Computerworld's favorite smartphone apps

A roundup of our best-loved 31 apps for the iPhone, Android phones and other smartphones.

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Useful utilities

Dropbox

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Dropbox

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Dropbox lets you store files online and sync them with multiple personal computers and mobile devices -- so as you add, delete or modify files on one device, those changes will be reflected on your other Dropbox devices. A login account with 2GB of storage is free to anyone who wants to sign up. Multiple people can share a single account to create workgroup file sharing; you can control access to specific people or specific folders. Two paid options let you store 50GB ($9.99/month) or 100GB ($19.99/month). After trying several other cloud-based file-sharing tools, I settled on this one about a year ago and have never looked back. --Scot Finnie

Dropbox

OS reviewed: iOS

Other OSes it works with: Android, BlackBerry

Price: Free (up to 2GB storage)

LogMeIn Ignition

LogMeIn Ignition

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LogMeIn Ignition does everything you'd expect a remote access/control utility to do. On Apple mobile devices, unpinch/pinch zoom-in and zoom-out makes the iPhone a very usable remote-access device for larger-screened host computers. LogMeIn really hits its stride on the iPad, though; with a fast connection, you may even forget you're connected remotely. LogMeIn Ignition is a bit pricey at $30 -- but the ability to remotely access your main computer back at the ranch from your iPhone, iPad or Android device while you're out and about is a huge benefit. I'll bet that at some point during the first month or two of use, LogMeIn will prove itself to be a real lifesaver. (That's what happened to me.) And suddenly, $30 will seem a small price to pay. -- Scot Finnie

LogMeIn Ignition

OS reviewed: iOS

Other OSes it works with: Android

Price: $29.99

KeePassDroid

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KeePassDroid

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I'm security-conscious, so I took the trouble to create complex, hard-to-guess passwords for the Web sites and online services I use. However, coughing up those passwords on a mobile device is a pain. KeePassDroid, a port of the KeePass password manager (it's available for a number of desktop and mobile environments), stores all my passwords in an encrypted database and makes it easy to paste them into form fields when needed. Passwords can be grouped and sorted, and you can even use a key file to further enhance encryption. KeePassDroid doesn't have some of the features of its desktop counterpart, like importing/exporting databases, but for the most part I haven't needed them. -- Serdar Yegulalp

KeePassDroid

OS reviewed: Android

Other OSes it works with: PocketPC, Windows Phone 7, iOS, J2ME, BlackBerry, PalmOS

Price: Free

Opera Mini 6

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Opera Mini 6

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Opera Mini, a version of the Opera browser specially formulated for mobile devices, has been designed to let you browse Web pages designed for regular devices. Requests are piped through Opera's servers and reformatted to use minimal bandwidth. (Another version of the browser, Opera Mobile, does all the processing on the phone itself.) Text is automatically reflowed to fit the width of your device's screen -- a very handy touch -- and you can save Web pages locally for future reading. Version 6, which recently shipped, supports improved pan/zoom for pages and a slew of minor performance and behavioral changes from the previous edition. Opera Mini doesn't support Flash, unfortunately, but for basic Web browsing it's just about perfect. -- Serdar Yegulalp

Opera Mini 6

OS reviewed: Android

Other OSes it works with: BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Mobile, S60

Price: Free

TweetDeck

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TweetDeck

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While Twitter has become an important part of online life, the Web and smartphone clients provided by the service itself tend to be... well, inadequate. My personal complaints: They don't accept feeds from other services like Facebook and they don't let you edit a re-tweet. Luckily, there are several good third-party Twitter clients out there, and while I like several of them, right now I'm using TweetDeck. This one just works right -- you can have different columns based on lists or on searches which you access with a swipe; you can access Facebook and Twitter feeds in the same list; and the interface makes it simply to create, re-tweet or reply to a message. There are also three different widgets to choose from. If you spend time on Twitter, this is a good tool to use. -- Barbara Krasnoff

TweetDeck

OS reviewed: Android

Other OSes it works with: iOS (coming soon)

Price: Free

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