Smartphone and tablet owners have a wealth of third-party programs to choose from. PC Advisor readers recommended their favourites, which we've compiled here.

Dragon Dictation

Recommended by: TS Neame

Sometimes it's the little things that make a real difference. Typing is a hassle when you're on the go, particularly on a smartphone, so Nuance's state-of-the-art dictation software makes everything much more convenient.

The app allows you to speak instructions into your mobile handset - say the word and you can email contacts, send texts, check social networks and more. Like every voice recognition program that has ever existed, it's not foolproof, but the technology is getting better all the time.

As well as being convenient, Dragon Dictation can improve your productivity; Nuance claims this method is "up to five times faster" than typing on the keyboard. It's also free for iPhone - get it from Apple's App Store.

Amazon Mobile

Recommended by: Doug

Amazon's iPhone app lets you search for products, read user reviews, compare prices and buy what you want; then you can track your packages and cancel the orders if you change your mind.

But there are some cool and game-changing features in there too.

Amazon Mobile app

There's a barcode scanner which can identify products you see while out and about. And you can even snap a photo of something you like, and a feature called 'Amazon Remembers' will attempt to match it to a product in the Amazon database, then email you about it later. Even if it can't find a perfect match, it'll look for something similar.

Amazon Mobile is free for iPhone and well worth a look.

iTunes App Store

Recommended by: Seth Haniel

"I use for the safest driving experience," writes Seth Haniel. "Emails and texts are read out and replied to automatically until it's safe to answer yourself."Restrictions on the text function have made the iPhone version of this app less of a hit than the popular BlackBerry edition, but both are free, so it's worth a try.

Google Maps Navigation

Recommended by: Zebulon

Google Maps Navigation is a free app that turns any Google Android mobile phone into a satnav. You enter your destination (street name, postcode or type of place, such as 'post office') and choose driving or walking, and the app will use your phone's GPS to identify your destination and choose an appropriate route.

Google Navigation

A blue icon is displayed on the map at your current location, with a blue line marking the route the software has created. You can also view step-by-step instructions as a list, rather than on the map.

There's also an option to speak your destination into the phone, although this is understandably less reliable than typing it in. And you can hear an audio version of the steps if you'd prefer.


Recommended by: I am Spartacus

"Although it probably has limited appeal, I've been very impressed with HanDBase," writes I am Spartacus. "I buy a lot of books when I'm out and about, and it's useful to have the list easily to hand."HanDBase is a mobile database manager that costs £5.99 in the Apple App Store. The Android version costs £6.11.

See also:

Recommend a website for the next Top 10 - What's your favourite time-wasting website?

Smartphone and tablet owners have a wealth of third-party programs to choose from. PC Advisor readers recommend their favourites.

LogMeIn Ignition

Recommended by: Steve Houghton

It's more known for the ability to use one PC to access another, but remote access software comes into its own when you're cut off from computer access entirely. Costing a seemingly steep £17 for iPhone or iPad, LogMeIn gives you control of your desktop or laptop PC from the comfort of your mobile device, provided you can connect to the web. PCs and Macs alike can be controlled from afar.

As iPhone apps go it's not cheap, but LogMeIn Ignition is worth the outlay: easy to install and use and highly practical. And as a tablet app it holds the key to making Apple's iPad as useful as a laptop.


MyBackup Pro

Recommended by: Hamburglar

MyBackup Pro for Android promises peace of mind, allowing you to recover precious data if your smartphone gets destroyed. You can back up apps, photos, contacts and more.

You can schedule automatic backups and restore your apps, data and settings to a new smartphone (or to the same phone if the data was accidentally erased) in a matter of minutes. Considering how much time it would take to manually enter such data, the MyBackup Pro for Android app is a worthwhile purchase at $4.99 (about £3) on the Android market.


Recommended by: PP Smith

Wikidroid is a free software app that puts the power of Wikipedia on your Android tablet or smartphone: it's essentially a front end to Wikipedia on the web.

Do a search, and the Android app grabs the relevant information from Wikipedia and formats it so it displays nicely on your phone. You get all of Wikipedia's content, including graphics and live links.


Android market

Sky Sports Cricket Centre

Recommended by: Matt Egan

Given the personal approval of PC Advisor's cricket-bonkers editor, this app from the mobile-savvy Sky team gives you convenient access to scorecards and updates on the many flavours of professional cricket, from Test level to Twenty20 and county matches.

And unlike Sky's TV coverage of England's recent trip to Australia, it's available for free.

Angry Birds

Recommended by: Covergirl

It might only be a game, but we could hardly leave out the all-conquering Angry Birds. Rovio's avian-flinging masterpiece - in which you judge the ideal trajectory for your birds in order to bring down glass, stone and wood edifices and butcher the pigs that live inside - has turned the world of gaming upside down, causing major games studios to reconsider the value of casual, low-priced mobile titles.

You can download a free, ad-supported version for Android, whereas iPhone and iPad owners must pay 59p and £2.99 respectively.

Angry Birds

See also:

Recommend a website for the next Top 10 - What's your favourite time-wasting website?