Smartphones: 14 great things iPhones and BlackBerrys can do

Control 7 different devices with your iPhone, play Internet radio on your BlackBerry, and more

Play Internet Radio on a BlackBerry, 4 Different Ways

Apple iPhones don't need to have all the fun. Your RIM BlackBerry can tune in to many sources of Internet radio, giving you the perfect background music--or talk programs--for a commute or some R&R at the airport. Just be sure you have an unlimited data plan before indulging in any of these four streamers.

XM Radio Mobile on BlackBerry: Take advantage of the mobile version of XM satellite radio on your BlackBerry. It serves up 18 music and 2 comedy channels, for which you'll have to pay a monthly $8 subscription fee. Note that not all BlackBerry models are supported.

Pandora Radio: The free version of Pandora for BlackBerry gently introduces you to unfamiliar music with similarities to your favorite songs. You can rate favorites and skip disappointing picks to help the service fine-tune its recommendations. When you find an unknown band that becomes your new favorite, bookmark it in the service to return later.

FlyCast: The wide range of music genres and talk stations on the free FlyCast for BlackBerry echo what you'd get with a regular radio--if your radio could tune in to stations from around the world. Internet-streaming genres, such as '80s and club hits, complete the vast selection.

163746-ThingsBBSlacker_original

Slacker Portable Radio App: A hybrid of streaming and caching, the free Slacker Portable Radio app can, in addition to streaming tunes, let you save gigabytes of music to a microSD card in your BlackBerry. Slacker allows you to store favorite stations on the card so that you still have music in areas where a network connection is limited or nonexistent, such as on airplanes or in tunnels. Enter a favorite musician or song, and the app will spin a personal station based on your preferences.

Make Free Phone Calls From an iPod Touch

163746-Things_earph_originalal

You're now able to make free phone calls via the Internet on Apple's iPhone using the new Skype for the iPhone app. But if you own a second-generation iPod Touch, you can also make free calls, even though the Touch technically isn't a phone.

Skype's iPhone app will work with any second-gen Touch as long as you use headphones with a microphone built into the earphone cord. (Unfortunately, the original Touch has no audio-in capability.) On top of that, you'll need just a Wi-Fi network. The app allows you to make free calls to other Skype users and paid calls to non-Skype users. I like Skype's ubiquity and audio quality, but it has competitors; you might want to try Truphone instead. (For more on Truphone, see "Get Your Cell Phone Charges Under Control.")

Induce a Cold, Dead Phone Battery to Send One Last Text

Since many ski and snowboard mountains are covered by mobile networks, your phone can be a handy communications tool on the slopes. I especially like sending text messages to coordinate plans with friends unobtrusively. But if you forget to charge your handset and it runs out of juice, you still might be able to revive it and send one last text.

Cold weather reduces a battery's charge. If your phone shut itself off due to the cold, warm it up. Pop off the battery and put it next to any warm part of your skin (against your head, under your arm). Once the battery is warmer, try powering the phone back up; there's a good chance it'll have just enough juice for you to send a quick text.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags BlackberryiPhonesmartphones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zack Stern

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?