The Month In Windows Mobile Apps: Fennec the Fox Gets Some Exercise

Illustration for article titled The Month In Windows Mobile Apps: Fennec the Fox Gets Some Exercise

In yet another one of our new mobile app roundups, we've taken a reckless swan dive into the vast, burbling ocean of Windows Mobile software. Mozilla's Fennec browser goes for a test run, VLC gets a remote, and more.

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It might've been hard to tell through the thick fog of Palm Pre coverage, but it's been a good month for Windows Mobile. We got free online backup from Microsoft, along with a new Facebook app and a hefty update to the already-great Skyfire browser. Windows Mobile 6.5 inched closer to release, and I showed you how to try it out ahead of time. And even though the Windows Mobile Marketplace isn't open for business yet, there's still plenty going on in the world of WinMo apps:

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Illustration for article titled The Month In Windows Mobile Apps: Fennec the Fox Gets Some Exercise

Fennec: The Windows Mobile version of Mozilla been available for a few months, but it has so far lacked some important features, like, uhh, the ability to connect to the internet. Now the project has gone Alpha, and the new version actually works. It's an early, early build and still quite slow, but I already like their new navigation system, and page rendering is close to perfect. For VGA phones only. Free.

Illustration for article titled The Month In Windows Mobile Apps: Fennec the Fox Gets Some Exercise
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Kinoma Play: There's a special kind of expensive, power-user mega-app that you only really see on Windows Mobile, which Kinoma exemplifies gloriously. The app, which is, or was, primarily a media player/viewer, has expanded its purview to include social media sites as well. A short list of capabilities: video playback; music playback; picture viewing; YouTube browsing/playing; Twitter integration; Flickr support; Last.fm streaming and scrobbling; and RSS reader; an interface for the MobiHand app store; and too many more too list. It's pretty cool, but also $30: maybe a reasonable price for a mobile OS or really good shell conversion, but for a single app? Ha. UPDATE: There's a free version, appropriately called Freeplay, and it's got a fair portion of the pay version's features. Definitely worth a try.

Illustration for article titled The Month In Windows Mobile Apps: Fennec the Fox Gets Some Exercise
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SugarSync: A years-old cross-platform backup service, SugarSync has undergone a nice little transformation this month: now that Microsoft has opened up their 200MB My Phone backup service to everyone, SugarSync is giving away 2GB accounts for free. The Windows Mobile client is simple and tidy, just like a backup app should be.
(via Modaco)

Illustration for article titled The Month In Windows Mobile Apps: Fennec the Fox Gets Some Exercise
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SportyPal: For GPS-equipped phones only, SportyPal is a workout tracker—that is, if your workouts are based around running, biking, rollerblading or otherwise moving yourself from on place to another. It plots your journey on a Google Map, and gives you a rundown of distance traveled, calories burned and speed sustained. The app is free and fairly easy to use, as is the accompanying site, which you'll need to register for.

Illustration for article titled The Month In Windows Mobile Apps: Fennec the Fox Gets Some Exercise
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VLC Remote: A nice little remote app if your digital media life is centered around VLC, the cross-platform, do-it-all media playing app. It's stripped down, efficient, minimalist, and free, just like its control-ee.

Windows Mobile On Giz:

How To: Install Windows Mobile 6.5 Right Now
Cashmere and Alchemy: The New Heart of Windows Mobile (and Maybe More), Not a Ladies' Soap Store
Windows Mobile's App Sharing Feature Isn't Really Sharing At All
Microsoft My Phone Beta Open to the Public
Windows Mobile 7 May Get Gesture Controls After All
Windows Mobile Team Admits, Explains 6.5's Half-Assed UI
Windows Marketplace for Mobile Now Open to Developers
Windows Mobile Official Facebook App: Unpretty But Useful
This Is What the Windows Mobile Marketplace Looks Like
Skyfire Leaves Beta, Steals Windows Mobile Browsing Crown

This list is in no way definitive (especially cause it's our first!). If you've spotted a great app that hit the store this month, give us a heads up or let us know in the comments. Have a good rest of your weekend everybody!

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DISCUSSION

ron-mexico-old
Ron-Mexico

Thanks for acknowledging WM on Giz. But "Ha" my ass on Kinoma. ;) That program is nothing short of AMAZING and well well WELL worth the $30 price tag considering it does virtually EVERYTHING you could ever want from a multimedia perspective. I use it more than all other apps COMBINED because it (elegantly) does virtually everything I use my phone for most of the time short of email and web browsing . . . and even encroaches on the latter a little now due to its feed reading capabilities. Music. Videos. Pictures. Podcasts. Streaming radio. YouTube. Flickr. Facebook. Twitter. And the killer feature (for those smart enough to take advantage of it) of Orb integration. Except to check your email, make a call or browse the web you hardly ever have to leave the app.

Most smartphone users paid a good chunk of change for their device and then an additional $30+ a month (on top of their voice plan) for data access. Is a one-time $30 purchase for a fantastic app that will make your phone a multimedia juggernaut really too steep? There's solid freeware for various individual tasks out there for sure. But nothing that comes even remotely close to Kinoma IMO.

For smaller stuff I'll usually try to find a freeware route, but Kinoma and SPB Mobile Shell are the only 2 programs I'll say are unequivocally worth their premium price tag - because they offer the absolute best experience.