Download What's My for BlackBerry
Some of you are going to love this app and some of you are going to read this and absolutely CRINGE at its existence, but there's a back story to, so READ THIS POST FULLY before leaving a comment....
This past weekend I was out for dinner with Miss CrackBerry (aka Erika) at a nice little Italian restaurant. While chowing down on some tasty gnocchi, sort of out of nowhere, I asked her if she was excited about BlackBerry 6 (yes, even on a Saturday night when out for a romantic evening I'm thinking about BlackBerry. I know it's kinda sad). Her response? "What's BlackBerry 6?" Yup, epic #fail on my part as even with all our WES 2010 coverage I guess somehow I forgot to tell her about it. So I filled her in on the details. And while telling her all about BB6, she expressed her key desire for the OS update.... "I hope they make it easier to find my Pin."
I immediately tweeted out on @crackberrykevin this sort of unneccessary yet necessary feature request (will explain that shortly) and when I woke up the next morning lo and behold I had What's My sitting in my inbox - which I installed on Erika's BlackBerry before she even woke up. What's My, by our pal Matthias of emacberry, is a simple app that places the What's My icon on your home screen. Clicking the icon displays your BlackBerry device's phone number, device pin and IMEI and the ability to copy them to the clipboard if you so desire. Erika was pretty happy when I showed her the app (and not so happy that I touched her BB while she was sleeping - I guess she's one of the 59% that apparently don't set a password).
So now let's ponder on the need for this app. Technically, you really shouldn't need this app from the perspective of a device pin... You can type mypin into any native app on the BB (email, BBM, SMS) which when you hit the space bar after the n converts mypin into your device pin. You can also go to Options > Status and find it there. You can also hit Alt + Caps + H to bring up the Help Me! screen. And you can also go into BBM to My Profile and find your PIN there.
Re-read the above paragraph though... really none of those ways of finding the pin are dead simple and/or easy ways of finding your device pin from the home screen, which is what a lot of people want to do when asking another person for a PIN (maybe somebody is asking you for it over the phone, or they want to add you via PIN and haven't gone the barcode route yet -- this poll shows most people still enter a PIN for Inviting new contacts to BBM, etc.). Options > Status is NOT intuitive. The average person would never think to look there unless they've discovered it there previously on their own. But if you just picked up a BlackBerry for the first time and I told you to find your device pin, you wouldn't look there. While shortcuts like mypin and the Help Me! screen are cool, the average consumer will never ever know or learn them. I still meet people who have been BlackBerry users for years (wayy longer than me) who are blown away when I show them some of the basic shortcuts on the device. Since most people tend to want to give their PIN out for BBMing purposes, opening BlackBerry Messenger and going to My Profile is kind of intuitive, but it's also a bit of a pain in the butt (open BBM > hit menu key > scroll > My Profile). Also, from experience I've noticed that in these situations most people automatically go to the Invite Contact screen whether they are trying to add somebody or trying to give out their info, instead of going to My Profile. Seriously, even with the new barcode way of adding people, I have seen SOOO many people (and I'm talking people who work with BlackBerry as their full time careers) not be able to find their barcode, because it's buried at the bottom of the of My Profile screen. You can also just scroll up to your profile pic in BBM and click it to display your profile, but to a lot of people even that isn't dead simple (they don't realize they can do that.). It would make more sense for RIM to tie your device info (barcode and pin) to the Invite Contact screen so whether you're adding or getting added, you don't have to hunt around for your info. I sort of wish RIM would put some icons at the top of BBM (like their facebook and twitter clients) for things like Add Contact that would simplify this process. Or on the home screen, maybe RIM should turn their Options > About screen into more of an About this Device screen that would include PIN, IMEI, Memory details, Barcode, etc.. and they could turn that into an easy to find icon vs. burying it. It's a thought anyways.
Back to the story at hand... there shouldn't be a need for this app, but for some people, they're going to love What's My. It would be even better if you could display oyur barcode from the app, but RIM hasn't opened up the BlackBerry Messenger APIs yet. So that's it. If you think you'd benefit from this app, download it for free at the link below. And if you think there's no need for it, well, while I personally dont' disagree with you I know out of RIM's 41 million+ subscribers there's at least one person who's loving it, and am sure there are some others too. Oh yeah, and huge props to emacberry for whipping this out in literally hours of me tweeting it. Awesome stuff.