It’s still a few days away until the countdown begins, but I’ve already begun writing down my New Year resolutions. There’s a section called “To Buy” with the list of everything that I wish I could buy next year, and an Android phone is one of them.
This year, my budget restrains me from getting one of these Google gadgets. So, while waiting for a better financial condition, I wanted to try Android on my Windows Mobile smartphone. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any Android build available for my old O2 phone.
But my searching brought me something else: an alternative (Android-like) interface for Windows Mobile called Androkkid.
Not Just Another Cheap Imitation
If you are looking for a way to port your Windows Mobile into Android, prepare yourself to be disappointed. Androkkid is NOT it. Even though this .NET application isn’t the real deal, this isn’t just a cheap imitation of Android either.
To be honest, I’ve never tried a real Android phone, so I’m not able to compare Androkkid with the real Android, nor discern how far the similarities go. But after playing with it for a while, I could tell that from the functionality side Androkkid is a solid application. But it needs a little facelift to improve the UI.
To get a glimpse of it, you could watch this video:
If you would like to try, you could download the latest version (v.1.2.1 at the time of writing) from the developer’s site. There are two kinds of file available: the CAB file and the Zip file; and there are also two ways to install:
- Open the CAB file from within your Windows Mobile (or drag and drop via Active Sync), or…
- Extract the Zip file and put everything inside your Windows Mobile phone.
Getting Around The Interface
Running it is as simple as opening the app from the Programs directory.
You’ll see the splash screen for a few seconds and…
The default empty blissful background will appear before your eyes, along with three buttons below.
The middle tab can be pulled up to show the list of applications. And similar to basic Windows Mobile folders, you could slide to scroll the icons up and down.
Any of the icons can be dragged out from the container to the desktop so it will always be available there.
To delete an icon from the desktop, drag it to the bottom of the screen, and a delete tab will appear.
Drop the icon to the “X” tab and it will be deleted after you answer “Yes” to the confirmation.
By default, there are three “desktops“. You always start in the middle screen, and can easily scroll left and right by sliding your finger on the screen to the opposite direction. There are dots just above the application tab to indicate your position.
These desktops could serve as places to categorize your apps. For example, the left screen is for games, the middle is for office applications, and the right is for internet-related activities.
You can add more desktops should you need them. Press and hold the screen, and choose “Add > Page” from the pop up menu.
To remove a page, repeat the above process, but choose “Remove last page” instead. Click “Yes” in the confirmation window and the page will disappear.
Pages are not the only thing that you can add. Other alternatives are icons, shortcuts, contacts, links, widgets and folders. Using a combination of those elements, you could create (almost) any interface that you want.
It’s also possible to make Androkkid start automatically every time you restart your Windows Mobile. Press and hold the screen, and choose “< >Settings” from the pop up menu. Go to the “General” tab and check the “Start with Windows” box. Don’t forget to click the “Save” button below.
To close Androkkid, press and hold the screen and choose “Exit” from the pop up menu.
More Time To Mature
In my personal opinion, Androkkid is not as slick as other Windows Mobile “interface changers” such as the commercial HTC’s Touch-flo or SPB Mobile Shell. But they can’t beat Androkkid’s price: free.
Given more time to mature, I’m pretty sure that Androkkid will go to the level of its paid competitor.
Have you tried Androkkid? Do you know of any other alternatives? Please share using the comments below.