As you can read in the post where I talk about my device, I really miss hardware buttons for the Start button and the OK/Close button. That’s why I use SmartSKey. It’s a small program developed by water, a member of the XDA-developers community.
It has no user interface: it consists of a .exe file and a configuration file – nothing more. You don’t need to install it, just copy it to your device and start the .exe. Depending on your configuration, this will create a shortcut in the \Windows\Startup folder and SmartSKey will automatically be started after every soft reset. To remove it, you need to “open” the .exe again, and confirm at the popup asking you if you really want to close SmartSKey. A little unusual, but very easy! The program itself has several features. First of all, you can set the left and right soft-key to act as Start and Ok/Close button if you long-press the soft-key. This is really useful for HTC Wizard users, who only have these hardware buttons on the slide-out keyboard.
Also, you can set the behaviour for the volume slider. Currently I have it set to behave normally on the Today screen and while in a phone conversation, but when I’m in Internet Explorer or a text file, it will act as a PageUp/PageDown scroller!
Finally, I changed the behaviour for my soft-keys in the Dialer application Now, pressing the various D-Pad direction buttons will open my Messages, Contacts, Speed Dial list, and Call history. Can you think of a good reason why Microsoft didn’t implement these features themselve?