Review: Windows Mobile 6.5

MobilityPCWorkspace

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 is definitely an improvement over previous versions, but it still has too many vestiges of the past.

Two separate Start screens?

This is where things start to get confusing. You can also click the Start button in the upper-left (or press the Windows button on the device itself), and you’ll get to another start screen of sorts (a standard Windows Mobile 6.5 screen listing various applications).

This page is separate from the Applications page that you get to from the Touch Flo 3D. (In fact, this screen is really the same as the Programs screen found on earlier Windows Mobile devices, albeit better looking.) Within this screen is the usual Settings icon, which takes you to a settings page—again, different from the one the Touch Flo 3D takes you to.

But if that’s not confusing enough, also included in the Touch Flo 3D screens is a page called “AT&T.” This page contains yet another list of applications—some of which are contained in various other Programs pages. The screen also includes its own Apps and Tools icons that take you to another applications page and tools page, respectively.

To be fair, this isn’t totally the fault of Microsoft—we’re seeing three different manufacturers having their way with the device. But it’s kind of surprising that Microsoft would allow such a mess to occur.

IE is improved but it freezes

The Pure comes with two browsers: Internet Explorer and Opera. The browser icon you see will depend on which of the different applications/programs pages you’re on.

In this review I’m focusing on Internet Explorer because the Opera browser was apparently added by either AT&T or HTC and isn’t standard with Windows Mobile 6.5.

Internet Explorer on the Pure is a definite improvement over earlier versions, although I did have some problems with it. In general, the browser has a much nicer look. (Of course, it helps that the screen has a much higher resolution than earlier devices. The AT&T Pure screen is 480 by 800—which is as tall as a lot of laptop screens in pixels, even though the screen itself is only a couple inches high.)

To test the browser on the Pure, I went to eWEEK.com, which immediately detected I was on a mobile device and sent me to a mobile version of the site.

I wanted to see how the standard site would look, so I set Internet Explorer to identify itself as a desktop. Yet when I went to eWEEK.com after making this change, the server still saw my browser as mobile and dished out the mobile version.

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