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Useful Applications for Smartphone?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the when-is-a-phone-not-a-phone dept.

80

merlinbasenji asks: "I've recently purchased an Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone for Cingular, and I'm looking for suggestions for good applications like: calendars, browsers, games, email client, etc. Anyone have a favorite, or had a bad experience with specific applications?"

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Don't use the phone program (2, Funny)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961400)

The phone program is EVIL!! Whenever you press the buttons on the phone, it makes this beeping noise. Then, when you hit the right button, it makes the noise again and it COSTS YOU MONEY...

Re:Don't use the phone program (1)

scolby (838499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961729)

And when you press the wrong button, you can hear your wife yelling at you for wasting all the minutes.

Important Applications (-1, Troll)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961432)

Undoubtedly you're looking for something like this [smartphones.com] .

Smart-Ass Set Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961492)

Undoubtedly not. If you read that site, and then read his posting, you may note that the union of "screensavers and wallpaper" and the set of things he is interested in equals the empty set.

Re:Smart-Ass Set Theory (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961706)

If you read that site, and then read his posting, you may note that the union of "screensavers and wallpaper" and the set of things he is interested in equals the empty set.

Oh, I see. I just read Slashdot, and assumed he'd be interested in the same things as the rest of us. Now where'd those custom smileys go...

Re:Smart-Ass Set Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14962222)

you may note that the union of "screensavers and wallpaper" and the set of things he is interested in equals the empty set.

You must mean the intersection and not the union. For example, given the preceeding statement, the intersection of you and a Smart-Ass is an ...

Pacman (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961443)

Pacman!

Re:Pacman (1)

slarshdot (211836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961668)

no PONG! or a firsbee/paper weight

Re:Pacman (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963433)

If your phone is any good (such as Series 60 phones, like the recent Nokia ones) you can run Mame (=arcade pacman), nes, snes, zx spectrum, c64 emulation, plus loads of platform specific ones written in J2me or C++ etc.

Re:AY Pacman ABTU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14968912)

zero wing!

I have one: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961458)

Personal geotracking and self-bugging device.

Standard cell phones are fine for this, mind you, but it'll be ideal when remote activation and software installation is easier. (Likely it'll be a system like OnStar, allowing anyone with access to the data center to carry out undetectable surveillance on you, the unsuspecting phone owner.)

I'm not saying this is inevitable. However, if people don't wake up and oppose these things (in the market and elsewhere) it's going the same way as everything else in our increasingly centralized society. Look at toll booth transponders. They were the perfect opportunity for closed-system anonymous digital transactions, but instead the architects opted to permanently record every car's travels.

Your smartphone is going to be the same, unless you push for user control. That means phones that can be entirely open-source, with decentralized payment for access. Just don't hold your breath waiting for it.

My cost on this bad boy... (5, Funny)

knewter (62953) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961469)

TCPMP is a great media player that can handle DivX. Then there's some Windows app that downsamples video files to fit the screen rather well. Pick up a 1Gig miniSD card online for $60 and the phone is extremely more useful. Then use Yahoo!Music to pull a gig of music onto the device at will - that part is rather convenient. I've got a single Family Guy episode on there right now, just because I don't really use it as well as it could be.

And this is totally OT, but...

I managed to snag a new one of these for $20 and a three hour conversation with Cingular, because they were trying to sell me a Star Wars sound-injector (lots of demand, I guess, for sounding like you're friends with Chewbacca) with the prefurb I was ordering (they would add it to my basket after I verified my order without any notification they were doing so, and that pissed me off). Anyway, I worked my way up the ladder to the resolutions department.

Me: There is no chance I will use this device. Let me order the prefurb without sending me the $40 Chewbacca toy.

Cingular/ATT: I can't sell you the prefurb without sending that item. But you can return it!

Me: I'd like to do that, preemptively.

CATT: Oh, you'll have to send it back to us once we ship it out.

Me: ...

CATT: Sir?

Me: Seriously, you're going to cost yourself greater than $20 to sell me a $20 refurb phone, and waste man hours handling a return?

CATT: It's how the bundle works, sir.

Me: I'd feel morally reprehensible doing business with you if you're that stupid. I'll buy a Sprint phone.

CATT: No, no no! Tell you what, I'll send you a NEW one for the same price, so you don't have to return the Star Wars thingie.

Me: ...

CATT: Sir?

Me: Nevermind, I can do business with idiots. Thanks. Send it on.

Video encoder (1)

aws910 (671068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962052)

I've had PocketPC-Phones for a while, and I agree - TCPMP(aka BetaPlayer) is definitely the best video player.

For encoding, there's a great prog called "pocket-DVD Studio". It will grab a DVD or File, and DIVX it. It works fast-@1hr per dvd. Most movies are ~200MB. It'll crop letterboxes, allow you to pick the output resolution/bitrate/audio, and tell you the final file-size before it even starts. afaik, nothing else does the trick. Stay away from pocketdivxencoder-It's corrupted a few of my files.

Re:Video encoder (1)

AuxLV (748687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962815)

for web-browser try Opera Mobile (shareware with a lot of functions) or Opera Mini (free, less functionality, but pages are highly compressed by proxy. needs mobile java).

Coverage? (1, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961489)

Problem is that the only providers with decent coverage in some areas of the United States *cough* Verizon *cough* insist on locking all phones on their network such that they run only applications purchased from the provider's overpriced store, and you can't test applications on phones connected to their network unless you are an established company.

