Give your messaging needs a boost with Hub++ for BlackBerry 10

By DJ Reyes on 7 May 2013 04:39 pm EDT
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Back when I was using BlackBerry legacy devices, I was a huge advocate of the app Email++. It allowed me to configure some email accounts with a pop-up so I could essentially read the email or at least get a preview of the message from the pop-up. It made things a lot easier when important emails came through.

The developers of the popular Email++ app are back with the same kind of thing for BlackBerry 10 - Hub++.

Hub++ allows you set up email accounts to include a message pop-up preview so you know whether or not you need to continue to open it or not.

You can customize exactly how much of the message you want to see beforehand. For example, you can choose to see just the first 200 characters or even up to the whole message. You can also set how long you would like the preview to show for too, from 5 seconds to indefinitely, where it will just wait for you to choose an option.

Hub++ main settings screenHub++ filters

You can create filters too, so if you only wanted to preview emails with a certain word in the subject or from someone or a group of people, you can set that up too. Filters are my favorite feature as I don't want to preview each and every email that comes through. When you have important emails coming through throughout the day, this helps to weed those out and I can get a glance at them without even going into the Hub.

From the pop-up, you are also presented with a variety of options on what you would like to do with the message. You can mark the message as read, flag it, forward it or reply to it all from the pop-up. There's even the ability to snooze the message too.

Hub++ pop-up preview

Hub++ doesn't stop at pop-up previews though. Hub++ now includes colored LED notifications in its Disco Edition. You can set a different color for each email account, as well as Text, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and BBM. Incoming coming calls can also be set too.

There are a variety of colors to choose from including disco (or rainbow, as the option). You can also set the pattern at which the light will indicate too. You have the ability to set how long you would like the LED to repeat for, from once all the way until you actually unlock the device of open it up. Just the way I like it. Any filters you set can also be given its choice of LED color or combination.

Hub++ account selectionHub++ colour selection

With regards to color selection, I would like to be able to see the color orange (CrackBerry Orange to be specific). From the few color LED apps I've seen, none have this option yet so perhaps it's not quite available to developers just yet.

A recent updated included the ability to backup and restore your settings which makes things very helpful if you ever switched devices or wiped and reinstalled your OS.

Hub++ menuHub++ backup/restore

One thing about the app, which is probably more to do with API limitations, is that if your screen is locked the pop-up doesn't turn the screen on to alert you. Something that Email++ could do on legacy devices. But once you swipe to wake the screen you'll see the preview there.

Another thing beyond the developer's control is the fact that the app needs to run as Active Frame for it to function. We'll be seeing headless apps in the future but as of now it has be open to work.

Overall, it's a great app. Peek and Flow are already awesome together and so is the Hub in itself, Hub++ adds to that awesomeness. Coupled with the fact that it includes colored LED notifications, you're getting two apps in one. It's very customizable so you can really set things exactly the way you want it. Hub++ is available from BlackBerry World for $2.99. It is available for both the Z10 and Q10.

The Good
  • Highly customizable, filtering your email messages notifications exactly how you want them
  • Kind of getting two apps in one with the message previews and LED notifications
  • You can backup and restore your settings
The Bad
  • Has to run as an Active Frame but out of the control of the developer at this time
The bottom line

It's a useful app. Being able to customize emails and give them predefined actions is a neat feature. So is being able to perform certain actions to a message without even having to open it from the Hub. Combine it with the fact you can set LED notifications too, it that's one less app you'll need to buy or download.

For more information and to purchase Hub++ from BlackBerry World

Reader comments

Give your messaging needs a boost with Hub++ for BlackBerry 10

57 Comments

We really need headless API before these apps can really be used to their full potential. Even OS5 could do that, come on BlackBerry.

Maybe we need a headless API, but not an OS like the aging " have done everything we can do with the tard button yet? " one. Enhancements will come for what is an excellent BB10 OS.

Posted via CB10

Currently, it is not allowed through API to open up the messaging app to be able to trigger Reply. We hope as the platform matures, more APIs will be available.

Also, similar to Reply, forward is not possible from the pop-up. However, users can set action, i.e., automatic forwarding rules for emails/texts to a different email address while adding custom notifications/filter.

My only problem is the lack of headless apps. This automatically gets closed because I open too many apps. I wish I could just set an app to be static and always open.

Same with me i got the app a few days in when i first bought my Z10 but to be totally honest i barely use it since i have to keep it open all the time, i usually have a lot of apps open, whats app, skype, bbm, browser so occasionally i find closed, so not really that useful. Im not complaining at the actual app as its amazing but until it works as a service in thd background im doubtful to use it again :( too bad

Posted via CB10

Just waiting for all these nice apps to be usable without running as an active frame before i start spending $$$

Posted via CB10

I find the app greatly improves my bb10 experience. I no longer need to peak to determine what kind of message just came in. The color of the led tells me all I need.

Posted via CB10

I got this app strictly for the LED controls, everything else is a bonus. Unfortunately I rarely use it because I forget to turn it on! I hope with headless api's so it can start on phone boot. Also, ability to reply to bbm/text within the preview would be great (again an API restriction)

Was going to buy it the same time I read this, then I read that it has to remain open, that was the deal breaker for me. Can't begin to count the number of apps I have not purchased because of this. BlackBerry needs to step up their game, they are losing steam, taking too long to provide necessary features that users need. Come on BlackBerry, hear the cries if your users!!!!.

via z10 on cb10...

