Windows Mobile 6.5 brings improved Soft Keys

We earlier saw some leaked screenshots of Windows Mobile 6.5 build 21159 which showed some changes in the user interface. One such improvement was that of the Windows Media Player

This seems to be an improvement of the soft key menus in the Windows Mobile interface. It is best understood when we compare the old and the new interface

That looks like a good improvement as it looks more "touch-friendly"

One more thing to note is how the highlighted items now have a glassy look to them. Notice the Application Data in the screenshot below

Below are some screenshots of the new honeycomb interface

And the new look of the dialer

Oh, did you notice the background of the honeycomb interface, its still the (cute) bird!

Images Courtesy: pocketnow.com and The Mobile Spoon

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Sirius XM prepares for bankruptcy

Next Story

Bose announces "Energy Efficient Series" for the Chevy Volt

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I'm starting to believe this thing may not totally suck. I read some of those forums over at xda and people seem to excited about the speed. Then again..not much else is known. Then again..if it's based on what we've seen. :-( lol.

zer0day said,
Still look fugly as hell. When I used WM, it was quite productive for me, but the UI spoilt things :(

yet a lot better than android...

MS is going in a bad direction if they focus only in the visual aspects of the GUI, they have to make the touch interface a lot faster to compete with the iPhone, is the only spec or characteristic in which the iPhone is better than the WM devices.

It's hardware too. I think as soon as we see a device with Snapdragon or Tegra built-in, I think Windows Mobile will start performing much better, and for all you know, they probably are working on the innards to make Windows Mobile better.

Looks great, but I have a couple questions. I just got into the Smart Phone thing with an older XV6800 Verizon phone I got from a colleague at a cheap price. This is my first time using Windows Mobile, and I love it and hate it, just like the Windows I have on my PC, hehe. Will I be able to upgrade my existing WM6.1 to 6.5 when it becomes available, is it free, and are there any speculations on how it will perform compared to 6.1 on an older phone?

NeoandGeo said,
Will I be able to upgrade my existing WM6.1 to 6.5 when it becomes available, is it free, and are there any speculations on how it will perform compared to 6.1 on an older phone?

Upgrades are free, but they're not offered by Microsoft; carriers offer upgrades only. However, members of XDA-Developers make custom roms for various phones, so it may be possible to upgrade your device when 6.5 is released; many of them are actually messing around with the leaked version of 6.5 as we speak:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=384
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=481467

Of course, if your phone's hardware isn't powerful enough or it's memory isn't large enough to create a compatible rom, then upgrades aren't possible. Cheers.

Gibwar said,
Hate to break it to you but that Application Data folder has been there since WM5...

He was just trying to emphasize how it has a glassy look when highlighted; he never said Application Data was something new.

microsoft polish a turd, an old one at that [mind you it'd have to be old to be polished or it'd just smear!] ;)

nb. I've had windows mobile phones for over 5 years. I'm hoping the mystical G2 answers my prayers

The honeycomb interface is the new start menu. You click the little windows flag and the honeycomb opens up. It has replaced the Programs and Settings folders in the old interface.

As for the bird picture, its simply a background picture that if you change the background pic, it changes in the comb and the today screen.

As for the dialer, thats old and will be changed to.

I can speak with some degree of certainty on this cause I have this running in English on my ATT Tilt. I got the rom at XDA-Developers.

Aha, so the honeycomb int. IS the replacement! That's exactly what I was looking for -- if I still had my device, I'd love to have tried it (if I were able.)

Love the honeycomb interface, though imo, if the WM team really wanted to innovate, they'd do away with the Start Menu in the upper-left corner and just keep the top bar as a status bar. Heck, if they replaced the Start button with a shortcut to the honeycomb interface, and the interface itself were an intuitive replacement, I bet I'd like that.

That'd be impressive. I never liked the regular-stlyed Program Manager.

wow..
Microsoft should really make something from scratch, this is getting so ugly, I can only hope they didn't mean this to be this way. That cross icon...no words for it.

They are making something from scratch:
http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/06/is-this-windows-mobile-7/

If you want further confirmation, watch this video closely:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFpwzg-AP_Q

It's just taking them awfully long to finish/release it. 6.5 is more of a transitional upgrade; 7 will be the total overhaul and true innovator. But I guess we need to be patient. Palm didn't exactly make WebOS and the Pre in a finger snap either. I'm sure that when version 7 hits and we finally see the fruits of Microsoft's labor, we won't be disappointed.

This seems to be an improvement of the soft key menus in the Windows Mobile interface.

Maybe I'm wrong but... those aren't "Soft Key Menus". The only thing that I can remember using the term "Soft Key" is for the 2 buttons at the bottom left and right on the screen, those are the soft keys. What they are referring to are context menus.

Either I am way off and just haven't brushed up on the terms lately, or whoever wrote that has no idea what things are called.

News overdose really, each time it looks different ... tho the honeycomb probably is accurate .... funny thing , a few months ago the honeycomb was first shown and general consensus claimed it was photoshop.

That's because those photos were concepts, but seemed like a ploy by SmartphoneFrance to generate traffic. The more time passes, the more we've seen just how legitimate those concepts really were. So far we have nearly everthing those concepts showed: The 'Honeycomb" launcher, Sliding panels homescreen, and transparency on the top bar. Granted, these leaks don't look as cool as the concepts, but I expect the MWC annoucement to come pretty damn close. The thing that's probably killing it for most people is the bird. I think these leaks would be received better if a different wallpaper was used.
Original concept:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirtmerchant/3025529200/