Weird (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963699)

I've never had any problems even remotely similar to that with my Verizon Treo 650.

As another poster suggested, TCPMP is GREAT. I use it on my Treo, and I've heard the PocketPC version (for the original poster) is also excellent.

Also in the category of "stuff you can do with a huge memory card", look into either Mapopolis or TomTom plus a Bluetooth GPS receiver. Like TCPMP, there are both PocketPC and PalmOS versions. TomTom seems to be getting more popular these days than Mapopolis.

Unfortunately, one of the nicest features of the early wireless PDAs and smartphones (web clipping applications) died when Palm shut down the Palm.net proxy servers. It's sad, because in terms of user interface, WCAs were one of the fastest ways of getting particular types of information. Using a web browser just isn't the same. Palm should have rewritten the WCA system to do normal HTML requests but still keep the WCA user interface. Note that there was an application recently released for PalmOS that seemed very similar to the original WCA system, I forget the name (look through the mytreo.net news archives if you use a Treo or other PalmOS smartphone), i'm not sure if there is a PocketPC equivalent.

To the parent of this post: Every single one of the apps listed above was installed to my Treo 650 without paying Verizon a single cent. Of course, with the exception of TCPMP and demo versions of the other apps, you will have to pay the original application developer some money. (Quite a bit in the case of Mapopolis or TomTom, thank Navtec's exorbitant licensing fees for that!)

Get It Never (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964782)

Every single one of the apps listed above was installed to my Treo 650 without paying Verizon a single cent.

Then what's all this I've been reading about "Get It Now" and "Get Around Get It Now"?

Re:Get It Never (1)

jlaxson (580785) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964873)

Irrelevant to the Palm platform. Verizon locks down downloads to most "regular" phones, but the Treos are wide open.

Re:Get It Never (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14965955)

Irrelevant to any of the phones covered by this article/discusssion. Both Treos and PocketPC platforms have no dependency on Get It Now!, and in fact don't even support Get It Now!.

Financial app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961495)

I've found Pocket Quicken by Landware to be invaluable. It adds about 10 seconds to transactions but that 10 seconds makes you think, do I really need to be buying this crap? Saved me a lot more money than it cost, thats for sure. The only app on my Treo that I use absolutely every day.

Call me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961519)

It's on vibrate!

Counter Spamming (1)

Homo Stannous (756539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961552)

You can use your smartphone to annoy telemarketers. Just write a program that analyzes the power per unit time of the conversation to detect pauses. When the telemarketer pauses, the program plays an interjection like "yeah" or "uh huh" or "I don't understand". When your phone rings and you answer it and hear a telemarketer, press the "spam" button and put the phone away, secure in the knowledge that your program will waste a minute or so of the spammer's time.

Re:Counter Spamming (1)

WasterDave (20047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961997)

It's easier than that. When the spammer calls wait till they tell you what they want and say "Ah! Right! Now, I don't want it but there's a guy here who really does, I'll just go get him". Put the phone on the table. That's it.

You *can* wait until they start saying "hello? hello?" and make up some BS line about him being somewhere else, but that would involve effort.

Dave

Re:Counter Spamming (1)

Yer Mom (78107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962929)

When the telemarketer pauses, the program plays an interjection like "yeah" or "uh huh" or "I don't understand".
Or even "where's the tea?"

Re:Counter Spamming (1)

turpie (8040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14968977)

That's a great idea...until the telemarketer asks if you'd like to buy their crap and your phone says "yeah".

In some places companies can charge you via your phone account, so that it will show up on your next phone bill.

Essentials "for a busy professional" (4, Informative)

abelikoff (412709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961574)

Congratulations on your new phone! Here's my list, although I am still using a PDA (must wait for another 6 months to get away from the Verzion yoke)
  • Pocket Informant - for PIM functionality
  • Ilium eWallet - indispensable for passwords.
  • Resco File Explorer - for decent file manager and file encryption
  • Haali Reader - for books.

some more... (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963168)

Essentials on my 5600 (actually branded an Orange SPV C500 - they're all HTC Typhoons underneath it all)
* Torch - simple program that turns screen on full brightness with white background so you can use it as a torch. Assign a speeddial to it. Free.
* Autokeylock - does what it says, also gives you handy clock display screensaver. Free.
* Citytime pocket alarms - easier to use than the dreadful inbuilt alarm, allows different alarms for different days of the week
* One great feature that's built in is automatic profile switching. When you've got a meeting booked in your calendar, it'll switch to the meeting profile automatically. It took me 6 months to find this!
* TomTom mobile GPS navigation and a bluetooth GPS device. I get full UK coverage with postcode nav in around 200MB including all UK speedcameras, all read to me by John Cleese's voice. Invaluable.
* Windows Media 10 ROM update - use MP3s as ringtones etc.
* Opera Mobile - until MiniMo comes out, the best browser. Pocket IE is practically unusable. I've had loads of smartphones and this one is far and away the best I've used. Only a bigger screen and wifi could improve it - it's very much phone form factor rather than PDA.

Def get a web browser (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961595)

So can you log onto slashdot and see all the replies to your moronic question.

