Essential Apps

By Scott Westerman
Help! I need advice on the perfect cell phone!

I admit it. I’m starting to tire of how ineffective the iPhone keyboard works with my fat fingers. I miss my Blackberry Pearl and it’s fast, intuitive thumb board.

And, of course, AT&T’s coverage in my neck of the woods (perhaps it my phone) leaves a lot to be desired.

So when my term comes up, I’ll be shopping a new phone.

So help me make a list of the essential characteristics and applications that are most important to you. Here are a few of mine.

The Phone:

  1. It must have a really powerful radio and an effective antenna (Think the latest iPhone issues – nuff said.
  2. It’s gotta be easy to type. Fast, intuitive and shouldn’t require too much accuracy.
  3. Effective Speech to Text functionality – So I can listen to and respond to emails n such while driving.
  4. It should also double as a wi-fi access point. I love my MiFi, but why should I pay double?
  5. It must have GPS functionality (see the app list below).
  6. It must have hands free capability – Bluetooth, wired headset.
  7. Text support must be first class.
  8. The browser must render well, whether or not the website recognizes it’s a mobile phone.
  9. Camera functionality should allow for easy uploading to TwitPic, Facebook and fast MMS conversion, plus high rez for Flickr, etc.
  10. It’s gotta vibrate – I don’t use ringtones.
  11. It must have a really good media player – And the ability to play my faves from my MP3 library and my movies.
  12. A reliable alarm clock.
  13. It can’t be too small or too big – Has to fit in my shirt pocket. I don’t wear holsters.

The apps:

Must Have:

  1. Twitter (multiple account and scheduled tweet support)
  2. Facebook / Linked-In
  3. Mail – Must work seamlessly with GMail and Microsoft Outlook Enterprise.
  4. RunKeeper – Yeah, I’m a mutant who loves pounding his joints on asphalt.
  5. The Weather Channel and a really, really good real-time radar app
  6. Amazon Kindle
  7. Integrated Skype functionality.
  8. Zenbe – My favorite to-do list manager
  9. A radio stream player that works with NPR, BBC and the Spartan Network (I’m not into Pandora).
  10. A calculator – just in case.

Nice to have:

  1. WordPress – So I can update my blogs on the go.
  2. LogMeIn – So I can manage my computers on the go.
  3. Hulu Plus
  4. Netflix (not just a queue manager.. a player)
  5. Ustream streamer
  6. Tripit

That’s my list. Bring on the feedback! What am I forgetting? Which phones do you recommend? Use the comment functionality so we can all discuss and debate.

I promise to amplify this across all my networks, so your input will help others!

Want to write direct? wsw@msu.edu