In my previous article i reviewed SPB Mobile Shell, a mobile application that replaces the dull home-screen with a better, widgetized version. Handy Shell too does the same task but with a twist. Handy Shell, a product of Epocware, is a mobile application for Nokia devices (touch and non-touch) which replaces the default home-screen with a better, iconized standby. Handy Shell shows an array of customizable icons which allow you to access the frequently opened application with a single click (or a tap :p) right from the home-screen. Handy Shell essentially replaces the home-screen of Nokia S60 device’s and not the entire default Nokia Menu, therefore it shouldn’t be compared to SPB Mobile Shell that replaces the entire User Interface.
Handy Shell Review
The installation size of Handy Shell is well below what an average theme file uses i.e Just 1 Mb (1009 KB on Nokia 5230). In order to get the most out of it, i installed it on phone memory and i believe 1 MB is very small space as compared to the functionality Handy Shell adds to the home-screen of your mobile. Along with the core application, a Lite version of Handy Taskman is also installed which comes in handy to keep a record of the RAM usage of your mobile phone. Once installed, Handy Shell launches automatically showing the new home-screen with default icons (which can be changed). The home-screen of handy shell has 4 layers viz. Clock, for showing current time, date and alarm; Phone Settings, showing number of missed calls, sms, email’s, etc; Applications Shortcuts, for showing shortcut of the most used applications and Calender. Order of these 4 layers can be adjusted as per the needs however, only the Application layer is customizable i.e You can change the shortcuts and add the one’s you prefer/use the most.
At the bottom of the handy shell screen, 3 buttons are present, each one of them linking to Contacts (Favourite’s), 3D carousel view (can be changed), Applications (Most used/Favourite). You set the different screen viewable in carousel mode. In order to make sure Handy Shell acts as a true home-screen, the reaction to menu and red (call end) key can be customized thus allowing you to come back to Handy Shell without selecting it from the task menu each time!
The above mentioned were the basic feature of Handy Shell. It does more than just being a icon rich home-screen. Some of the other features (that i liked as well!) are:
- Handy shell image viewer, which is kinda fast as compared to the default image viewer.
- Landscape mode (shows more icons as well!).
- Show’s preview of new sms/email received.
- Ability to create new email, sms, etc right from the home-screen from the “Options” menu (Real Time saver).
All in all, i found Handy Shell a perfect replacement of Nokia’s boring home-screen and consumes less RAM as well (6-10 MB, 3D carousel uses extra RAM). If the Handy Shell adds the ability to display social media updates on one of it’s swipeable screen then i think it’ll be a real killer!!!
Handy Shell is available for Nokia N97, E71, E75, E72, E63, N96, N85, N95, 6220, 5230, 6110, X6, 5800 Xpress Music, Samsung OMNIA HD, Sony Ericsson Satio and MOTORIZR Z8. Handy Shell is a paid application which costs $ 19.90. You can download the trial version of Handy Shell directly from Epocware website here.