Hot in the heels of the first release, SPB Mobile Shell has released an update, version 3.5.5 which has many improvements, the most important being efficient RAM utilization.
Memory optimization (10M less RAM usage)
There is sufficient RAM now to run many applications in parallel, especially Maps, Skype, or the Music Player.
Media player widget
The new Media player widget lets you play and pause music without having to open the Music Player.
4 free themes for Symbian
SPB has created 4 new free themes for SPB Mobile shell which can be download here. All the themes are stand alone .sis files which can be installed separately. The themes are color based, and there are Red, Green, Black and Blue themes. I installed them on the C drive, thinking they will integrated with SPB Mobile Shell, but these are the usual themes for S60 UI. I must say, the themes are really beautifully designed. The icons are changed, the background looks nice. You can use these themes even without installing SPB Mobile Shell. See images below.
But the theme isn’t fully displayed in SPB Mobile Shell’s home screens. SPB Mobile Shell continues to use its own image for the home screens and the themes don’t appear on the home screen! I can see the themes on the top and it doesn’t look very nice. I’d like to use the themes on my home screen too. Ideally, the themes must be setup from the home screen and they should be available on the home screen too. See the images below where they don’t fit well in the home screen.
Operator Name Widget
The operator’s name can be setup as a widget on the home screens but I wonder how useful this is.
Shortcuts to the most used files
You can now setup shortcuts to almost all files in your Symbian phone on the home screens. This is very useful, for frequent files like documents, etc. Essentially it works like the Desktop, on a Windows machine where we keep recent files or files that we need to access most often.
New Memo/New Anniversary items in organizer menu
In the Organizer, you can now create a new Anniversary without having to create a new contact or or open up the native Calendar application.
Customized Call Button
The Green Call Button can now be configured to open either the native Dialer or SPB Call Log. The SPB Call Log is a much improved version of the native Log application. It stores entries for several days and you can do many operations in the SPB Call Log, like saving the number as a new contact, call, email or send SMS to the contact.
Landscape/portrait orientation control
SPB Mobile Shell 3.5.5 also lets you fix the screen orientation to only Portrait or Landscape, thus disabling the accelerometer. You can also set it to “auto”, which means as the device is tilted, the screen rotates automatically to landscape mode or portrait mode.
In our earlier review of SPB Mobile Shell, I complained a little about RAM utilization. This update improves the situation greatly and also adds many useful features. Its worth the upgrade.