Dictionary (1)

geo.georgi (809888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961605)

If you have to travel to Germany you may consider having a english-german dictionary on your mobile phone. You may try http://www.sf.net/projects/mobidict [sf.net] (disclaimer: I am the author of the software)

If you want some more ideas: http://www.getjar.com/ [getjar.com]

Password Management (4, Informative)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961623)

I have to maintain an insane number of passwords and systems - Flexwallet 2006 triple encrypts the database file that stores my passwords. It also includes a PC app that it syncs with.

Highly recommended.

Re:Password Management (3, Funny)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962045)

Triple encryption! That's three times as much as single encryption. I bet Phil Zimmerman is going to feel stupid that he didn't come up with it.

Re:Password Management (1)

AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14965371)

I triple-ROT13 encrypt all my sensitive files. I copy them to an external drive, and ROT13 them again for good measure.

Re:Password Management (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14969083)

Well, I guess on such a small database, having only one easily crackable encryption method wouldn't be all that smart. But cypherskills are not my forte... so when they say it's triple DES128, Blowfish, and AES... I would assume that's a little better than any one single method.

But hey, what do I know - steal my phone and try and crack my password.

This topic is like a nightmare exam (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961624)

It's like you're sitting there, the question seems to be in plain English, but you can't think of an answer. You can hear the clock ticking away the precious seconds, and all you can think is 'remote control ... oh, no infra-red' and 'phone ... oh, no battery life'.

There's 10 minutes left to go, and your sheet of paper is empty and you've organised your pens and pencils neatly on the desk. A bit of paper has a drawing of a smartphone, but it doesn't look very intelligent to you.

Then, it hits you!

Yes!

A blunt weapon.

Hurredly you write out an answer based upon using a brick shaped Windows Mobile device as a kudgel.

And you pass.

Skype... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961656)

Although the phone you specify doesn't have WiFi, for any that do a Skype client is a must.

However in the US I've noticed that carriers tend to shy away from WiFi on mobiles. A few here in the UK have it, but the drawback there is that Skype apparently 'has problems' running on the TI OMAP chips used in a lot of them. I don't know whether this is a carrier-induced limitation, although I'd hazard a guess that with most OMAP chips running at C. 200MHz, it might be a physical limitation, given that these are phone-centric chips, rather than do-everything CPUs like the the X-Scales found in other Pocket PC devices.

SSH - What about mToken? (1)

Klaruz (734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961660)

I JUST got a PPC-6700 and am looking for ssh software...

I can't vouch for it, and I haven't used it yet. (How's that for a review?) So mostly I'm wondering if anybody else has tried it before I drop $50 on it.

http://choung.net/mToken/ [choung.net]

There are a few free ones out there (how's the putty port?) but this one seems to be pretty full featured. I really would like to be able to use keys and have some sort of bookmark capability.

Re:SSH - What about mToken? (1)

OiBoy (22100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961702)

We use mToken on some WinCE devices as the office after reviewing I don't know how many terminal applications. It seems to work well, and was the only one we found that sends the xterm mouse events when you click on the screen (which we needed for our app).

Re:SSH - What about mToken? (1)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961734)

PocketPuTTY works quite well on my Windows Mobile 2003 device. It may not have the features that other SSH clients have, but its absurdly quick and easy to use. A combination of a PPC with PocketPuTTY, a bluetooth keyboard, and a screen session on a Linux box somewhere is surprisingly useful.

Re:SSH - What about mToken? (2, Informative)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961967)

I got a PPC-6700--one of the reasons I wanted it was ssh.

I have to say, in general, the offerings are pretty disappointing. PocketPutty can't save sessions, so you're typing in a lot of the same information every time you want to connect. Also, I didn't see an immediately obvious way to send ESC events (for example).

mToken is pretty nice, though pricey. "Scripting" is completely unintuitive, but if you work at it, I understand you can get single-button CTRL-A events sent (for use with Screen). It supports multiple font sizes, which is nice (you can get an 80x24 terminal on the screen without scroll bars). If you do want scroll bars, you're stuck with 80x25 or greater, which irritated me.

I ended up buying and using PockeTTY because it was cheap and did almost everything I wanted. It only supports plain password authentication (had problems with PAM for some reason) and public key--which was fine for me. It supports port forwarding, which I use to tunnel my IMAP connection, and it saves sessions. It only has a single font size, so an 80x24 terminal will have scroll bars.

Keep in mind that any program you use will take awhile to negotiate the connection, and the connection will be a little slow (mostly due to encryption CPU overhead) and will really destroy your battery life (I can barely get more than an hour if I leave SSH connected). I ended up setting up OPIE (FreeBSD's s/key equivalent) and using telnet for most operations. I still use SSH when I need to port forward or do things which require an encrypted connection (bouncing from one host to another, for example, when I don't want my passwords to be sniffable), but most of the time, I'm happy enough with the one-time passwords and increased speed.

What about midpssh? (1)

mattbee (17533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14976955)

So it's not a native PocketPC application but midpssh [xk72.com] is GNU-free and has lots of ssh options including public key authentication. The only down side is the less-than-native-looking interface that you get from running J2ME, but the terminal is top notch. Definitely the best ssh application that I've found for the platform.

Re:SSH - What about mToken? (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961983)

One more thing--don't expect the source to PocketPutty. Although the author's webpage promises the source soon, it's been that way for awhile.

Re:SSH - What about mToken? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963717)

This doesn't help you, but for any readers running PalmOS based smartphones, pssh ROCKS.

