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Picking Out the Top Apps
As a self-proclaimed Celluphile (Is that a word?) anyway, as a Celluphile I can often be found testing or toting around several devices at one time. When it comes to the iPhone or Windows Mobile Devices, and even my Symbian-based Nokia and Sony Ericsson devices, I can easily find third party applications in the thousands.
When it comes to my BlackBerry devices, however, it's a different story, there simply isn't as much software or freeware available. That's why I've put together a must have list of the top 10 available apps. Hopefully these top BlackBerry apps will make your email beast of a machine even more user friendly.
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1. Google Maps
This is one of my favorite programs. It's not only great for the PC, but in my opinion it's one of the few PC programs that actually offers users a more rich experience on their handheld cellular devices. With Google Maps users can find local businesses and other points of interest, discover traffic delays, receive turn by turn directions, see Street Views of locations, and even use GPS capabilities via My Location Based Services without having a GPS receiver installed on their device (of course it will work with a built-in receiver or Bluetooth GPS receiver add-on). What makes Google Maps for Blackberry devices even more attractive is the price - it's 100% free.
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I really don't like the Media Player found on BlackBerry cell phones, but xPlayer definitely steps up the device's game. It supports all type of media files including MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, etc. Plus it will even play video files and offers a pretty impressive codec base for playing back a ton of different video file types. Again this one is free, so it's worth a look.
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3. Opera Mini
The BlackBerry included browser is horrendous (only because I couldn't think of a better word to use than horrendous). The factory-installed browser doesn't offer good page views, and the pages that do come up render rather slowly.
In comes Opera Mini! Not only can you zoom in and out of pages allowing you to see the whole page as nature (or the webmaster) intended it, but you can also set the page views for your own optimal viewing. You can even use a landscape mode and save pages easily to your bookmarks section. Plus, it uses very little system resources in the grand scheme of things. Overall another awesome program that's once again freeware based.
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I don't like to get rained on, or suffer from heat stroke, and I don't have to thanks to this nifty program. BBweather gives Blackberry cell phone users the ability to configure their weather forecasts for the city they're in.
Users who travel can also set up different profiles for several locations, while viewing anywhere from 2-10 days of future weather forecasts. With dewpoint, humidity and other information also given it's another great freeware program that's worth a go.
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5. Google Mobile Search
Once again Google proves why they're on top of the digital world. Google Mobile Search For BlackBerry Devices is the best option for quick web searches. Not only can you find local businesses, but you can store your recent searches for quick look ups later. Not to mention you can find images, phone numbers, addresses and much more directly from your device.
The Google Mobile Search option will also show off by providing up-to-date stock quotes, offering a glossary of search terms, displaying Local listings, offering Movie times and it will even let you click on a phone number to auto dial the number being displayed. It's also offered at the very cheap price of FREE.
Even if I had to pay for this program I would use it - it's really that good, and pretty much an essential install for any traveler.
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6. Facebook For BlackBerry
I must admit that when on my Facebook account, I rarely install many apps offered to me by friends. However I love the cell phone apps offered by some very skillful developers, and the BlackBerry Facebook Application is no exception.
With this free application you can be notified on your BlackBerry homescreen when you receive new messages on your Facebook account. The program will even display your full wall messages, let you know who's poking you, show new photo tags and so much more. You can even update your status, check out your friends' status, and even post your pictures from your device directly. Basically you can manage your entire Facebook account without ever stepping near a computer. The cost is again free, and it's a simple install to your BlackBerry device.
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This is a really simple freeware program that offers one simple solution, however, it's a solution that users who watch a lot of videos will want to take advantage of. BBlight allows you to set a time length for when your screen will turn off. This is really useful if you're on a plane or travelling by some other means and you're watching a longer video. Yes it's simple, but again it's free and rather a useful application for the heavy video viewer crowd.
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8. WorldMate For Blackberry Devices
This is a must have application for travellers. The WorldMate Gold package will cost you $99 per year, but pardon the pun when I say it can be worth its weight in gold. The app allows users to store their own itineraries, view a world clock and check out the weather.
Where the application really shines though is in its ability to display flight schedules and show the status of each flight you want to look up. This application can save valuable time by always keeping you on top of your flight plans, and giving you easy access to your airlines' phone numbers in case you need to make other arrangements. It may cost money, but with the time it can save travellers, it may be worth the cost.
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9. Open Office For Blackberry
This is a great option if you need to edit Microsoft Office, including Microsoft 2007, documents on the fly. At $69.95 the program isn't too pricey especially when you consider what it offers. The screen on the Open Office application allows users to easily add Bold, Italic, and other formatting standards. If you need to edit office documents and keep the original formatting this is the way to go. But beware - to create and not just edit documents you'll pay an additional fee up to $70.
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Normally I wouldn't include this program, but given the price of gas, every dollar saving technique is welcomed.
Cellfire basically blasts coupons to a user's cell phone with a unique 5 digit code which users can then show to clerks at local stores to receive the discount. Right now the program is already working with some major companies such as Dominos, McDonalds, and Sears to name just a few, and the number of subscribing companies is continuing to grow. The best part? You only receive the coupons when you choose to have your device go out and fetch the newest offerings, meaning you won't be bombarded with advertisements at all times of the day. This one's better than free. Not only will you not pay for it, but Cellfire can literally save you money.
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Well there's my current Top 10 BlackBerry Applications. I've included some great business applications and some everyday use items for the user who isn't necessarily attached at the hip to their device. I'll be sure to update this list, and with BlackBerry's move towards touchscreen devices, I'm sure I'll have a whole new list of applications in the near future.