So Santa’s left you a mobile-shaped treat under the tree, has he? What is it? An iPhone? An Android-packing smartie? The latest Symbian-friendly Nokia? Or perhaps a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile cell? Whichever one you’ve got, we’ve got a Christmas treat for you, with the ten best apps for each OS. Come on then, get downloading!
Electricpig iPhone app
So you’re after a gadget bargain? Well our very own Electricpig iPhone app uses Foundem’s price comparison engine to find you the best deal on everything from TVs to mobile phones. Plus you get all the latest news and reviews on the gadgets that matter. You’ll never be behind the curve again.
Spotify iPhone app
The ultimate music add-on for your mobile, the Spotify iPhone app will let you sync offline playlists over Wi-Fi and access thousands of tunes when you’re in a hotspot, or just hanging at home. It’s free, but you’ll need a Spotify Premium, which sets you back a tenner a month.
Super Monkey Ball 2
3D graphics and a slew of new adventures for Sega’s little tykes make Super Monkey Ball 2 a must have for all iPhone users. If you want to know what gaming on Apple’s touchscreen is all about, then make sure you make a grab for this the moment you get on the App Store.
Beaterator iPhone app
Rockstar’s least hardcore title is a music making mash up, produced with Timbaland, the Beaterator iPhone app is a full on tune machine rather than a game in its own right. That’s no bad thing, with the chance to create your tracks and while away hours on the commute too.
Doom Classic for iPhone
Doom, the classic 90s shooter, works surprisingly well on the iPhone. We’re talking easy controls and strafing using the blower’s accelerometer. It sticks to the same old story, with faithful renderings of the original levels. You can also play your pals online providing you use the same Wi-Fi connection.
Paper Toss iPhone app
One of the iPhone’s most popular apps is also one of its best. Paper Toss is a freebie that couldn’t be easier. Use the touchscreen to flick balls of paper into the bin, with a fan at your side giving varying wind speed. It gets devilishly tricky once you slip crank it up to the hardest level.
Right Move iPhone app
Looking for a change of scenery in the New Year? Then the Right Move iPhone app is for you. It searches properties by post code, giving you that all important price, detailed pics and the number of the Next suit wearing numpty who’ll try and sell you the gaff too. Christmas stress not enough for you? Now you can move house over the festive period too.
CoPilot Live iPhone app
ALK’s CoPilot Live iPhone app is a darn sight cheaper than the TomTom alternative, and while we don’t rate it quite as highly as the Dutch mapper’s alternative, at just £26 it’s a steal and comes with music controls built in too, so you can access the iPhone’s iPod while you’re driving. Its maps are pretty handy too, although be warned: it tends to struggle a little in dense city centres.
Photoshop iPhone app
Your spanking new iPhone might only have a 3.2 megapixel camera, but grab the Photoshop iPhone app for it and you’ll be laughing. Adobe’s ace app lets you crop, rotate and even filter your pics, and it even comes with 2GB of storage at Photoshop.com, just for good measure.
The official BBC iPlayer iPhone app isn’t due until next year. But head to the iPlayer web page now and you can add a shortcut to your iPhone’s homescreen, letting you feast on the best radio and TV Auntie has to offer without firing up your PC or PS3. Just be sure to get the full-on version when it does land in 2010.
A BlackBerry classic and perfect for shutterbugs everywhere, ITookThisOnMyPhone takes your pics and uploads them to your chosen photo sharing site. It’ll automatically deliver your masterpieces to sites including Flickr, Picasa and Facebook. A fun one for workaholic BlackBerry owners.
Got Sky TV? Then SkyMobile for BlackBerry is the way to go. It’s free and will let you watch any Sky channels you’re signed up for. But it really comes into its own as an on-the-go EPG, letting you record World’s Wildest Police Videos or Gillette Soccer Saturday when you’re out.
Mates always late for a lengthy pub session because they can’t find the boozer? Then Pinpoints is for you. Use the app to find a point of interest and send your location to your pals via text. Best of all, it works on other mobiles too, not just BlackBerrys, so there’s no excuse for your pals to miss the first round.
One for the Twitter-lovers out there. Blackbird is a basic but ace app with a deft and easy interface which will let you zip through all those tweets and tell the world what you’re up to, no matter what BlackBerry you’re packing. It’s the best RIM-friendly app for 2009′s hottest social network.
If BlackBerry Messenger leaves you IMing just your two other buddies who rock one of RIM’s emailers, then Google Talk is for you. Its IM client is top of the pile and can be used to talk to all your pals, not just ones with BlackBerrys. There’s no VoIP here though sadly, so you’ll have to make do with lots of speedy typing instead.
