Curt Brandao picks five 2011 smartphone applications that are sure to stand the test of time.
App of the Week: It was a very downloadable, app-enabled year
There were a lot of fun and useful apps to download in 2011 - below are five that everyone should port over to 2012.
Reqall swings around our self-destructive natures to tell us what we're forgetting to do while there's still time to not forget to do it. The main feature of both the free and paid service ($2.99/month or $24.99/year), is a simple interface that lets you speak (or type) your date-specific plans whenever they pop into your head. Once it syncs to the cloud, the app sends your messages back to you on cue with however much advance notice you specify. The free version sends reminders via e-mail or instant message, while the paid app can text them to the centre of your universe - your smartphone (free; iPhone, BlackBerry, Android).
Onavo is a smartphone app that can save world travellers a bundle when kilobytes count. Once turned on, it automatically shrinks, compresses or vacuum packs data before delivering it from the cloud to your phone, thus reducing your data usage by as much as 80 per cent. It then works in the background saving money (perhaps a lot of money) whenever you pull data from the cloud using a Web browser, e-mail client or other app. Onavo then serves primarily as a meter, offering you reports on how much data you've saved that refreshes every few minutes. You may notice photos on the Web being a bit pixilated while globetrotting, but your bank account will thank you later (free; iPhone, Android).
While most business-card scanners save time, they are error-prone at best, even when cards are photographed in optimal lighting with a steady hand. Once the "wow" factor wears off, you realise it takes about the same amount of time to correct "U)m! Amh Emimxcs" in your contact list as it does to just type "United Arab Emirates" from scratch. What separates CardMunch is its fleet of human spellcheckers that will send edited files back to you all spic 'n span (free; iPhone).
iTeleport opens up a powerful wormhole between your computer and your iPhone or iPad (Android users might try a similar app called androidVNC). The app turns that tiny computer that goes with you everywhere (yes, even the bathroom) into an miniature touchscreen interface for that big one in the house that only moves when your lease is up. Requires a Gmail account and software installation on your computer (Dh92; iPhone, supports Mac, Windows and Linux computers).
Clickables features the Web's best viral content (videos, songs, movie trailers, retro TV clips) as culled by the editors at the entertainment website Vulture.com. Once you download the app, all you have to do is browse the videos, read the quick descriptions and let the unique streaming awesomeness flow (free; iPhone, iPad).
Have some great personal finance apps that you want to share? Write to Curt Brandao at firstname.lastname@example.org