WiFi VoIP transition (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961676)

I just noticed that Samsung released a cellphone with both Bluetooth and WiFi. I'd love to see a phone that lets me use it as a VoIP handset (or even allows me to transition a cell-based call to a VoIP one "somehow").

For me, that's going to be the big factor in the next phone upgrade -- multiple protocols beyond the cell network.

Of course, for most people this is going to start off as being a useless application, but I can see huge things ahead for the first phones that have this ability (and the software to make the handoff).

Re:WiFi VoIP transition -- UMA (1)

maquaro (310658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964098)

The hardware and software big wigs are working to make this a reality. This is targeted to GSM/GSPR network carriers world-wide. Concept: You run phone call controling software on the smartphone that can talk to a "Smart Base Station Controler". The phone figures out the most stable link back to the base station via WiFi or GSM/GSPR cell network. The phone call is established and also rings back to you. Fun part, when you are getting out of your car, have a GSM cell network conversation, and step into your corporate WiFi bubble, the phone stays "Aha! I have WiFi" it then tells the base station to transition the phone call off the GSM/GSPR cell network and onto the corporate WiFi. GSM minutes unused and corporate WiFi leveraged.

In reality, costs $$$. For the practical person. Use the cell phone network when out of WiFi range, when in WiFi range use a SIP client to a VoIP provider of your choice.

Enjoy..

Apps on my treo... (2, Interesting)

MagicMike (7992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961730)

pssh
tcpmp - plays movies
ptunes - mp3s and such
audible.com's player for ebooks
plucker for free ebooks
eatwatch so I don't swell up
chatter - best email client
tomtom navigator - don't leave home without the gps fob...
verichat for chatting
fileprog - a better file browser
an unzip utility so I can download from the web
my subway/train schedule
card export - turns the phone into a usb mass-storage device
LJP - a nintendo emulator (also gameboy and sega and tgfx etc)
niggle - a free scrabble emulator

I guess that's it.

Re:Apps on my treo... (1)

turnipsatemybaby (648996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14965305)

Great selection of apps. Now all you need is a Palm EMULATOR so that they can be run on a PPC.

http://www.conduits.com/ce/apps/copilot.asp [conduits.com]

Re:Apps on my treo... (1)

MagicMike (7992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14965592)

Nice - guess I should have known one of those would exist, I've got a friend that was sort of torn as to whether to switch, this might be for him.

Some of the apps I cited will work on both at least, but I do think it's a bit funny that handhelds have enough power to emulate other handhelds now.

I wonder if the PPC phone the guy got has enough oomph to emulate a palm running LJP emulating a nintendo...

Information! (0, Offtopic)

RocketRainbow (750071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961733)

I love my Nokia N70. I want to marry it and have its babies.

I can dial up for weather reports. Being dressed uncomfortably is a thing of the past! This is great, but it's got an FM radio built in, so I can usually get a weather report every half hour on ABC News Radio instead. (Note that Newsradio bothers everyone in my family, so just putting the radio on is not always an option.)

I can use it during school or anywhere for internet, so I never have to be without information. Of course, not every website is well laid-out for a mobile device, but this is the next big thing.

It can receive email appointments from my email account, so that I don't have to get to a computer to receive an invitation to a meeting, date or whatever, and also it can automatically reject any appointment that clashes with a lecture or tutorial. This is SOOOOOOO convenient! Who wants to spend time on all that administrative stuff? Who can keep track of it anyway?? Not me!

With a press of a button I can decide whether to divert calls to voicemail or an answering service. So during lectures I can receive messages as sms (so I can receive them without lifting a phone to my ear and I know if something urgent comes in), but out and about, I get them as voice (and can keep my eyes and hands free while I take them in).

I can record my own ringtone. I know this seems a bit gimmicky, but I like that my ringtone is totally subtle and totally unique.

I can hook it up to a wireless keyboard. Who wants to lug about a laptop computer to write on? Do you know you can get laser-projected wireless keyboards now? They're about the size of a chocolate bar or another very small phone, instead of a huge device bulging in one's handbag.

Plus it has a videophone AND a very good camera in the back. And it syncs to my computer (actually, I haven't done that yet, but I know it CAN be done). As a parent, I NEED a camera, voice recorder, etc handy!

And the to-do list!

If you get one good programme, get a good to-do list, with all sorts of ways to arrange and display the to-dos.

And the other add-on I haven't mentioned is the bluetooth headset. You don't have a big range, so you need your phone in your pocket (good reason to swap to khakis from jeans) but you can do things without getting the wire caught up.

This is the first time I've had my whole life in a device. I didn't think it was going to be possible. I thought I was going to have to become a gargoyle with devices all over me. Phone, PDA, etc. But it only comes with a small MMC - you have to offload at the end of each day or get a really big one. It doesn't have a wearable screen, but with voice commands, you can keep your hands and eyes free almost all of the time!

(I predict voice interaction to be the next really big thing with computers. Think about Star Trek. If they want to look at info, they go to a screen, but they spend a lot of the episode, just barking commands to the computer which responds with a sounded acknowlegement. Hands AND eyes free!)

I love my phone!

Re:Information! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961838)

So how much did you get paid for writing that?

Re:Information! (1)

RocketRainbow (750071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961903)

I do it for the love!

