Ever wish your BlackBerry’s LED flashed and changed vibrant colours whenever the reception on your BlackBerry adjusts? Yep, me neither. There must be some sort of market for it, though, as Green Tech Mobile has assembled BlinkBerry, an application for your BlackBerry that does exactly what was just described, changing your LED into yellow, cyan, magenta and other various luminations when your BlackBerrys signal strength changes. Check out our review of Green Tech Mobile’s BlinkBerry after the jump.
This application stands out because there’s not really anything else like it (and I can understand why). There’s various kiosks and such in malls that sell add-ons for mobile’s that’ll make crazy colours appear on your device, right? Well, BlinkBerry is like that, but it serves a minor purpose and although it’s not available in a kiosk, you can pick it up from the BlackBerry Cool Store and it gets installed onto your device using the Desktop Manager.
Can we talk about the name of this product for a second? It seems like developers are getting so lazy when it comes to naming their applications that they’ll just think of what their app does (in this case, blink) and then add “Berry” onto the end, and there you have it. It’s like Apple’s i-whatever naming strategy, but even more ridiculous. Moving on.
So like I said, BlinkBerry runs in the background of your BlackBerry and it monitors the signal strength on your device and flashes the LED in different colours associated with the varied levels of reception. You can adjust how long the LED blinks for an even the length of the individual blinks. Note that even though the app itself doesn’t kill your battery, if you have the LED flashing for 30 seconds every time your reception changes and have the length of the single blinks jacked up, your battery will drain a lot quicker than it would without the service.
The default configuration for the colours is as follows:
0 bars – RED
1 bar – CYAN
2 bars – MAGENTA
3 bars – BLUE
4 bars – WHITE
5 bars – GREEN
If you’re not a fan of the order of the assigned colours, they can easily be edited through the menu’s “set colours” option. I’d advise keeping the blue and cyan apart, as well as the magenta and red. They’re not extremely similar, but if you’re relying on either your peripheral or tunnel vision, you could get your reception status confused.
One of the more useful features of BlinkBerry is the “No Service Steady” option. This is for folks who travel a lot and dip in and out of service areas quicker than they can dial a phone number. You can set a colour to stay on while your device has no service, and as soon as a signal becomes available, it’ll start a mini rave party on your hip flashing the colour that your signal’s now set at.
I might just be a purist, but I’m not on a need-to-know basis with my signal strength. If I am desperate to know, I’ll check when I need to make a call. If you’re a really heavy business user always flying high above the country and wanting to know when you can/can not be connected to the ground below, then maybe (and I’m stretching that maybe out) BlinkBerry would be a good addition to your device.
But for the rest of you, leave the CMYK in your printer where it belongs. BlinkBerry, as mentioned, is available from the BlackBerry Cool Store for $9.99 USD.
I’ll be posting some pictures of the application in operation as soon as I can get my hands on my digital camera. Check back tomorrow to see some rainbow-coloured action.