Verizon Wireless requires purchasing a data plan when purchasing certain phones. These are phones which could do data. Maybe you got one because of its keyboard, maybe because of its camera, maybe because it plays music. You had no plans to use the phone for its data features; calls and text messages were all you required. You may have tried Google searches through text messages (text your search to 466453 (GOOGLE)).
Now you’re paying an extra $10 a month to use your phone, and wondering what you can do with that 25MB of data service. Not games; games on this are boring. You could download music, but there are simpler ways to manage music on your phone. You could download videos, but videos on these screens are boring.
A search for WAP web sites yields many collections of web sites designed for mobile phones. Many of these collections are out-of-date and now point to “parked” domains.
Is there anything interesting to do with that data allowance?
Mapquest (m.mapquest.com) traffic, directions, gas prices
Weather Channel (m.weather.com)
National Weather Service (cell.weather.gov) (mobile.weather.gov)
CNET News (m.news.com)
AOL Instant Messenger (m.aim.com) Manage your availability, see which of your buddies are online and send text messages which pop up on your buddies’ Instant Messenger clients.
eBuddy (m.ebuddy.com) Multiple platform instant messenger
Washington State Department of Transportation (www.wsdot.wa.gov/small/) Travel conditions on your phone, including up-to-the-minute maps. It doesn’t know your location. Less cumbersome than Mapquest traffic.
Google mobile services (m.google.com)
Much of Google tries to fit the confines of your not-so-smart phone. To use many of them, you will need to store your password on your phone. Picture the problems which could arise if your phone fell into someone else’s hands. For example, they can send emails as if they were you. They can read your old emails. Plan to change your password if your phone is misplaced.
Configure your iGoogle settings to be “phone friendly.” Many gadgets should not appear on your default page. Games like Bejeweled, for example, will cause an “insufficient memory” error. Move that content to another tab. There are plenty of news feeds you can add to your default page. The Gmail gadget does not support the “Always use https” preference (and is, therefore, of little use on any iGoogle tab).
Google calendar (mobile.google.com/calendar) has a text version that displays well on your phone. Check your schedule and make updates on the road.
Even persons with only text (SMS) message capabilities (no data required) can find Google calendar useful. From your usual computer, use Calendar Settings, Mobile Setup and you can send calendar updates or request a list of events as an SMS message to 48368 (GVENT). SMS – Google Calendar Help
Google Mobilizer (google.com/gwt/n) adapts arbitrary web pages for display on your phone
eBay Mobile (m.ebay.com)
bitBomb, schedule text messages to your phone
oh, don’t forget…, schedule text messages to your phone
Call the Future, schedule voice messages to your phone