It doesn't matter what the device is, it's just such a relief that finally I've got access to SOME sort of device that can act as a neural "prosthesis" to overcome my total lack of organization. It used to require serious organization just to get all the devices to work together, so there might be a benefit, but it was totally offset by the cost.

Now I have a phone that I love with a passion. Hooray for smartphones!

Jabber Messenger for Smartphones (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961874)

I use imov Messenger [movsoftware.com] on my Audiovox Smartphone. Its Googletalk, MSN, AIM, ICQ, and Yahoo Messenger all in one. Also works with any Jabber based system (Googletalk is Jabber based).

If you had bought the sidekick... (4, Funny)

neo (4625) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961904)

I'd say the ssh client on it kicks major butt. Had to configure sshd to accept the protocal but after that it was like using unix from 20 years ago... nice and slow... every keystroke a thing of beauty as the commands were only two or three characters each. I can even read my mail in PINE {sniff snif}.... now I'm all weepy... thanks...

A few of my favorites (2, Informative)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961918)

Agile Messenger (all your IM needs rolled into one)
Opera for Smartphones
RJShortcut
NewsBreak (RSS Reader)
SmartIRC
RepliGo
Smartione (not a typo)

Re:A few of my favorites (1)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961942)

Oh, and Orneta Reader for plain ASCII ebooks.

My wish list (4, Funny)

kbielefe (606566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962075)

Here is my wish list for smart phone applications:
  • Fast forward button for when I am put on hold
  • Lie detector
  • interest simulator to intelligently insert "mm hmms" and so forth during long one-sided conversations
  • Fast forward button for those conversations
  • excuse generator, like baby crying, doorbell, etc.
  • button next to my car horn that will play pre-recorded "colorful epithet" into phone of driver in front of me before hanging it up

Re:My wish list (1)

bfree (113420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964477)

You may be modded funny but some of those are good ideas!

The accuracy of a voice based lie detector would be questionable (and probably depend on just how powerful a computer the phone is), but you could even train it to people you talk to regularly ("view their past lies and near-lies and mark what was a lie and what wasn't). Video phones could add another level of accuracy with the equivalent increase in required power to take advantage of it.

To make the interest simulator really good might take some investigation into the best ways to gather the sounds to insert and the best ways to time their insertion.

An excuse generator should be trivial, in fact it is just an audio player which can play to the far end of the phone, you record your excuse's and during the call pick which one you want to use and when ready play it to queue your boss saying "get in here NOW" or a dog going mad or your doorbell/landline/other mobile.

Of course there is no reason why these should be "smart phone" programs only, I could use them all on my laptop/desktop.

Re:My wish list (0, Offtopic)

BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14967231)

excuse generator, like baby crying, doorbell, etc.

check the Sound Cheater [my-symbian.com]

Re:My wish list (1)

BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992538)

Ok, mod me down because of my nick. But at least do it right! Mod me flamebait, or troll. But offtopic? The program linked to is the direct answer to the parent's question, that was already on the very topic.

Re:My wish list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14995341)

Shut up, dick sucker.

Most useful app of all (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962093)

There's this really useful one that lets you talk to people, just by entering their special code. It uses voice too once you're on-line to the person, so you don't have to worry about typing.

A scripting language, Hecl (2, Interesting)

DavidNWelton (142216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962309)

In a bit of blatant self promotion...

The Hecl Programming Language: http://www.hecl.org/ [hecl.org]

It's an open source scripting language that's compact enough to run on cell phones. If you're the adventurous/hacker type, it's still in the early stages of development, but is far along enough to write real apps, such as this shopping list system:

http://www.dedasys.com/shopping_list/ [dedasys.com]

It's a great time to get involved in the project because it's in its early stages, and there is a lot of fun to be had!

Things smartphones don't do. (3, Insightful)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962336)

Here is a list of things that any phone more advanced than a Nokia 5160 could concievably do (especially with Symbian or other smart phone OSes), but which don't ship from the manufucturer, and are thus relegated to half-written, poorly integrated shareware apps that don't work on different smart phones running the same OS:

  * Answering machine. Who needs voice mail on the provider side? Your phone probably has memory onboard + expansion slot memory. It has enough brains to record voice memos, do voice dialing, and play MP3s as ringtones. How hard is this to implement? Plus there's no monthly fee!

  * Time-of-day call ignore. Are you in a meeting for a certain time? Have lectures or classes? Doctors appointment? Your phone should automatically go into a silent mode (and kick over to the answering machine). Why let yourself be the point of failure?

  * Selective disturb. Studying, working on a project, or otherwise engaged, but don't want to drop off the face of the earth? Make it so that only certain call groups can contact you, just in case.

  * Privacy mode. Automatically reject calls from caller-id blocked numbers or long-distance (based on an area code list) numbers, or from people in certain groups.

  * Smart synchronization with Palm or WinCE PDAs. Most smart phones have bluetooth, but so far I have yet to find a way to sychronize the smartphone with the PDA in any useful way. Don't we have vcards and other standards for this?

  * Smart synchronization with a PC. Even just a stupid Windows client + some documentation would be fine. I can write something that'll let my Linux desktop sync if it's documented! This could be as simple as dumping the data from the internal memory to the expansion memory in a parsable format, and then restoring it the same way -- the PC could have a program to read the memory card and deal with the data.

