updated 10:05 am EST, Fri December 14, 2007
Zumobi today unveiled its first public beta for its new interface which it hopes will replace the slow and at times cumbersome experience of web browsing with Windows Mobile. Originally known earlier this year as ZenZui, the software is based entirely around the concept of visual tiles instead of long addresses that are hard to type on a handset: users hand-pick a set of relevant feeds that automatically update over the cellular link, letting users browse content by zooming into different tiles without the load times that often come with completely loading a page. Many tiles themselves are broken down into several categories.
The platform is currently free and works by including a set of sponsored tiles, including ones from Amazon, AccuWeather, FlightStats, and other companies; developers will also be able to add their own tiles, while users themselves can share tiles with others. The software is relatively device-independent and works regardless of the control mechanism, allowing both conventional directional pads and touchscreens to use the same interface.
Downloads are available starting today for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 users; versions for BlackBerry and certain Java-capable phones should be available by spring 2008, while third-party support comes at the start of the year.