When it comes mobile operating systems, Windows Mobile has a market share of 15% and growing, and with an added 18 million licenses being issued in the past year alone, it can no longer be ignored as a bit part player. Love or loath Windows or Microsoft, there operating systems do work, and work well, and the Mobile version is no different.
Windows Mobile will never be able to compete with the iPhone, with the iPhone cool factor being so great, nor with the volume of apps that are available for it. What it can do, alongside Windows Mobile compatible applications, is create a smaller, sleeker smartphone, that is not just an extension of your desktop PC or laptop but a direct portable replacement.
All of the apps below are compatible with WM 5 & 6, and are broken down into the following categories: Web Browsers, RSS and News Readers, Mobile Communication Apps, Mobile Media Players, Mobile Graphic Editors, Mobile Office Utilities, Social Media Apps, Google Apps, Microsoft Apps, Utilities and Essential Downloads.
Windows Mobile Web Browsers
Skyfire – Free mobile browser »
Opera Mobile »
Opera Mobile has been dowloaded, since 2004, over 125 million times. Opera Mobile has pioneered and set the standard in mobile browsing, and by the number of downloads, tells you how good the phone is. Pan and Zoom is one of the many outstanding features that Opera has, click on the content and Opera will zoom in for you. Some of its other features include Dragonfly (a developers tool kit), Opera Turbo, which can compress network traffic by 80% and Opera Widgets which are small Web applications that run locally on you phone, giving you one-click access to your favourite web services. Skyfire is marginally better.
Firefox Mobile Beta »
Mozilla is getting in on the mobile browser game, with its Firefox Mobile browser, code-named Fennec. It isn’t merely a port of the desktop version of Firefox but rather a completely new interface designed to be used comfortably on small screens. Firefox Mobile avoids clutter by locking its settings in a menu that can only be viewed by dragging the screen to the right. Yes, the Firefox Mobile Browser is still in beta and is limited, but future releases will undoubtully have the kind of features that the distinguishes Skyfire and Opera.
Windows Mobile RSS and News Readers
NewsBreak Lite »
NewsBreak Lite is an RSS reader with a rich interface that makes it easy to customize and browse your RSS feeds. Save keywords and NewsBreak Lite will use them to quickly find stories that interest you, it will also schedule downloads of podcasts so you can enjoy them whenever and wherever you want and you can even share the headlines with your friends and family directly via NewsBreak Lite. Sadly, the lite version is limited to only 5 feeds, but still worth it.
YomoMedia – Feed Your Phone »
YomoMedia is a free RSS feed service for the desktop and Windows Mobile phone. It grabs your news, blogs, podcasts, audio & video and automatically downloads them so they’re available when you want, without waiting.
Speeed Reader »
Speeed Reader is a Google Reader Client for Windows Mobile that allows native access and interaction with your Google Reader subscriptions. The great RSS feed aggregator that can organize all your RSS feeds in an intuitive manner, and using Speeed Reader, you can now view them on your Windows Mobile device, natively.
Windows Mobile Communication Apps
Skype 3.0 for Windows Phones »
We all know what Skype is, so I won’t bore you with a description. I can tell you that you will get free Skype-to-Skype calls and free instant messaging, and you can also for free spreadsheets, photos, music and other files via Skype-to-Skype.
iDialer is a finger-friendly dialpad for Windows Mobile PocketPC phones. It’s essentially a clone of the iPhone dialer, with one major enhancement: iDialer allows you to seamlessly place calls using your virtual number from Google Voice, Phone.com, or JaJah. It can be used to simply replace your built-in dialpad, or as a nice interface for your calling cards.
Windows Mobile Media Players
Real Player is an essential download, it allows you to playback RealAudio, RealVideo and 3GPP compliant content by streaming the media or by directly downloading. It seamlessy integrates with the RealPlayer for PC and you drag and drop MP3 and RealAudio files directly to your mobile devices, you can also have access to news, sports, movies, music and radio content via RealPlayer Mobile Media Guide. Real Player works differently with different devices, so check first to see what features your phone will allow.
Nitrogen 1.1 »
Nitrogen is a feature rich Pocket PC that provides a lightweight, yet powerful music playback. It features a file browser, custom playlists, full skin support, 10-band equalizer with presets, “Shuffle” and “Repeat” modes, a built-in sleep mode and a command to blank screen to prevent energy waste while playing music. Nitrogen uses the MAD and OVD decoders, which are opensource.
MPlayer for Windows Mobile is a port of the famous MPlayer media player from the Linux platform, it can play music and video data as well as streaming media directly from the network. It has been tested with an unlocked Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6 device, and run on all WM5+ Smartphones as well Pocket PCs.
DivX Mobile Player »
DivX Mobile Player 0.92 is beta software available only for a limited time only. DivX Mobile Player will eventually expire, so grab the free download quickly. You do have to subscribe first to the DivX Mobile Community to access the download.
Flash Player 7 For Pocket PC »
Flash Player 7 for Win Mobile enables developers and publishers to quickly and easily deploy rich interactive Flash content and applications.
Windows Mobile Graphic Editors
VsPainter LE 1.8 »
For any designer, artist, creator of video games, cartoonist, illustrator, blogger etc.. VsPainter help your daily creativity, anywhere at any time of day. Take your mobile and draw digitally by using the many creation tools. Drawing on the screen is a little bit awkward rather than using a mouse, but good fun.
Adobe Photoshop.com Mobile Beta »
This beta version of Photoshop, sadly, is only available to US users. Photoshop.com Mobile beta is the easiest way to upload, view, and share photos online from your Windows Mobile phone. Disappointingly, it is not a graphic editor like its much, much older and larger brother, more of a personal image gallery. It is still in beta…
Screen Capture »
Ilium Software Screen Capture is a free, fast, and an easy to use screen capturing program for your Windows Mobile device. Download a copy today and you’ll be able to take high quality screenshots quickly.