All new BlackBerry Themes let you customise your emailer with new looks. There are stacks to choose from on BlackBerry App World now. Our favourite include a particularly slick MiPhone which lets you get all your icons in one neat homescreen, as well as the somewhat childish but never tiresome Boba Fett theme, replete with bounty hunter pic and Star Wars-based menus.
If you’ve played around with your BlackBerry you may well have found an annoying niggle: it won’t vibrate unless it’s in silent mode. Download BuzzMe for free and it’ll fix that pesky issue, letting your BlackBerry buzz in your pocket as well as make a shrill ringing noise. Perfect for receiving all those “happy new year” phone calls, assuming your network holds up to the strain.
Your slick new BlackBerry is built for working hard. And Expense Recorder lets you keep tabs of all the cash you’ve spent on lunches, Wi-Fi hotspots and client schmoozing. You can tot all your costs up at the end of the month no trouble. It’s the kind of app that your local MP really could have done with over the summer.
Your BlackBerry is already pretty secure, but if a regular lock button up top doesn’t do it for you, PatternLock Lite will. Download it and you’ll get a 3×3 grid to draw your own pattern on. That’ll act as your unlock prompt, meaning no one can tap into your texts or use your web access.
7digital download store
The 7digital BlackBerry app is brilliant, not to mention full of bargain DRM-free content. And you can grab the 7digital BlackBerry app for absolutely nothing. Then it’s just a case of buying tunes over the air and syncing them back with your Mac or PC.
Google Maps Navigation
Got a HTC Magic with Android 1.6? Or a slick Android 2.0 Motorola Milestone? Then follow our very own tutorial and you can get Google Maps Navigation up and running right here in Blighty. Official it’s US only, but give it a whirl and you’ll never use your normal satnav again.
Watching flicks on your phone can leave you squinting, even if you’ve got a touchscreen Android delight. Flixter instead tells you what movies are on at the cinema wherever you are, when they’re showing and even chucks in a few reviews. Best bit? You can watch the latest trailers if you’re feeling too tight to see the whole thing.
We can’t get enough of Foursquare. And the Android app is very bit as good as the regular mobile site. You get points for exploring new places and sharing your tips with other Foursquare fans. You’ll beed to be in a big city to take advantage, but if you’re a Londoner, this is must-have Android app.
The January sales suck. Not because of the cheap stuff, rather the knowledge that something’s always less pricey elsewhere. The Shop Savvy Android app lets you scan barcodes with your phone, letting you know where that new DVD or killer T shirt is cheapest. It even lets you know when prices have dropped.
Twitter mad? Then the Twidroid Android app is essential. Not only does it look the part, it also packs in its own URL shortener for sharing those all important web pages, image hosting and of course a place to mouth off via 140 characters. You can even get a Pro version which lets you see follower lists too.
Shazam Android app
You’ll have heard of Shazam. It’s the music identification add-on that’s made finding out what’s playing at your local club or on the radio a cinch. Just hold your phone up to the speakers and the Shazam Android app will bring up artist and track info, as well as telling you where you can buy it.
The Aldiko Android app is aimed right at bookworms. It’s an eBook app that lets you download titles directly from its own store or transfer your very own ePub titles. Perfect if you have an eReader already and need a place to back up your books in case of a battery-based emergency.
If you’re mad for Wikipedia, then you need to nab the Quickpedia Android app stat. Its far slicker than the version you’ll find in your browser, offering all the same info to boot. But best of all, a ‘Nearby’ button gives you info on what’s around you using your Android blower’s GPS.
If you’ve got curious kids, then the Toddler Lock Android app should be the very first extra you get. It gives your phone’s lock screen a baby toy theme that makes kiddie type sounds every time it’s touched. So there’s no chance of the littl’un chucking your precious new HTC Hero in the bin without you knowing about it.
Upsetting as it is, there’s always a chance your precious new Android phone could be nicked. If it is, make sure you’ve got MobileDefense loaded up and ready to go. You can remotely activate an infuriating racket to annoy thieves and even track it on a map so you (or the old bill) can find it.
Spotify on Symbian is arguably the music streamer’s very best mobile offering. We’re talking multitasking (unlike the iPhone), so you can use other apps while you feast on your favourite tunes. The fact you can sync over 3G is also a bonus, meaning you can easily download the tracks you need on the go before losing your connection.
Nokia Sports Tracker
Using your Nokia’s GPS, Nokia Sports Tracker stores information about your exercise regime in one handy place, plotting routes on a map which you can then share with likeminded pals. It also tracks your performance, telling you how fast you’re going and how far you’ve run. Even if it is just a quick jog to the local chippie.
Joikuspot Light is an ace Nokia app that lets you unleash your mobile’s 3G connection. Downloading it is the easiest way to tether web friendly gadgets to your blower, whether it’s a laptop, other mobiles or an iPod touch. It’s free, but a premium version, which costs £8, also comes with secure connection support.
