Like most things in life, the best BlackBerry downloads don't come free, with the exception of the following six applications. They include a free mobile RSS reader that delivers whatever feeds you select in real time, an uber search application that scans everything from websites to online telephone directories to local business listings, an invaluable travel tool that provides so much information it gives new meaning to the phrase "don't leave home without it", a mapping application that provides satellite images of any location in the world, along with driving directions, traffic updates and local search for many regions and two mobile applications that keep you connected to your favorite social networking sites anywhere you can fire up your BlackBerry.

Viigo: A True Mobile RSS Reader

Today, just about every website worth visiting has an RSS (really simple syndication) feed or feeds that serve up fresh content to RSS readers so users don't even need to type in web addresses to find the content they seek. There are a plethora of choices for desktop and notebook computer users, but there aren't very many mobile readers that deliver the same quality, especially free readers. That's what makes Viigo special. Viigo provides instant access to any RSS feed available on the web via an easy to read and aesthetically-pleasing interface. And it supports the popular Google Reader service so users can import existing collections of RSS feeds from computers to mobile devices.

Viigo on BlackBerryThe application works with any BlackBerry or Windows Mobile device, and its preserves their user interfaces so there are no new navigation techniques or tricks to learn or get accustomed to. Viigo's simple interface lets users add any feed or "channel" they wish by simply pasting in the feed's web address, and the application offers some 2,500 preselected channels. Viigo pushes feed updates to users' handhelds and stores them on the devices so content can be accessed without cellular connectivity.

Viigo Standard Edition (SE) is free for download from the company's site, and there are two versions you need to buy: Viigo Publisher is meant to help content producers or publishers mobilise and easily present their content, and Viigo Corporate Edition (CE) is designed to assist enterprises in providing necessary information to employees via mobile device.

Viigo is not the only free mobile RSS readers for BlackBerrys, but its user interface is easier to read and more attractive than others like NewsGator Go! and Berry Bloglines.

Beyond411 Local Search: Customised Mobile Search

It's certainly simple enough to search the Internet via sites like Yahoo using web-enabled mobile phones, but what sets Beyond411 Local Search (formerly Berry411) apart, is its ability to search beyond web pages indexed by Yahoo to include search for local business listings, online telephone directories, maps, and more.

screenshot of beyond411 on BlackBerryUsers preset locations, like your home or work, and then type what they're looking for and the application provides a listing of the closest options. It can even calculate driving directions based on preset locations or use GPS to determine current locations. (Note: The Beyond411 site says the GPS service only works in the US and is not available on Verizon BlackBerrys.)

To reduce the number of keystrokes needed, Beyond411 "guesses" what a user wants. For example, if you type "Best B" it will offers up a set of options with "Best Buy" atop the list. The application supports BlackBerry address book integration and can add search results to users' address books or email them in the form of vCards. Beyond411 can also help identify the best prices on item at local retailers using the Yokel shopping search service. And a set of external plugins, for flight status tracing, stock information and eBay bidding are also available on the Beyond411 site.

Other options: A number of other mobile applications include bits and pieces of the above functionality, like RIM's BlackBerry Maps, but Beyond411 packs it all into one easy to use package.