We gave you a brief sneak peak during WES in May, but today is the day Zumobi has officially announced their free mobile widget application for BlackBerry. What exactly is a mobile widget application? Look at it this way: the power of the smartphones in the hands of the BlackBerry Nation gives us the ability to update our Facebook, check out cool Flickr images, and maybe even read BlackBerry Cool (ahem), all while on the go. However, tricking out your BlackBerry in such a fashion usually requires a bit of work, or at least a handful of applications. Zumobi gives you the power to do all this and more in one application, using a slick graphical interface of 16 widgets (or ’tiles’ as Zumobi likes to call them) to place all the mobile content you want on one pretty little screen.
Zumobi was kind enough to give us an advance build, as well as an instructional video which should give you a better feel of how the application works. You can find our initial impressions and the video after the jump. Stay tuned tomorrow for the full review, as well as some special prizes we have in store for you on Zumobi’s behalf.
Hit this link in your mobile web browser to download Zumobi for BlackBerry:
Zumobi for BlackBerry Demonstration Video
Zumobi for BlackBerry Impressions
— Zumobi offers a lot of tiles to start off. Like 200 tiles a lot. Suffice it to say, we haven’t checked them all out yet.
— If you can’t find what you’re looking for in Zumobi’s default offerings, however, you have the option of creating your own tile using their web interface and sending it to your BlackBerry. Just upload the proper RSS feed and you’re ready to go. Cool.
— The number/quadrant-based interface may take awhile to get used to for those more familiar with rolling their scroll ball every which way, but it’s actually quite effective. Before long we were navigating tiles like a pro.
— Do not, I repeat, DO NOT INSTALL ZUMOBI WITH AN SD CARD IN YOUR BLACKBERRY. I did and I encountered a bug that basically puts the application in a ‘feedback loop of doom’, requiring you to uninstall and start over (Zumobi is working to fix the issue). Once the application is loaded however, feel free to pop your card back in.
— Zumobi is a fairly graphic — and thus resource — intensive application. Testing on a BlackBerry Pearl 8100 was manageable, but the ride was much smoother on my BlackBerry 8330 (hey, RAM makes a difference). What’s interesting, however, is imagining how sweet Zumobi will look on the BlackBerry Bold or the Thunder. Mmmmmmm.
— One neat aspect of Zumobi that surprised us was the ability to send tiles via email to your friends, much like Facebook apps. It’s interesting to think how Zumobi could become the ‘next cool thing’ discovery medium for BlackBerry users.
— Speaking of Facebook, the Facebook tile was a little wonky while I was testing it, preventing me from updating my status, but Zumobi has told me it should be fixed by the time you’re reading this.
— Generally speaking, BIS users should see a slightly faster Zumobi experience than BES users.
— Right now BlackBerry users don’t have the ability to discover and add tiles from their device (boo!), but using Zumobi’s web gallery via a desktop browser was a painless experience (see image below).
Would we get 5 stars if we actually gave you chocolate? Because we’ll do that.