An excellent all round app, Fring pulls together IM clients, including GoogleTalk and MSN, as well as social network statuses in one place. But best of all it handles VoIP as well, with Skype and Fring’s own service available. Don’t forget to switch to Wi-Fi though, otherwise your data plan will take a pasting.
The minute you fire up your Symbian cellie, be sure to hop online and grab Opera Mini. Not only is it one of the most popular apps ever, it’s also an ace mobile browser, gazumping the one you’ll find on Nokias and other Symbian smartphones. It’s more like the browser you’ll find on your lappie than a blower.
Modern Warfare 2
This year’s hottest game, Modern Warfare 2, is available for Symbian-based Nokia phones through the Ovi store. It’s four quid and while it doesn’t have the stunning graphics of its console cousin, it’s a top notch title with a real old school feel. You lead a US Marine Squad against Mexican terrorists. It’s bonkers, but great.
This Last.fm friendly app lets you scrobble tracks on your Symbian phone, helping you build up your music profile and access stacks of new tracks. You can even use Mobbler to access Last.fm’s radio stations when you’re connected to the web, so discovering new tunes on the move is easy too.
A top down take on one of this year’s coolest console games, The Saboteur will only set you back £4, but is well worth a punt. You play as Irishman Sean Devlin, out to gain vengeance on his Nazi enemies in occupied France. It works well on the small screen too, so make sure you nab as soon as you can.
For £6, this might seem like a pricey app, but Battery Extender is a great way to ensure everything’s on the down low when you want to rinse as much juice from your phone as possible. Max Battery mode will turn off the likes of Wi-Fi and GPS, so your new Symbian phone will keep on trucking when there’s no power available.
The hottest Twitter Symbian app out there, Gravity has everything you could possibly want for becoming a tweeting superstar. There’s URL shortening thrown in, not to mention picture uploading and the chance to use different IDs in case you have more than one Twitter account.
Combining Twitter and Microsoft’s rebranded Big search engine, BingTweets is a nifty app for Windows Mobile phones. Use it to search for any term and it’ll fire back with the best search results as well as the latest Tweets on any subject that comes into your head. The idea is to make more info about stuff that’s trending on Twitter.
Got a Slingbox at home? Then you need to get the Slingplayer Windows Mobile app right away. Load it up and it’ll beam pics from your TV at home into the palm of your hand, wherever you are. Obviously you’ll need to be in a Wi-Fi hotspot, but it’s ace for catching up with some telly while you’ve got a few moments to spare.
CoPilot Live for Windows Mobile
CoPilot Live, our favourite iPhone satnav app is also top dog on Windows Mobile. It’s the choice for road warriors rocking Windows phones everywhere. You get easy menus, great 3D map display and easy to follow instructions too. It looks ace on the latest big screen blowers too, especially the HTC HD2. It costs £45, but you’ll never use your standalone satnav again.
Internet Explorer on the latest Windows Mobile phones is pretty good. But get Skyfire and you’ll find a much neater web browsing experience when you’re out and about. It has full Flash support, as well as customisable feeds including Twitter and Facebook updates, as well as one click posting to those self-same social networks.
Bing’s getting better and better. And the Bing Maps app for Windows Mobile is top draw. You can use voice search to find locations, get maps and driving directions to wherever you’re headed and even weather forecasts. Best of all you can save shortcuts to your dashboard. An absolute must-have.
Microsoft Office Mobile 2010
The beta version of the next-gen Office Mobile app is well worth a look. It chucks on the usual doc editing you get as standard on your phone. Plus with Office planning a cloud version in 2010, it’s well worth a look before it goes back behind closed doors and the beta ends on April 2010. If you’re a workaholic, this is a must-have.
If you’re always getting your collar fingered by the long arm of the law for speeding, Trapster is for you. It’s a free app which tells you where the nearest speed cameras are, so you can check your speed and avoid that hefty fine and those dreaded points on your licence. It even gives you spoken alerts when the old bill are around.
If you’re the guy always getting lost, then LocateMe is the app you need for your new Windows Mobile phone. It uses your phone’s GPS to give you coordinates of exactly where you are, which you can then send off to your pals via text or email. Hold tight and they’ll come and find you in a jiffy.
Facebook for Windows Mobile
Sure it’s obvious, but this excellent Facebook Windows Mobile app should be on your must have list. It gives you quick and easy access to your feeds and uses the standard Windows Mobile menu system to update your status, upload videos and photos and see what your pals are getting up to. It looks ace on the latest touchscreen Windows Mobile phones.
A cool RSS reader, Viigo brings you all your feeds in one handy place, as well as letting you post your musings direct to Twitter. You also get local search options so you can see what’s on at the cinema or even how the local footie teams getting on. And best of all it gives easy access to podcasts, letting you subscribe on the move.