However, the real strength of Mobile Shell 2.0 lies in its ability to completely hide the stark, businesslike lines of the Today screen from view, replacing it with the much slicker, more modern-looking Now view.
This can be accessed in one of two ways: you can set up the software to kick into the view automatically whenever it’s brought out of a locked state; or you can (while in the standard Today Screen view) simply place your finger at the top of the screen and drag it down.
Whichever way you choose to access it, though, you’ll find it’s a massive improvement. There are two views to choose from – professional and classic – and both look cleaner, and more modern, and are much more immediately usable than the Windows Mobile Today screen.
Along the top of the screen, three icons clearly indicate unread emails, missed calls and received text messages, and in the top corners are handy battery and signal strength gauges. Flanking the missed calls and messages icons are a current weather icon and (in Professional mode) a quick profiles button. The latter is a boon for Windows Mobile users frustrated by the confusing multiple volume settings that have to be changed in standard Windows Mobile: just tap it and you have instant access to Normal, Silent and Vibrate only profiles.
Other elements on the Now screen are similarly interactive – the weather icon, for instance, launches a new full-page five-day forecast view, complete with Night, Morning, Day and Evening breakdowns.
Below this, the clock view occupies the majority of the screen, and you can choose between either analog or digital displays. Again you can click this for a full page clock, alarm and world time view, and each item on the subsequent page links through to the relevant Windows Mobile settings page; tap Next Alarm, for instance, and you’re straight into the alarm screen settings.
Underneath the clock is a calendar view, which will display your next one or two appointments or an overview of the next week or two.