Windows Mobile Office Utilities
Writer for Windows Mobile »
Windows Live Writer is an excellent and easy to use blog publishing software package. Simplicity is its selling point, it is easy to setup, and as for actually posting, it couldn’t be easier. Recommended. Please note, this is not a Microsoft app, and is not associated in anyway with Windows Live Writer.
w0lf’s Translator 1.2 »
Wolf’s Translator is a small program that uses the Google Translate engine to provide translations. This application is much easier and quicker than the web based version. To run this program you will need the .Net Compact Framework 3.5. Download it here:
SpooNotes turns your Windows Mobile device into a friendly handwriting tool that makes taking notes quickly and easily. A cool feature that it has is the ability to invoke from a phone call.
Evernote – Remeber Everything »
Evernote is a cross platform application that allows you to easily capture information in any environment using any platform or mobile device and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. Some of its cool features include creating notes containing text and audio, it finds printed and handwritten text within images, you can clip web content directly into the Evernote app and it also captures screenshots.
iContact is an all-inclusive finger-friendly contact manager for Windows Mobile phones. It’s easily skinnable, intuitive, and replaces the standard Windows Mobile contact chooser.
moBlog is a mobile blogging application for Windows Mobile , it currently supports Blogger, WordPress.com and Live Spaces. It is an application that you can use in off-line mode, where you can do your writing and editing disconnected from the net, the connection is only required when you initially setup your blogging accounts and when you want to update your blog with the new content.
Windows Mobile Social Media Apps
Facebook App »
Keep up with the latest news and posts with Facebook on your phone. Now your status updates can be up-to-the moment accounts of what you’re doing. Photos and videos are about as close to live-action as you can get. Show your friends what you’re up to, while you’re out and about.
This Twitter app for Windows Mobile lets you send and receive tweets from your Windows mobile, it can display yours and your friends timeline. It can be set to Auto-Refresh keeping up to date all the time. ceTwit has a full range of options for tweets, choose the ‘Action’ option while a message is highlighted, and you can reply, send a direct message…
Twitter for Windows Mobile »
This app is for the Twitter user who wants an easy way and a quick way to send a tweet. This very tiny app places a link to Twitter on the today screen, thats it really, but extremely useful.
Tiny Twitter »
Tiny Twitter is a lightweight and fast application, you can send and view tweets (even pics), send and recieve messages, it can even locate were you are via GPS.
Windows Mobile Google Apps
Windows Mobile Microsoft Apps
Bing for Mobile »
Interactive maps, directions, shopping products listings and local listings from Microsofts new search engine.
MSN Messenger »
You can quickly send text messages to anyone on your list of online buddies as well as interact with multiple people at the same time. The chat window lets you read and write messages. Notifications alert you if others are trying to contact you. Take advantage of the My Text feature to quickly send frequently used messages with a single tap. You can see when your buddy is writing you back, just like on your desktop PC. Pocket PC notifies you when others are inputting a response.
Windows Mobile Utilities
Pocket RAR is a version of the RAR archiver for the Pocket PC 2002 platform, it is compatible with Windows Mobile 5.
SoftKey Manager »
A freeware SoftKey Editor for Windows Mobile, allowing you to change the defaults of your Today screen softkeys.
TreeSize Mobile »
TreeSize Mobile helps to easily locate the big files on your Smartphone when it runs out of disk space. You don’t need to manually search for large files and folders which can take a long time. The file system is represented in a tree view and it shows you the size of folders, including their subfolders.
CleanRAM v1.6 »
Amazing utility which helps you to clean up the wasted RAM memory without having to restart the device and eventually saves a lot of time.
WiFi Monster »
This is wi-fi app has fairly basic functions, but if your not looking to take over the world it packs plenty. All it does is turn WiFi on and off, shows the current wifi status, list nearby networks, it connects to all types of networks (including WEP, WPA, WPA2, hidden, open, etc.) and it supports VGA, wide screens and landscape mode.
Mobile FTP Client »
Mobile FTP Client is FTP client for windows mobile 5/6 or above that allows users to download or upload files to a FTP server. It does need the .NET Compact framework 2.0, so make sure you download it.
Ilium Software PassBuilder is a free password generator that eliminates the need for constantly trying to invent new passwords, set the length and set the criteria and you are good to go.
DockWare offers you a personalized clock, calendar and photo viewer. You can even use your pictures as a slide show in the background.
Do you ever find that you’d like to turn your device off from your screen, instead of having to touch the button? With PowerTap on your device’s Start menu, you can turn it off with just a tap. Handy little app.
AirScanner Anti Virus »
Airscanner is probably the best free antivirus for your Windows mobile device and with the increased wireless connectivity of PDAs and Smartphones comes an increased threat from virus attacks. Its better being safe than sorry.
PdaNet for Windows Mobile »
This software allows your PC/Laptop to go online by connecting to your Pocket PC phone or Windows Mobile phone through the ActiveSync cable, Bluetooth or InfraRed. Simply install and your computer will connect to the Internet instantly.
Windows Mobile Essential Downloads
.NET Compact Framework 3.5 »
Download and install .NET Compact Framework 3.5, quite a lot of applications need this to run on your mobile device.
Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5 »
Download and install Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5 if you use Windows XP or an earlier version of the Windows operating system on your computer and you want to sync Microsoft Office Outlook data or other files, including pictures and music, between your phone and your computer.
Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1 »
Download and install Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1 if you run Windows Vista on your computer and you want to sync content between your mobile phone and your computer. Windows Mobile Device Center is only compatible with Windows Vista.