As 2010 draws to a close, smartphone use in Japan has risen to an all-time high, accounting for around 50 percent of all handset sales here. Yet it shames this columnist to admit that I’m still rockin’ an old Windows 6.1 phone — insofar as a Windows 6.1 phone can be rocked at all — because as someone who writes a lot I’m still very much tethered to my laptop. So, in an effort to discover which applications Japan-based smartphone users have loved this year, I decided to ask a variety of people which are their favorites and why. The valuable insights they’ve shared tell me that I might not be able to put off buying a smartphone any longer.