  * Some kind of automation system. I have run across lots of little situations where I need to do something to a lot of contacts (move them into a group, delete duplicates, etc), and have found there's no batch interface. You have to deal with everything one click at a time.

All of this stuff is pretty simple to do, and would elevate a smartphone from a fancy phone with a colour display and better ringtones. No Symbian OS phone I know supports time-based silencing, call ignore lists, answering machine, selective disturb, or sychronizes well. You can fake some of that with custom ring tones, but that's a hack.

The most disapointing feature of mobile phones are the SDKs; you can't write this stuff if you want to, in many cases (and the Java support is terrible). Why make something programable if the only thing it'll do is load the code that shipped with it?

Re:Things smartphones don't do. (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963761)


Here is a list of things that any phone more advanced than a Nokia 5160 could concievably do (especially with Symbian or other smart phone OSes), but which don't ship from the manufucturer, and are thus relegated to half-written, poorly integrated shareware apps that don't work on different smart phones running the same OS:

    * Answering machine. Who needs voice mail on the provider side? Your phone probably has memory onboard + expansion slot memory. It has enough brains to record voice memos, do voice dialing, and play MP3s as ringtones. How hard is this to implement? Plus there's no monthly fee!


You pay a monthly fee for voicemail? Most providers in my area include call-waiting, voicemail, caller-id as part of the "standard low rate" they charge you. Yeah, I'm sure its tacked on, but its not like opting out buys you anything, except no answering machine if you're outside your calling zone or your phone isn't getting reception (indoors, underground, etc.). Yes, it would be nice if they had a local cache of voicemail so if I go into somewhere where I have no reception I can still retrieve any messages I might have had, but thats no biggey.

Also, if you leave a phone turned on, but on silent (I usually have to setup a custom config that disables Vibrate and alert messaging), then you still have the caller log and SMS messages that the phone can log while the phone is unobtrusive.


    * Time-of-day call ignore. Are you in a meeting for a certain time? Have lectures or classes? Doctors appointment? Your phone should automatically go into a silent mode (and kick over to the answering machine). Why let yourself be the point of failure?


Okay, this would be nice. I suppose once you start integrating an calender anyway, adding a "mode" pull-down for what mode the phone should be in during the meeting should be possible. Not so much time-of-day tied, but schedule tied (at least in my mind)


    * Selective disturb. Studying, working on a project, or otherwise engaged, but don't want to drop off the face of the earth? Make it so that only certain call groups can contact you, just in case.


My (non smart) phone can do this already. Are you sure yours cant?


    * Privacy mode. Automatically reject calls from caller-id blocked numbers or long-distance (based on an area code list) numbers, or from people in certain groups.

    * Smart synchronization with Palm or WinCE PDAs. Most smart phones have bluetooth, but so far I have yet to find a way to sychronize the smartphone with the PDA in any useful way. Don't we have vcards and other standards for this?

    * Smart synchronization with a PC. Even just a stupid Windows client + some documentation would be fine. I can write something that'll let my Linux desktop sync if it's documented! This could be as simple as dumping the data from the internal memory to the expansion memory in a parsable format, and then restoring it the same way -- the PC could have a program to read the memory card and deal with the data.


All good ideas, and things I'd consider 'basic' features.


    * Some kind of automation system. I have run across lots of little situations where I need to do something to a lot of contacts (move them into a group, delete duplicates, etc), and have found there's no batch interface. You have to deal with everything one click at a time.


I suppose its due to the fact that they are aiming as add-ons to a computer? (if you really need to do alot of something, we'll just assume you do it on the computers PIM software and re-sync?)


All of this stuff is pretty simple to do, and would elevate a smartphone from a fancy phone with a colour display and better ringtones. No Symbian OS phone I know supports time-based silencing, call ignore lists, answering machine, selective disturb, or sychronizes well. You can fake some of that with custom ring tones, but that's a hack.


I'm not sure I would call using selective ringtones a hack if it is something the phone supports and it serves the function. It might not be as selective or feature rich as a properly developed solution would be, but it the fact that some of these things don't work exactly the way you want them does not discount the fact that they do (after a fashion).

That said, a more robust and feature-rich way of doing them would be a vast improvment :)


The most disapointing feature of mobile phones are the SDKs; you can't write this stuff if you want to, in many cases (and the Java support is terrible). Why make something programable if the only thing it'll do is load the code that shipped with it?


Agreed. Good SDKs can do wonders for a platform. Take a look at how Palm's open SDK helped push people to write apps for PDAs, which in turn sold more PDAs, which brought in more developers.

Re:Things smartphones don't do. (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963773)

"* Answering machine. Who needs voice mail on the provider side? Your phone probably has memory onboard + expansion slot memory. It has enough brains to record voice memos, do voice dialing, and play MP3s as ringtones. How hard is this to implement? Plus there's no monthly fee!"
Voicemail is included as a part of every phone plan I've ever seen. Most importantly, having the answering machine in the phone is Just Plan Stupid. What if the phone is turned off or in an area where coverage is blocked? I would prefer to receive voicemails for incoming calls made when I'm at work, thank you very much.

