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The Real Deal 155: Smartphone Apps

Viewers submitted their favorite apps for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Nokia and iPhone.

Viewers submitted their favorite apps for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Nokia, and iPhone.

Listen now: Download today's podcast


I use a BlackBerry Bold, and as a college student I love Cram ( This is a program available for iPhone and Blackberry which assists in studying and test taking. Check it out, free trial but worth the $10.

Thanks, Garrett

* I just wanted to throw in my two cents about my fave app for my smartphone. I know it's not cool and doesn't have a sexy name like Google but I enjoy using Yahoo go. It's Yawho?'s mobile browser and I like it for the same reason I use Yahoo instead of Google. I can put all the info i need and want where i can see it at a glance. It has local news, national news, sports, a browser, maps that use my phone's GPS and gives me directions. Well that's that love the show; keep up the good work.


*** by technomensch - 3/25/09 7:44 PM

#10- iSkoot

Skype for the BlackBerry.

#9- Palringo/ECQ

Multiplatform instant messaging software

#8- Vlingo

Voice software to send emails and text, or create a Task while driving without typing. Enough said.

#7- TellMe?

Yes, I've admitted that I despise the voice version of TellMe? when you call #121 on an AT&T phone, but thanks to this app, I don't have to when I want to find the latest movie times or order tickets.

#6- Opera Mini/Bolt Browser

I use the Opera Mini so much more than the default BB browser. But the new Bolt Browser lets me stream video clips via the BB Media Players, so it's a toss-up.

#5. Google Apps

Google Reader. Google Maps. Gmail. Need I say more.

#4- Sling Mobile

I'm a TV addict. This was a life-saver when I was away from home and was missing the BSG season finale.

#3 OTA Synchronization- Funambol/Google Sync

Before Google released contact sync for Google Sync, my main go-to program was, and still is an open-source project called Funambol. A free MobileWe? alternative to Apple's MobileMe?, Funambol syncs your contacts, calendars, notes, and tasks lists with their server; which can then sync up with Outlook or Thunderbird. Tom knows I've been raving about this for a while and they even the ones providing the contact synchronization for AOL to cell phones.

But the best part is that this software is actually not restricted to just BlackBerrys. Almost any phone that can run a Java program and has syncml functionality can use it. I've even seen clients for Symbian, Windows Mobile, iPhone, and even the Motorola Razr.

I'm so addicted that I'm even attempting to build my own Funambol server using the latest Jaunty Ubuntu Server. I'll let you know how that turns out.

#2 (Tie) Slacker/Pandora

The only reason that Slacker and Pandora are tied at #2, instead of #1 is because I use the #1 app more.

I had been wanting the Pandora BB app ever since it was first announced for the iPhone and am thrilled that it was finally released.

As for Slacker, I've got 2 words for ya: "Cached Stations."

And finally, the Number One, Top BlackBerry App that I absolutely, positively cannot live without is Podtraaper. Every since I got my BB 8820 and used it to replace my iPod I have been looking for a podcast aggregating tool to download them OTA. Now that I have my Bold and I have this incredible software, I don't know how I functioned without it (other than connecting to the computer manually. It is beyond worthy of the $10 I spent on it because the developer deserves every penny for this fantastic app. In fact, the developer is very open when communicating with his customers. There is an "e-mail developer" function built directly into the app, which will automatically grab your logs if asked to. He is welcome to suggestions and very quick to implement them if they seem reasonable enough. I literally use it every single day (see- Buzz Out Loud).

Subscribing to a podcast is almost as easy as through iTunes as they have a vast library of existing podcasts including some of our favorites like:

Real Deal, Buzz Out Loud, Buzz Report, Loaded, Coverville, Wait...Wait...Don't Tell Me, etc.....

If the one you want isn't on the list, you can always subscribe using the url by copying and pasting through the BB browser.

But, perhaps the biggest kicker is that you can download the podcasts either OTA via the cellular network, or via WiFi?. Considering how many podcasts I subscribe to, I have it set to update when I plug it in to charge, only when connected via WiFi?. If you are only going to pay for one program, this is the one.

Oh- Honorable Mention should also go to PeekaWho? app that gives BlackBerrys a Growl-like pop-up with parts of TXT/emails when they come in over the running program so you don't have to jump between background programs.


4. PocketCM? Contacts – By Quentin Pouplard (from what I can tell he is an independent developer): For those that are interested in a good contact manager in your Win Mobile device that you can use with your finger – PocketCM? is it. Great interface - (a little iPhone like) easy to search, filter, allows editing, notes, multiple formats. This is way better than the standard WinMobile? contact manager. This is actually just an interface to the WinMobile? contact manager. I’ve used it for 1.5 years – Free

3. TinyTwitter? – simple to use, nice design for a Win6 device, always adding new features, obviously free. The only thing I wish it has is a search feature.

