I met Hansmeet Sethi from Onskreen at a mobile gathering in Palo Alto this past week. Onskreen has an interesting app called Fusion that replaces the home screen on a mobile with a widgety set of information services. Recent S60 devices have included something called an “active standby” screen that has quick access icons for apps and some info from the built in apps. I expected that the active standby would eventually grow more functionality. That the information that populated it would become that compelling reason to pull out your mobile all the time and check it (if you’re over 30 that is, lots of folks under 30 already pull out their mobile all the time). Not so, sad Mike.
Onskreen has an app that fits that bill pretty well however. If you install their app on a S60 phone it’ll replace that active standby screen with a framework you can fill with configurable widgets. Some of the stuff is pretty neat, including search widgets in addition to the standard info services. It’s got a lot of potential. You can minimize the Fusion interface to get access to that active standby stuff already there. I would have liked it to be somewhat more integrated. A calendar widget, todo widget, pulling from the info on the phone already.
There also aren’t any widgets I can muck around with the way I wanted to. I wanted a generic RSS widget so that I could play around with spooling stuff to my handset using an app that just sits there and caches it. There’s no widget that does that in the catalog of plugins though, and the SDK is targeted at operators who would build their own services on top of the stuff. So no toys for me, but I still like the idea. The download is free to play around with, check it out. Unlike most of the stuff I’ve played with recently, this one didn’t even crash my phone. I guess that’s what one would call “carrier grade”?