Smartphones have become rather powerful little devices
you always have on your person, whatever the time or situation.
In case of devices running the Symbian Series60
operating system you have a large choice of freely available native software helpful in most diverse situations. And this is on top of the usual Java Micro Edition applications you are limited to on more proprietary platforms like Nokia's entry line Series40
, many Sony-Ericsson phones based on their Java Platform
messaging devices. Naturally, with the advent of the iPhone, all manufacturers are in the process of redefining their product line in that application platform respect.
Here's my personal add-on favourites (in no special order) and what they can be used for:
- One of the numerous helpful applications by the amazing Jukka Silvennoinen, especially helpful for accessing the attachments in the Messaging folder you may have chosen to receive via Bluetooth Object Exchange (and sending file types the builtin S60 file manager does not support).
- SSH client allowing me to put my E70 phone's butterfly keyboard to good use in remote access of computers via WLAN or UMTS - works surprisingly well even on small mobile screens (although mine has extended resolution)...
- Nokia Maps
- A really astounding onboard GPS Navigation offering (after free registration, you may plan routes on Ovi and synchronize them to your phone...) - with newer Nokia models this even comes for free. The pretty usable free offboard GPS Navigation (J2ME) solutions I came across before (like AmazeGPS, Nav4All or Ö-Navi) are no longer available, unfortunately.
- Profile Scheduler
- Another indispensable tool for S60v3 from Dr. Jukka, retrofitting timed profiles into that mobile platform: Mute your phone in the morning during meetings, put it on full volume in the evening at home and finally take it offline during the night - just great!
- Nokia Mobile Search
- Great for finding items on your phone and out there in the net, e.g. search for your local Indian restaurant, check it out on the map and save the contact details seamlessly into your phone book! Update: To my considerable dismay, the local search plugins for "suchen.de" and "Das Írtliche" seem to be no longer available for online installation from Nokia's mobilesearch-update.com. For that reason one just has to hate those apps downloading modules after installation... You may simply use http://mobil.dasoertliche.de providing a vCard download instead.
- Nokia Sports Tracker
- Great for recording GPS tracks with height profile and exporting them to Google Maps or Earth, even if it's just the odd leisurely stroll in the woods ;).
- Really slick multi-system messenger application for Symbian. The built-in S60 Chat application that is part of the firmware seems to interface with Yahoo at least, using imps.msg.yahoo.com as server, while Slick supports the Jabber protocol used by Google and Facebook as well. For Skype you will have to install their Symbian client or Fring (which was too sluggish for my taste - but that might be different on the newer handsets with faster OMAP CPUs).
- Keep track of your friends and colleagues on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with this pretty impressive Social Web client.
- Opera Mobile
- While the S60 browser is quite OK for mobile sites like Spiegel, Heise etc. it gets really sluggish for any real-world web-pages. That can be alleviated by the Opera Symbian offering.