A friend recently asked me what apps I plan to download on day one with my Sprint HTC Evo (which I’m picking up in 25 hours from the time I started writing this post!) I thought I would share my top 5 must have apps and ask you about yours. There are several core functionality apps that come on the phone already, such as the phone app (duh), a messaging app, a contacts app, and a browser. You will also see Sprint apps like NFL and NASCAR (don’t hate on my NASCAR app – I love it and there are more NASCAR fans than you realize – it outsells Football in merchandising, so zip it!)
Additionally, Google application integration is built in for core Google products such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and YouTube. These are essential for any phone I own. My current Palm Pre did these apps very well, and I have come to expect great integration with Google’s core applications based on my Palm Pre experience.
Sprint Navigation will be on the phone, but with Android 2.1, we now have access to Google’s turn by turn directions in google maps – so I doubt I will be using Sprint Navigation much any more (on a sidenote for Verizon users – did you actually have to pay for gps navigation? Sprint includes it with the Everything plans).
The Evo will also come preinstalled with Qik, a video sharing application that allows you to stream video live as well as share video with Facebook and YouTube. There has been a lot of chatter on the web about the video conference functionality that Qik will also enable you to do; there were rumors of a $5 up charge (imposed by Qik, not Sprint) and Sprint’s site has this statement:
Video chat service available as an upgrade to the pre-loaded Qik app to enable conversational, interactive, real-time sharing between mobile devices or from mobile-to-desktop (link)
I do not believe the video chat will cost the extra $5 Qik will charge for “premium features” based on a post by our friends at Engadget. With the front facing camera on the HTC Evo, I’ve expected the ability to video chat to be available without a nickel and dime situation; maybe that’s naive on my part.
So – what apps do I plan to download on day one (24 hours 30 mins and counting)? Here are my top 5:
1. Google Picasa. – CORRECTION, Picasa integration is built in the OS – yeah!
I don’t know why this application isn’t included by default on a Google phone. I plan to take a lot of pictures with the massive 8 mega-pixel camera the Evo offers and I want those pictures on my Picasa page (http://picasaweb.google.com/Dale.Sackrider)
2. Google Voice.
I get why this wouldn’t be included – its still an invitation only service that not everyone has access to. But I do and I want to use it. There are a few pitfalls to using Google Voice – for starters, if you call someone using it, your anytime minutes are being used even if they are on a mobile phone (which is normally a free on the Everything plans). You also can’t receive or sent MMS messages through it (no picture mail). But I use it for businesses so I don’t have to give out my cell phone number directly. We don’t have a land line phone so this is the next best thing. I can setup rules to automatically send certain numbers to voice mail and all of my voice mail is transcribed to email and sent to me. I rarely have to listen to my voice messages since I setup Google Voice because of that feature!
3. Google Goggles.
This app allows me to take pictures of business cards and add them to my contacts without having to manually add the data. It has other features but this is the one I care about most. Have you noticed a Google theme here? Yes, I am a Google fanboy despite my personal belief that they are trying to take over the world and very likely going to succeed. One day we will find out they got into the phone market so they can record every conversation you have and make them searchable over the internet!
4. mSpot (http://www.mspot.com).
You can keep iTunes – I’ll use mSpot. I can upload my music to the cloud and sync it to my phone wirelessly. Not to mention the Video-On-Demand feature with mSpot Movies. Even with the 4.3 inch screen, I don’t think I will spend a lot of time watching movies on my phone – but I don’t have to with the HDMI output port on the Evo! I can stream movies directly to a TV.
5. Fring (http://www.fring.com).
I know the phone comes with Qik – and I believe video chat will be part of the free offering – However… No one I know is using Qik. I had never even heard of it before the Evo. Additionally, Qik is only available on cell phones and the Evo is the only phone available to the public today (while actually tomorrow) – what that means is Qik will only allow me to video conference with other Evo owners. Not that I don’t want to chat with Evo owners – I’m certain I would actually enjoy that alot, but since I only personally know two other people buying the phone on opening day – I need Fring if I want to actually USE the feature. Fring allows me to use Skype to chat with my Skype based friends and family – since Skype isn’t natively allowed on the Sprint network YET.
Well – that’s my list although I’m sure it will change several times over the next few days! What apps are must haves for you on Day One of the HTC Evo?