With the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5, Microsoft brought the XML based today screen that has been used on non-touch devices, to the touch world of Windows Mobile. While it’s not the exact same XML template, it still allows us to get our hands in there and do some cool customization. And customize we shall do!
The first thing you’ll need to do is find a tool that allow you to set the file permissions on the device. There are a number of tools out there, find one that allows you to toggle the read-only setting of files. If your Windows Mobile 6.5 device is from HTC and is sporting HTC Sense interface, you’ll need to turn that off. If you’re not sure how, check out my post from last week for details.
You need to browse to the Windows folder on your device and locate a file called Titanium_***x***.cpr, where ***x*** is the screen resolution of your device. In the case of the HD2, it’s Titanium_480x800.cpr. Once you’ve located the file, right click and select properties and then disable the read-only setting. Copy the file to your computer and make a backup. Open the file using any text editor you have available to you.
For every row on the Today screen there is an expanded and condensed section – ClockExpanded, ClockCondensed / CalendarExpanded, CalendarCondensed / etc… The condensed settings are used when the item is not selected, and expanded is used for when you highlight the item.
To make the changes in the images above, I only changed a couple settings. I focused on the condensed sections for each item. Here are the changes I made to the PluginLabel element within the condensed section:
- Added – HorizontalAlignment="Center"
- Reduced font from 18 to 12
Once you’ve made your changes, save the file and copy it back to your device and then reload the template. To do this, I simply select another item as my today screen and OK my way back to the today screen and then browse back into settings / Today and select Windows Default to have it load your new settings. If it doesn’t work, copy your backup file onto the device.
With those 2 simple changes, I gave new life to the Today screen. The best part, it doesn’t stop with just the today screen. XML powers the lock screen (LS_LockScene_***x***.cpr), the call answer screen (LS_PhoneCallScene_***x***.cpr), alerts (LS_PhoneAlertScene_***x***.cpr), and more. So get hacking! I’m looking forward to seeing what cool and amazing things the community can produce.