There are many free software applications for the Windows Mobile platform, unfortunately many of them are horrible. After years of testing various apps on both WM5 and Windows Mobile 6 Professional, I have settled on my essential free programs. I’ve decided to only include those programs I use on a regular basis, or find incredibly helpful. I know everyone has their favorites, but these are mine. I recently had several friends purchase windows mobile based phones (after years of me telling them to do so), so this will also serve as a resource for them to get up to speed. I’ve already done the testing to figure out what works and what doesn’t, so you can just start enjoying your phone for all the cool stuff it can do.
DashWire – This little bit of software combines the best of both worlds… Mobile Gadgets and the Web. This site will allow you to backup the data on your phone to a website where you can manage your data and use as storage if you ever have to do a hard reset of your device. Currently DashWire allows you to backup your contacts, photos, videos, bookmarks, call history, text messages, speed dials and ringtones. But that’s not all, you can even send text messages from the web on your “dashboard” which will then go through your phone. Think of it as a way to control your phone from a website, cool stuff. DashWire also lets you share your photos and videos quickly and easily. From your web dashboard you can share your photos by sending an SMS or Emai, or post your photos directly to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, FriendFeed and Beebo. I must say that DashWire could possibly be the next generation “killer app” for Windows Mobile based phones. Check it out. NOTE: Owners of the Samsung SCH-i760 MUST install Microsoft .net Compact Framework v3.5 in order to get DashWire to function properly. If you have issues with getting it to run on any other device, please try installing .net 3.5.
Vox Mobile – Vox is a Blog network from SixApart. They have a hidden gem (I say “hidden” because its hard to find on their site) of a Windows Mobile application that allows you to instantly upload photos from your phone to a personalized website (See my photoblog for example). This program is great for taking snapshots while on-the-go. For geek bonus points you can use TwitterFeed to post links to the photos on Twitter
MyMobiler – This awesome application allows you to remote control your phone from your computer when it is connected via ActiveSync. Makes it much easier to tweak settings and install programs on Windows Mobile. I also use it at my desk at work to change streaming audio stations since I use my phone as a radio.
CometNow – CometNow is a cool application that will stream live video to the internet from your phone. It will record the video on their site, and also let you post those videos to YouTube later. I don’t use the application that much, but from my testing it was pretty cool. I’m sure there are many creative people out there who can come up with some really great ideas using this tool. Only thing to remember: Use IE when using their website, unfortunately it works best with IE.
GSPlayer – I use GSPlayer as my default mp3 / shoutcast / streaming audio player on Windows Mobile. Its clean, quick, and easy to use.
TCPMP w/ Skunkworks FlashVideoBundle – Combine the best video player with the FlashVideoBundle “hack” and you can now watch Youtube / Google Video and other flash video sites on your Windows Mobile phone.
PocketIRC – If you still like to rock it oldschool on IRC, then PocketIRC is your IRC client of choice on the Windows Mobile platform. Trust me, I’ve tried them all, this one is the best.
Palringo – There are many debates about what the best Instant Messaging application for the WM platform is, I happen to think the best free IM program is Palringo. With Palringo you can connect up to multiple networks and it runs well in the background. There are lots of other features but when it comes to IM, Palringo wins my vote.
Twobile – Twitter client for Windows Mobile. This is the best Twitter client I’ve found. It has the option to run in text only mode (no images) for faster Tweeting. Also more options to interact with Twitter than other clients I’ve tested for the WM platform. Can run in the background in the systray with a small memory footprint.
FriendMobilizer – A Facebook application for Windows Mobile. Allows you to update your status and get the latest updates from your friends. Will check Facebook every 30 minutes for new notifications.
MagicButton – MagicButton is a must have windows mobile task manager. It make the task bar behave like a windows desktop taskbar. You can switch applications and close them via icons near the start button. Great for memory management and keeping programs alive that would normally close automatically.
PocketToolman – Think of this application as the TweakUI of windows mobile, giving you access to settings that you normally don’t have control over. Excellent program for tweaking various functions of your phone. This application is for Windows Mobile 6 Professional only.
Advanced Config – Another tool to give you control over more advanced options in Windows Mobile.
PMClean – Tool for cleaning up your notification queue and temporary files. Use this program if your notifications are screwed up, it will clear the queue of old items and make your alarms work again!
VTap – the vTap application allows you to watch YouTube videos directly on your Windows Mobile Phone. Also allows searching on wikipedia and the ability to set up custom video feeds. Worth checking out if you like to consume video on your phone.
TV Guide – Never wonder when your favorite show is on. Handmark and TV Guide got together and released a mobile version of TV Guide. Its actually a pretty slick program, Handmark does good work.
Pocket Express – Another freebie by Handmark. This application acts as a portal to news, weather, stocks and more. The application itself kind of sucks, but it comes with a Today screen plug-in that lists: News Headlines, Stocks, and Weather.
iFonz – Awesome application that will make your Windows Mobile device look like an iPhone.
There are tons of other Free Windows Mobile Programs out there, but I’ve chosen to include some of the lesser known and VERY handy ones. Don’t forget the favorites like Google Maps, Microsoft Live Search, Skype and more. Have fun!