"* Smart synchronization with Palm or WinCE PDAs. Most smart phones have bluetooth, but so far I have yet to find a way to sychronize the smartphone with the PDA in any useful way. Don't we have vcards and other standards for this?"
Um, what crack are you on? The smartphone (in almost all cases) IS a PalmOS or WinCE PDA. Really, every smartphone I've seen (except maybe the Qualcomm pdQ) did a pretty good job of synchronizing with itself. :)

"* Smart synchronization with a PC. Even just a stupid Windows client + some documentation would be fine. I can write something that'll let my Linux desktop sync if it's documented! This could be as simple as dumping the data from the internal memory to the expansion memory in a parsable format, and then restoring it the same way -- the PC could have a program to read the memory card and deal with the data."
If it syncs with a Palm or PocketPC device, it'll sync with a smartphone. I can use ANY sync software compatible with PalmOS to sync with my Treo 650. Pilot-link in Linux, Palm Desktop in Windows, any of the third-party Outlook conduits if I wanted to, Evolution in Linux in theory but Novell hasn't bothered to test sync functionality whatsoever since the Evo 1.x days. Evo just plain doesn't sync properly with any Palm device, every time I've tried it's been dupe city. jpilot works well though and I haven't tried Kontact yet.

"* Some kind of automation system. I have run across lots of little situations where I need to do something to a lot of contacts (move them into a group, delete duplicates, etc), and have found there's no batch interface. You have to deal with everything one click at a time."

Palm Desktop does that very well, and it's the default sync/management software for any PalmOS based smartphone. Don't know how the PocketPC PDAs fare in this regard.

Not sure about the privacy mode and such, I believe there is third party software for that (such as Profiles for PalmOS, which is VERY stable and free). Yes, it is third party software, but it isn't necessarily bugridden (such as Profiles).

Symbian based answering machine (1)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964357)

Quite apart from the fact that civilized countries have free voicemail included with their service, a quick google search for answering machines popped up:

  • SmartAnswer [smartphoneware.com] seems popular.
  • This one [symbiangear.com] ... uh... exists.
  • This [hpc.net] is an SMS answering machine. Hangs up calls and sends an SMS to the caller.

Replies missing the point. (2, Informative)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964870)

I've had 3 replies so far. All of them are from people who didn't read my post or understand what I was saying.

1) Voicemail's not free for everyone. There is no real security in having voicemail (or any private data) on your service provider's equipment, either, as the recent Google vs. DOJ should show. Why shouldn't my phone do it, regardless of what the providers offer?

2) These are obvious features; once you go beyond a simple phone that just does DTMF based on a keypad, you would think this would become a standard functionality. 9$ shareware applications are not standard functionality. 9$ shareware applications do not move with me when I replace my Symbian phone with one running Motorola's OS or a PalmOS-based phone! 9$ shareware applications do not integrate with each other. These should be in the phone software itself. A secondary download means the phone is not a smart phone so much as a colour phone with a camera and fancy ringtones.

3) Synchronization is a big problem! Symbian phones don't synchronize in any documented way; no means exists on MacOS to correctly sync (iSync will ignore the phone's groups, randomly delete contacts, etc), and no means exists to sync it with Linux. PalmOS does not sync to MacOS (iSync destroyed or duplicated a lot of my memodb and contacts, and destroyed my calendar, when I tried syncing my T once). WinCE by design does not sync with MacOS or Linux. None of these devices will sync with each other in any standard way. Yay, I get to enter duplicate data!

4) Selective ringtones are a hack as a means of selective ignoring calls; setting someone's custom ring tone to a blank recording is not as effective as just saying, "Never accept calls from this person" in a check box somewhere.

If you're going to reply to me, give me real solutions, don't just prove you didn't read my post.

Re:Replies missing the point. (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14967413)

Voicemail's not free for everyone. [...] Why shouldn't my phone do it, regardless of what the providers offer?

Many phones do have built-in answering machines, even antique non-smartphones like the LG VX4000. They record into the same memory used for voice memos.

Re:Things smartphones don't do. (1)

srsabu (528002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964972)

* Time-of-day call ignore. Are you in a meeting for a certain time? Have lectures or classes? Doctors appointment? Your phone should automatically go into a silent mode (and kick over to the answering machine). Why let yourself be the point of failure?

The SMT5600 has a Meeting mode where it will switch in and out of silent mode based on there being a meeting on the calendar.

Check out Python S60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14970282)

Most if not all of the things you mention are doable with the S60 port of Python. Sure, it requires some hacking, but at least it's Python. Check out Python S60 [nokia.com] .

Re:Things smartphones don't do. (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979399)

Answering machine
Good idea, except what if your phone can't get a signal, or runs out of battery life, or is just plain off? This is something I'd prefer a dedicated "Always On" provider to handle for me.

Time-of-day call ignore
Now this is something I agree with. It could intergrate with the calendar/appointment functionality most phones have already. You could also (optionally) have a special response that the caller - "I'm in class now, but I'll be finished by 5. Leave a message or call back then."

Smart synchronization
This is going to happen, eventually. It's unavoidable. People have more and more information holding devices, the market will demand a universal solution.

There's only one (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962557)

Frogger

My Fave SP app (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962574)

SOTI MobiControl is a great app for controlling your smartphone from your PC.
I've used it many times to give LiveMeeting [microsoft.com] sessions on the
progress of smartphone app development. You can also capture screenshots and
videos of the smartphone
It's a specialist app I know but damn it RULES!!
http://www.soti.net/ [soti.net]

The single most useful app (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963143)

I dont think anyone can deny that the most useful application anyone could possibly want from a smartphone is the dial out application. I find it absolutely invaluable. Its ability to take a series of numbers as input and use these to connect me to another person with whom I can have a conversation must be the most useful piece of software ever written.

mini.opera.com (1)

deggy (195861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963374)

Opera mini - awesome program and free!!

