10 Best Mobile Applications (Non-iPhone)

I not so recently did a list of my favourite mobile websites. As I become more and more enamoured with mobile computing I find myself subverting some of the functions I used to perform on my laptop to my mobile device. Including some communication and data management work.
Here is a list of mobile phone applications I find interesting or invaluable. While some of these work well on all platforms, I’m focusing on those that work well with my Nokia N-series device as it’s the phone that I have on hand most often.

  1. Fring – a service that allows you to connect with friends on Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, SIP, Twitter, Yahoo! and AIM.
  2. Joikuspot – Joiku lets me share my 3G connection with others by transforming my phone into a wifi basestation. Kills the battery but very useful. I no longer need to do the same with my laptop not do I need to take a separate wifi device.
  3. Twitter Mobile – I find my mobile to be the perfect device for browsing through my twitter stream. There are some neat apps created for s60 based devices but I find the web interface is all I need.
  4. Jott – an amazing service that transforms audio messages to text messages.
  5. Poll Everywhere – Text message voting and polling, group brainstorming, and txt-to-screen graffiti.
  6. Delicious Mona – news aggregator. Very useful.
  7. Mobilicious – del.icio.us social bookmarks on your mobile.
  8. Flickr – I have an installed java app on my Nokia but I prefer the mobile web version.
  9. Google SMS – Text message your search query to and receive a text message back with the results.
  10. Google Latitude -The same problem I had with plazes I have with this service; no one I know uses it. For local wayfinding I prefer Nokia maps when the software works.

doubleTwist

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DoubleTwist is a free media application that helps you play all your stuff, on all your devices and share your experiences with all your friends.
With the exception of our iPods, and even they pose some problems, getting data on and off my devices to my macs has always been a pain. DoubleTwist acts as a sort of universal digital hub, an iTunes for all devices, syncing photos, music, and video (the video on their site demos this with a Google Android handset). It also handles all the format transcoding required to make these files work on your device. Unfortunately you must be connected via usb for it to find your device. Bluetooth doesn’t appear to be supported.
DoubleTwist also allows you to upload your media to your favourite social media site and acts as a social network in it’s own right letting you share video and photos with friends.
Very polished interface. A promising and sorely need application.
doubleTwist


Dieter Rams – less, but better

Good design is innovative. It does not copy existing product forms, nor does it produce any kind of novelty for the sake of it. The essence of innovation must be clearly seen in all functions of a product. The possibilities in this respect are by no means exhausted. Technological development keeps offering new chances for innovative solutions.
Rams’s mission to bring a Brave New World of modern design to post-war Germany began in earnest when he met the Braun Brothers.

Good design: The ten commandments of Dieter Rams


Onitsuka Tiger Boston Gym Bag

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Some bag styling from my youth. This is the style of bag we used to carry our Adidas sneakers and tight polyester gym clothes in. This Onitsuka Tiger branded Boston Gym Bag looks better than what I carried but at close to $100US it should, right? Lots of room. Heavy duty handles and not so great canvas carrying strap. Rushfaster provides some interesting information on the history of the brand:

The founder of the now well-known shoes and apparel brand ASICS had already led an adventurous life, when in 1949, at the age of 31, he entered a new phase in his life. After years in the military and having worked for a company who bought and sold beer on the black market, Onitsuka decided that sports could play an important role in rebuilding the self-esteem of the youngsters in Japan. He learned how to manufacture shoes and founded Onitsuka Co Ltd. It was the start of a company that would develop into one of the five largest brands in the world market of sports shoes.

Available from Rushfaster


Top 10 Dirtiest hotels

Sometimes advice as to where not to stay can be more valuable than where to stay – that is unless you like to share your bed with bugs. Below are Tripsadvisors lists of the dirtiest hotels for Asia and the US based on reader reviews.
Out of the list I have experienced only The Imperial Hotel in Hong Kong, which I sucessfully avoided, and the Travelodge in Bangor, which I stayed in when it saw better days.
Asia
1.First Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
2.Hotel Grand Central, Singapore, Singapore
3.The Imperial Hotel, Hong Kong, China
4.Royal Peacock Hotel, Singapore, Singapore
5.Woraburi Sukhumvit Hotel and Resort, Bangkok, Thailand
6.Colmar Tropicale, A French-Themed Resort, Bentung, Malaysia
7.Oxford Hotel, Singapore, Singapore
8.City Gate Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam
9.Royal Parkview Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
10.Aseania Resort, Langkawi, Malaysia
US
1.Hotel Carter, New York City, New York
2.Continental Bayside Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida
3.New York Inn, New York City, New York
4.Eden Roc Motel, Wildwood, New Jersey
5.Days Inn Cleveland Airport, Brook Park, Ohio
6.Days Inn Airport / Stadium Tampa, Tampa, Florida
7.Travelodge Bangor, Bangor, Maine
8.Velda Rose Resort Hotel, Hot Springs, Arkansas
9.Ramada Plaza Hotel JFK International Airport, Jamaica, New York
10.Days Inn & Suites Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
TripAdvisor’s 2009 Top 10 Dirtiest Hotels


Buzzizone

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This looks great for impromptu and/or co-working workspaces. Or for the drummer in your family (I’m hoping my kids play quiet instruments). Mobile workspace?

Buzzizone is an acoustic, half high, freestanding wall that won already the ‘Brussels Design Award for Best Belgian Product’ last November.
The combination of its light weight and its simplicity to install, make the buzzizone a perfect solution for both working and private areas, using it as a kidscorner, working spot, memowall, noise absorber and so much more.
One can put it together and move it around as much as needed and demount and store it just as easily.
The product is handmade of biodegradable boardmaterial (inside) and felt made of upcycled PET-waste, and therefore a contribution to the future of our world

.More info. here.


