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PreCentral: Garrett92c's next big challenge: Redesign the webOS Device Menu


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Over the course of the four years since the debut of the Palm Pre, the device menu--that dropdown menu that you get when from the top-right of the screen--has basically looked the exact same on all phones from the original Pre running webOS 1.0.1 to the Pre2 and Pre3 running webOS 2.2.4. Sure, webOS 2.0 added VPN to the menu and there are numerous patches that will help you customize it, but the basic look and feel of the dropdown menu hasn't changed, even on webOS 3.0 on the TouchPad.

Hot on the heels of releasing an alpha version of his , homebrew developer extraordinaire (who has also brought us the , , and much more) decided that he wanted to give the Device Menu a complete overhaul. Simply named "New Device Menu", his new patch for webOS 2.x phones converts the menu from a long list of vertically-aligned options to a horizontally-aligned set of tabs that split out each section as their own menu. Garrett has scavenged around all the existing patches to bring almost every conceivable option that is currently available (and even some that aren't) to make this the most complete Device Menu patch yet. Some of these options include GPS and Location Services options, a sounds section that gives you quick access to ringtone, media and system volume levels, a brightness level, a flashlight toggle, and a phone menu that adds toggles for the phone radio, data use, network selection and a roam only option. For Pre3 owners who use the , that's even in there, too, by press-and-holding on the WiFi status row. There's even a rotation lock toggle in there, but you need to have  installed for that.

This patch is just a few days old and is already fully-functional, but it is still in beta as Garrett has been releasing daily updates for users to test as he continues to add new functionality. The patch isn't in Preware, yet, but you can grab it from the webOS Nation Forums at the source link below. There are also a lot of great ideas that have been suggested to Garrett in our forums and he has been working to add as many of them in as he can, including making it -compatible to allow the user to customize it.

This patch should work on all webOS 2.x devices, but see the forum thread for devices that have had successful installation reports and note that there are separate patches for US and ROW (rest of world) users. The patch is naturally incompatible with most other Device Menu patches, such as Jason Robitaille's "Device Menu Megamix", sconix's "Advanced Device Menu", or GuyFromNam's "Cycle Wi-Fi in Device Menu" patch, but seems to work with almost all other patches out there, including the rest of sconix's Advanced patches. If you are interested in trying it out, check out the forum thread to grab the patch and use or to install it on your device. Feel free to add your own suggestions to the discussion if you have any great ideas.

And don't forget that homebrew developers like Garrett are doing this on their own time because they love webOS and want to continue to support the webOS community. If you like his work and want to show your appreciation, consider sending a donation his way. Details are in the forum thread if you are interested.

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