Wireless access devices? (1)

jim_redwagon (845837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964168)

I'm in the market for a new phone. I know I need to get at a bare minimum a GSM phone to get on Cingular/Old AT&T.

What I'd like to find out is if there are any phones/devices out there that will hop on wireless networks (esp Free as in beer) to get out to the web? I want to be able to surf/check email/IM etc. and of course I want to avoid paying outrageous sums of money to said phone companies. Does this make sense?

Google Local. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14967452)

I don't have a PDA phone just an A900. It has a web browser, calendar, a few games, Sprint Powervison, and a few games. Coverage has been pretty good for me and I really like the small size.
Google Local rocks. The only thing I wish is that it would interface with the phones GPS.

My list (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14967679)

I have that exact phone and have been very happy with it. Here are the 3rd-party apps I use: - Smart Database Viewer, because it doesn't come with Pocket Excel - Smartphonenotes - notes that synch with Outlook notes - Pocket DVD-Studio for ripping DVDs to smartphone-usable format. There's also Mobile Media Maker that's cheaper but has fewer options and can only do smartphone output, not Pocket PC. - gStart - Start menu replacement - Total Commander - file explorer with actual features (contrast with built-in one) - AlarmSet - just what it sounds like - Tasks+ - SplashID - for passwords - PHM Registry Editor - TCPMP as mentioned by others - WordNet CE - English dictionary - S-Tris Tetris clone - Games from www.absolutist.com - BTToggle to turn Bluetooth on and off. I haven't had much luck getting BT to work, but the utility works. - Mobipocket for eBooks - Jeyo Personalizer - setting home screens, etc, not all that useful but OK All but the first three are free. Others I can think of that I've tried or looked at and didn't buy: - City alarms - looks good but don't really *need* it and it's $10 I think - Torch - sounds good and works, except it doesn't override the screen timeout. So it ends up being pretty useless - CPTools - haven't had time to evaluate this one - PTab - another Excel substitute - Wordpad (I think that's what it's called) free notes/text editor but doesn't synch with PC - Rubber Stamped Data - backup utility. Works, but don't feel like paying for it That's all I can think of/find right now. Have fun!

Reposted with formatting` (2, Insightful)

nasch (598556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14967828)

Sorry about that...

I have that exact phone and have been very happy with it. Here are the 3rd-party apps I use:

- Smart Database Viewer, because it doesn't come with Pocket Excel
- Smartphonenotes - notes that synch with Outlook notes
- Pocket DVD-Studio for ripping DVDs to smartphone-usable format. There's also Mobile Media Maker that's cheaper but has fewer options and can only do smartphone output, not Pocket PC.
- gStart - Start menu replacement
- Total Commander - file explorer with actual features (contrast with built-in one)
- AlarmSet - just what it sounds like
- Tasks+
- SplashID - for passwords
- PHM Registry Editor
- TCPMP as mentioned by others
- WordNet CE - English dictionary
- S-Tris Tetris clone
- Games from www.absolutist.com
- BTToggle to turn Bluetooth on and off. I haven't had much luck getting BT to work, but the utility works.
- Mobipocket for eBooks
- Jeyo Personalizer - setting home screens, etc, not all that useful but OK

All but the first three are free. Others I can think of that I've tried or looked at and didn't buy:

- City alarms - looks good but don't really *need* it and it's $10 I think
- Torch - sounds good and works, except it doesn't override the screen timeout. So it ends up being pretty useless
- CPTools - haven't had time to evaluate this one
- PTab - another Excel substitute
- Wordpad (I think that's what it's called) free notes/text editor but doesn't synch with PC
- Rubber Stamped Data - backup utility. Works, but don't feel like paying for it

That's all I can think of/find right now. Have fun!

On my Windows Mobile 2003SE I use: (1)

hunte (455338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14970864)

On my Windows Mobile 2003SE I use:

- CAB Installer [windowscenet.de] : you can select where install programs
- GSPlayer [vector.co.jp] : Simply audio player for Pocket PC
- Mozilla Minimo [mozilla.org] : web browser
- Opera for windows mobile [opera.com] : web browser
- TCPMP [corecodec.org] : media player
- Total Commander [ghisler.com] : file manager
- Vbar [vieka.com] : task manager
- WiFiFoFum2 [memphistw.org] : the best WiFi scanner and war driving software for Pocket PC
- PocketPuTTY [duxy.net] : ssh access
- .NET VNC [sourceforge.net] : VNC viewer

I will suggest also a daily visit :) to this great website: FreeCABs [freecabs.de] (Your Link to Free PPC Software which can be installed without a PC connection)

The use I got out of a smartphone (1)

sacremon (244448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14975807)

I no longer own it, but when I had a pdQ Smartphone with an SSH client loaded, I was once able to log into the switches and router in the data center when there were issues installing hosts on the switches. I was roaming around a street fair 15 miles away from the data center at the time. Not what I would call ideal, but it got the job done. It beat having to leave the fair, drive to the data center and fix the problem there, not the least of which it would have taken me more time to do the latter.
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