5 Nokia apps to make your toes curl!

I’m sick of all the iPhone fan boys/gals telling me how cool their little Apples are. I mean, like, really – they launched without copy and paste. It takes a special kind of talent to forget that. Chumps.

The iPhone is genius because it showed the world that applications are the future, and that the device is merely a platform for innovation. But it was not Steve Jobs and his unironed shirt-wearing cronies who made the iPhone what it is today. The thousands of  application developers who forgot to bath while writing apps for the phone can claim that honour. They revolutionised the mobile world and turned mobile phones into uber gangsta devices that can do everything, from making farting noises to tracking your petrol consumption. It’s just genius.

Nokia, on the other hand, have had open mobile application platforms for years. The company just did a really bad job of managing them and marketing their devices’ capabilities.

This has now changed. Nokia has released Ovi, their answer to iTunes, AppStore and MobileMe. I’m willing to bet a Caramel Cornetto that the guy who came up with the Ovi concept owned an iPhone. #JustSaying

Anyway, I’m a huge, huge Nokia fan. I love the fact that they are reliable, practical, sturdy, functional and just make sense.

Here are five of the applications that have made my Nokia N97 experience cool:

1. Mail for Exchange
Being a hardcore mail user (more than 200 emails per day), Mail for Exchange is easy to set up, easy to use and very functional. It integrates directly into the native mail client of the phone and supports full push mail. It is very easy to set the default connection to wifi and allows auto switching between hotspots & 3G. My only gripe is that it doesn’t do HTML mail formatting, which in today’s email age is a bit like launching a device without copy and paste.

2. Gravity
Half the reason why the N97 is cool, Gravity is a Symbian Twitter, Facebook and now Foursquare application. It’s the epitome of good user-experience design and is the most brilliant Twitter application out there. It is a paid-for app, but well worth the €10.

3. Nimbuzz
With IM aggregation brilliance and simple UI that makes a complicated experience simple, Nimbuzz is now my favorite app. It recently launched NimbuzzOut, a SkypeOut-type voice-calling system that allows for super-cheap international calls. Sadly, however, the voice networks block SIP traffic on their networks, so to make full use of NimbuzzOut you will need an active wifi connection. But the IM experience is simple and functional. A large array of emoticons help and so does the tabbing of conversations.

4. WorldMate
I think that it was Gandhi who said, “Information is Power”. No wait, that was Robin Morgan. Anyway, knowing what the weather is going to be the next day is just cool. The application has two reminders, both of which are customisable. I have a weather update set up for 9pm, and then another for 7am, and it uses my wifi connection to get the latest forecast. I have been fairly happy with its accuracy so far – well, at least I haven’t arrived at work looking like the chump who thought it was gonna snow, while it’s actually beach weather outside.

5. Nokia Messaging
This is a mail application that aggregates up to 10 email accounts, including popular web mail services like Gmail and Hotmail. It’s easy to install, easy to maintain and runs in the background. The UI is fairly intuitive and it looks like someone actually thought about button placement, user journeys and functionality.

These five applications are all great to run in the background (something that iPhone users can only dream of) and do not punish battery life… much.



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