Turn Old Phone Into A Smart Phone

My colleague, Matt Maier has started writing the Third Screen column on CNNMoney.com, and in his latest column, he points out how phones are becoming increasingly PC like in their capabilities. Much of the omph is being packed into the latest and greatest phone. If you are one of the millions who refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy new smart-phone, then I have some handy tips and couple of software recommendations to give it an IQ boost. In order to do that, you have to make sure that your phone has Java support, which basically rules out most Verizon phones. Samsung, LG, Nokia and Motorola phones for other wireless services such as T-Mobile, Cingular and Sprint-Nextel are more than likely to have Java support.

For starters, download two applications: Opera Mini, a browser that is perhaps the greatest thing since, well Firefox, and install it on your phone. You can do a direct over the air download as well, by using your current (slow and painfully difficult to use) WAP browser. Go to http://mini.opera.com and install it.Opera Mini will make web-surfing almost painless.

The second application I can recommend is Movamail, which is one of the best IMAP clients for mobile phones. The application allows you to check email from pretty much any account -Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail – not to mention your own server. Believe me, this is the best email client for mobile phones ever – fast, nimble and intuitive. Don’t take my word for it. It has been downloaded 400,000 times so far. You can use it for free for 60 days, but I bet you will pay-up for extended use. ($29.99 a year.) You can grab it from http://wap.movamail.com .

My Mac friends – this is good to go with your ultra-cool dot-Mac accounts, though I am getting p****d off about paying $100 a year for basically an email address!