The seven best Windows Mobile downloads

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Your smartphone is in effect a tiny PC - so why treat it any different. Customise it with free downloads to make it more efficient. We've rounded up the seven best applications available for free.

MSN Direct - Get news, weather and stocks sent direct to your smartphone

Don't want to mess with a complex RSS reader? Don't have time to collect all those feed URLs and then load them onto your device? Then download Pocket DigitalMSN Direct, an application from Pocket DigitalMicrosoft, which sits right on your device's Windows Mobile Home screen to provide instant and up-to-date access to news, stocks and weather information from the MSN website.

To scroll through news stories, you simply click your device's Up or Down navigation keys while the app is selected, and you'll remain on the home screen while perusing content. By clicking the left or right keys, you can switch from news to stocks or from stocks to weather. Customise these sections by hitting the device's Left Soft Key beneath the word "Options" on the display, and then choosing, which types of news you desire (World, Sports, Business, etc.); the city for which you want weather forecasts; and the specific stock information that you'd like.

MSN Direct works on the majority of Windows Mobile-powered devices; there's also a Pocket DigitalPhone Finder on the application website to make sure your device is supported

Pocket Digital Clock - Ditch that miniscule display

The tiny digital clock on the Windows Mobile Pocket PC Today screen is not particularly helpful for those of us with less-than-perfect eyesight- to say the least. So while the Pocket Digital Clock application for Windows Mobile won't provide any significant productivity gains or cost savings, it can save you the headache of holding your device within a few inches of your face like a crazy person just to see the time.

The Pocket Digital Clock app replaces the carrier network information bar that sits atop your Windows Mobile Today screen with a larger, easy-to-read white-on-black digital display. It's not much different than the one you'd see on a typical digital alarm clock. And instead of hours and minutes, the clock also shows seconds and the current date, so you can hide the standard date line found on the Today screen and free up some more valuable real estate.

Even if you eat your carrots everyday and you've got 20/20 vision, your eyes will appreciate this app in the long run.

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Al Sacco

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