Centipede

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Our current method of organizing our incoming snail mail, paper, and related ephemera is to simply throw it in a pile on a counter at the entrance to our house. I call it our analogue data bucket. It’s pretty inefficient and the most important pieces of mail, like a late bill, always seems to be at the bottom out of sight. This beautiful organizing tool called the centipede designed and made by Siebensachen would be a magnificent tool to solve this. It’s made with maple with anodized aluminum.
Available here.


Mobile Web 2009 = Desktop Web 1998

A usability study by Jakob Nielsen shows that people using websites on their mobile phones suffer from old-time usability issues, such as slow download time, bloated pages, and difficulties using the browsers.
To improve usability of mobile web browsing, Jakob Nielsen recommends that big and rich sites provide different websites tailored to each type of mobile device on the market. Sites that need to serve mobile devices but can’t afford building many different versions should supplement the main site with a single scaled-back mobile-optimized design, recognizing that it will serve high-end phones poorly.
The study reveals that people have problems with all kinds of mobile devices. Even the iPhone isn’t perfect, though it is, as Jakob says, “the first mobile Internet device worth criticizing.”

Read at Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox. Quoted from GUUUI.


App sorting in iTunes

As elegant as moving Apps is in the iPhone and iPod touch interface is, I always find myself frustrated that there’s no easy option to manage this inside iTunes. This is the interface I’d love to see on iTunes.

By svdomer09


MuJi Foldable Suitcase


Everyday, at their new online store, Muji releases a video that showcases real-life uses of a new product. In some cases this could be an excellent way to showcase product. The above is the super practical foldable suitcase which looks just right for small storage spaces. The site, and the luggage, matches their aesthetic, which is to super clean and modern.
See it at playMUJI


Innovation through observation

With an eye for brushing up on pertinent literature, I am trying to reread some key books from my small library. Some like George Lakoff’s books are very valuable but so academic I wonder if I will ever get through them. Others from Donald Norman and Tom Kelly are full of ready to use practical tidbits that allow me to at least start talking about them in my practice. I’m going to try to share some of these tidbits (writing aids in memory and I need all the help I can get).
I have Tom Kelley’s latest book, The Ten Faces of Innovation, on order but his book that I do have, The Art of Innovation, is full all kinds of great ideas which have proven relevant to me in the past and now.
I do like to watch people. If I had a wish it would be to be able to be involved in more projects that allowed me to observe the way people live, work, and play. So interesting and so many insights to be found.

It’s a general principle of humankind. Scientists, industrialists, anthropologists, artists, and writers have understood this for centuries, and many entrepreneurs understand it intuitively.
Once you start observing carefully, all kinds of insights and opportunities can open up.
Sometimes-if you are lucky-you can find inspiration for innovation by observing yourself. In many parts of your life, you go through steps so mechanically. so unconsciously, that this is not possible. When you are off the beaten path, however, you are open to discovery: when you travel, especially overseas; when you rent an unfamiliar car; when you try a new sport or experience a new activity. AT those times, you are more open to ask the childlike “Why?” and “Why not?” questions that lead to innovation. … take notes about your impressions, reactions, and questions, Especially the problems, the things that bug you.
New ideas come from being seeing, smelling, hearing-bing there.
Focused observation can be a powerful source of innovation. As you observe people in their natural settings, you should not only look for the nuances of human behavior but also strive to infer motivation and emotion. Good, insightful observation combines careful watching with occasional well-chosen “why?” questions to get at the underlying psychology of a persons interactions with products and services.

Some of my most inspiring moments came when our daughter Catriona started to explore the environment around her. In our house at the time most of the storage was via wire storage shelving with all the heavy pots and pans sitting at the bottom. Instead of discouraging her from touching or playing with them, we used to sit every night on the kitchen floor with pots and pans and other kitchen tools in an effort to make music. Sitting with her I was able to see the limitations placed upon her by her physical development , how she compensated, and was still participated.
In short these nightly playtimes/observations led to a continuing interest in tangible interfaces, a masters thesis, and a number of projects since.
Basic observational research can lead to all kinds of insights and inspiration.
From Chapter 3, The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm
Originally appeared in Kelake.


Deerfield Weekender

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This looks like the right size for my next weekend away at the farm. Like the styling too. The lining is a nice touch. But this is a plastic bag and despite their touting this as ‘animal friendly’ I would prefer to buy a leather bag that will last a life time than a plastic one that would be thrown out within a year. The bag is an import (meaning made in China).

Read more


Yohji Yamamoto Logo Shopper

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Founded in 2001, Y-3 symbolizes the merging of Yohji Yamamoto, an avant-garde Japanese fashion designer, and international sporting brand adidas. Even the name suggests partnership: The “Y” stands for Yamamoto, the “3” represents adidas’ iconic triple stripe, and the dash signifies their link. Yamamoto’s signature designs are fused with a classic sports aesthetic to produce a new genre of sportswear.

This looks like a tote that I would actually use. I think above all others I love Japanese bag designers. I don’t know if this makes sense but there is combination of timelessness, elegance, and practicality that resonates with me. Of course it’s easiest to just say they look great as this Y3 logo shopper obviously does.

Read more


Mobile Phone Manufacturers are ‘losing Their Touch’

Mobile phone manufacturers risk losing their customers as they race to incorporate touch-screen features into their phones in a bid to copy Apple’s success, according to feedback from shoppers collated by European customer review website, Reevoo.com.
More than 19,000 buyers of phones were asked by Reevoo to score and assess 226 phones against a range of criteria, including style and function. Reevoo’s analysis of feedback from customers shows that half of the bottom ten habdsets are touchscreen models.

Continue at Cellular News.