Tuesday, September 04, 2012

My Favourite Things Mobile.

Mobile seems to be the flavour of things this month so to go along with this theme I've come up with a quick list of all of my favourite things mobile. The mobile internet allows us to tap into the vast potential of the web from anywhere with phone service. These apps and mobile sites are just a few that I think are the most useful or interesting.

Metlink Mobile
Metlink - So useful for anyone who uses public transport. It can help you find the nearest bus stop or relevant timetable. And as most buses now have gps units installed in them this mobile site can tell you exactly how far away from your bus stop they are. I find this useful every morning as I can check if the bus has gone past already once I get to the bus stop.

Google Maps - Handy when you realise you don't know how to get somewhere in your own city. A lifesaver when you get lost somewhere you don't know, whether you're on holiday or heading off to a business meeting. If you can get a data connection when you're in another country this can be particularly useful. I'm usually pretty good at getting my bearings but I got completely turned around coming out of a subway station in Toronto once and had no idea which way I was supposed to go from there. Luckily I could check the maps on my phone which showed my location and I could easily see where to go from there.
London 2012 Results - So the Olympics are over now, though the Paralympics are only halfway through, but this was a great app to have while it was on. I'm expecting something like this from all major sports events from now on. Not only did it have schedules and results but it also had the option to be notified for specific events. I just had to select my favourites and I'd get a notification when they were starting.

An Example game of Words
Words With Friends - This is basically just scrabble but you can play with anyone anywhere. You can play with your friends who have the game too or with a random opponent. I have an ongoing game right now with a friend who moved to the USA and with its inbuilt chat its a great way to keep in touch.

Flipboard - One of the greatest things about the mobile internet I think is the ability to access personalised content anywhere. Flipboad allows you to choose which media sources you want to hear from. It can pick up images from your Facebook and Twitter accounts and mixes it in with stories from the Economist and BBC News to create a personalised magazine on your mobile device. Whatever mix you want.

Stuff - While Flipboard is great I do need to get my fix of New Zealand News as well. Stuff has a great app I can have a look through in the mornings to catch up on the top stories in the country. While the layout and content are great I have noticed a few times that it can crash unexpectedly. It is still a fantastic application and despite the occasional frustrating episode it only takes a few seconds to get back on so it still makes my list.

The mobile web is one of the great areas for potential growth in the future. As more and more people are connected to the net 24/7 through smart phones and tablets there is a great opportunity to move into some of this previously underutilised time. I'll still read a book on the bus sometimes but I am equally likely to be checking the latest news. Not only that but a good mobile site or app will make people's lives much easier. I like these sites and apps because they either help me or entertain me at times when I previously had much more limited choices.

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