The wonders and miracles behind tempting smartphone

By James Ratemo in Nairobi

The other day I forgot my Nokia E72 smart phone at friend’s party and sadly I had not activated the usual lock code to avert outsiders from spying into my private data.

Although I called the friend and instructed him to keep the phone safe, I was worried about fidgety fingers going through my phone and unveiling a horde of private and sensitive data. It is usual for journalists to have a lot of data, which they will always strive to jealously protect.

But thank God I remembered an instant solution.

In my smartphone, I had stored a tiny application known as F-secure, available on Nokia’S online OvI store.

I just sent remotely a code through my other phone and my smart phone was instantly locked.

This meant nobody could access my private data nor utilise my credit without my permission.

And sure enough my friends were up to no good. Once they realised my phone was locked they opted to swap simcards so that they can keep enjoying using the phone while I was away.

Smartphones are always tempting and anybody could love to use it to access the Internet, play games or utilize its powerful applications like the video camera, online Tv or listen to the FM radio.

Back to my story. Once they inserted a new simcard on my smartphone, I immediately received a message on my other phone alerting me of the change. I called my friend and warned him that someone was tampering with my phone and he did not deny but wondered how I knew. That is the power of F-secure.

With this little application, you can be sure that your personal and confidential information won ’t be misused by anyone. If you suspect your phone is missing you can remotely lock it or wipe the data so that your private text messages or pictures don’t end up in the wrong hands. You achieve this by sending a pre determined number or code.

In the same way you can also locate your phone or the person holding it remotely using the many tracking services in the market.

This means a thief cannot get away with it by simply swapping simcards on a stolen phone.

Unlocking the phone will require keying in a secret code meaning your data will remain secure until you activate the phone if you happen to retrieve it.

For Dorothy Ooko, Nokia’s Communication Manager for East and Sourthern Africa, Shazam is an application that music lovers should check out on. ” It is my old time favorite. It helps me identify music anywhere from TV, radio or in the pubs so l can buy the album or download it from Nokia Music store,” argues Ooko.

Ooko also has installed Sports Tracker on her phone, an app that helps her track whatever exercise she is doing. “It shows me the map and the distance as well as how many calories I have lost. I can share this info with my friends and we can help track one another,” she told Tech.Insight.

A smartphone

For Mark Mutitu, a Nokia user, Socially, an application that enables a user access social networks including facebook, twitter, linkedin and foursquare is his favourite as one can update all of them using one post.

Mutitu also checks out another application called Afrinnovator too often as it helps him know the various innovations taking place around Africa without having to browse the Internet.

There is also the Green Charging, an energy saving app that ensures you do not waste power while charging your phone. The motivation behind this app is to curb Global Warming.

As per its name, the Green Charging application will notify a user (with sound effects) when the battery is fully charged. The app displays other important information like the battery status, stand by time and talk-time to enable the user make charging decisions in good time.

More often users discover that their phones were fully charged long after a lot of power has been wasted or get inconvenienced by a flat battery when they least expect it.

Another marvellous application especially for news lovers, social networking addicts and journalists who want to keep abreast with breaking news is Snaptu. The application is a fast all-in-one platform that includes your mobile essentials in one place: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, News, Weather, Sports (Cricket, Soccer…) Movies, Sudoku and much more.

Instead of cramming your phone with lots of individual apps that eat battery, waste space and slow things down, you can have Snaptu, and keep your phone running full speed ahead.

The news platform in Snaptu for instance allows a user to key in links of news feeds from multiple websites of interest. With the links in one place, all updates on the chosen sites will automatically pop up on your phone instead of you navigation across your favourite sites for updates.

You can also leave your face book and and twitter accounts open on Snaptu for quick access and instant chats.

Another amazing application is Funambol, a Symbian Sync Client that enables you to quickly synchronize a variety of data between a Symbian device and the Funambol server.

The application synchronizes (sharing content across phones) contacts, calendar events and tasks, notes with native applications on your Symbian device hence saving you the agony of manually transferring data between phones.

On Nokia E 72 for instance you can store your contacts online so that you can always download them to a different handset if you lose your phone. This eradicates the pain of losing contacts collected over along period of time once you lose a phone.

There is also Qik, which allows a user to effortlessly record videos and instantly share with friends and family from anywhere provided they are connected to the Internet.

With Qik you can capture special moments wherever, whenever they happen and instantly share them live to social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs or send private video messages via email or SMS.

You can also download the videos for safekeeping or to burn onto DVDs for longterm storage.

“Qik lets you record, share high quality videos with your friends, family and the world – right from your phone. Show where you are by sharing your location with the video – All your videos are automatically saved on for you to playback from your computer or phone,” partly reads a review on Ovi store.

With Nimbuzz application, it gives you free mobile calls and instant messaging putting all of your friends in one place.

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