Friday, November 28, 2008

18 best Palm smartphone applications

I recently purchased a Palm Centro smartphone. The lack of a central software repository for Palm kind of sucks, so here's a list of the best applications i've found so far.

6 Must Haves: Get these first!

AttnGrab (Free)
By default, the Centro only alerts you to an incoming text, voicemail, or missed call once. With this application, you can set how often you want it to continue reminding you after the fact. You can set it to ring, beep, or vibrate at set intervals, or to just light up the LED if there is an unchecked alert (my preferred option).

Diddlebug (Free)
The best simple note/alarm/timer application ever. Jot a note on the screen, and set an alarm or timer, and you're done. Great for keeping track of everything from wake up alarms to how long your pizza needs to cook. This is by far the most used application on my phone.

Google Maps (Free)
Does everything the Google Maps website does, but on your phone. If it came on your phone, make sure you update to the latest version. You can click the blue dot to have your phone attempt to locate you. It isn't GPS, but it's usually accurate enough that you can find your way home after haphazardly wandering the city.

Power Hero ($14.95)
Keep better track of your battery charge. This application will tell you how long until your battery dies, average drain rates, and all kinds of graphs and records of how you use your phone. The best option is the power saver: you can set your network connection to disconnect when you're done using it, turn off Bluetooth after calls, and set schedules for how bright your backlight is at different times of day. There's a free demo available, too.

SplashShopper ($29.95)
At first glance, it looks like a simple shopping list application. It does so much more; you can keep track of ANY list with this app. You enter an item once (say, eggs) and then check it off when you buy it... it moves it to the "don't need" list, where you can un-check it when you run out. Every time you go to the store, you have an up to date shopping list ready to go. I also use it to keep track of my favorite beers, so when i'm perusing the beer section I can take a quick glance and figure out what I haven't had in a while. The one thing I hate about it is the price, but if you're a list person it's worth it. Free demo available.

Tryda (Free)
Sprint charges an insane $1.79 per 411 call. Fuck that. With this application, you can search the white pages or yellow pages, nationwide, for free. One click to dial, one click to save to your phone book, one click to launch Google Maps (see above) and get directions. This is another must have.

8 More Awesome Apps: Get these if you need the functionality, but they may not appeal to everyone.

Card Reader ($19.95)
If you have a memory card in your phone, this app (combined with the USB cable) will make your computer see it as a removable storage device. It's great if you have a large memory card and keep your USB cable with you, but if you don't travel with the cable or if you keep a regular USB drive around, it may be superfluous. Free demo available.

CallRec ($19.99)
This application records your calls. Hence, CallRec. It will record both sides of the conversation to internal memory or a memory card. You can set it to record only when you tell it to, or automatically record incoming, outgoing, or all calls. Great for prank calls... there are other more legitimate uses too, i'm sure. Free demo available.

Converter (Free)
Converts to and from dozens of different units. If you ever needed to know how many ounces are in a metric ton, this is the application for you.

Colorize (Free)
If you don't like Palm's built-in color pallets, or if you want to customize your own, get this program. It lets you completely customize the colors of the Palm interface, and includes about 25 additional color themes right out of the box.

Facebook (Free)
Facebook for Palm. Browse profiles, view your friends, write on walls, send messages, even upload pictures and video directly from your phone. It doesn't let you poke people, though.

Flight Status (Free)
If you travel a lot, get this. It offers a simple interface for checking the status of your flights: any airline, all in one program, without having to try to find all the airlines' websites in the web browser.

MiniBar (Free)
Get this if you're an alcoholic. It has a database of 450+ drink recipes. You can tell it which ingredients you have on hand, and it'll tell you what you can make out of them.

MiniTones (Free)
Copy an MP3 onto your phone, and use this application to make it into a ringtone. You can select which part of the song you want, too. No more paying Sprint $2.49 for a crappy selection of songs!

4 Games: Great for killing time.

Dope Wars (Free)
The classic game of Dope Wars. I've been playing this one since I got my first Palm device back in high school, and it's still incredibly fun.

Sol Free (Free)
A simple, free Solitaire game.

Astraware Sudoku ($14.95)
This came for free on my Sprint-branded Centro. If it didn't come from your provider or on your phone, and you're addicted to Sudoku, it's the way to go. There are 8,000 or so puzzles available, and a new "puzzle of the day" that's updated (you guessed it) daily. You can upload your fastest POTD times to a central leaderboard, too.

Zuma ($14.95)
Super addictive puzzle game. If you've never played this, get the demo of the PC or Mac version and give it a try.

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