2. Microsoft Live Search. – This is an under rated tool. Nobody talks about it, even Microsoft. Offers name address and phone look up for most all business, mapping (like Google maps), directions, traffic, movies, gas prices, and weather…Great voice commands (say the city and state…Then the store…up pops a address and phone number. Just check and you’re in. All Win devices should have this. Did you know - They have a Blackberry App (beta) and a mobile web app too. - Free

1. News Break – (from Ilium Software, Inc.) Great RSS reader - Follow the news, listen to podcasts, and read your favorite blogs. Great search tool, updates easily. Tell NewsBreak? what news to search for - save keywords and let NewsBreak? find stories you're interested in. Can set up alerts This isn’t free, but has a 30 day free trial.


* When it comes to the must have apps for my phone (Samsung sch-i760 running WM6.1) I have a short list of must haves:

- BeyondPod? This is great little RSS reader that is designed perfectly for podcatching

- Nimbuzz A great little multiplatform IM client

- PockeTwit? Full featured and easy to use. Nuff said.

- TCPMP This is a great Windows Media replacement

- WinMoble? Torrent Great for all those Linux ISOs

For what it's worth those are my picks. Keep up the good work!

Jon the Banker in Chicago


Big fan of the Windows Mobile platform here. Tried an iPhone 3G but I just can't get done what needs to be done with it. I currently carry an HTC Touch Diamond with WM 6.1

Here's some of the perhaps not-so-common apps I like and use regularly:


Great for quick notes, but I especially like being able to "scan" in documents and business cards with the phone's 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera.


Very "handy" database program. Among others, I have a database set up to track my car's gas mileage. There is a companion desktop client as well.

MS-Live Mesh:

Set up a folder on my phone to sync with Mesh. (I have Mesh clients on my PCs and there is a "web desktop" as well). Great for moving files to and from my phone or for keeping lists and other files in sync.


Voice note app with voice searching capability.


Great Twitter client. Had been using ceTwit which is also good, but PockeTwit? has a killer UI. Great for keeping up on the latest from @acedtect and @rafe (ahem!)

Pocket Quicken:

Syncs with my desktop Quicken. I use this a lot.


Used in the past, but came pre-installed on my Touch as "RSS Hub". This is a great RSS and audio/video podcast aggregator. I use it to grab "The Real Deal" and then listen via my bluetooth stereo headset or in the car.


Nice little password manager that syncs with my PC and also has PC and U3 clients that are compatible with the file format.

Opera Mobile:

Came pre-installed on the Touch and is set up as the "default" browser. Much better than IE and, in my opinion, is very close to the iPhone's browser.

I have a host of other, more common apps like Google Maps and Skype, but everyone knows about those! I also have a data plan that lets me tether via USB or Bluetooth to my PCs, Nokia N810 etc. Very handy.

Thanks for the great show,



Sites. These are my three favorite sites to use to mess with my WinMo? phones. The sites are mostly about hacking your phone to dubious ends (i.e.: got Android working on my HTC Touch), but there are also many links to free (as in beer) apps that most people find useful; plus their user community is EXTREMELY knowledgeable and responsive to all your troubleshooting needs, even if you are a n00b. This is a must Ctrl+D for any WinMo? user. 1. XDA Dev -

2. PDA Phone Home -

3. PPC Geeks -

4. PocketPC? Freeware –

and this one -

Apps. Here’s a quick run-down of what I use on a daily basis (some of these are cross-platform): 1. Opera (you can even run iPhone apps because it has Java support) – free - (and Fennick is coming soon!)

2. Slide2Unlock – just like iPhone, no more butt dialing! – free -

3. Qik – cross platform (need to jailbreak iphone) way stream live webcasts from your phone. LOVE IT. Automatically sends to youtube and updates my twitter and facebook accounts – free –

4. Google Maps – now with street view; you can even use it with your gps chip (but not turn by turn dirs) – free -

5. PHM Regedit – Registry editor; everyone should have one – free -

6. TCPMP/YouTube Player – WinMo? Media Player mobile is blowful, TCPMP let’s you play divx and YouTube Player is self-explanitory – free – and i.e.:

7. VITO Remote – my favorite remote-control-for-your-TV app customizeable/learnable – $15.95 to register -

8. Sideshow for Windows Mobile – I don’t really use this but you can use your BT-enabled winmo phone as a sideshow device (to advance PPT slides check email, etc) – free -

