Zumobi available for BlackBerry, we have impressions

40 Comments

BlackBerry Cool on Zumobi for BlackBerry

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:

http://get.zumobi.com/bbcool

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).

Zumobi\'s Desktop Tile Gallery

Would we get 5 stars if we actually gave you chocolate? Because we’ll do that.

Relevant Links

Zumobi for BlackBerry Press Release
Hi-Res Zumobi Screenshots
WES 08 Zumobi Video
Zumobi Wins CTIA Emerging Technology Award

  • nozubi

    Er, doesn’t work on OS4.5. Just the pretty logo and does nothing.

  • nozubi

    Er, doesn’t work on OS4.5. Just the pretty logo and does nothing.

  • http://louisdeaf.blogspot.com/ Louis

    I’m having trouble downloading it to my 8130. Are the servers down or what?

  • http://louisdeaf.blogspot.com Louis

    I’m having trouble downloading it to my 8130. Are the servers down or what?

  • http://www.salesby5.com/ nan

    It is timing out, must be getting a ton of traffic.

  • http://www.salesby5.com/ nan

    It is timing out, must be getting a ton of traffic.

  • http://www.salesby5.com nan

    It is timing out, must be getting a ton of traffic.

  • Eric

    Downloaded to a VZW8330, Program will launch and sit idle at the Zumobi Boot Screen.
    Will try again later

  • Eric

    Downloaded to a VZW8330, Program will launch and sit idle at the Zumobi Boot Screen.
    Will try again later

  • Brian

    Found it difficult to work with. scrolling in a tile using the trackball was difficult. Also they were inconsistent in using the middle “5″ key. Sometimes it selects and other times it takes you back to the main screen. At this time you can’t add tiles without going to your PC and using the web based interface.

    I don’t know – I just found using Viigo more convenient.

  • Brian

    Found it difficult to work with. scrolling in a tile using the trackball was difficult. Also they were inconsistent in using the middle “5″ key. Sometimes it selects and other times it takes you back to the main screen. At this time you can’t add tiles without going to your PC and using the web based interface.

    I don’t know – I just found using Viigo more convenient.

  • Lance G.

    It does work on 4.5. If you have a memory card in your phone, you need to take it out, uninstall the app, then reinstall and after it the app downloads, run it and allow it to download your widgets and then put your sd card back in the phone. It’s working for me. Nice lil app.
    Could have been better considering how long it took for release on BB.

  • Lance G.

    It does work on 4.5. If you have a memory card in your phone, you need to take it out, uninstall the app, then reinstall and after it the app downloads, run it and allow it to download your widgets and then put your sd card back in the phone. It’s working for me. Nice lil app.
    Could have been better considering how long it took for release on BB.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool

    Brian,

    I noticed the trackball issue as well. Should have mentioned it in the impressions. I think it’s only an issue for those of us who use a high sensitivity. Turn it down in your BlackBerry options and that should take care of it.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool

    Brian,

    I noticed the trackball issue as well. Should have mentioned it in the impressions. I think it’s only an issue for those of us who use a high sensitivity. Turn it down in your BlackBerry options and that should take care of it.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool

    Nozubi,

    Did you install with a microSD card in your device? If so, that’s why it’s hanging. If so, you’re going to have to delete the app, clear your RMS using Desktop Manager and try again.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool

    Nozubi,

    Did you install with a microSD card in your device? If so, that’s why it’s hanging. If so, you’re going to have to delete the app, clear your RMS using Desktop Manager and try again.

  • James

    why is this app SO SLOW? Lags for at least 1 second before my input is actually mirrored on the screen. Sometimes it even takes 5 seconds.

  • James

    why is this app SO SLOW? Lags for at least 1 second before my input is actually mirrored on the screen. Sometimes it even takes 5 seconds.

  • farley

    just downloaded. works like a charm after a slow initial log-in. looks more multimedia rich than Viigo – has photos, etc.

  • farley

    just downloaded. works like a charm after a slow initial log-in. looks more multimedia rich than Viigo – has photos, etc.

  • farley

    just downloaded. works like a charm after a slow initial log-in. looks more multimedia rich than Viigo – has photos, etc.

  • BBBoy

    This program SUCKS OUT LOUD. It is more trouble than it is worth…Bad memory usage and just flat out slow and cumbersome. Don’t waste your time.

  • BBBoy

    This program SUCKS OUT LOUD. It is more trouble than it is worth…Bad memory usage and just flat out slow and cumbersome. Don’t waste your time.

