The iPhone is, after all this time, still the pretty new girl on the block. I can’t think of any other cell phone that has become quite the style icon that the iPhone has become. It’s got features, looks, and an interface no one else has been able to match. It also comes with a single carrier (at least in the US), a hefty price tag and some features I’m not wild about.
That’s why I’m still on Windows Mobile, along with a massive portion of the rest of the world. Windows Mobile is one of the most-used mobile operating systems, but it’s been largely pushed aside as the iPhone has become more popular. The iPhone has all its great applications, but there are a number of fantastic, useful, fun and plain cool Windows Mobile apps as well.
Here are five free applications for Windows Mobile, many of which have iPhone counterparts, but that do their job at least as well as they do on that Apple-thing.
My favorite “external brain”, Evernote helps you remember everything. With Evernote for Windows Mobile, all you’ll need on you is your cell phone. Just fire up the app, and you can create notes from pictures, text or voice. Search and browse your notes, share and edit them, and manage your head right from your Windows Mobile phone.
Unlike the iPhone (as best as I could tell), there’s also a link to upload a file, which means you’re able to send files to and from your Windows Mobile phone. It’s perfect for when you need to remember to buy something, how much something costs, something you need to do, or just about anything that comes into your head that you’d rather not fly right out.
Fring is the mobile IM client to end all mobile IM clients. It connects to most major instant messaging networks- AIM, Google, Yahoo, MSN, and the like. If you’ve got a Wi-Fi enabled phone, there’s even another killer feature- Skype. You can make VOIP calls with your cell phone, using Fring’s Skype support, and not use your minutes or plan, but simply by picking up a wireless signal.
Even without Wi-Fi, though, Fring’s a killer application for instant messaging, and can even update your Twitter status for you.
Even though Fring can update Twitter for you, odds are Twitter users will want a bit more. That’s where Tiny Twitter comes in. It’s a Twitter cleint for Windows Mobile that also works on any Java-enabled device which covers some serious ground. Using Tiny Twitter, you can tweet without hitting your SMS bill (though you will incur some data charges without a data plan).
Tiny Twitter allows full access to your Twitter timeline, makes replying and messaging easy, and the “Inbox” view gives you a simple way to see and respond to tweets directed at you. Tiny Twitter’s the perfect Windows Mobile app for tweeting on the go, and is actually better than anything I’ve found for the iPhone.
TCPMP, as The Core Pocket Media Player is known, is the best way to watch movies and listen to music on a Windows Mobile phone. You can use it to stream media (again, watch the data charges), or to play a huge variety of formats of both video and audio. It’s a no-frills application with a small memory footprint that’s dead simple to use, and one road warriors won’t want to be without. Especially when you add the use of a memory card, TCPMP works with your phone to make it a killer media player- small screen or no small screen.
What fun is a phone you can’t play with? The iPhone has a ton of great games, but let’s be honest – there’s never been a game as wonderful as Tetris. The blocks, the twisting, the narrow misses that leave you tearing your hair out – it’s just glorious.
If you have a Windows Mobile phone, you needn’t ever be without Tetris again. It’s a free download called Kevtris, and is a blast to play. There are three levels of play, and several different games you can play as well – all similar to Tetris. It’s a fantastic time-waster, and a game I like better than anything the iPhone’s thrown at me.
I’ve been a Windows Mobile user for a while now, and thanks to these applications and more, I don’t plan on changing anytime soon. There are applications to do everything that I need, for free, and plus – I just love having an actual keyboard.
Are you a Windows Mobile user? What applications do you have, and which do you envy of the iPhone?