Say you got a smartphone as a birthday gift. And like others of yourage, you are forever preoccupied with it. Your mom always thought you was busy SMSing your friends, until one day she realized it was an array of applications you are obsessed with – the Facebook app, games, puzzles and many more. Even here in India study shows 58% smartphone users believe apps benefit their lives, relying on them while at home (31%), travelling (24%), or at work (10%). Apps are becoming intrinsic to the way we live. “Our relationship with apps has turned from occasional use into a real dependency .”
As many as 77% Indians with smartphones have up to 30 apps on their phone, with men more likely to download an app (93%) vs women (87%), says the study. The most popular apps are social networking (40%), music (36%) and business (28%). Interestingly, women (43%) are more into social networking than men (38%). Our new devices are loaded with features such as one touch to FB, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.” Apple’s App Store, Nokia’s Ovi Store (store.ovi.com) and Android Market (market.android.com) are the biggest app stores. All have a wide variety of applications. Here are some of the best apps for your SmartPhone:
World Traveller (Ovi)
It is a useful app when you go abroad. It has a world clock that automatically shows you the local time when you move to another time zone, 5-day weather forecast for 5,000 cities and real-time exchange rates for 184 currencies. The premium edition has a flight assistant that gives you the schedules and real-time alert for delays.
Barcode Reader (Android)
Handy when you shop, as it helps you know more about a product. Open the app, place the phone above the barcode, the phone completes reading the barcode with a click and shows product info and even reviews some cases on the Web.
Google Goggles (Android)
This is great for tourists, who are in a new place and aren’t able to identify a well-known monument or building. All that she needs to do is open the app, click a photo of the monument, and the app will use that picture to search the web for information about it.
It’s an India-specific app that gives a list of the city’s best hangouts, events to attend, movies to watch, places to shop, gyms, salons; complete with reviews and recommendations.
After you create text, photo, and audio notes with Evernote, you can synchronize them to your PC or the Web. From generating recipe ideas at the farmer’s market to capturing lecture notes in class, Evernote is one of those universal apps that everybody should use. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, WebOS, Windows Mobile
Automatically get the local forecast using your phone’s location features, or punch in your upcoming destination. AccuWeather includes details on how the day’s weather will develop, with Doppler rain maps on display so you can play forecaster for your colleagues.
The New York Times
In this self-contained reader app, browse the latest news by category: world, politics, science, technology and so on. Stories come from the Gray Lady, formatted for your device. (BlackBerry users should go straight to mobile.nytimes.com.)
Your favorite news sites and blogs most likely offer an easy-access RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication). Google Reader downloads and compiles these feeds, letting you browse the latest articles in a manner similar to email, instead of jumping from site to site.
A jack of all trades for travelers, WorldMate converts currency based on current exchange rates, stores your flight itinerary, forecasts weather, references time zones and performs other useful tasks.
Know when to take advantage of an airport delay by lingering in the shower or catching a train instead of a cab. Flightview tracks upcoming and in-route planes. If you don’t have a Pre, try browsing the company’s phone-formatted Web site at mobile.flightview.com.
Unleash this music streaming software when you’re ready to relax. Enter a favorite artist or song, and Pandora plays those and other tracks that share similar traits, suiting your mood. Ideal for hotels, taxis and anywhere you can get online.
Make your smartphone into an always ready concierge. GoodFood automatically locates your position and shows nearby restaurants rated by other users of the app. Find one with a high score, enjoy your meal and post your own rating to share with fellow travelers.
While some excellent apps track a single sport—baseball fans should try mlb.com/mobile—ScoreMobile is always in season. Check current scores and game recaps for football, basketball, hockey, golf and many other sports. There’s no need to leave your team behind while you’re on the road.
Facebook for Android 1.2
This is the “official” Facebook app on Android, and it serves its purpose well enough. You can post status updates, take/upload photos, and check your news stream. It’s a lot faster than using the Facebook Web app, so it’s the best option on Android to stay connected to all your Facebook friends.
Google Voice 0.3.4
Google Voice for Android remains the best way to use Google Voice on a mobile phone. If you have a virtual Google Voice number, you’ll be able to make outgoing calls and SMS messages easily, including international calls that run about 2 cents per minute. This app also lets you integrate your phone’s built-in address book and call log for voice calls. There are other third-party apps out there that tap into Google Voice, but stick with Google’s native app; it works almost seamlessly.
Watch out my future posts on Free Apps on specific mobile platforms, there are 100s even 1000s of them but these are the one i always load them up.