  • JerryD

    So why are all the developers insisting on having all these fancy graphics that the BlackBerry (or any mobile device for that matter) just isn’t ready to handle? I scroll, then wait, and wait, then something happens – maybe what I expect, maybe not.

    And why can’t I hit [Enter] OR click the trackball? With such a flaky interface, I HATE having to click the trackball as sometimes it MOVES FIRST – THEN CLICKS!

    Yes, it’s very COOL – Oooohhh, but this is NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME!

    Maybe if you actually wrote some TIGHT CODE instead of just jumping on the latest programming bandwagon to have the latest eye candy this would be a nice app!

  • JerryD

    So why are all the developers insisting on having all these fancy graphics that the BlackBerry (or any mobile device for that matter) just isn’t ready to handle? I scroll, then wait, and wait, then something happens – maybe what I expect, maybe not.

    And why can’t I hit [Enter] OR click the trackball? With such a flaky interface, I HATE having to click the trackball as sometimes it MOVES FIRST – THEN CLICKS!

    Yes, it’s very COOL – Oooohhh, but this is NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME!

    Maybe if you actually wrote some TIGHT CODE instead of just jumping on the latest programming bandwagon to have the latest eye candy this would be a nice app!

  • JerryD

    So why are all the developers insisting on having all these fancy graphics that the BlackBerry (or any mobile device for that matter) just isn’t ready to handle? I scroll, then wait, and wait, then something happens – maybe what I expect, maybe not.

    And why can’t I hit [Enter] OR click the trackball? With such a flaky interface, I HATE having to click the trackball as sometimes it MOVES FIRST – THEN CLICKS!

    Yes, it’s very COOL – Oooohhh, but this is NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME!

    Maybe if you actually wrote some TIGHT CODE instead of just jumping on the latest programming bandwagon to have the latest eye candy this would be a nice app!

  • Curtis

    Did they even test this on a Blackberry? This thing is so horribly slow.. its running in the background and every 10 seconds or so it locks the BB. Its even worse when you are in the program itself… and why the hell can’t I end the damn program? I select close and it still runs and lags out my BB… I mean what testing was done if the program doesnt install if you have a memory card in it? Honestly the Curve comes with a memory card so its not like no one has one.
    Delete, nuff said

  • Curtis

    Did they even test this on a Blackberry? This thing is so horribly slow.. its running in the background and every 10 seconds or so it locks the BB. Its even worse when you are in the program itself… and why the hell can’t I end the damn program? I select close and it still runs and lags out my BB… I mean what testing was done if the program doesnt install if you have a memory card in it? Honestly the Curve comes with a memory card so its not like no one has one.
    Delete, nuff said

  • http://stevencoburn.wordpress.com/ Steven

    ya, i get an error that the servers are down when accessing get.zumobi.com from the BB Browser

  • http://stevencoburn.wordpress.com Steven

    ya, i get an error that the servers are down when accessing get.zumobi.com from the BB Browser

  • Bob

    This thing sucks ass big time!!!

  • Bob

    This thing sucks ass big time!!!

  • http://my.zumobi.com/forums/forums/8 Beth

    Beth from Zumobi here. We’ve been tracking issues with the BlackBerry release over on our forums and as we find work-arounds and implement fixes you can stay up to date via my posts.

    All BlackBerry related topics are located here: http://my.zumobi.com/forums/forums/8

    Cheers,
    Beth_Z

  • http://my.zumobi.com/forums/forums/8 Beth

    Beth from Zumobi here. We’ve been tracking issues with the BlackBerry release over on our forums and as we find work-arounds and implement fixes you can stay up to date via my posts.

    All BlackBerry related topics are located here: http://my.zumobi.com/forums/forums/8

    Cheers,
    Beth_Z

  • ceppm

    I was looking forward for this but now I’m very disappointed. It’s not worth it. Takes 10 frigging minutes to load and very slow to react. OK, I tested it on a 8100 but it shouldn’t be available if it is not going to work.

  • ceppm

    I was looking forward for this but now I’m very disappointed. It’s not worth it. Takes 10 frigging minutes to load and very slow to react. OK, I tested it on a 8100 but it shouldn’t be available if it is not going to work.

  • ceppm

    I was looking forward for this but now I’m very disappointed. It’s not worth it. Takes 10 frigging minutes to load and very slow to react. OK, I tested it on a 8100 but it shouldn’t be available if it is not going to work.

  • http://www.fix-xbox-360.easierbooks.com/ Hunter

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

  • http://www.fix-xbox-360.easierbooks.com Hunter

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.