It’s been quite a while since I bought my N900 and I have had quite a few good and bad experiences on it.
The bad experience wasn’t due to the quality of the phone or software, it was something I did. I took out the phone on a rainy day and well, one can guess the rest. The Nokia care, took care of it quite well and even though I got back my phone quite late, it was almost back to its original self.
Now, on with post, I have been using the N900 as my main phone since August (except for a brief period of time when I went back to my N95, while the N900 was getting serviced). I have installed and tried loads of applications and games, yes there are loads of them available, provided one knows where to look for them. Some have caught my attention and made the job easier, some were just a waste of time.
So I thought of making a list of 10 application which in my opinion are the best on the N900. I will pen them in the descending order.
Firefox for the N900 has been out for quite sometime. I have various reasons as to why it’s placed 10th in the list. N900 does have Firefox’s brother MicroB as the default browser and its the best that’s available. The new Firefox though brings a great experience with the Awesome bar and tabs, is quite slow and buggy at times. Compared to the stock browser it occupies way too much memory and its start-up time is abysmal. But once it is ready to be used, it takes the browsing experience to a whole new level. The pages look better and more finger friendly, the fonts are clearer, there’s support for plugins and add-ons.
I use Firefox on the desktop and it just seems like the right choice for me on my N900 as well. Even though its not as fast as Opera or as convenient as the stock browser on the device, it does it’s job fairly well and I am sure the future versions will be better.
Those who’ve used Ubuntu would definitely know about Transmission, a light-weight, convenient bit-torrent client. The same is available for the N900 as well and it pretty much does what is required. The UI has been tailored to be more N900 friendly. Almost all the functionality provided in the desktop variant are available here too.
As expected, it consumes lot of battery power, it also hogs up the processor too, so no other heavy weight app can run in parallel. In spite of these, I use it occasionally to download a few small sized torrents that I can right away view/listen to on the phone.
8. Personal Data-plan monitor:
This is a handy little desktop widget that can be used to monitor the data upload or download. I use a limited data plan where I have to keep an eye on the usage. It also displays the last reset date, which can be used as a reminder to reset the data usage after the billing cycle ends.
7. Wi-Fi switcher applet:
This tiny applet which adds itself in the status menu, can be used to switch the status of the Wi-Fi radio. Comes in handy when there’s a need to save battery charge.
This is a fantastic Evernote client for the N900. I use Evernote as a note taking utility. I use it on the the desktop as well as my other Nokia S60 devices and my Apple iPod as well. The UI is simple and does what is required to do.
The WordPress client for N900 is one application that I use a lot. In fact 70% of this blog post is written on my N900. It has simple UI and can handle multiple blog URLs fine. There’s a similar client for the S^3 devices as well. The only problem I found was that the font sizes were too small for comfort. Someone with an eye problem might have trouble navigating in the application.
4. Media Player:
The stock media player on the N900 is the best there is. It handles both audio and video very well. The video player plays almost all types of formats (the codecs are available). The video playback is crisp and clear. Audio is impressive as well. I am glad to have the N900 because it’s an apt replacement for my iPod (which all of a sudden decided to stop working. I am still finding a way to get it fixed).
For all those who are disappointed with the absence of contacts/calendar sync over http, this is the right app. Hence it gets 3rd place on the list. I use the Google cloud to store and mange my contacts and appointments. It seamlessly syncs the contacts over http with cloud via SyncML and there’s pretty much no loss of data. For more information on how to setup and use SyncEvolution refer to my earlier post at https://atlocalhost.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/contact-sync-on-n900/.
The default e-mail client on the N900 is just fabulous. It has complete support for all the major e-mail service providers, along with support for Microsoft Exchange (even though a bit buggy at times). The email viewer can handle both text and html based viewers. There’s support for attachments and a very convenient integration with the contacts database on the phone. There is also a convenient way to search for contacts in the corporate address book on the Exchange server and add them to address book. One feature I would love to have is to be able to search for a contact while creating an email and not having to add/import the contact first from the exchange server and then composing the e-mail.
The e-mail app has impressed me so much that I almost never use my desktop to send/read emails.
1. Angry Birds
No surprises there I guess. I fell in love with Angry Birds the moment I used it for the first time. There are 3 level packs available with at least 40 levels in each. The experience on the N900 is just fantastic and this is one game that I play every time. I don’t need to talk much about the game as it is released on almost all the major Smartphone platforms (Symbian^3, iOS, Android).
I wish Rovio would add more levels or packs to the N900 version. I haven’t seen an update from them in quite a while, which is very disappointing.
Let me know your opinions and if you own a N900 let me know your favorite applications.