Seeing as everyone seems to be in the spirit of writing end of year round-ups, I thought I’d compile a run-down of my favorite Symbian mobile apps of 2009. This time last year, things were looking bleak for fans of the OS, and many feared that developers may shun the platform and opt to concentrate on iPhone and Android instead. Thankfully, these concerns never became reality. In fact much of the great innovation in mobile applications in 2009 was Symbian flavored. Here are ten great apps from this year that I now regard as essentials.
Vlingo – If Michael Knight had a Nokia, he should probably ditch K.I.T in a lay-by and use Vlingo instead. Just speak a command into your phone then Vlingo will oblige, be it opening a web page, taking a text note, or starting up a utility. Plus, it doesn’t answer back like the smug, patronizing car from the 80s series.
Spotify – Everyone has gone Spotify crazy this year. Now you can carry the music player around with you on your Symbian phone, effectively converting your device into an MP3 player with infinite memory. You need never pirate an album again!
Nokia Internet Radio – Another great audio app, this time from the Nokia development stable. This small program lets you browse hundreds of radio stations from across the planet. You can peruse stations by genre, by country, or by language, meaning Nokia Internet Radio will take over your life.
Skyfire – Finally, a decent competitor to the superb Opera Mobile. Version 1.0 of Skyfire touched down in May and blew us away with its streamlined interface design, customizable start page feeds, and its ability delivers pages to you faster than a paperboy with a jetpack.
Skype – My respect for telephone operators disappeared a long time ago. Then along came Skype, to show that it is possible to offer a telecoms service with a smile and a sense of fun – and what’s more, to make it free! Skype for Symbian is one of the best things to happen to the platform for quite a while.
Qik – An essential for anyone who didn’t get through the Big Brother auditions, Qik lets you broadcast live video (and audio) of yourself to the Internet through your phone. Next year, expect plenty of celebrities to ditch Twitter in favour of this new way of getting in our faces.
Snaptu – I’m a member of so many social networks, I think I know almost everyone on the Internet. Having so many accounts and being so damn popular can be a hassle. Not with Snaptu though, which pulls all of your networks into one place to make things easily digestible.
Nokia Step Counter – Previously known as Nokia Activity Monitor, this little app could be the secret to a new you. Install it on your phone then walk around as normal, and Nokia Step Counter will tell you exactly how many calories you’ve burned off. I’m hoping a future version will count how many are going into your mouth.
Twittix – Arguably the best Twitter client on the Symbian platform. Twittix comes with a beakful of features, including quick photo uploading, a timeline that’s easy to navigate, and SMS forwarding of tweets. Armed with this, you’ll never be out of the loop.
Spb TV – People don’t watch enough TV these days, so I recommend everyone to go and download Spb TV on their mobile. The app lets you watch live TV without paying a subscription, and includes a bumper choice of channels from around the World. So now you’ve got no reason to miss the latest Mongolian mud wrestling matches.