It’s been an interesting journey to Windows Mobile 6.5.
First, we started with the topmost screenshots spotted by wmpoweruser that shows a Windows Mobile Standard-like sliding panel homescreen design with a honeycomb-shaped program launcher/Start menu area. Also, we see use of transparency for the top and bottom bars, which makes a lot of sense considering how much screen space it blocks in WinMo 6.1. These screenshots were filed under the “possibly Photoshopped” column, as the icons are taken from other Operating Systems, plus there are other inconsistencies.
Then, last week, we got a new batch of screenshots from an HTC Blue Angel in what appeared to be a super early Alpha of Windows Mobile 6.5. The particular build shown on the Blue Angel lacked most of the new visual elements we’re expecting for 6.5.
And now, thanks for the folks at exeda who are building a phone that will dualboot Android and Windows Mobile, we get a new batch of screenshots of that are quite congruent with the first batch. The sliding panel homescreen is still there, as is the honeycomb interface (though oddly with different icons), and we even see again the transparent top and bottom bar.
So is this honeycomb real? It seems that way, and it looks to be a replacement for the drab Start meny of Windows Mobile. Because we see the “lock” and “move” buttons appear on the honeycomb interface area, it implies that you can move each honeycomb or lock it in place, and that they will automatically customize/sort depending on program name or frequency of use (just like the bottom section of the Start menu in Windows Vista). It’s also evident that the honeycomb area only can be slid up or down, and not side to side, so doing a finger-flick to find a program may be smooth and easy.
As a reminder, we’ll have firm answers on the mystery of Windows Mobile 6.5 come Mobile World Congress on February 16. Steve Ballmer’s keynote begins at 11am Barcelona time on February 17.