Nokia’s E series and N Series phones are attractive options for mobile phone consumers. Nokia openly goes after other handset makers and telcos for crippling features and stripping out functionality such as fully enabled Bluetooth, Wi-Fi access and so on. Nokia and their use of the Symbian operating system create a fertile ground for mobile application developers.
We, the users, benefit by getting highly functional and useful applications that enhance our mobile phone experience. Below are some of the best applications for taking advantage of all your Nokia phone has to offer.
1) Gmail — Gmail for Mobile is a fantastic Java-based application for accessing your Google Mail account on your mobile phone. They’ve made a great effort to use numeric keypad shortcuts to easily manage your mail. Though it’s a little buggy, overall it’s a great Gmail extension for your mobile phone.
2) GooSync — Your Symbian S60 phone has a calendar application, but what if you use Google Calendar as your main calendar? There are a few open source options for syncing the two, but when it comes to easily doing two-way sync, GooSync is the way to go. GooSync gives users two options: a free account and a pay account, with the main differences being that the pay account allows you to sync up to 365 days in advance and syncs your Gmail contacts as well.
3) Qik — If you’re familiar with Justin.tv, you’ve seen life-casting. Now you can conduct live Net broadcasts directly from your Symbian phone using Qik, a tool that utilizes the Nokia handset’s camera and either the cellular data connection or a Wi-Fi data connection. Using it over an EDGE data connection will cause video lag, but Qik streaming over Wi-Fi is very cool. If I’m filming something on my Nokia phone on Qik, I can see comments that viewers leave on the Qik web site as they’re entered.
4) Jaiku — A presence application similar to Twitter, Jaiku differs with features that include threaded conversations and topic-based channels. Jaiku has embraced the Nokia S60 operating system and has launched a native application to enable you to view friend’s Jaikus and post your own. Also if a Jaiku friend has the S60 client installed, you can see when they were last on their phone and where in the world they’re currently located. It’s also possible to see other Jaiku contacts that are in close proximity to you on the Symbian Jaiku client.
5) Fring — A multi-protocol IM client that currently supports AIM, Skype, Yahoo, MSN, Google Talk and Twitter, and features a SIP client. Fring seamlessly uses your data connection to allow you to IM or call contacts if they are on Google Talk or Skype. Fring also recently launched a feature that allows you to send files over Wi-Fi and 3G connection to your contacts. Very cool.
6) Nokia Sports Tracker — Using the N95’s built-in GPS module, Nokia Sports Tracker is a beta application that allows runners, walkers and cyclists to track and keep statistics of their workouts. Users can see stats such as average speed, total distance, altitude, and so on. Also, you can export your workouts into a KML file and map your workout routes in Google Earth. In addition, Nokia created a Facebook application that allows you to compare your workout details with your social circle.
7) Handy TaskMan — Sometimes you want to peek under the hood of your Symbian phone. Perhaps you want to see how memory much is left, or you’d like to see detailed information on all the running applications. Handy Taskman is the utility that gives you all this information and more. Additionally, if you have an application or task that is you want to easily terminate, Handy Taskman will allow you to exit the application with the click of a button.
8) ShoZu — The Nokia NSeries phones are made to create digital content, including great-looking videos and photos. But how to easily get all these media items onto your favorite media-sharing web service? Whether you want to upload video to YouTube/Blip.tv or put photos up on Flickr/SmugMug, ShoZu is the application for you. ShoZu lets you tag, categorize, and upload your media to these popular service providers in the background, and allows you to send a text message or surf the web in the process.
9) Nokia Podcasting — How do you manage your podcast library? Most people use iTunes or a Juice receiver. But wouldn’t it be great to manage your podcasts directly on the device you’re using to listen to them? With the Nokia podcasting application you can add, delete and manage your podcast subscriptions. In fact, you can download directly to the Nokia Symbian mobile phone over either Wi-Fi or your phone’s data connection. The functionality is very convenient, especially if you like being able to manage your podcast subscriptions without having to interface with your computer.
10) Google Maps — As a mobile warrior, I’m constantly finding myself in need of a map. Google Maps is by far the best mapping application. And it recently released a native Symbian application, allowing it to not only mesh well with the Symbian look and feel but creating a fast, seamless mobile map experience. Google Maps also features My Location, which is a poor man’s GPS, using cell phone triangulation to show your approximate location on a map. This is exceptionally handy if you’re trying to draw easy directions on the go or find a pizza place within a few miles of your current location.