How did we ever manage without mobile phones? In addition to keeping us connected in this fast paced world there are now even more reasons not to leave home without your mobile devices.
Here is a look at a few useful applications and WAP sites that should help those frequently on the go:
GasRunner.com is a mobile-optimized Web site that can help locate the lowest-priced gasoline. The newly launched site lets users enter a city or zip and can find prices at stations in a 20-mile radius, and even get directions using Google Maps. The site also allows owners to update their prices. So far about 300 stations are included in the service, so this isn’t what I’d call close to comprehensive yet but Atlanta-based SiteMinis, the producers of GasRunner.com, hope to include most major metropolitan markets within a year.
Qipit.com is a great resource that basically transforms you mobile phone into a portable digital scanner. There are times when you might need written materials, such as directions or instructions and with this service you can point and shoot, and then send it from the phone to Qipit, where it is transformed to a scan-quality document. A thumbnail is quickly returned to the phone, while a full-sized PDF file awaits in your e-mail box, and is also available at Qipit’s Web site.
GotZapp is a mobile social networking platform from Trivantis, which will let you use the Page Zapper to copy profile pages from MySpace and Facebook and send the information to a Java-enabled mobile handset. While this isn’t truly a biz app, it does have some interesting technology behind it that will let you import your information, including text and photos, from a variety of social networking sites including Beebo, Cyworld and TagWorld. The information can be downloaded and quickly converted to a Zapp, where it can stored and transmitted as a single file to any mobile phone that accepts third-party Java applications.
FreeRange WebReader is a downloadable app that provides news, blogs, stock prices and other information for mobile consumption, and runs in the background, pulling down quick bites of information or full stories. Internet information is tracked and downloaded automatically for reading at a later time, so the content can be browsed even when there is no signal or if the device is in “wireless off” mode. WebReader is available for Blackberry, Symbian and a variety of J2ME phones.
Tappity.com is a user driven Web site that lets you submit, rate and even discover Web pages that are formatted for viewing on cellular phones and PDAs. The site also offers a preview window that displays how a site will look on the mobile device. Users can create customized homepages for their mobile handset, and the site even provides an RSS feed, with alerts for other user-submitted sites.
And since a lost phone is a nightmare, getting it back is a dream come true – and is also now a reality thanks to Yougetitback, a service that for $20 a year can help users retrieve their phones. Once a user determines that a phone is lost or stolen, it can be remotely locked by accessing an online account. No outgoing calls can be made, except to the Yougetitback service, while all other sensitive data including e-mails, contact details, text messages and photos are locked from viewing or use. This service is also not limited to phones, and users can purchase adhesive security tags that can be affixed to phones, PDAs and laptops. In addition to the service, special tags are available for $10 for three-years, and there is even a premium service that will provide a full replacement of a digital device if the software and tag are not successful.