guy – these were totally Skunk projects, but we had way too much fun working on them :O)

    The current Theme Generator tools were produced in our spare time (unfortunately we both have somewhat busy day jobs!!) – We may be able to provide a patch to allow the current theme generator to work with 2003 Smartphones – ideally I want a tool to do more than the existing version.

    – Mike

  8. Peter da Silva says:

    I used to do a lot of tweaking on the UI of my Jornada, back when I was still using the Pocket PC. The plugin model and teh fixed Today screen was never all that exciting.

    I want a handheld where the home screen is basically a web page… real HTML and CSS and Javascript in plain text files that I can view from the desktop in my browser of choice, preferably with some kind of internal webserver that has access to the internal PIM databases (the browser, Pocket IE, wouldn’t have that ability… we don’t want to duplicate the desktop Windows security problems on the handheld), and supports external HTTPS access (again, so I can browse my PDA from my desktop, both for testing pages and to actually use the device without having to install Activesync and set up a partnership if I’m working on someone else’s machine.

    Why Javascript on the mini-server? Because it’s really a nice programming language, and it’s something anyone building complex webpages will know anyway.

  9. Mikhail Arkhipov (MSFT) says:

    I have purchased new Audiovox 5600 and I’d love to customize it. Unfortunately, AT&T didn’t supply a single manual with it. Is there an online guide somewhere? Basically I just want to remove some icons and replace by my favorite apps as well as rearrange Start menu.

  10. To Mikhail: the department of totally obscure URLs brings you: http://www.audiovox.com/manuals/owners/ 😉

    I can’t vouch for whether the customization that you want to do is in the manuals there though — you might need Mike’s app.

  11. Thom Lawrence says:

    There seem to be plenty of tools available to install and configure themes on my SPV C500. The problem I’ve had is getting Media Player skins to work. Sticks out like a sore thumb.

  12. neil paterson says:

    I have just downloaded the theme software but can’t get it to transfer the finished theme to my smartphone (Motorola MPX200). Any suggestions as to why this might be?