I’ve been living with the Nokia E71 smartphone for a little more than two months and I’d say that I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the ins and outs of this particular handset. Shortly after I bought this S60 smartphone, Nokia launched its Ovi Store to compete against the iPhone’s App Store, the Android Market, and the BlackBerry’s App World.
The Ovi Store represented a good step in the right direction, but many of the best apps for the Symbian platform are still found at various other locations around the web. The core functions on the smartphone are fine, I suppose, but apps really expand what a phone can do. Nokia and Symbian still have some catching up to do in this area, but there are still plenty of apps to consider.
Speaking from my own perspective, three of my favorite apps thus far are the following. This list, of course, is far from exhaustive.
- Google Maps: The Nokia E71 comes preloaded with its own Nokia Maps app, but I didn’t like it at all. So, I turned my attention over to Google Maps and I couldn’t be happier. This app uses the integrated GPS receiver, providing your current location, providing turn-by-turn directions, and letting you search for nearby points of interest. Beautiful. The maps are downloaded on the fly over your cellular (ideally 3G) connection.
- Slick IM: A big part of smartphones is about trying to stay connected with the world around you. It’s not terribly hard to hit up the mobile version of Facebook or utilize the built-in email client, but what about instant messenger? Slick IM is one of the best clients for the E71, giving you simultaneous access to Yahoo!, ICQ, AIM, MSN, GTalk, and Jabber.
- Screenshot: I suppose I could whip out a digital camera and take a picture of my Nokia E71, but that’s far from ideal. The appropriately named Screenshot app from Antony Pranata does exactly what you think it does. And it does so simply and effectively.
With so many apps out there to consider, I have not had the time to try them all. Further still, not all of them are free. If there are any developers out there who want me to try their paid apps, feel free to send me a copy for free! All kidding aside (I’m not really kidding), here are three apps that I want to take out for a test drive but haven’t done so yet.
- Gravity Twitter Client: I was pretty skeptical about Twitter when I first heard about it, but I have since embraced the microblogging platform. For the time being, I’ve been using SMS and TinyTwitter to manage my account through my phone, but I’ve been hearing good things about Gravity. Using this app, you can tweet, reply, DM, follow, unfollow, search, TwitPic, and manage multiple accounts. The tabbed view seems pretty nice too. Gravity retails for about ten bucks.
- Skyfire Mobile Web Browser: To surf the web on my E71, I usually turn to the built-in Symbian web browser, but I also use Opera Mini from time to time as well. Another option is the Skyfire Free mobile browser. The biggest difference here is that Skyfire supports flash and video natively.
- IM+ All-in-One Messenger: My iPhone buddy has been raving about the strength of IM+ as an all-in-one messenger, but it’s also available for Symbian. As an alternative to Slick, IM+ does GTalk, MSN, AIM, iChat, and even MySpaceIM. However, it’s $30. Slick is free.
Are there any glaring omissions that I should have included in either the list of apps I have or apps I should try? I’m still on the hunt for the ideal WordPress mobile blogging app, but I’m very happy with Google Sync (via Mail for Exchange) for contacts and calendar synchronization.