The best free apps for your BlackBerry

twitterberryv08It’s time to supe up your BlackBerry with the best free apps and software available. Here’s our must-have apps list…

I was wittering away on Twitter the other day about my thrilling night of BlackBerry app downloadage and a few people made enquiries about which apps I recommended.

Rather than politely answer their tweets, I thought I’d save my response for an article on Dork Adore. That way, there’s a slim chance it might do well in Google search results and I might stand to gain a few pence in ad revenue.

Before you start composing letters of complaint to your MP, not everything here is an “app”. But if you’ve just got yourself a new BlackBerry and you want to supe it up, here’s what I would do.

Opera Mini

The browser on my BlackBerry is OK, but Opera Mini is much better. It looks nicer, it’s faster and it has excellent shortcuts that make browsing on a BB much faster.

OperaMini

I’m currently testing Opera Mini 5 and it’s making me all confuddled. But version 4.2 works like a treat.

Opera Mini Site
Opera Mini Mobile Site

Facebook App

I hardly go on Facebook any more, but the BlackBerry app is handy for letting me know if I’ve missed a message from someone.

The latest version syncs up with your calendar and contacts, flashing up the latest profile photo of your friends when they call and reminding you that it’s someone you once met at a party’s birthday.

Facebook app website
Facebook app Mobile site

Google Maps

The maps on your BB are rubbish. Delete them and install Google Maps. That way you can find your way (even without GPS on your phone) and can get Street View and all the good bits of Google Maps on your phone.

Watch this brainwashing video. It worked on me:


Google Maps site
Google Maps Mobile Site

Twitterberry

The latest version is a vast improvement on the old one. You can now actually retweet people and view people’s user profiles. It’s like a modern day miracle.

Just make sure you delete the cache every once in a while or it starts to get pissy.

TwitterBerry site
TwitterBerry Mobile site

Google Sync

My Outlook’s connected to my Google Calendar. My Google Calendar’s connected to my BlackBerry. The only time I do a manual sync with my PC is when I want to update my contacts. I tried using Google to synchronise contacts and it just kept making duplicate entries until I lost the will to live. It’s a bug. Presumably, it will be fixed at some point, but I haven’t had the energy to try again for a while.

Optional Extra: Google Mobile App

This is OK, but I don’t use mine much. Handy for getting your reader, Gmail and other Google goodness all in one place.

Google Mobile App Site
Google Mobile App Mobile Site

MobiPocket Reader

I don’t use this eBook reader very often now I don’t commute into London every day. But for a while there it was handy for reading Little Dorrit when I wanted to know what was going to happen in next week’s episode on TV.

MobiPocket Website
MobiPocket Mobile site

iSkoot

Skype isn’t yet available for my BlackBerry, but iSkoot will fill in for the time being.

I don’t use it as much as I used to when I needed to IM colleagues: it sucks up battery life and spends a lot of time trying to connect. Some days it works beautifully and other days it can’t find its backside with both hands.

iSkoot website

BlackBerry App World

The easiest way to download this is to access BlackBerry Help (usually in the “Downloads” folder) and follow the big link on the home page.

I found it a bit buggy on my 8900, but it’s working fine on my 8520.

App World Website

And the rest (on App World):

Buzz Me: Makes your BlackBerry vibrate and ring at the same time.

Sudoku Lite: Great for train journeys.

Quick Pull Pro: Used to be free, but now costs £2.15, this app performs a hard reset to regain memory so you don’t have to remove your battery. It has lots of clever scheduling options (eg you can set it to reset at specific times or when memory starts running low). It’s handy for keeping your BB running smoothly.

Katie Lee

Dork Adore's Editor! Katie started out life as a tech journalist and blog obsessive, launching the UK's first and biggest blog publishing network, Shiny Media. Favourite dork things: knitting, crochet, Press Gang, Buffy, Battlestar, Doctor Who and lifehacks.

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Comments

  1. kathryn says

    don’t suppose anyone knows of a good stop-watch app for my blackberry? I’ve just realised it doesn’t have one….

      • kathryn says

        nope, have found stopclock1 in App world which seems to do the trick. and the rather adorable ‘time for tea’ which lets you set a variety of timers for brewing different types of tea! it strikes me as the kind of app lakeland would sell, if lakeland sold apps. I’m thinking it might work quite well for interval training though, which was what started the whole stop clock thing in the first place.

  2. says

    I can’t believe I can’t get my phone to ring & vibrate at the same time – so Buzz Me is good to know about.

    Twitterberry lost me when it had the old version – UberTwitter was miles better and since I loathe updating/changing anything, ever, I’ll be sticking with it for the forseeable…

    On your model can you set links to open automatically on Opera Mini? Don’t seem to be able to on the Pearl.

    • says

      Opera Mini wouldn’t do that on my Pearl, but Mini 5 seems to be doing that on my Curve. Sadly, Opera 5 Beta is making me want to cry and I’m going to have to uninstall and go back to the old version.

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