Wow, the last 10 days have been heaven for BlackBerry users looking for new (or updated) software to play with. Lots of cool FREE stuff. Yesterday's Facebook for BlackBerry launch was the most talked about, but equally cool is LiteFeeds new mobile RSS app (I interviewed the co-founder of LiteFeeds...read it after the jump). Canadian BlackBerry users looking to save money can be excited about lypp, and all you Google and Yahoo talkers should be downloading the latest versions of these apps.
1. LiteFeeds - LiteFeeds is an RSS reader application for your BlackBerry that allows you to read many RSS feeds quickly and efficiently. What really makes Litefeeds different from say Viigo (also a great RSS app) is that with Litefeeds you do all your subscription management from the Litefeeds website. Then when you open up the app on your BlackBerry, you're only seeing the feeds you have subscribed to. This way you're saving on bandwidth - not having to browse and search for feeds through the BlackBerry.
I was really impressed with the Litefeeds concept. I got in touch with John Goodall, co-Founder of Litefeeds and asked him some questions:
CB: What prompted you to begin work on LiteFeeds?
JG: We felt there was a big usability problem with the Mobile Web and when RSS emerged it seemed like a format that could address the problem. RSS consists of just the latest headlines and summaries from a website without the clutter making it easy to navigate and view on a small screen. You can do all your RSS configuration on the Web and have your favorite feeds pushed to your Mobile without any hassle. So there is a natural synergy with RSS and mobile.
CB: Could you explain Litefeeds and how it can benefit BlackBerry users, and what Bells and Whistles really make it stand out as a must-have application.
JG: LiteFeeds is a custom application designed for Blackberry that allows users to read many RSS feeds/channels quickly and easily. We store and optimize all your feeds so mobile access is quicker and you save on data charges. Some advanced features include the ability to clip/save articles, bookmark articles, post to your blog, share via email, view images a full text articles etc.. We also provide a full-featured online reader where you can import/subscribe to feeds and then synchronize with your Blackberry.
CB: How has the response to LiteFeeds been since going live? I'm guessing you have received a lot of downloads, especially considering LiteFeeds works with many mobile platforms! Are BlackBerry installations making up a significant % ? Has the response exceeded your expectations?
JG: The response has been very good. As more people understand RSS and the MobileWeb becomes more popular we continue to grow with this trend. Blackberry has definitely been the most popular platform because the users are tech savvy and have good data plans. Most of our feedback comes from Blackberry users so if any readers would like to leave comments/requests it would be much appreciated.
CB: I know a company with a cool app like LiteFeeds won't rest on its laurels - what's coming next? what are you working on to make LiteFeeds even better?
JG: Most of it is "top secret" but we are trying to expand our services for publishers not just consumers and we are also planning custom features for the Blackberry platform in particular. [ end interview ]
That was cool of John to answer my questions. Get it at Litefeeds.com.
2. Lypp - Dan Gibbons, co-Founder of Lypp sent me an email telling me about the new application they launched. I'm thinking I'll just pass his words straight onto you ...
I recently launched a new service for Canadian and US BlackBerry users that I think you and your readers may find interesting. Our service, available at http://lypp.ca (http://lypp.com for US users), uses Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger and other IM networks to initiate instant calls and conference calls. It works really well on the BlackBerry because it's so easy to get the Google and Yahoo clients installed.
To use our service, customers simply sign up via http://lypp.ca and then add Lypp as a 'buddy' to their IM contact lists. Calls can be started simply by sending commands to the Lypp buddy (for example, 'call 7789989543' or 'call dan', or 'call dan, kevin, fred', and so on).
In Canada the service, when combined with unlimited incoming minutes, means eliminating charges for extra wireless minutes and long distance, as well as offering a very convenient way of starting instant conference calls. For an example of how it's changed my BlackBerry bill, check out this example.
My Rogers BlackBerry bills have been crazy as of late - as soon as I'm done this post I'm going to get lypp installed and give it a go!
3. Earthcomber - Earthcomber, the popular and widely acclaimed location spotter for mobile phones, has released a fully integrated Blackberry suite that uses constant local search for personal needs and interests. The free software and service uses available GPS on BlackBerry 8800s or GPS-equipped Curves (8310). Models without GPS can use Earthcomber’s self-spotting to trigger GPS-accurate searching.
Unfortunately, Earthcomber's functionality only covers the United States at this time. You can learn more about it here, and download it here. Let us know what you think!
4. Facebook - Yesterday's big news. After using it for a day, it leaves me half thrilled/half wanting more. But what it comes down to is that if you're a Facebooker and a BlackBerry user you will want to have it installed! See our Blog coverage and Official Forum Thread for more...
5. Google Talk - The Google Talk app has been updated. Head on over to mobile.blackberry.com from your BlackBerry's browser to get it downloaded. While you're there, a new version of Yahoo Messenger is out as well. Get em both!
Definitely a good week for BlackBerry Apps. Download them, spend some time with them, and let us know what you think. The 3rd Party Software CrackBerry Forum is only a click away!