Internet in a Phone -- is it Worth It?

By: Dmitri

Internet access becomes more and more accessible for an average mobile phone user, although unlimited Web access is still somewhat expensive sometimes. Not prohibitively expensive -- you won't be able to buy a half tank of gasoline with that money -- but still, is it worth it? After all, the screen size is quite small, who would like peeking into the colorful world of the modern Internet through a tiny keyhole like that?

Well, while some of the most colorful aspects of the Net won't be (easily) accessible, there are already quite a few applications and web sites that rely on mobile Internet and are quite useful, if not indispensable.

Here are a few examples:

. This mobile version of Google Maps provides almost the same functionality that is available on a desktop computer via maps.google.com. Get driving directions, find a place to eat in an unknown city or check out the satellite picture of your house. Works only where there is signal, of course, so you'd still need a good old map for hiking in the woods.

. Tx2Ph allows you to read books with you phone. It is capable of rotating the text 90 degrees so that the lines run along the longer side of the screen, making the text more readable on smaller screens (like 176x220). And, since it is a web site rather than a Java application, there's no need to download and install anything (and no compatibility issues).

Pocket Player or Resco Pocket Radio are Windows Mobile applications that give you an unlimited choice of radio stations since they can play most of Shoutcast Internet radio stations. Get an FM-transmitter, a car charger for your phone and enjoy your favorite music without adverts and, unlike satellite radio, subscription-free.

Tjat.com -- another mobile website with a weird name but useful service. It is a WAP-based ICQ, MSN and Yahoo! Messenger client that can be used from mobile phones. Use with any phone and avoid unscrupulous surcharges for using the instant messenger of your choice.

Not enough? Check out , which reformats Wikipedia articles for the small screen of a phone, so you can have the wealth of human knowledge always with you. Not quite Neural Nanonics yet, but that's the best we can do so far.

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