9. Slingbox – it’s the reason I purchased a slingbox in the first place. So BA. – $30 -

10. Skype – save those minutes, especially if your smartphone has WiFi?… - free -

11. Iocr GPS Photo- GeoTag? your photos!!! (haven’t tried this yet, but can’t wait!!) – free -

12. [Tethering hack] – won’t elaborate, but if I pay for the data then I should be able to use it as I see fit…

Miscellany. These are just tips that didn’t fit in anywhere else: 1. Texting Google (466453) for directions, movie times etc… still use it over web. Also google voice search and free 411 (1-800-GOOG-411)

2. Mobile versions of sites – Try “m.” whatever the normal site is. You’ll be surprised at how many sites have mobile versions (although many of them come up automatically these days…

3. Check your carrier’s website! Many phones get free upgrades of their OS. I just got one from Verizon (hell clearly froze over).

4. You can post to Flickr/Twitpic and YouTube, Text to Twitter from your phone… ok… I’ve run out of steam…

Phew! Enjoy! -Dr. Karl

NOKIA 5800

It's still early days for the Nokia 5800 and there are relatively few applications available for it, but here are my favourites so far. Fring ( MobiReader?( [not native][what I read Toms book with]) PhoneTorch? ( zip (from download manager) Accuweather (from download manager)

Nokia Step Counter would have made the list, but it stopped working and won't be fixed. Hopefully Nokia will release a native version soon. Two programmes that desperately need native versions are Adobe Reader and MobiReader?. Both of these have greatly reduced usability because of their lack of touch screen support. Google Maps for the 5800 is very good, but with Nokia Maps built in and superior (it show train stops and doesn't try to connect to the internet all the time) I don't need it.



TOM's Tweetie Chess Foursquare Wurdle AirMe? SimCity? ShowTimes? BBCReader Tip Kindle Ustream

Rafe's iphone apps: Google Evernote Routesy Yelp Tweetie Wordpress DVR Remote NYTimes Stanza (not Kindle) GasBag? (until gas prices dropped) Easy Wi-Fi (plus Apple apps: SMS, Maps, camera, etc.) Games: Galcon Lite Wurdle Video Poker XPlane For the kid: Animals ZooBox? Cool in theory, but I don't use GoodGuide? Snaptel Reference words: Constitution, Shakespeare Too new (to me) to judge: Skype Inquisitor TapDefense?

here is my list of iPhone i like

  1. air mouse
  2. rss player
  3. sketches

love the show


In response to Tom the doppelganger's question about media management I use Itunes to to organize all of my media. I use a program called MetaX? to input the metadata before I import it into Itunes. After I rip a movie all I have to do is type in the name and let it search through its database all most always I come up with usable metadata which includes cover art, actors, year, description and even chapter titles. TV shows are a bit harder because of titles but if you batch edit them to make your life easier. I use the mac version but they have recently came out with a windows version.



Hey Tom & Rafe-

Want to say thanks for reading my question about media manager software. In the end a fellow listener Eric, suggested in the forums to try MediaMan? ( ) to manage all my movies, etc. Tried it and think it's GREAT! It allows you to list all of your movies, cds, books, and video games (you add as many sub -categories as you want). Heck you can easily add more categories too (they even suggest baseball cards or other collectibles). It has a nice feature where it will search any Amazon site in the world for your movies, music, and books and retrieve the info along with a small image. You can then search through your database either by text, icons or even a library shelf of DVD cases, cd cases, game cases or books! You can link directly to your files too so you can access/play them with this program.

It also allows you to tag your items to say if you'\ve loaned them out to anyone. Though I couldn't get it to work with my webcam, it does have a feature that will allow you to scan the bar code of any book/cd/dvd you have and the program will look it and import the info.

Very simple to use ( only downside is actually a little too simple- not enough freedom to manipulate things).

Really dig this program A LOT! Downside it costs $40, but there is a 30-day trial if you like to try it. I've already bought the software because it turns out the program has been around over 5 years now and the developer continues to upgrade it all the time (including last week) and by paying the 1-time fee, free upgrades and support for life of the company. Only major negative, no mac or linux versions.

Big thanks for bringing this up on Real Deal, found a program I'm very pleased with!

Cheers from Oxford! Tom Merritt the Doppelganger


For those who need to keep track of the movies they own, a for-fee software that may be useful is DVD Profiler at It relies on crowd sourcing for detailed database of movies. It is mainly in English and other similar Latin alphabets, not Asian languages.


Hi Tom and Rafe,

I remember in previous episodes that you mentioned how you used Synergy to use multiple monitors easily with 1 keyboard and mouse, and how it hasn’t been updated in a while. Well, a group of people decided to continue the project of Synergy, and it is now updated. Here is a link to the article about it:

Love The Show! Ross in CT

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