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 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.
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.
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.
WorldMate Live: Make Those Flight Cancellations/Delays Less Painful
WorldMate Live is a mobile service meant to simplify the lives of frequent travelers by automatically delivering content and services to mobile devices. Free features available include the My Itineraries function, which stores information on flights, hotels, meetings, public transportation and car rentals on BlackBerrys. The application also lets users export travel information from booking confirmation emails, corporate calendars and more, directly into WorldMate Live, and it automatically assembles their itineraries.
Finally, a full colour, searchable map of the world provides locations of cities as well as the date and time of day in each selected location.
That sums up the free version. The best WorldMate Live features are available only to folks with fee-based Gold Memberships, such as real time flight alerts, flight notifications and meeting notifications and alternatives to cancelled or delayed flights.
Google Maps: Mobile Mapping With Satellite Imagery
Google Maps for BlackBerry is a mobile mapping application that provides location-based information and services to mobile handsets with or without the use of GPS. The "My Location" function employs nearby cell towers to determine rough locations of mobile phone users so no information needs to be entered. The application also provides satellite imagery from the Google Earth service and can deliver driving, or step by step walking, directions with real time traffic alerts in some cities.
Facebook for BlackBerry: Never Miss a Beat
If you are hooked on Facebook, this application is for you. The Facebook social networking tool began as an application used by college students to share photos and other content and to keep in touch with friends, but it has quickly become a valuable tool (some would say addiction) for many business users. The Facebook for BlackBerry application lets you take your favorite social networking site with you wherever you may roam.
Hitting the BlackBerry menu key on your device brings you from the Facebook home screen to a list of options that include all of the above functionality, as well as the ability to surf to the Facebook Mobile site, which includes much of the functionality available on the full Facebook website.
TwitterBerry: They'll Never Have to Ask What You're Doing
What are you doing?
That's the question that fuels the Twitter social networking service. Like Facebook, Twitter is making a name for itself among business users and others as a valuable tool to help keep track of what colleagues and others are doing at any given moment. Users constantly submit updates in the form of 140 character instant message-like posts on their current activities so friends, family, colleagues and others can keep tabs on them and vice versa.
TwitterBerry works on most RIM devices from the 7000 and 8000 series that run on the BlackBerry operating system version 4.0.2 or higher.