I know I owe another article that's in the waiting, but I wanted to first touch on this since it came up today. With all the hoopla over phones such as iPhone, Android and Blackberry, there still remains a few of us using pretty much a plain 'ol phone that just happens to still be web enabled. This means that we can use the web, but not the "mobile apps" that everyone is always bragging about.
That said, people like me are often pushed aside and forgotten about during the excitement of such cool web apps. There is still a lot one can do with a web enabled phone that is NOT a "smart phone". I call them "dummy phones" which are just plain phones.
Let's go over some of the essential sites.
The first thing to talk about is the most obvious. Can we say Google? Google simply rocks! At first Google was only interested in smart phone users, but they now are accommodating dummy phone users too (thankfully). The interesting thing is that with some of their sites you don't need to bother with special mobile URLs because Google automatically detects whether or not you're on a phone. This first list has those sites. I'll not describe them and why you need them because that part should be quite obvious.
Before going further, let me just say that if you don't use gmail, consider popping your email from your normal email provider so that you can view your email easily on the go. The mobile Gmail site is incredibly fast and easy. Instructions on setup are located here. Now, moving on...
Not all Google sites are auto formatted, or at least not that I'm aware of at the time of this writing. Here are additional urls for Google services that I feel are essential when on the go.
google.com/calendar/m (as an alternative for SMS)
google.com/reader/m/view (great for reading material while waiting in line)
docs.google.com/m (retrieve your important documents)
picasaweb.google.com/m (no need to keep pictures on your phone)
When you're traveling and want ideas on where to go and what to do, two sites come to mind, outside of Google maps (which is also good):
If you're out and about and have the hankering to see a movie, then this one is perfect:
Want to buy something while you're away from your computer? I don't know why, but it could happen!
One thing that gets me is when I'm watching something and I can't figure out who that person is. Maybe I'm out to dinner and we're talking about this one movie... "Oh... what's the name of that movie? It's right on the tip of my tongue!" Sound familiar? Well the problem is that IMDb is so very 90s that it won't update the way its site is used. Try using your itty bitty dummy browser to view IMDb. It's not pretty and downright ugly. Thankfully someone decided to fix it their own way using a script, and now you can search IMDb just like a mobile site. So... it's an offsite search for IMDb:
Need more weather or news?
Maybe you need to know some fast information like who shot J.R. and Google results don't have good mobile links. Wikipedia to the rescue!
This is totally geeky, not to mention lazy, but when I was on vacation for weeks at a time and some of the hotels we stayed at didn't have TV listings, I found this handy:
Yep, all of these are bookmarked on my phone and I love them. I've not used Amazon yet, but I likely will one day.
I'll update this as the need arises, but do you have favorite sites?