Best free apps for Windows phones

Best free apps for Windows phones
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First Published: Wed, Jul 29 2009. 01 15 AM IST

Updated: Wed, Jul 29 2009. 12 24 PM IST
BROWSING, MAIL AND IM
• For me, there is no better mobile browser for Windows phones than the Opera Mobile. It’s fast, smooth, works well with touchscreens, boasts tabs, and offers competent in-line text search capabilities. Don’t forget to download this one.
* For Flash website compatibility, I strongly recommend the even faster Skyfire browser. It pre-optimizes pages for the phone and makes browsing breezier.
• And then, of course, all of us know how handy Google Apps can be on your mobile. Not just for Gmail and Search, it is also the best for quick access to the other useful apps in the Google basket, including Docs, Photos, Reader, Maps, Latitude, et al.
• For social networking tools, I would suggest the all-in-one Cellspin. This one-stop mobile app lets you blog, put up photos, audio, and video—on Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Picasa, YouTube, Live Journal, MySpace and many more.
• If you like to twitter on the trot, get Fring and Nimbuzz. These instant messaging (IM) tools give you single-window access to Skype, MSN Messenger, GTalk, ICQ, SIP, Twitter, Yahoo and AIM.
GETTING THINGS DONE
Task Plus refines the standard task list into something more compartmentalized and manageable. In addition, it lets you separate your personal agenda from official tasks and even includes birthdays and appointments in its single-window display.
• If you’re a scatterbrained soul and constantly need to jot things down, there’s nothing like good ol’ pen and paper. Second best? Evernote. This “remember everything” utility not only allows you to key in text, capture photos and record voice notes but also beams these searchable entries to a Web account automatically. So even if you lose your phone, you will still be able to access all your scraps of information on the Net. Seriously, once you get the hang of this, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
SYNCING AND BACKUP
• Try the Web-based Dashwire service to back up your WinMo phone to the Web.
Dashwire gives you a repository in the cloud of not just contacts, text messages, photos, and videos, but also your ringtones, bookmarks, speed dials, and call logs. Again, reachable on the Internet anytime.
• If you don’t like the Web option, check out DotFred PIM Backup. This saves your contacts, appointments, speed dial lists, tasks, SMS messages, call logs, etc., to a memory card. You can use a binary backup process for a faster, more reliable backup which can’t be viewed or altered, or a text-based option which is slower, but lets you view and edit the file whenever you want.
DON’T MISS THESE EITHER
MobiWee 1.1: A nifty tool that allows you remote access to your phone in case you lose it and want to delete data. Also lets you wirelessly back up SMS messages and contacts (and edit them), or browse your files from any PC.
Mundu Radio: Gaga over radio but hate carrying the headset? Get this unlimited station Internet radio which plays Bollywood, pop, rock, classical, instrumental, country, hip hop, news and more.
Pointui Home 2: A very neat skinning app, this one not only makes Windows Mobile’s traditional interface look better but also makes it more finger-friendly for navigation. No more stylus pinpoint precision all the time.
Skype: The world’s favourite—and best—VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) app for WinMo.
mDigger: A mobile RSS reader that allows not just text but also images, video or podcasts in whatever combination you choose. Also try BeyondPod.
Microsoft Kinoma FreePlay: A great play-it-all mobile media browser that tackles video, audio and pictures—it can even stream files off your PC using a remote—along with podcasts, Internet radio stations and audiobooks.
MyMobileR: Allows you to access your mobile from your PC for copying/cutting/pasting text between mobile and desktop, file management and capturing screens.
WorldMate Live: A handy travel companion that keeps your itinerary in order. It auto-stores travel bookings, tracks flight delays, converts currencies, updates weather and more.
Viigo: A no-fuss modular app that gives you one-click access to news, weather, business updates, podcasts, social networks, etc. Also try Pocket Express.
INSTALLING APPS
Installing apps in WinMo phones is not always a simple affair. For one, you will find various file types, including executables, CABs, ZIPs and TSKs. While you can download CABs directly and install them on your handset, it’s often more convenient to download the others on your PC. Entrust the task of transferring and installing to ActiveSync or Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center. Go to the Windows Mobile help page for more info.
CONNECT
iPhone to track all your spending
Now here’s an iPhone app to track all your spending. Quicken not only connects to your bank, showing you how much money is in your account (adjusted for pending expenses), but also lets you enter your cash purchases. Because it tracks monthly payments over time and projects them ahead, the “What’s Left” number on the home screen tells you how much money you have available, not just how much is in your account. Those without an iPhone aren’t completely shut out. Any mobile phone with Web access can use a simplified online site, m.quicken.
©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Must listen: SoundLink wireless system from Bose
Having trouble streaming music from a computer to a home sound system? Try Bose’s new SoundLink wireless system ($550). It comes with a speaker box, which looks much like the Bose SoundDock system for iPods, which receives a wireless signal from a transmitter that plugs directly into a computer’s USB port. Bose says the SoundLink is “long range” and works “through most walls and floors”. It comes with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack that powers the speakers for up to 3 hours.
©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Kidizoom cameras for the click-click kids!
Your children would love the line-up of Kidizoom cameras from VTech. The more expensive 2-megapixel model, the Kidizoom Plus, has some welcome enhancements. For $60, you get a 2x digital zoom, movie mode (with sound), 256MB of memory and an SD memory slot. There’s a binocular-style optical viewfinder and a preview screen that works with a D-pad (direction keys) to serve up five surprisingly fun arcade-style games. An onboard photo editor transforms photos into jigsaw puzzles and— guess what?—the photos aren’t bad. The more affordable 0.3 megapixel Kidizoom ($40) has the same features as the older Kidizoom, minus the optical viewfinder.
©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Solo, the anti-abuse external drives
Hard drive manufacturer ioSafe has released its Solo line of external drives that can withstand all sorts of abuse. It can be in up to 10ft of fresh or salt water for as long as three days, and is fireproof to 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. The rough-and-tumble Solo comes in three capacities: 500GB ($150), one terabyte ($230) and one-and-a-half terabytes ($300). While the exterior case may be damaged in these events, ioSafe claims it can still recover the data if the device is sent back to the company.
©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
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First Published: Wed, Jul 29 2009. 01 15 AM IST
More Topics: Applications | Windows | Smartphone | E-mails | IM |