We’ve covered SPB Mobile Shell for Windows Phone 6.5 plenty of times, especially when it comes to customizing the popular UI with creative themes. With Windows Phone 7 gaining momentum with each passing day, we’re kind of surprised to see very few Metro UI-like themes for Mobile Shell up to this point. Thankfully, MS 3.5.5 users, who are also fans of WP7, are in for a treat, as XDA member iseewon has released version 1.0 of his new theme. As the generic project name, “Windows Phone 7,” suggests, the theme tries to reconstruct the new breed of Windows Phone for the last generation of devices.
Iseewon went all out by including not only the familiar Start screen with tiles, but also hubs and other handy features to give users a more complete Windows Phone 7-like experience. The developer doesn’t supply his XDA thread with too many details, aside from tiny screenshots, so we’ll try to sum up the general features for you.
Like with many Mobile Shell themes, you can alter most screens by adding, removing, or customizing widgets and shortcuts. For example, you can change the accent color of the Start screen tiles or background of a shortcut to better match particular screens. Also, a feature not found on the actual Windows Phone 7 OS that’s available in this theme is the ability to change the Start screen background to an image.
There are some watered-down hubs in this theme as well. As you can see in the screenshots posted above, you can drill deeper into People, Office, Pictures, Games, and Music screens. These areas are basically separate screens for grouping shortcuts and other items.
The right side of the Start screen features some extra buttons for added functionality. The button with the arrow icon will slide you over to your Start menu items, which is redesigned to look like the apps list on Windows Phone 7. The second button down will take you to your Mobile Shell launcher/menu and the button below that opens the task manager. The button with the Windows flag opens an “about” page. Lastly, there’s a button at the very bottom labeled “Option,” which gives you access to adding widgets, editing layouts, changing the background, and MS settings.
Aside from the customized pages mentioned above, you’ll also find other aspects of Mobile Shell skinned, like weather, agenda, and time/alarm. Iseewon’s Windows Phone 7 theme for Mobile Shell is available on XDA-developers for WVGA devices, with support for QVGA, WQVGA, and VGA coming soon. It also looks like there’s a custom WP7 keyboard skin in the works. Let us know if you find any other hidden goodies.
Note: it's probably a good idea to install this theme over a clean copy of Mobile Shell to avoid any errors. If you happen to own an HD2, you may want to check out our video on how to run an official build of Windows Phone 7 on it.