Many cellular providers offer Windows Mobile applications that add to the functionality of the device they've sold you. Most of the applications are available for a monthly fee which, unfortunately, can add up to a larger total fee over the life of the software. However, the monthly fee structure makes it less expensive to start using a piece of software you might be unsure about.
Another "gotcha" is that some features may not be available on your specific handheld, even if you purchased it directly from your carrier. I was astonished to find that many of the carriers didn't offer the same services across all of their Windows Mobile devices. So you should always check with your carrier about adding specific features to your phone, or before purchasing a new phone if you have specific features in mind. (Also, our international readers should note that these features are based on the service offerings from the U.S.-based carriers—your local services might be different.)
AT&T Wireless may be the most active carrier in the Windows Mobile software services category, and most of their applications match services available on non-Windows Mobile phones. They include everything from a standard driving directions application to a program that can recognize songs simply by listening to them for a few seconds. Best of all, the company's high-speed 3G service is available on many Windows Mobile devices (AT&T Tilt, Motorola Q Global, Palm Treo 750, Pantech Duo, and Samsung BlackJack I/II), so any connection to the Internet will be lightening fast.
Fig. 1: The AT&T Navigator software provides turn-by-turn driving directions.
AT&T Navigator is the company's turn-by-turn directions solution. It is actually a relabeled version of the popular TeleNav GPS software. In addition to the relabeling, the program has been enhanced to offer "online destination entry." This allows you to use your PC's Web browser to log onto a special AT&T Wireless portal ( navpreplan.com/tncom ), enter a destination address, and have it sent to AT&T Navigator software. This can be helpful if you want to copy and paste an address from a company's Web site, or if a friend sent an instant message with a meeting address to your desktop PC, and you don't want to manually re-enter it on your Windows Mobile device. Alternately, you can use voice recognition to speak the destination into your phone and have it automatically entered into your device. You can also send a friend or associate a text message with any address you have stored in AT&T Navigator. This is a great way to send someone the location of a meeting, restaurant, dinner party, etc. And if they also have AT&T Naviga...