My must-have BlackBerry apps

Having recently moved from webOS to BlackBerry OS, I’ve decided to compile a list of my must-have BlackBerry apps. Some of these are free, some are not. Most are available through the AppWorld, though I’ve installed some directly from the web.

BlackBerry Bridge

Bridge pairs a BlackBerry phone with a PlayBook. The PlayBook then essentially becomes a 7″ version of the BlackBerry phone, providing views of your calendar, browser, address book, messages, and documents. I love the approach and find it to be a better fit for my tablet use than native PIM apps. I can start a document on the phone, move to the PlayBook, and move back to the phone again. Slick.

Dropbox

Dropbox is fabulous. It gives you your folder of files on every computer and every device, all syncing in the background, silently, perfectly. Dropbox is the key to my ability to move easily between devices.

BB Podcast

RIM’s podcasting app. It works well, allowing you to search and add your own podcast feeds. There’s not much more to say about it. The app provides options for how and when to update podcasts, ensuring that users don’t run over their data allowance.

BB News RSS

Like the podcast app, this RSS reader from RIM is a capable, no-nonsense app that brings you the information you need when you need it. It isn’t fancy but works well.

QuickLaunch

This is my must-have BlackBerry app. QuickLaunch enhances the BlackBerry experience in many subtle ways. I have it assigned to my convenience key and use it constantly to run and switch my main apps. I also assign launchers for adding a task and appointment. QuickLaunch just makes using the BlackBerry much more efficient. I highly recommend it.

Globe News

As a good Canadian citizen, I count on news from trusted sources. Globe News is one of those sources. You can read majour Globe and Mail news as it hits in a convenient mobile app.

LogicMail

I know this may sound strange but one of my main beefs with the BlackBerry is how it handles email. I’m sure it’s great for low-mail-volume or BES users but I get a lot of system chatter on my work email. Because of this, I don’t use BIS to check the account. Thankfully, there’s LogicMail, a plain old IMAP/POP client. It doesn’t go through RIM servers, so it wouldn’t be subject to service outages. You can see your IMAP folders, it’s great. The downside: it isn’t well integrated into the rest of the BBOS, the interface is a little rough, and it doesn’t integrate with Bridge. Still, as a secondary mail program, it’s great.

WordPress

I’m using WordPress now to write this! It’s a great, simple WordPress client. It’s free, it’s complete, and it easily handles multiple blogs.

BBSSH

This is an open source ssh client for your BlackBerry. It’s a great safety blanket for this sysadmin. It lacks the visual flair of iSSH but handles multiple connections well and absolutely gets the job done.

SpeedLock

The only thing I don’t like hardware-wise about the Torch 9810 is the unlock mechanism. SpeedLock fixes this completely. It is $1 well spent. If you have a Torch that you ever accidentally unlock, buy it. Trust me.

Google Sync

This app from Google syncs calendar and contacts. It works very well and makes switching devices and platforms as painless as possible. It runs in the background. You almost don’t know that it’s there.

Google Talk

Another Google app. Talk works as well as BBM but means the person on the other end doesn’t have to have a BlackBerry.

Font Manager

The fonts on the BlackBerry are fine. That said, Font Manager let’s you bring in your own. My only beef: it only works with small font files, so I can’t use the Ubuntu font for everything. Pity.

That’s a wrap

That’s it. That’s what I use. There are plenty of other gems out there, but these are mine. If you’re reading this and have suggestions of your own, please let me know.

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