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:

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