Here's a review of Handy Shell 3.02 and Handy Weather 6.05 running on the E71 with original factory firmware v100.07.76. I only include the versions and firmware release because there are a few niggles I have with it, that stop me from using it daily which may be fixed on newer versions. Anyways, let's go!
After an install of Handy Weather and Handy Shell, configuration and executing - which is rather long I might add, you are presented with a new screen.
Lots of information compared to Active Standby. Let's break it down;
These are the plugins you can manipulate.
You can move them up and down and set the order. You can customize which applications are show in your shortcuts and what is launched when you select one of the plugins.
In addition to the 5 shortcuts on the main screen, you have an 'Applications' page. Pushing the right soft key will move you to a new page and display 12 applications that you can select and execute.
You can pick from every third party application that you have installed to your device and has an proper menu entry accessible as regular. To quickly change an item, simply select it and push your backspace button.
You'll see a blank space, select it and you will be prompted for a new entry that is searchable. Neato.
Click on the right soft key will take you to your 'Contacts' page. You have 12 contacts just like the previous one, changing contacts is a breeze. Pictures show up if you have any stored. Nice touch.
From here you can select a contact by using the d-pad. Pushing the center d-pad button will bring up a menu to Dial or Create Message, while directly pushing the Green Call key will initiate a call to the default number stored.
You also have the ability to disable these pages should you not want to see Contacts or Applications.
You can also set key behaviors for Active Standby and Handy Shell. These are annoying. There is no way to completely shut Handy Shell down without uninstalling it.
One of the reasons I liked Handy Shell, was the ability to view a FULL incoming text message directly from the main screen...
AND the ability to mark it as read by pressing the backspace key. The same goes for incoming e-mails.
Now for the bugs/issues I had with it.
1). It took ridiculously long to initialize my device after a reboot.
2). While it has a very small footprint, my device feels a tad slower with it running.
3). I can't background sending a text message with Conversation, and return to the main shell screen. I can with Active Standby.
If those things changed, I would be using it. The only thing I can recommend or hope for in future changes would be;
1). More plugin customization. Especially with listing what is shown in the "Phone ind./settings" section. More plugins as well, one for Music Player should have been included.
2). A page for Gallery/Pictures. More pages for applications and contacts if wanted. The ability to switch pages by "edging" the cursor. When at the end of the plugin row, moving left or right will move left or right into the next page.
3). The ability to show more depth of upcoming appointments. Let's see a week in advance - I have a feeling this is a restriction of S60.
So, there you have it. Is it worth $44.95 for the suite? I wouldn't recommend is as it currently sits, once they add the ability to set multiple pages and more customizations to the plugins, it will definitely be worth investing some money in.