SAN FRANCISCO--Generally, OEM software isn't of particular interest to consumer product reviewers, but I couldn't help but be drawn in by the sweet-looking user interface (UI) development being shown off by SPB Software at the CTIA Fall 2010 show. This multiplatform solution, called Mobile Shell, is currently up to version 5.0, which is compatible with Windows Mobile, Android, and Symbian operating systems.
The software is aimed at providing carriers with a way to offer a standardized UI across mobile devices, but the truly compelling part is the front-end user experience, which is pretty fantastic from what I've seen so far. SPB Software demoed Mobile Shell 5.0 on an Android device, and my initial reaction was "I want this. When can I get it?" (Sadly, the reps had no immediate answer.) The interface is just so...cool. And speedy.
What makes this software so nice to look at is the 3D design, which is much more of a joy to navigate than the flat, flip-through pages currently offered on Android devices. One of my favorite extra touches--made possible by the 3D--is the automatic animations that pop out whenever you pause on a particular panel. In addition, the UI will automatically personalize the look and feel of applications and widgets based on an individual user's behavior, which should be a fun feature to test out once the software actually makes its way to consumer devices.
Really, it's a bit tough to describe Mobile Shell in words, which is why I recommend checking out the promo clip by SPB Software or the video from the show floor below.