10 must-have free Palm webOS apps

A smartphone is only as good as its apps. Here are 10 free ones to supercharge your shiny new Palm phone.

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AccuWeather webOS app
AccuWeather offers hourly and daily forecasts in addition to current conditions. Click to view larger image.

Keep on top of the weather with this slick little app. AccuWeather presents just the information you need in a clear and attractive way, plus a few bells and whistles.

The main page gives the current temperature, wind speed, and humidity based on either your ZIP code or GPS coordinates, along with a 5-day forecast. (There are several other free weather apps available for the webOS platform, but I find that AccuWeather provides the most useful information right on the home screen.)

Other views give an hour-by-hour forecast for the next 24 hours, a satellite radar view of your current location, and a list of the prospects for people with various conditions (arthritis, allergies, sinus problems) and for various events (running, holding a barbecue, flying kites). It's like being a meteorologist without going to weather school.

Fairly unobtrusive ads slide open across the bottom whenever you change views. A $1.29 premium version removes the ads if you find them too annoying, but chances are you don't spend enough time obsessing over the weather for that to be an issue.


OpenTable webOS app
Make quick restaurant reservations with OpenTable. Click to view larger image.

Got an important business dinner coming up? OpenTable lets you make instant reservations at participating restaurants without ever having to call (and hoping the maître d' can hear you over the restaurant's din).

Using your GPS location (or a location you enter manually) and the mealtime and party size, OpenTable finds nearby restaurants that are taking reservations for that time. Pricing information, menus and customer reviews from OpenTable's Web site help you choose a restaurant, and a map helps you get there.


Your GPS is good for more than just finding the nearest Starbucks. SmartRunner turns your webOS smartphone into a geo-tracking app to record your jaunts into the deepest wilderness, or simply monitor how far your daily run took you.

SmartRunner webOS app
SmartRunner helps you keep in shape. Click to view larger image.

Using the phone's built-in GPS, SmartRunner tells you how fast you're walking, skiing, biking, running, parasailing or whatever it is you're doing, and tells you exactly how far you've traveled. It also keeps track of your maximum and average speeds. Tell it your age, sex and weight, and it will calculate how many calories you've burned.

The SmartRunner app is linked to a free online account that lets you keep a log of your travels or your training regime, complete with maps of your exact track. Social networking features on the site allow you to discover and comment on other people's tracks, and to share your tracks via Twitter. Since SmartRunner is the product of a German company, some of the menu commands are in semi-German (e.g., "Neu Track" instead of "New Track") but the gist is always clear enough.

Logan Kugler is a frequent Computerworld contributor. His most recent article was 10 must-have free Android apps.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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