October 27, 2006, Victoria, Canada: Many people have heard about games for their mobile phones and have thought about trying some out. Sites like http://www.mobilerated.com offer games for free, but your phone company likes to make money and there is a hidden cost that some people worry about - the data transfer cost. Depending upon your data plan, your mobile phone company will charge you based upon how many kilobytes of data you download "over the air" (OTA) when using your carrier's mobility network. While typically this download cost per game is quite low, it is a cost some people wish to avoid. This article explains how to do so, legally.
While OTA is the typically way to download a game directly directly to your mobile phone, you can also download a game to your computer first and from there download it to your mobile phone without using the mobility network. You require either a wireless connection between your computer and your phone, or you require a data cable to connect the two devices together. The former may involve Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or infrared (IR); the cable may come with your phone (several Nokia phones do this) or you may have to order one.
Bluetooth is an industrial specification for wireless personal area networks (PANs). Bluetooth provides a way to connect and exchange information between devices such as mobile phones, laptops, PCs, and many other devices, using a secure, globally unlicensed short-range radio frequency. So, it is free to use - no data charges - but you must have it available on both your mobile phone and your computer. Most modern laptops support Bluetooth, as do most modern phones, but not all. Bluetooth is relatively easy to setup and use and is a recommended option if you have it.
Wi-Fi is a common wireless local area networks (WLAN) technology - if you have a wireless LAN in your house, it is most certainly Wi-Fi. If you have Wi-Fi in your home or office and your phone supports Wi-Fi, you are in business. Many high-end mobile phones support Wi-Fi, but many phones do not. If your phone supports Wi-Fi, you can download games directly from the internet to your phone - you don't even need to use your computer, just use your phone's browser to find and download games. However, Wi-Fi also allows connectivity in peer-to-peer mode, meaning you can connect directly from your mobile to your computer and download game files. Be aware that not all Wi-Fi access is free, so you may not be avoiding data charges after all. Just confirm with your Wi-Fi access provider. Wi-Fi is a little harder to setup properly than Bluetooth, but once working, works wonderfully. A recommended option if you have it.
Infrared is an older technology that never really worked all that well. When two devices (primarily older laptops and older mobile phones) have infrared support, you must line up the devices within one metre such that the light can pass directly between the devices. Making sure you have a connection is difficult and the transfer rate is typically quite slow. This technology is mentioned here solely for completeness. This method of connectivity is not recommended.
For most modern mobile phones, you can order a data cable that will connect between your computer (USB port) and your mobile phone (customer cable end). Pretty much every phone has a unique, customer connector, so the cable you order for your current phone will likely not work for your next phone. Such cables can be quite expensive when ordered directly from the phone manufacturer, and thus there exists a marketplace for 3rd party cable suppliers. In this modern world of massive outsourcing, it is possible the 3rd party cable is made in the same factory as the official cable. However, it is a buyer beware market as you often require not only the physical data cable but driver software for your computer as well. In some cases, 3rd party cables do not work properly. Manufacturer cables work well and are recommended, 3rd party cables are too unpredictable and thus are not recommended.
It is very possible to download java mobile phone games from your computer to your mobile phone, and in some cases, to do so very cheaply. However, before spending between $10 and $100 for a custom data cable, consider how many games you can download over-the-air for that price. Even with expensive data plans, you are probably looking at no more than $1 per game download, and more typically you'd spend less than $0.25 per download. Furthermore, if you subscribe to a data plan already, you probably won't incur any additional cost.
Find the right method for you and get connected. Free mobile phone games are available at http://www.mobilerated.com (for web browsers) or http://mobilerated.com/wap (for mobile phone browsers). Have fun!
MobileRated is your source for Free Phone Fun! Dedicated to the concept of free mobile phone games and entertainment services, MobileRated is a wap and web portal offering free games for mobile phones. Included are open source, demos/trials, ad-supported, and totally free games. Games are reviewed, rated, categorized and ranked by popularity, making it easy to find exactly what you are looking for. Discover a better way to play - discover mobilerated.com (web) and mobilerated.com/wap (wap).