Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What do I have on my Blackberry?

A couple of weeks ago my Blackberry Bold suffered misfortune during a canoeing event with the Scouts. I had to temporarily revert back to a barely functional pearl. Now however, I've got a replacement Bold and I'm reloading all my "stuff" onto it.

I could have simply restored my settings from a backup of my old Blackberry but I figured that I'd rather exclude applications which I haven't used. So I did a manual reinstallation.

I thought this might give me a chance to talk about some good blackberry apps. So... what have I got on my blackberry now?

The Default Applications
It goes without saying that I have mail, calendar, SMS, Messenger (which I never use), MemoPad (which I use heaps) and all of the rest of the default Blackberry apps.

Google Applications
Google Mobile App ( - FREE
This is usually the first thing that I put back on the blackberry. It gives you a google search portal but more importantly, it's a great starting place to launch the installs for Gmail, Google Maps and Google Sync. I'm a big Google junkie and these apps are my lifeline. When set up properly, Google synch will synchronise your Google contacts with the phone - that's a nice feature and very handy to have if you need to suddenly restore data.

I should point out that I don't synchronize my Blackberry and Lotus Notes contacts (so I never sign into Notes via the Blackberry Desktop software). I don't do this because our corporate contacts are all in our server's address books and I find it's much easier to manage personal contacts via Gmail.

Also in the Google App is;

Google Talk - FREE
Since Gmail is my platform of choice, I use Google Talk. There are other apps for Yahoo and Windows Live - and even apps which combine them all but I've converted most of my chat buddies to Gmail, I don't need them.

Google Maps - FREE
This has been an amazing resource on my driving and scouting trips. It gives you satellite maps and street maps. I don't have a GPS so this is the next best thing.

Other Applications
Moving away from Google, we have;

OperaMini ( - FREE
This is a much better web browser than the one that ships with blackberry (although I'll admit that the BB one has gotten a lot better). If you find that your blackberry browser sometimes runs out of memory downloading a page, then try Opera-Mini. You'll find it works there. It's also very good practice to have a second browser at your fingertips.

Blackberry App World ( - FREE
This is a great launch pad for installing lots of Blackberry Applications. For some reason, it doesn't seem to be installed by default on Blackberries. Since I'm a fan of free stuff (who isn't?), I'll usually sort items by price.

From Blackberry App world, you can install lots of great apps. I haven't included URLs for these because you can simply search for them in Blackberry App World.

Applications from Blackberry App World
Twitter for Blackberry - FREE
If you've used twitter this is fairly self explanatory. You can set your status, view other people's tweets and watch trends.

Facebook for Blackberry - FREE
If you've used facebook this is fairly self explanatory. You can set your status, view and comment on other people's status, mail your friends and upload photos from the blackberry camera.

Evernote for Blackberry - FREE
This is (hopefully) my cure for constantly sending myself emails. If I need to remember anything, I simply type it into EverNote. I have Evernote on my work and Home PCs too so it's easy to look through my outstanding Notes.

The Weather Network - FREE (has adverts down the bottom of the page)
I've tried several weather applications but so far this is the best. Unlike many weather apps, it includes weather outside of the US. You can get short and long term forecasts. Even better, it displays an updated icon on the blackberry desktop so you don't even have to open it (if you want current conditions).

LocalPedia - FREE
This is a weird little app which allows you to look up a town and get information on the facilities. I'm not entirely sure that I'll use it a lot but it's good if you're in a new place.

Mobiola xPlayer - FREE but has Adverts
This has a bit of a weird interface which takes a little getting used to but it's still a great player. I find that I like to listen to music and to talking books on the blackberry but I don't like having to constantly juggle playlists and sort order settings. Instead, I set the blackberry media player up to play randomly (and point it to my music playlists), then I set the Mobiola xPlayer up to sort by filename and play my eBooks using it. It works a treat!

Well, that's it for now. I'm going to see if I can reload Sametime on the blackberry although I hardly ever used it. What I am surprised about is that sametime isn't in Blackberry App world - and also that my old instructions no longer work. IBM, are you listening?


IdoNotes said...

Great list. Good idea to have this kind of free list for the new BlackBerry Today podcast that started

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am really happy to discover this. great job!

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