It's all about the apps these days. Smartphones would be nothing without these clever little bits of software that let us do pretty much anything we want, all from one device. The apps we've seen on Pocket-lint over the last year span numerous platforms including the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, while the arrival of the iPad also kept the developers on their toes, as did the debut of Windows Phone 7. What's more, there was also all the applications on desktop devices and all sorts of other platforms as well.
With the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2010 just around the corner, we take a look at the five products that made it to the nomination stage and will be battling it out for the chance to be Best App 2010. Which will get your vote?
Spotify for Sonos
- Sonos app
- Free, then £10 a month
- September 2010
The way that we listen to music has changed dramatically in recent times, with more and more of us downloading our tunes, rather than going out to buy the CD. Streaming music over the internet is also becoming increasingly popular, with Spotify leading the charge. You can listen for free, although you'll have to put up with ads popping up in between tunes every so often. Subscribers to the premium service get ad-free music, as well as the opportunity to download songs and the ability to use the service on a mobile phone.
Spotify for Sonos is really a no-brainer. If you're already streaming music wirelessly around your house, then streaming it from the Internet to your system seems like the next logical step. All it takes is a swift, 5-minute upgrade to your CR200 controller, along with a Spotify Premium account (£9.99 a month) and you're ready to go. This is a truly revolutionary service that stands a strong chance of being named as Best App 2010.
Amazon Kindle app
- April 2010
We've seen an ever-expanding selection of ereaders popping up over the last year, as the technology really starts to make its way into everyday use. Amazon's Kindle has been at the forefront of the ereader revolution from the beginning and has seen mammoth sales figures in 2010. The Amazon Kindle app brings some of the retailer's superb Kindle experience to your mobile device.
As well as enabling direct access to your kindle account and therefore any books that you've downloaded, the app offers a slick, thumbnail-led UI that you'll pick up in seconds. The fact that the app also supports audio and video within the ebooks, gives it an important advantage over the actual Kindle devices. Some people might not fancy the idea of reading a novel on a backlit device, but if you're not one of those and you intend to use your phone, music player or iPad for your literary entertainment rather than an actual ereader, then you can't go far wrong with the Amazon Kindle app. This is simply the best ereading app available, and a very credible contender to scoop this year's award.
Xobni for BlackBerry
- BlackBerry OS
- From $9.99
- April 2010
The more gadgets we have, the more complicated it seems to get to keep our contacts in order. Getting mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets synced up with your laptop or desktop computer can be a nightmare and makes things very hard to find, and that's where Xobni comes in. The hotly anticipated version of Xobni for BlackBerry brings together the rich contacts experience that Outlook users have been enjoying through Xobni for the past couple of years.
The stand alone BlackBerry app will set you back a one-off fee of $9.99 or you can opt for the Xobni One service that forms a bridge between Xobni in Outlook on your PC and your BlackBerry, so you get all the rich detail from the emails on your PC, not just those on your BlackBerry. This drops the stand-alone price to $6.99 but also comes with a $3.99 monthly fee. If you've got a large network of contacts and you're constantly out and about and on your BlackBerry, then this app is nothing short of essential. But has it done enough to win the Best App category?
- December 2009
Here at Pocket-lint, we've seen more photo apps for mobile phones than you've had hot dinners. Maybe. Anyway, it's certainly a lot, and we've even treated you to round-ups of the best ones available on iPhone and Android. However, there's one app that seems to stand out among the rest, and that's Hipstamatic.
The app enables you capture old school snaps using the camera on your iPhone. You can pick from a selection of lens and films to achieve a number of different retro effects. Following the phenomenal success of the app, a landslide of inferior copycats have hit the iTunes store, but this one manages to keep its footing as the leader of the pack. We were lucky enough to be able to interview one of the makers behind the app on Pocket-lint recently, where he told us all about the the story behind the success. Hipstamatic is most definitely The Daddy when it comes to retro photo apps, but is it good enough to make it to the winner's podium?
- September 2010
Google's operating system is fast gaining ground and proving itself to be a strong opponent to Apple's iOS. The Android Market app store continues to grow at a breakneck pace, with more apps launching every day. The selection available isn't quite as comprehensive as that found on iTunes just yet, but it's getting there.
Swiftkey is one of the simplest, but most useful Android apps that we've seen here at Pocket-lint. If you've ever found yourself in a rage because the predictive texting on your phone has slowed down your communications by suggesting preposterous alternatives to words that you're trying to type, then SwiftKey is the answer. Costing just 60 of your hard-earned pence, the app provides you with an alternative keyboard and also analyses your writing style by looking at all of the texts that are stored on your handset. The result is a predictive system that actually works, and it also makes it easier to add accents and punctuation without having to delve into any sub-menus. Could this simple, yet superb, app take the crown?