Make Your Android Phone Location-Aware
The smartphone app Locale for Android lets you set automatic preferences for your phone based on your location. If, say, you tend to forget to turn your ringer off when you reach the office, just customize your phone using Locale to switch your ringer to vibrate whenever you get to work. Or have it go to silent mode whenever you’re at the neighborhood movie theater. It’s simple, but clever.
Get Around Town
Hopstop is one of the best ways to plan bus and subway routes in cities with massive (and often confusing) transit systems. Hopstop is available in 16 U.S. cities, including Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The Hopstop service is available as a mobile Web application compatible with any smartphone that has a browser. For Apple handset users, the Hopstop iPhone app includes phone numbers for taxi services. An SMS version is available for directions, as well.
New Yorkers might want to check out the CabSense app (for Android and iPhone), which helps you find the best location to get a taxi based on the time of day, location, and day of the week.
Find Wi-Fi in Your Area
Apple may have cut Wi-Fi stumblers out of the App Store, but you can still turn to Wi-Fi directories such as JiWire’s Wi-Fi Finder to discover over 280,000 hotspots in 140 countries worldwide. JiWire also has an app for Android. A similar service, WeFi, can also help you find a nearby Wi-Fi hotspot; in fact, Fring recently released a WeFi add-on.
Master Automated Menus
Dial ZeroDial Zero is a service that promises to deliver the best phone number or strategy for getting a human being on the phone when you’re calling a company’s toll-free number. Just as Fonolo.com allows you to skip automated menu services for big companies, so does Dial Zero. The major difference is that Fonolo.com automates the process, limiting the number of companies it works with. Dial Zero, in contrast, offers instructions and tricks on how you can reach a real person. You can also read user comments (sometimes vulgar) about specific frustrations, as well as tales of success in dealing with phone menus. Dial Zero is a free application for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone