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BlackBerry Apps of the week
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January 28th 2014 saw the global rollout of BlackBerry 10.2.1. It brings a lot of nice new features to the BlackBerry 10 experience that many have wanted for a while, one of which is the ability to have apps run in the background so it doesn't have to be kept open in an Active Frame. An app that gets the ability to run in the background is called "headless" and must be granted long running permission by BlackBerry. Headless permission is great for apps like wallpaper changers or LED notification apps.
Many have apps were released with headless permission even before BlackBerry 10.2.1 was officially released. With 10.2.1 leaks around many have been enjoying these apps for a while now. We have mentioned a few of them before but now is the time to get a list going. Without further ado, here are the apps currently available with headless permission.
Flip Shush is a nifty little app that allows you to pause media or mute phones calls by simply flipping your BlackBerry device over. Flip Shush was one of the first apps to go headless and is a great app in certain situations. While there is a free version, you will need the full version to get headless ability. The full version also allows you to mute notifications and phone calls too.
Profile Changer Pro is an app I use daily. It allows you to set custom profiles for whatever situation your are in. You can even set up a profile for upcoming calendar events too. This is a great app for those who attend meetings or events regularly and you need to put your device into silent mode. Just set up a profile and it will automatically change. I love this app even more since it has gone headless. It even has geofencing capabilities to automatically change profile when you're in a location set by you.
Hub++ is a popular app LED notification app but it does a lot more than that. You can set up missed call notifications per contact too. The app is very customizable. Hub++ is an app many users really wanted to see go headless and I’m very glad that it has.
Phone Tap allows you to securely record phone calls. You can record calls automatically or on demand. Then you can add tag recordings with colors and labels. There is also the ability to password protect the app. Please note that there are laws in some countries regarding the recording of phone calls without the knowledge of the other party. That is why the app is not available in some countries including the U.K.
BaSA for short, this is an app that lets you see everything that’s happening under the hood. You can monitor usage of the battery, CPU, RAM, storage as well as cellular and Wi-Fi. All the information is presented in a graph form. You can tweak the settings to get a better view of things too.
Aerize LockPic lets you use a different wallpaper for your Homescreen and your lock screen. Natively, BlackBerry does not allow you to use a different back for the lock screen. While for most, like myself, I don’t mind, there are some who like to have something different. Aerize LockPic is the app for that.
Power Tools is an app that packs a lot of different functions in one place. You can block messages with it, schedule times to automatically turn on/off Bluetooth, shred files, have an automatic wallpaper changer and lots, lots more. It also has a nice Active Frame that displays a lot of useful information, even though it's now headless, that feature is still there for those who want to see device info at a glance.
For those who like to set different LED colors for different notifications that come into your BlackBerry device, Color LED Message is another app does that and has been given headless approval so that it doesn't need to run in an Active Frame.
ClipMan Clipboard Manager is a powerful clipboard manager to use on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone. It monitors the device clipboard and will save all entries found. You can then carry out a search to find things you previous wrote and need to write again. You can create templates too. A great app for those times when you forget to save something.
Watcher is another one of those multi-tool type apps that give you a few functions in one. Like setting the LED color, blocking phone calls and creating notification profiles. There's also the option to set a vibration for when calls connect or disconnect. I feature I quite like.
Call Alert is a phone utility app allowing you to tweak things related to the phone app on your BlackBerry 10 device. You can record calls, block calls, even automatically hang up calls. It also offers an LED notification option. You can also set a vibration for when a call connects, disconnects or fails to connect. There is even the ability to have the camera flash light up when a call comes in.
OnLocation is a geofencing app that allows your BlackBerry device to perform certain actions when you’re within a certain area or even when you leave a location. Such as have your BlackBerry device turn off the Wi-Fi connectivity when you leave your house or send a message to someone when you arrive at work or other venue.
SMS Blocker is a great to keep those pesky text messages at bay. It automatically blocks SMS messages from unknown numbers but you can tweak and add legitimate ones to a white list. Extra features include the ability to customize LED notifications and vibrate alerts, as well as to password protect the app.
The name of the app says it all really. One of the first apps to go headless, Wallpaper Changer allows you to have a rotating wallpaper. It was an app that many wanted to go headless and perhaps put people off it due to it not being headless. But it’s time to rejoice as it can run headless on your BlackBerry 10.2.1 running device.
SayIt has been a popular app here in the CrackBerry community. A voice recognition app, you can now activate it using the media keys on your BlackBerry 10 device. You can search the web, map locations, YouTube and even Wikipedia. It also currently offers text-to-voice in 44 languages and voice-to-text in 18 languages.
Hugely popular Twitter client, Blaq received a big update recently that added Hub integration as well as background permission. It's top Twitter client that is in my top 5 apps. It allows multiple accounts, real-time Twitter streaming and is just a beautifully designed BlackBerry 10 app.
Call Timer Ext is an app that allows you to set a vibrate alert when a predefined call duration has been reached. Not everyone has unlimited calls and this is aimed at those who don’t want to run over their call allowance or even to monitor it better. You can set your phone to vibrate once the call connects and then set it to vibrate after a certain time has gone by. You can also set reminder vibrations if you continue the call.
The name of the app says it all. This is a voice recording app. With it now headless, you can just set a button to activate the recording, without having to open the app. You can record in three different formats - AMR, M4A and WAV. There is also a voice-to-text option too.
Another recording app, this one can record calls and voices notes for you. Like many other call recording apps, it does need to have the speaker on in order to get the full call recording. You can use the media keys as shortcuts to start the recording process.
Just as the name suggest, this app allows you to set a vibration for when a phone calls or disconnects. There are many of these apps around in BlackBerry World with a few of them going headless too. Use cases for apps like these would be for when you’re on the move or perhaps trying to multitask and you just want to pick up your phone once the call connects. As the time for connecting a call can vary.
One of my favourite apps has gone headless. PhotoUploader is an app that let’s you directly upload photos to your Dropbox or Box account. Probably more useful for Dropbox users as the native Box app will do this. It doesn’t upload immediately, it’s more of a polling app that you can set to pull new photo additions every so often but it does the job it needs to do. Uploads photos directly to Dropbox.
This is the type of app many have been wanting to go headless. For those who do not have an unlimited data allowance, this app will monitor your data usage. Having to have it open in an Active Frame was quite annoying as sometimes you’d forget and so you couldn’t monitor your usage properly. Now that it has gone headless, it is definitely a lot better for data monitoring.
Geo Profiles is a geofencing app that lets you predefine things you want your phone to do whenever you’re in a particular location. You can change your notification profile, wallpaper or BBM status once you enter a preset location. It’s free to download and you get a 20 day trial to give it a whirl.
Paper Changer is a simple wallpaper changer app. Just point to the folder or photos you want to rotate as your wallpaper and then set it to rotate every 1 minute to 24 hours. There are plenty of these apps around but it’s all about preference and choice.
Mail Call is an app that will send an email to a specified address whenever a call comes through. Not quite sure what kind of situation you would use such an app but it’s available in BlackBerry World and has headless approval.
Color ID is another LED notification app. Letting your define the LED notification to a set colour for certain messages or contacts. This was an app that was made available for free during the 25 day giveaway during December 2013. Another LED notification app to go headless.
Profiler is an automated profile changer app. Much like Profile Changer Pro, you can schedule your phone to change profiles at a certain time or during a calendar event. Apps like these do have more appeal when they can run headless and Profiler has that ability.
Phone Assistant is another call recording app. It also includes a vibration alert after a predefined time. Again, this does need the speaker on during the all to be able to record the full conversation. And as usual availability and usage would be dependent on local laws.
That's definitely a nice list of available headless apps. Have we missed any? Hit us up in the comments. We'll be adding to this for a while so keep coming back as we see the list grow.