Blog Post

Turn Old Phone Into A Smart Phone

My colleague, Matt Maier has started writing the Third Screen column on, and in his latest column, he points out how phones are becoming increasingly PC like in their capabilities. Much of the omph is being packed into the latest and greatest phone. If you are one of the millions who refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy new smart-phone, then I have some handy tips and couple of software recommendations to give it an IQ boost. In order to do that, you have to make sure that your phone has Java support, which basically rules out most Verizon phones. Samsung, LG, Nokia and Motorola phones for other wireless services such as T-Mobile, Cingular and Sprint-Nextel are more than likely to have Java support.

For starters, download two applications: Opera Mini, a browser that is perhaps the greatest thing since, well Firefox, and install it on your phone. You can do a direct over the air download as well, by using your current (slow and painfully difficult to use) WAP browser. Go to and install it.Opera Mini will make web-surfing almost painless.

The second application I can recommend is Movamail, which is one of the best IMAP clients for mobile phones. The application allows you to check email from pretty much any account -Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail – not to mention your own server. Believe me, this is the best email client for mobile phones ever – fast, nimble and intuitive. Don’t take my word for it. It has been downloaded 400,000 times so far. You can use it for free for 60 days, but I bet you will pay-up for extended use. ($29.99 a year.) You can grab it from .

My Mac friends – this is good to go with your ultra-cool dot-Mac accounts, though I am getting p****d off about paying $100 a year for basically an email address!

8 Responses to “Turn Old Phone Into A Smart Phone”

  1. hi OM! True about the USD100 pinch but .Mac does offer more than mere email. have your own website, post blogs and podcasts easily, iDisk storage with drag and drop ease, group email and website, photocasting, backup etc, all easliy built into the Mac OS. Yes, wish we had teh option of adding thses features to a total of USD 100 a year. But I think the freeby internet has spoilt us beyond belief. I actually wonder why should I pay USD 29 a year for Movamail? I amconstanlty looking for free solutions. I wish Internet were FREE like Satellite Television, or more like Radio. I wish to buy an iPod with an FM thingy so I dont have to BUY music all the time. Also I think its a desi mindset not to want to pay. We ARE the nation with probably the world’s highets amount of small savings. We have all seen Millionaire Desis’ wives get off Mercs, and negotiate a Rs 2 per Kilo discount on Onions! And they think nothing of paying RS 5000 just as cover charge for a Nightclub, where they wont even have alcohol!

  2. LondonCalling

    Its only $29 for a year! At $2.95 a month it is cheaper then most value added services that mobile operators offer – yet it provides you huge utility. Fantastic application!

  3. Hmm.. yup i guess 100 bucks for an email account and some storage space is too much.. if this is an one time thingy i am ready to shell out right now.. no way 100 bucks an year.. i guess its our desi mentality that helps us reason why to spend a lot when you cna get it done still cheaper… oh to the topic opera mini and maxi(the normal browser) rocks..

  4. Nitin Ahuja

    I was not so impressed with Opera Mini, as compared to Pocket IE on my Samsung i730, or for that matter Blazer on my Treo 650. A java based browser, well all that is fine, but the rendering of pages on a smartphone device, it does not come close.

  5. Om, Thanks for the tips. The built in Moto A630 web browser is LOUSY. I really appreciate the link over to the Opera site. First thing I do tomorrow is start the download direct to phone. I’d do it now but signal is lousy at home.

    As for $100 for dot Mac… If you do ANYTHING with Garageband… the “free” Jam Pack loops essentially made .Mac worthwhile for me this past year. Oh, yeah, and an email account too :)