I’ve been using the Nokia E7 for the last few weeks, as you may’ve noticed from my top 5 things I like and 5 things don’t like posts. During that period I tried using the Finnish company’s flagship product as my primary device and have found several apps particularly useful. As a matter of fact, these are the apps I’ve put on the phone’s homescreen(s) to be able to fire them up quickly. Without further ado, here they are.
We all need to check our Facebook accounts every now and then. This is especially true during the summer when your friends and/or family members are usually travelling. Facebook for Symbian may not be as powerful as its iPhone and Android counterparts, but it still provides you with the access to all of the key information, as well as with the ability to comment and leave wall posts. Heck, I’m not sure I actually need all the additional bells and whistles Facebook for iPhone and Facebook for Android offer. But I said it enough – you know you need Facebook on your phone, right?
What can I say here? Even though it’s not necessarily the cheapest way to call long-distance numbers (other VoIP services are usually cheaper), it’s sort of a default app on your desktop/notebook computer, hence you need to install it on your phone, too. Skype for Symbian doesn’t offer video calls, but then again I’m not sure I need that capability at all. Voice calling is all I need from Skype.
And in case you’re looking for more affordable alternatives to call fixed and mobile phone numbers, you may want to check out Tru, Fring or Nimbuzz, which also serve as instant messaging clients. What’s more, Fring also supports video calls which is nice, but not a must-have feature in my book.
The single best Twitter client for Symbian is not a cheap app (it costs 10 EUR), but it’s worth every penny. And besides, it’s not like you have a ton of choice. To be fair, there are other apps that allow you to “do your tweet thing” while on the go, but none comes close to Gravity. The application supports multiple Twitter accounts, image uploading to various image hosting services, multiple Twitter searches, Twitter Trends, groups, audio alerts, auto-connect and much more. Needless to say, it has the 5 out of 5 stars rating in the Ovi Store.
4. Ovi Maps 3
Although it comes preloaded with every Nokia smartphone, it is always suggested to download the latest version to give it a try. Heck, if you feel adventurous, you can try out beta versions from Nokia Beta Labs and experience some of the forthcoming features before the rest of the world. Ovi Maps supports both driving and pedestrian navigation, while also offering additional services and content such as live traffic, travel guides, ability to check-in to places, and keep your friends in the loop on Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. However, Nokia’s mapping app really shines in the offline mode, enabling users to preload maps on their phones before travelling to other countries.
I’ve already mentioned these two when I talked about Skype but here I’ll mention them again. The reason is obvious – aside from Skype I also have both Fring and Nimbuzz running on my Nokia E7. This is not to say you need to have both of them as well — one of them will do the job just fine. And that job, in case you wonder, is instant messaging. Personally I prefer Fring cause that was the first multi-network IM app I used on a Symbian phone. However, few friends of mine prefer Nimbuzz so I guess it’s safe to say whichever you pick – you won’t be wrong. Best of all, both apps are free to download.
I can’t say I’m firing-up Shazam every day; however sometimes I really need it. Maybe “need” is a too harsh word cause Shazam is all about fun. Yes I don’t actually have to know the name of some song, but if I can find that out easily – why not? Again Symbian users don’t get to access all of the latest features Shazam offers to the iOS and Android device owners, but the basic song recognition is on board. And honestly, that’s the part you care about the most. The free version gets you 5 tags a month, while the paid Encore version comes with unlimited tagging and “exclusive features.”
This little app turns your 3G connection into a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to easily connect your laptop, tablet or any other Wi-Fi-enabled device to the Internet. JoikuSpot exists in two flavors – Light, which is free to download and Premium which costs 10 EUR. The latter comes with few additional features, including enhanced internet security and the ability to name your HotSpot as you like. Moreover, the Premium Edition also features full internet protocol stack, not just the web. As a result, you will be able to use email clients, messenger services like MSN, or connect to your corporate intranet via secured VPN tunneling.
Need to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations while on the go? Eventually we all need to do it from time to time. Hopefully, it’s not something you’ll be doing on a daily basis, but you still may need the capability. And thanks to Quickoffice — which fortunately comes preloaded with the Nokia E7 — you can do just that. It’s the full mobile office suite, supporting all Microsoft Office files while retaining file formats with no data loss. Moreover, the app (or should I say the app suite) comes with some advanced features such as support for complex formal’s, graphical editing capabilities, file management and so on.
We all need some music on our mobiles. After all, no one wants a separate MP3 player when our phones can do the job just as well (or at least they can do the job decently). For one thing, most MP3 players don’t support apps and only allow you to listen to the music you’ve previously stored on them. What if you want to check out some new tunes? There are various Internet radio apps like Pandora or Spotify offering that service. Since the former is not available for Symbian smartphones, Nokia users have turned to the latter service… and Spotify became an instant hit, delivering on the go access to a catalog of more than 15 million songs. Love it!
Still in beta, Nokia Sleeping Screen makes your phone stand out by painting beautifully crafted images on the sleeping screen, which you wouldn’t use anyway. However, it’s not just about aesthetics – this little app also provides you with information on missed calls, unread text messages, and reminders presented with clear icons and animations. Best of all, thanks to the OLED-based screens Symbian^3 devices like the Nokia E7 and N8 have, Nokia Sleeping Screen maintains the battery operating time of your phone. Bear in mind though that it requires Qt versions 4.6.4 and 4.7.2 to work.