That's what's nice about this app though. In the event that you would want particular messages to pop up, you now have that option. If pop ups aren't your thing then no need use the feature and you can stick with LED customization. Options. They're beautiful.

Posted via CB10

I think the issue with the lack of headless APIs has to do with figuring out how to prevent poorly written ones from sucking power. If not, there will be a mass of users screaming at BlackBerry about battery life.

Posted via CB10

Damn!! Now this is something that may ale my need for direct access to email. But almost....just.....not.......quite...........has to run as active frame that sux. if it's closed by accident and I really get reliant on this app for email, I'm screwed. :( I guess there is the native hub that would take over in that case?
Open up the support for the Devs Blackberry :) Killer job to the HUB++ developer! +5

Been using this app for a while now. Great application for users who like to customize notifications and messaging!

I actually use this app every day. The way I figure it, if your going to have a battery display running in the background, why not have it colour your ids anyway.

The notifications flash for my various accounts just fine, but wish I could change the color of the ". . monitoring.." that displays in the line app display.

Definitely not disappointed by the functionality.

Zed10 via CB10

It's a great app, I used and relied on something similar on the 9900 to differentiate what messages from what account was coming in and I wouldn't do without something like it again.

Only thing is that I wish its got an option to use multiple vibration count instead of just length.

Posted via CB10

I've been in contact with the developer, and the colors they have access to are in the app. The rest aren't available. Yet.

Posted via CB10

Jared OS had this on the old BB7 and older, Orange was also a choice as an led alert, so it's possible. I'm waiting for Jared to create theirs for BB10.

Posted via CB10

If you look at the post above by ofutur, there is a reference to the BB10 API, you will notice that the orange is not an option in the BB10 platform yet.

Great app. I was using it since the last update, since then been having serious battery drain and it's the only active frame running. When I disabled it, battery was fine.

Please note that if you have notifications such as tone/LED configured to be repeat until message is read and message was not read for a long time and as a result the notification continues, and that could have impact on battery. We would like to know more about it, and a follow up email to support would be appreciated.

If they are concerned about battery sucking programs, maybe those apps they need to approve after testing

Posted via CB10

I use this app and it's awesome and I can't wait till more api's are released so we don't have to have it open all the time.

Posted via CB10, BB10, Z10

Unless untill BlackBerry allows d developers the ability to run their apps in background, apps like these will have little appeal.

Posted via CB10

One thing I really missed when I wandered off to Iphone and two Android phones was the little red blackberry message light. So many times I would lay my Iphone down on the desk or coffee table - step away and not even know I missed a message. With the BlackBerry that little light is all I need.

Posted via CB10

I use this app when my phone is in "Phone calls Only" profile. It's just set to blink the led. Very useful.

Posted via CB10

While I appreciate the desire for apps that are "headless" and can run as services, from a user perspective, it's unclear why running them as Active Frames would be undesirable if you could "pin" those apps so they don't automatically close... Headless doesn't mean they won't consume resources, so it's nice knowing they're running and having an easy way to close them if you want. For those who are going to say this isn't ideal because they have often need more than 8 Active Frames open, that's a limit that BlackBerry possibly can remove...though I can't imagine what kind of battery life you're getting with that many apps open all the time.

Posted via CB10

I guess it has to do with users' perception thinking that the apps in the active frame are taking most of the resources. As you have pointed out, in reality, it could be any of the running apps whether those are in active frame or in the background.

Definitely. Isn't that arguably what leads to complaints about performance and battery life when it comes to Android devices? It might look like nothing is open, but go look in the task manager and there's tons of services running in the background. Sure, many are system/OS related, but a lot of apps still have some kind of service running even when the app isn't "open."

Whether it's an ideal approach or not, this is why Apple was so draconian around giving 3rd party apps permission to run in the background and why they went with the "tombstoning" as the predominant multitasking solution. General users don't differentiate 3rd party devs from Apple: if apps lead to bad performance, Apple's rep is impacted. This is an issue that's plagued Microsoft in the PC/Windows world for over a decade. Users load up all these toolbars, extensions and system tray apps that slow things down and increase the time it takes for Windows to fully boot up. Yet, because it doesn't look like an app is open, they just assume it's Windows.

Until it can be run as a native app in the background without keeping it open and popup notifications even when screen is locked, I shall be leaving it buried in a folder

Posted via CB10

Stemming off of Nine54's comment, does having an app running on the dash drain battery life significantly more than having none? I never leave any apps running on the dash so this would be the only one. I will find this app useful as I go through too many darn emails in a day; this will help me get to the ones i need more efficiently. I'm just concerned about battery life.

It's no good until it run in the background. I used the old app on the 9900 and it was great. The developer is solid.

Posted via CB10

It's great that some of these apps are coming out but, Side loading apps and apps that have to run as active frames is getting old. BBRY get your act together already. Someone from BBRY say something as to what the priorities are. I hear of these great apps and then at the end the bomb is dropped. If I wanted Android apps I would have bought an android phone. GET IT TOGETHER ALREADY!!!!!!!