This week's post from The Really Mobile Project - for readers who don't follow that site.
Flicking through the apps on my handset the other day made me realise that the key apps I use haven’t changed that much over the past year or so. The big change for me has been swapping from a handset with a regular keypad (Nokia E51) to a handset with a qwerty keypad; my Nokia E63. The E63 has transformed the way I use my handset. Now I find myself sending many more texts and emails because it’s so easy. And it’s not just contacting friends and family that easier; updating Twitter and Facebook is a much quicker and less painful experience. This week I’m going to look at some communications apps on my E63. I’ll take a look at the other apps I use in a future article.
I tend to use the Ping.fm SMS number for simultaneous updates to Twitter and Facebook and the Vodafone SMS number for Twitter only. Top marks to Ping.fm for using a regular Vodafone number for their UK SMS service as it’s included in operator bundles, unlike many other innovative services that use numbers from Manx Telecom or Jersey Telecom. When I check in with Twitter I either use Gravity or Dabr.co.uk via the handset’s browser. Gravity has a fantastic user interface, although I find the app a bit limiting because it only displays the last hour’s tweets and doesn’t always update when it’s running in the background (I’m not convinced this is normal behaviour so your experience may differ). Dabr.co.uk is a much better browser based option than mobile Twitter and has the advantage of allowing me to scroll back through several hours of tweets.
I’ve tried different email applications for accessing my personal email including the default email client on the E63, Nokia Messaging, Seven and Emoze. Having switched between them several times I’ve settled on Emoze as being the best one. Emoze is the fastest to update with new emails and seamlessly handles both text and HTML emails plus multiple mailboxes. Emoze is free for one mailbox and you can buy the Pro version if you want to download from multiple mailboxes. I’ve tried hard to like Nokia Messaging but two issues have stopped me using it; first it’s not possible to change the sender email address to my own domain name and secondly it has a habit of stopping receiving emails which necessitates a manual sync to pick them up. If Nokia can fix these issues I’d take another look.
Moving to the calling side, the main additional app I use is Truphone. Truphone is great for cheap international calls over home WiFi; plus Truphone Anywhere gives me the same prices via a UK access number when I’m out. I’ve set up custom filters in Truphone Anywhere so calls to 0800, 0870 etc numbers get routed via Truphone. So instead of the calls being charged at out of bundle rates by Vodafone, I pay Truphone for the call to the 0800 number and nothing to Vodafone for the call to the access number as it comes out of my call bundle.
The other calling service I sometimes use is Skype and currently I’m using it via Nimbuzz. Nimbuzz allows me to access my Skype unlimited UK landline calls package for which I pay the tiny sum of £1.95 per month (I also get a UK landline number for inbound calls included in the £1.95). I’m continuing to look at the options for mobile Skype and will come back to this in the future.
Let me know what’s on your handset to improve your communications experience!