I am often asked which SmartPhone applications I recommend. As there are literally millions, that do all kinds of stuff, that can be an overwhelming question. Here are some of my personal favorites that I find myself using daily. I'll break these down under categories to keep it simple. Everyone knows about Microsoft's Productivity applications so here are some that are not as well known...
I hate Safari and Explorer and only use Google Chrome and Puffin's Free version and here is why. Google's browser is more compatible than any other and is fast and easy to utilize. I also love Puffin's FREE browser which is the fastest of all browsers and has some very cool properties not found on others like pinch and pull zooming.
Cellular Voice Mail
Most people use the voicemail that comes with their carrier and don't even realize there are far better FREE options. Of course, you can buy the premium versions of the products I mention below for an enhanced experience, but it really isn't necessary as the FREE versions are pretty amazing, compared to generic carrier voicemail. YouMail is a very cool and impressive solution. Your calls are answered by a virtual secretary. What distinguishes this FREE solution from the rest and blows your callers away is, if they are in your contacts list, they are actually greeted by first name, "Oh Hi Jeff, Joel cannot come to the phone at the moment. Please leave a message..." The other solution that I like slightly better is "Google Voice". With Google, you can have an independent number from your cellphone's that will forward automatically to it. This is great when you need to give someone your number but don't want them to have your personal number. I love it because I can forward my T-Mobile mobile number to it and get FREE Voice-to-Text transcription, and a FREE WAV file is recorded, along with the conventional voice mail message. That means you have three options to retrieve your voicemails, reading them in text, playing the recorded audio WAV file, or dialing in old school for the voice message.
There are many, many FREE cloud storage options. I personally have almost a half dozen clouds that I utilize. I do it this way as most clouds give a limited amount of storage space. For my really important stuff that I prefer to keep secure, I have a paid cloud service I utilize. For my photos, and regular documents, music and videos, I use DropBox, Box, OneShare, and Apple's Cloud.
T-Mobile's Voice over IP/Wifi dialing allows me to dial where there is no wireless coverage & to roam for FREE.
-WhatsAPP Messaging offers FREE and super-secure picture, video, calling and audio messaging globally.
-Viber is a great AP for those who roam globally It offers totally FREE global voice calling.
-SKYPE- The pioneer is still here and as good as ever. Skype is a great way to call internationally for FREE, or peanuts.
-Facetime- Video calling for iPhones is so cool but very few people actually use it because they were never instructed how.
-Instagram- This FREE APis a terrific way to follow friends by their photographs
-FaceBook- No explanation needed for this Ap.
-Alaska Airlines- This Ap is great for checking in and pre-boarding .
-Swellmagnet.com is a FREE Southern California surfing AP with FREE beach cameras, surf forecasts and very cool stuff.
-Ultratide is a very cool Surfline powered forecasting tool designed for Nixon's Surf Watches. Don't buy the watch for this cool Application because It works really well on iPhone and Android devices too and is totally FREE.
-Amazon- I originally got this for FREE amazon prime two day shipping. I later found out they offer FREE Cloud and downloadable music and videos. I find myself watching many of their TV and Movie shows, much of which is FREE for Prime.
-Netflix- One of the smartest things I ever did was buying an old mac mini off e-bay and plugging it in via HDMI cable to my 55" Flat screen TV. Facebook and photos never looked so good. I love watching Netflix and Amazon movies this way too.
-FlipBoard- This is one of the quickest and funnest ways to get your news. It works great with all SmartPhone operating systems and is now working with many desktop operating systems. You can even customize your categories of interest.
WSL- World Surfing League AP lets you watch every tour event LIVE, from all over the world. The Ap will even send you an "It's ON" e-mail whenever a contest is going to run. FREE, awesome and another great argument for UNLIMITED data!
-Google Maps The gold standard and great AP for getting around
-Apple Maps After a rocky launch, this AP is now ready for primetime.
-Waze- This is the choice of professionals due to user input. A favorite of Lyft and Uber drivers.
If you have any favorite applications that you feel I should share with our subscribers, please contact me.
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Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.