The introduction of the iPhone and the incredible success displayed by the mobile app market, as a direct effect of the iPhone introduction, has inspired others to not only offer app-ready mobile phones but to also develop and sell the apps.
The applications on the market are widely varied. Some are designed to provide important information to users at all times, while others are simply designed for hours of fun. In either case, many of these apps are valuable tools. Below, I've included a list of some common and some up and coming apps that are available on most app-capable phones.
Apps from Google
A while ago, Google released a cell phone, called the G1, that had apps designed for it by Google. However, they've expanded their reach by designing apps that function on a number of phones. Their most popular apps are a Gmail app and GoogleMaps - which can help people stay in touch and in the right place at all times.
Skype, a free and also heavily discounted phone service that allows users to make calls using the internet or data plan on a mobile phone, is also available for installation on most app-ready mobile phones. Mobile phone carriers are not necessarily thrilled about the availability of the Skype application due to, in large part, it undercutting their profits as users utilize the free of charge capabilities that Skype provides to them. Even international calls can be made for little to no cost to the user.
Many people use the downloadable desktop Weatherbug application on their home and work computers to stay on top of the latest weather in their local area. However, many people are unaware that a similar application is available for use on mobile phones. This app can be set up to warn users of foul-weather warnings in their local area in real time as well as provide detailed forecasts.
If you prefer to listen to the radio instead of MP3s, you'll be excited to learn about the numerous radio applications that are available. These apps function using the streaming feature of the station's internet broadcast. This provides an alternative to filling up your phone with MP3 files and allows you to do things like listen to your favorite local morning show during the commute when you're across the country on business.
Silly And Fun
One of the more fun applications for geeks everywhere is the Light Saber app; taking advantage of the accelerometer that most smart phones have in them now, the light saber app will emulate the sounds of one of the light sabers from the Star Wars movies while flashing bright lights on the screen.
To conclude, I should warn you that while most mobile apps are free to download, not all are. And, some apps that are free to download are not free to use. As such, do your research before beginning to download every app that you think sounds cool. Likewise, parents of children that have used cell phones may want to consider blocking app downloads on their children's phones by talking with a representative from the service provider. If you don't have an app-friendly phone currently but think that you want one, consider shopping in the used cell phone market for some cost-savings.