All the major operating systems have an amazing selection of applications available. For this section, we will look at the practical functions of your smartphone – and not worry as much about the individual apps or what the best of each is.
1) Facebook: Everyone is using it, and for the most part, it does rule the universe in social networking right now. Facebook was the heir apparent to MySpace after the ‘porn invasion of 2008’ destroyed most people’s experiences with the older place to be. The touch interface based mobile site, http://touch.facebook.com is a great option for the stock mobile browser on any touchscreen devices. The notification bar is nicely done, it’s a small site for loading quickly even over the slowest connection speeds and basic functionality is there for most tasks.
2) Twitter: Twitter is a very simple “What am I doing right now App.” Simply post a very basic thought, comment or anything in under 160 characters and let the world follow you. Think of it as Facebook status updates without all the extras. The mobile site is a bit better than in the past, but fortunately, there are apps that take up the slack for the text/mobile site options. Seesmic (iPhone/Android), Twitdroyd (Android), Tweetcaster (Android) and stock programs in Windows Mobile (see the Zune image above for the Windows Phone 7 styling) from Microsoft and WebOS in the Pre really outshine the mobile site.
3) Foursquare: It’s the hot new one that many have jumped on for location services. You simply check in on the app or mobile site and poof – the world knows you are there. Share you location with friends and family so you can meet when you are in the neighborhood or when they are in the same place you are. Again, there are a ton of application options for this site across the different OS’s, but the stock mobile site does just fine as well.
4) MySpace: The first and still a very popular social site, MySpace lets you do so much from their standard site, and so little from their mobile site, that it is really a shame. So much of the site: music sharing, photos, and more are flash based – which on almost every mobile platform – means DEAD. MySpace users must either rely on the somewhat OK mobile apps or pray that Skyfire offers support for their platform and they can fire up the flash settings to get the most out of their pages.
5) Image/Video Sharing: When it comes to sharing, the newer devices have an amazing amount of options. For images: Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and many others offer either apps for mobile uploads right from your phone or even an option to email them to your account via the stock email programs. The advantage of sending the images via email over MMS like some providers require is that you will not compress the quality of the image any further due to the size limits of your MMS application. Most MMS (picture message) programs allow 1.2MB as a limit. Your 5 to 8 MP camera images should be between 2 and 4 MB. Video sharing is even easier than that with mobile apps from Qik, YouTube and a few more that allow instant uploading and even quicker access via WiFi.
These 5 little steps can go along way to fully enjoying your new device. Most people know these tips and use them daily already, but for those that don’t, try them and see what you think.