There are several ways for the average BlackBerry user to experience an application. They can either download the app from a store or App World, get the application through their carrier, use the application if it comes preloaded or experience it as part of the BlackBerry OS.
It is rare that RIM will purchase a company to include it on the OS, but it’s a great way for everyone to enjoy an improved BlackBerry experience. Some technologies acquired by RIM include: the browser is purchased IP from various companies, BlackBerry maps is from Tele Atlas and the media player uses technology licensed from Roxio.
I have compiled a list of 10 apps that provide additional functionality to the BlackBerry and that I think all BlackBerry devices should come with.
Poynt Reverse Phone Directory
I use Poynt on a daily basis, but not all the features that come with the application. The best feature of this app is the reverse phone directory. Powered by WhitePages, the Poynt reverse phone directory can look up any number on your BlackBerry and see who the number belongs to. Although it can’t do all mobile devices, it is incredibly helpful nonetheless. It would be great if this feature came native on BlackBerry.
Poynt is available on App World.
Phone Assistant enables you to quickly add contacts to your address book on the go. Once the conversation is ended, you will be prompted to add the contact only for new contacts if does not exist in the address book. Both BlackBerry enterprise and consumers alike would appreciate this feature, as it makes adding new phone numbers to your contacts a breeze.
BerryBuzz LED options
Many of the alert features on the BlackBerry could do with more customization. Applications such as BerryBuzz, extend your default Blackberry alert system. BerryBuzz allows you to customize the LED color for many alert types and keeps the LED flashing for longer than the default 15 minutes.
When RIM developed the BlackBerry, for some reason they decided to omit the ability to vibrate and ring at the same time. The VibandRing application solves this. With VibandRing, you have the ability to set the amount of ring bursts, the length of the bursts and the length of the pause between the bursts.
The first BlackBerry Storm got a lot of criticism from early adopters who were excited about RIM’s first touchscreen device. One of the issues was the inability for the Storm to lock itself when in a call. This led to some accidental hang ups from your cheek pressing the “end call” button. With the BlackBerry Storm 2 coming out, this may be solved but until then there is StormLock.
gwabbit searches through your message folder, finds email signatures and converts them into contacts. This is a very simple application that provides an incredible amount of additional functionality to the BlackBerry message folder. For enterprise and consumers alike, gwabbit provides the user with a better email experience.
gwabbit is available on App World.
Forward with Edit
Forward with Edit is another BlackBerry application that adds functionality to the BlackBerry email experience. Normally, you cannot forward an email with any edits made. With Forward with Edit, you can now edit your forwarded emails.
This application has less to do with BlackBerry and RIM, and more to do with carriers. Beyond160 allows users on CDMA networks to go beyond the 160 character limit when composing a text message. It’s been a very sought-after feature and it would be great to give this feature to all BlackBerry users.
BBSmart Alarms Pro
The BlackBerry alarm clock is incredibly basic and it would be great to see more functionality from it. As of now, you’re better off trusting a $30.00 alarm clock radio at The Source, rather than rely on your basic BlackBerry alarm. BBSmart Alarms Pro allows you to set multiple alarms for multiple days with multiple sounds, making the BlackBerry alarm clock incredibly useful.
Aerize Email Alerts
Tired of not knowing who messages are from without opening the messages folder? Well Aerize can help. Aerize alerts is an application that will notify you via a pop-up notification on your screen. The thing I love about this application is that it displays a photo of the sender if their picture is stored in your contacts. Again, this product adds great functionality to the BlackBerry email experience.
App World doesn’t fall into the same category as the other applications on my list, due to the fact that it would come preloaded, not included on the OS. I still had to include it on the list because it is a huge hurdle for RIM and carriers to overcome, and it must happen. In order for App World to come preloaded with BlackBerry, the carriers will have to agree to ship devices with the app embedded. Also, they will have to take a major step towards becoming a pipe and not a sales channel.
Feel free to comment any applications that you believe adds essential functionality to the BlackBerry.