Perfect Storm of New Mobile Apps

Judging from the e-blizzard of press releases coming out of CTIA, you could spend from now until next year trying out all the new stuff available on the “third screen.”

Here are a few items that caught my attention.

Maybe not the sexiest application, but a strong contender in my book for the most useful is Fremont, CA-based ABBYY’s Business Card Recognition (BCR) utility for smartphone Symbian, S60 or UIQ platforms. The software captures data from business cards using the built-in digital camera, extracting contact information from the image directly to the telephone address book.

Another interesting product is Telular’s Wireless PATH (Premise Access Transport Hub) that lets you use cellular networks instead of conventional wired networks for voice calls, high-speed data transmission and faxes. The company is promoting the PATH to “enable rapid deployment of wireless services in emergency or disaster situations, and when business operations are disrupted.” I for one would be happy to have a pocket-sized version that I can take on the road.

Motorola’s new MC35 Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA – new acronym alert☺) adds a barcode reader to the growing suite of mobile applications. This makes mobile data entry simpler by eliminating the need for special purpose devices.

Atlanta-based Firemobile aims to unchain online banking from your PC. Now in addition to yakking on the phone while you’re sitting in a restaurant or walking down the street, you can also check your account balance and make your mortgage payment.

If you’re stuck in traffic you’ll be interested in INRIX Traffic for Windows Mobile devices. The service delivers real-time and predictive traffic conditions on Windows Mobile devices in about 60 U.S. metropolitan markets, with additional markets planned in the coming months.

If you get caught in a traffic jam anyway, fastmobile will help you stay on top of email with its push email that lets you receive, reply to and send email from a handset. Currently available for MetroPCS subscribers, fastmobile also lets users save and sort messages and synchronize email accounts.

Don’t feel like checking email? You could use the time to do some “photo flirting” with FunMobility Flirt Pix service, a cross-carrier application that lets subscribers view photos and exchange visual messages anonymously.

Motorola makes it easier to listen to music in your car with the Automotive Music & Hands-free System T605 car kit that streams music from a Bluetooth phone directly through your car’s sound system. Available only through Verizon, the system puts phone calls through the sound system as well, pausing the music while you take the call.

Finally, San Jose, CA-based Pinger this week expanded its voice messaging service to include most US mobile customers and Blackberry users. The company has also expanded the service to allow members to ping anyone’s mobile phone, regardless of whether the person is a Pinger member.

Now, just don’t get into an accident while you’re doing all this stuff on your phone.