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Smartphone inspiration

iPhone 3GS vodafone
iPhone 3GS vodafone

iPhone_3GS_vodafoneCan you remember life before mobile phones? It seems hard to imagine now that we did actually function pretty well without them. So we might have wasted a little bit of time or found asking someone on a date a little harder, but life still functioned as normal. But now, if some power destroyed all mobile phones, we would all feel as if we had just lost a limb.

We can do so much from our mobile phones. In fact, most handsets are now more like computers with calling ability. Aptly named ‘smartphones’ let us browse the internet, update our Facebook statuses, send emails, listen to music, take pictures, locate businesses using GPS and call and text of course. And now that we have ‘apps’ there seem to be no limits to what a mobile phone can do. Here are some of the best ‘on-the-go’ apps available for the iPhone right now.

If you haven’t read the latest issue of Time Out, or maybe you’re not London-centric then Urbanspoon can help. It uses GPS or Wi-Fi to find your location and give you random restaurant recommendations just by shaking your phone. Perfect for trying new places and cuisine types.

If you are in a new city and aren’t quite sure where to start, let Tourcaster.com give you some inspiration. This website has thousands of city-guide podcasts to download which include in-depth information on the city in hand. iTunes also has some specific and detailed podcast tours of MOMA, The V&A and the Smithsonian to name a few.

If you don’t fancy walking home or getting the night bus, but don’t know the names of any taxi companies, then Rocket Taxi is ideal. It locates you via GPS or Wi-Fi and then finds taxi companies near to your location. You can choose a company by star rating, bookmark your favourite companies for future reference, map your start and end locations and get a fare estimate. You can then rate the company for the benefit of future users.

If you want to keep up to date with the news, particularly if you are travelling and want to know what’s going on back home, then download the news app from your favourite online newspaper. You can get real-time news feeds as the headlines are breaking, and Sky News for example, also lets you send your own news stories in if something major happens in your location. Plus as you have access to the internet you can look up phone numbers, opening times and addresses.

The most popular of the smartphones is still Apple’s iPhone (now available from Vodafone), but with loads of other great handsets now available from companies such as Nokia, Blackberry and HTC the future looks good for smartphone users. Really, what did we do before mobile phones?