In this, the year of the smartphone and the pig, many of us are getting our first taste of smartphoneyness with affordable Windows Mobile models like the T-Mobile Dash, Cingular Blackjack, and Motorola Q. While there are many differences between smartphones and ordinary “dumbphones“, one most of us will notice (especially with the Windows Mobile equipped phones mentioned above), is that smartphones aren’t well equipped with software out of the box. Dumbphones may not have the brainy potential of smartphones, but at least the good ones come equipped with a thorough set of standard features. In my opinion Smartphones don’t become really powerful until they’ve been loaded up with a few good applications.
On that note, I thought I’d list a few applications that really help make Windows Smartphones smarter:
SBSH Facade: This is a homescreen plug-in for Windows Smartphones that just makes the phone much easier to use. At a glance it’s easy to see your schedule and tasks, as well as a launcher bar for your most frequently used phone features and applications.
Oxios To-Do List: Windows Mobile’s built-in tasks feature is terrible. Just too basic. While Oxios is not the friendliest user interface, it is much better. If your main use of tasks is to set reminders for yourself for various chores I’d consider Alarm Master instead. It’s not as full featured as Oxios To-Do List, but it works great as an alarm clock, and for creating “alarm notes”.
Windows Live Search for Mobile: I raved about this tool in an earlier post because it is simply awesome. It’s free and it’ll probably be the most used application on your phone.
CorePlayer: The included Windows Media Player isn’t bad, but if you wish to play music on your phone that isn’t stored as MP3 or WMA, you’ll need something else. Personally I prefer the Windows Media interface, but I have tunes stored in all kinds of different formats and I want to hear them all. CorePlayer will play just about anything including a wide variety of video formats.
Mundu Mobile IM: Instant Messaging is no longer an app just for consumers. In most companies I’ve worked at it, it’s been a standard mode of communication. So, if you’re going to have a smartphone, you might as well have a good mobile IM tool. Mundu is the most comprehensive tool on the market and offers interoperability with all six major IM networks including Yahoo, AIM, Google, ICQ, Jabber, and MSN.