I am a self confessed UI freak, and when the opportunity came to dig deeper into this particular UI, I jumped at the chance. In my continuing quest for the perfect balance between usability and eye-candy, I have tried more ROMs, CABs and Registry hacks than I care to list! The main reason for the use of a third party user interface (UI) is to hide the ancient Windows Mobile UI which has seen minimal changes since its Pocket PC 2000 days! I'm sure most will agree, the less we see of that, the better! My personal top 3 at the moment are TouchFlo 3D, SPB Mobile Shell 3, and now PointUI Home 2.
I've seen PointUI develop over the years and have always been impressed, but previously there wasn't enough functionality to stick with it.
That has changed massively with PointUI Home 2!
Yep, you've seen it in the recent posts mimicking the Hero UI, but there is so much more to it. I'm not going to go into too much detail about each individual function, other than to say it does seem to be all there: contacts, messages, mail, calendar, tasks, slideshow, weather, communications and many icon based shortcut features. You'll also find some well implemented touches such as haptic feedback, inertia scrolling, the 'bounce' when you get to the end of a list, and a "More" folder option which gives you the option to add an extra page at any time. Also adding an applet creates a page of its own, so no registry hacks required to add or remove screens/pages/tabs. Simple, but very effective.
The killer part is the developer side. Rather than having to rely on hacks to make tweaks, the folks at PointUI actively encourage a community of developers to add themes and extra functionality.
This is all quite new at the moment, so to be honest, you may encounter some bugs, random crashes and problems, but is it all worth the $19.95 USD price tag?
Well, I've been using it exclusively for the last few days, and there are a few areas of improvement needed. The first is for a unified look between the individual apps as, at the moment, each one can look totally different - which just doesn't work for me. Another would be an option for themes and applets to be downloaded directly via PointUI on your device. Thirdly, simplification of the install process for third-party applets, as it can be fiddly. It would also be great it didn't drop back into the standard Windows Mobile interface so quickly. For example you can read texts and emails within PointUI, but when you need to reply, you revert to the standard interface. However, this is not specific to just this UI, as the same thing happens in other UI's, such as SPB Mobile Shell.
Overall there is a lot of potential in PointUI. I had no problems with the default install, it's just not very interesting without the tweaks, I had no problems during the time I used it before the add-ons, but if you need something 100% reliable at all times, then in its modified form, this is not for you.
Why not try it for yourself and let us know what you think?
Thanks to PointUI for providing us with the review copy.
See PointUI.com for download and more information.