Blackberry Apps You Need to Have

I’m always trying to find new apps for my Blackberry, so I figured I’d put together a list of the apps I’ve downloaded since getting my Tour, provide a link to each, and give a little review. To download, either check the link given, or go to Blackberry App World, and see if the app is available there (most, if not all, of these apps should be).

Assistant Premium – I found this application after deciding I wanted to be able to keep track of my credit card on my phone. My credit card is through Capital One, so a quick google search for “capital one blackberry” resulted in Assistant Premium. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get it to configure properly so I can actually monitor my card usage, and it only comes with a 14 day trial. After this trial period, it costs $9.99/year – not a terrible price, but seeing as to how I’m not sure whether it will be able to serve my purpose, not a cost I want to incur right now. It seems to offer several other services, such as monitoring of cell phones, and even a Gmail option. It also uses a secure connection, so there’s no worry of anybody else catching a peek at your info.
Blackberry App World – RIM’s response to the Apple App Store has slowly been improving, offering many new options. I don’t check it as often as I would like to see the new apps, but when I do get a chance there’s always something new to be downloaded. Actually, I use it for about half of my app downloads, so if I fail to post a link for a certain app, take a look at App World before jumping on google to find it.
Bloomberg Mobile – Having a father who is an accountant has certain side effects, such as checking the stock market constantly. Bloomberg Mobile is a clean market-watching app that uses graphs to help portray the information.
Facebook– Although it comes on your phone, its not installed by default. A quick download will fix that, and give you direct access to notifications, pokes, wall posts and messages. RIM has slowly been updating the Facebook app, and its making huge improvements. Compared to the original version that I used on my Storm, the one that is available for the Tour is a nice way to interact on Facebook without having to open your browser and log in each time.
Gmail – Even though you can set up your Blackberry email to receive your GMail account, its still nice knowing that Google made an app anyway. Because you Blackberry will sometimes delete older messages to make room for new ones, the Gmail app comes in handy – you can scroll back as far as you want, downloading older messages from the Google servers until you find the email that you need.
Google Maps – A free alternative to the built in Blackberry Maps app, Google provides better location finding, and now comes built in with Latitude – a feature that allows people that you have confirmed on your friends list to see where you are at all times. Additionally, Google Maps can do turn by turn directions, for help if you ever get lost.
Google Sync – If you already have a calendar set up online, why would you want to retype it on your phone? Providing that calendar is done via Google Calendar, Google Sync will do a contact and calendar sync between your device and your account. Even if you dont already have the calendar set up, doing it on the computer is much easier than trying to do it on your phone.
Google Voice – After recently getting an invite to and setting up Google Voice, I decided to give the app a shot. Its a clean program that allows you to make calls and send text messages to your contacts, all while using your GV number.
iheartradio – iheartradio is a live, streaming radio program that broadcasts local radio stations with a nice clean user interface. Unfortunately, I’ve probably launched the program twice – once when it first installed, and once again to try it out. It’s not that its bad, there are just other alternatives (discussed below) that I’ve grown more accustomed to. However, if you are out of range of your favorite radio station, iheartradio is definitely your ticket to get it back.
Pandora – The first alternative to iheartradio. Many people will probably recognize the name as one of the internet radio programs that they use – yes it is the same. Pandora requires you to log in (using the same username and password for your desktop account), and will stream music to you based on what search terms you enter. Again, I do not use Pandora as much as others (theres still one more alternative), but if you are used to using it on your computer, the mobile version has few differences.
Poynt – A free yellow pages/map program, Poynt is able to help you find the phone number and address of any store/restaurant in a certain distance with a simple search. I haven’t tried using the map portion of the program too much, but the ability to find a restaurants phone number immediately has come in very handy several times.
QuickPull – After having a Storm that constantly needed to be restarted, QuickPull has become one of my favorite apps. Because I keep my Blackberry in a silicon skin, it’s always a hassle to get to the battery to do a hard reset. QuickPull simulates the effects of removing the battery to restart the phone, all without the hassle of actually taking the battery out.
Sensobi Contacts – Sensobi is currently in a beta stage, but I was lucky enough to get an invite for it. Sensobi is an address book replacement, offering enhanced functionality over the original, built in one. Rather than just display your contacts, Sensobi also includes the last time you contacted them – via text, email or call. It’s a nice feature to have, but I still find myself trending towards just opening my contacts the old fashioned way.
Slacker Radio – the final radio program, and my personal favorite. Slacker radio is an internet based radio program that streams music based on what category you select – there is no searching involved (which is why I like it more than Pandora). You select which genre you want, and Slacker starts playing songs, allowing you to skip a total of 6 in the free version (the paid version has unlimited skips, but you do need to pay the subscription fee). Typically, the songs are on point for the station, and main stream, so you won’t find yourself making too many skips.
TIME Mobile – My newest addition to my phone. TIME Mobile is exactly what the name says – its TIME magazine on your phone. Once you open it, it will run in the background, updating with new feeds and stories as they are published.
TwitterBerry – Having recently set up a Twitter account, I immediately downloaded TwitterBerry. Its a nice app that allows you to keep track of both your updates, and your friends updates. It focuses on the ability to tweet, with the main page being where you send your tweets.
Viigo – a free RSS feeder for the Blackberry. Although some people speak very highly of Viigo, I’ve still yet to find myself using it with any consistency – probably much the same way that I don’t follow RSS feeds on my desktop either. If RSS feeds are your way of keeping up with new posts, Viigo is definitely the way to go.
Vision for YouTube – In the ongoing comparison of smart phones, the youtube capabilities of the iPhone seem lost on a Blackberry. Vision tries to remedy some of those shortcomings by providing a clean user interface that searches youtube, and provides playback, without taking the user into the browser.
Weatherbug – Same as the desktop version, but to go. It gives you a 7 day forecast, and provides alerts if storms, floods, or anything of that nature is going to be happening in your area. Just make sure to download the Storm version (it’s free) and let it run in compatibility mode, otherwise you have to pay.
WordPress for Blackberry – I downloaded it with the intent of being able to do on the go blog updates, but have since realized that typing out a 1000 word entry is beyond the scope of a blackberry. Regardless, its nice to be able to check what drafts I have saved, and what posts have been made recently on my phone.

This entry was written by Marc Budofsky , posted on Thursday July 30 2009at 02:07 pm , filed under Blackberry, Cell Phones and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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