If there is one place Apple has RIM beat, it is most definitely with it’s huge number of applications. While Apple’s App store is available globally, offers 60,000 apps, and has over 1.5 billion downloads, RIM’s numbers are far behind with the App World unavailable in most of the world. One of my major disappointments with my new BlackBerry was the fact that I could not install the App World, which made finding good apps a challenging task.
Although, there is no one place to discover the best BlackBerry apps, I have managed through some research, to find some pretty amazing ones. I already shared some with you in my top 10 BlackBerry Apps post, but since then I have come across some other great apps that are a little less well known so I thought I would share them with you. So here goes.
The following are 5 of the best BlackBerry apps you probably did not know about:
1: WiFi File Transfer: This app is developed by a company that goes by the name Chocolate Chunk Apps. I have had the privilege of corresponding with them over the past few weeks, and I must say, I am pretty impressed. They are clearly out to make the best products possible, and are always interested in hearing customer feedback, and I had a lot to provide.
Anyone who uses BlackBerry is aware of the lack of solid software available to properly sync the device. BlackBerry Desktop Manager is what comes with the device and in my humble opinion, has more bugs than features. The media part of Desktop Manager is especially buggy since RIM has apparently teamed up with Roxio to sync media with their devices. Mistake!
So, now that we have established that BlackBerry Desktop Manager is not a reliable option, how best to transfer files from PC/Mac to BlackBerry? Bluetooth? That is also quite a headache, especially on BlackBerrys. Do not ask me why, but RIM apparently thought it was a good idea to add a “Receive using Bluetooth” option that must be selected EVERY time you want to send a file to the BlackBerry via Bluetooth. So, for me, Bluetooth is out.
Wifi File Transfer solves this for you. Can you guess what it does? Look at the name, cmon! Basically, you enable Wifi on the phone, enable it on the PC/Mac, enter an IP address you are given when you launch the app and you are presented with a full fledged browser-based picture of your BlackBerry’s folder structure. You can then easily send files to your BlackBerry. It worked flawlessly, and has pretty much replaced my need for a USB connection to my PC, as well as ever enabling Bluetooth, or removing the memory card from my phone. Another great feature is the ability to play/view files on your BlackBerry straight from your browser without having to worry about transferring them to the PC first.
This is a very very useful app that I would recommend using. I have good news and bad news! The bad news is the app costs $10, but in my opinion, it is very worth it. The good news is, if you are reading this, and own a BlackBerry, you can have it for free. Simply go here, add the app, then go to checkout and add the coupon code “technmarketingwft”. Hurry up, there are only 10 free codes. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
2: Start Me Up: I would not swear to this, but as far as I know, such an app is not available on any mobile platform. You know how you can type Msconfig on a PC and define what items start up when the computer starts? Well, now you can do that on your BlackBerry. You can not tell me that you do not have any use for this app. The way this app works is, you launch it, launch any app you want to start up, then select it from a list presented to you in the Start Me Up interface. When the device starts up, Start Me Up automatically starts up, launches the requested app, then closes down. Simple yet brilliant!
If, for example, you are using the Gmail app and want it to launch automatically and not have to start it manually every time, this app enables you to do that. An extremely useful app that I am sure ANY BlackBerry user can benefit from, especially since it is FREE, at least for now. Enjoy!
3: VLC Remote: There are not many programs I stick with for years. When good software is introduced, I usually check it out and if it is good, I use it, but generally, it is replaced by something better within a few months. Not VLC Media Player. I have been using as my primary media player on PC and Mac for years now, and I still love it. It is a lightweight media player that plays every format known to man. Since I am such a huge fan of VLC, any mobile app that supports it will get my vote.
I have already reviewed the VLC Remote for iPhone and loved it. When I first heard about the VLC Remote for BlackBerry, I had to check it out. I assumed it was the same developer of the iPhone version for some reason, but it turns out it is actually Chocolate Chuck Apps who developed this app. I have been using it for a few days now, and I must say, this one is a winner. You can use your phone as a fully functioning remote control to select, view, play, rewind, and fast forward media files on your PC or Mac.
The app uses the advanced shortcuts BlackBerry users are so accustomed to and enables you to do pretty much anything in the app using one single button. You can select a music file or an entire folder to play, easily scan through a movie playing to the exact place you want to watch, as well as control the volume of the PC using the BlackBerry volume keys (nice one). These are just a few of the things you can do with the BlackBerry VLC Remote.
OK, good news and bad news again. It also costs $9.99, although it is now on a sale for half price (that’s not the good news). The good news is…it is FREE for our readers. Same deal as before. Go here, add the app to your cart, go to checkout and add the code “technmarketingvlc”. There are 20 free codes waiting for you, so go get one.
4: BuzzMe: I know I wrote about this one before, but it is worth another mention. BlackBerrys for some odd reason, when configured to vibrate, cannot vibrate and ring at the same time. So what ends up happening is that the device vibrates for a few seconds, then starts ringing. By the time the second ring comes along, you have missed the call. One of those annoying quirks about BlackBerrys. A developer called BigTinCan, whose primary offering seems to be VOIP calls, makes an app called BuzzMe. It simply enables you to configure how and when the device will ring and vibrate. It is very customizable and they have managed to create a very friendly UI.
I was using BuzzMe before the latest round of improvements, and I have to say, these guys are working hard. Their new versions are a HUGE improvement over the previous version both in terms of UI and functionality. So what else can BuzzMe do? You ready for this? You can change the color of your LED light that blinks when you get a call/email/message. Now they do offer a free version that only supports calls, but their paid version, BuzzMe Pro has it all. Define how long you want the phone to vibrate, what color the LED should be, whether it should alert you during a call, and the ability to make the app start up automatically, plus much more.
BuzzMe also has a version for the Storm that makes use of its built-in accelerometer. This version enables you to silence the phone’s vibration by putting the phone face down. Another cool feature. OK, so I have good news and better news. You can download the free version here (OTA) or if you have a Storm here (OTA). The good news is the paid version is only $2.99, so it is VERY worth it. The better news is it is FREE for our readers. You can get a free copy of the regular Pro version here (OTA) or the Storm version here (OTA). I am sure you will love it. If you come across any issues with the app or the installation, please let me know in the comments and I will pass it on.
5: UberTwitter: This app is a little more well known, but it still has not replaced TwitterBerry as the main Twitter app for BlackBerry. I am not going to go into the entire app and all its advantages, I will just say, I use it as my primary Twitter app, and have even assigned a shortcut key to quickly launch the app. It has an extremely user-friendly interface and offers almost all the features Tweetdeck has or any other Twitter client for that matter. The only issue I have is a lack of threaded tweets. There is an “In Reply To” button available, but as of now, it has never worked properly for me.
They are always enhancing the app with the latest additions including fully integrated picture upload, as well as advanced use of the built in GPS. I have tried a lot of Twitter apps on a lot of mobile platforms including Windows Mobile, Symbian, iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. Aside from maybe TwitterFon on the iPhone, UberTwitter is the best I have seen. I am currently testing out a new beta version, and somehow UberTwitter just keeps getting better. The app is free and you can download it here.
OK, that was a little longer than expected, but I hope you enjoy these apps and please leave me your thoughts in the comments.