Over the past couple of months I’ve been using both the HTC Touch and the HTC TyTnII. The Touch has both the 3 tab HTC Home screen and the 3 faced flow cube (for want of a better name), whilst the TyTnII has a 5 tab HTC Home screen. I was just investigating whether the 5 tab screen was available for download and noticed that there is now a 6 tab version. The guys over a Pocket PC Now have the downloads available here.
This is what the 5 tab home screen looks like. The additional tab on the 6 tab screen allows you to control media player from the home screen. I’m really looking forward to where HTC take this home screen (and the flow cube) in future version. Particularly if they make it more configurable (ie being able to remove unwanted tabs – eg the weather tab when you live in a location that isn’t in the list) or open to developers.
What is interesting about the HTC Home screen is that it is a direct competition for the Windows Live home screen plugin. The major difference seems to be that the Windows Live plugin screen uses left-right navigation, rather than tabs – it also seems to be over the top in the amount of resources it uses just being there! I’ve never taken to the Windows Live plugin but I suspect that is due to lack of useful functionality rather than their navigation construct.
I guess the big question is whether Microsoft will extend the default home screen offerings in future versions of Windows Mobile? More importantly, if they are going to come up with new home screen ideas (such as the Windows Live plugin) then they don’t need to be tied to OS versioning – as demonstrated by the HTC Home screen model.