So for a while now, I've been using PeeKaWho to alert me of messages. In a nutshell, the application notifies you of incoming Email and SMS via Popups, no matter what you are doing on your BlackBerry. This allows you to see the sender, subject and a brief email body. This past October, I had a look at both PeeKaWho and Aerize Email Alerts and decided upon PeeKaWho as my pop up pal. Back then, these two seemed to be your only choices. As time has passed, more companies have jumped on this unique bandwagon. Seeing how there's typically nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, I thought I would introduce some of you to one of the other players in the pop up playing field.
...looks like I'll have another comparison on my hands soon....
Pop quiz, hotshot
After its easy installation, Message Peek is eager to get to work. For those not familiar with this type of application, I will elaborate. Like many of you, it used to bother me when a message came in while I was busy in another application. With no indication of whom it was from or what the message pertained to, I would sometimes find my attention stray from the task at hand. That nagging envelope calling out "read me...reeeeeeeead meeeeee" would sometimes be too much for me to handle.
This application, among others, generates a pop up for your incoming email and SMS messages. You can see the sender, the subject and the body of the message. You can now make a confident decision whether or not to attend to the message right away.
Some applications offer to show images that are assigned to contacts in addition to the message. I tried using this feature in the beginning, but quickly found it useless. Message Peek seems to focus on what it's supposed to do; manage your incoming messages. When a message comes in, you will see the sender, subject and the message. Some applications give you a preview of the message body. In Message Peek, I've been able to scroll up and down through entire messages in most cases. At the top of the pop up, the following options appear in an email message:
These provide one less click, enabling for faster message response/management. Selecting one of these sends you to the appropriate section, where you can reply, forward and so on. Other applications may have you open the message, then select how to respond or manage. A minute inconvenience at most. If more than one email arrives on your BlackBerry, Message Peek will display the newest message first, then work its way through the new arrivals as you close the pop ups.
If you visit the actual application, you can fiddle around with the settings until you have it working the way you want it to. You can choose which of you email addresses you want to see pop ups for, or if you want to include SMS messages or not. The display time of pop ups can be managed as well; you have several options between 5 seconds to 5 minutes to never fading out. I found the default medium font size and dark background easier to read, so I didn't have to bother adjusting those. One of the other features is the ability to Black List specific email addresses. You can select addresses from your address book or manually enter one. While this may help prevent annoying forwards from your least favourite Uncle from popping up at the worst time, I would like to see a White List feature. This would make filtering emails much easier. A white list, in my opinion, is much more powerful as it helps block more addresses with less set up.
Message Peek's pop ups have a very smooth appearance to them. I found them very easy to glance at and, as mentioned before, I love having the ability to view an entire email rather than seeing a preview of it. When replying to emails from within Message Peek, the original message is marked as read. With SMS messages, this is not the case. The SMS message will continue to appear as a new message until you open it in your inbox.
Well, it looks like there is another contender in the pop up world. The shortcuts available offer an easier message management experience. While it may not have all the bells and whistles that other applications may have, it offers reliability, an excellent display and can be found at the low price of $7.99. A 7 day free trial period is offered for those who want to test before they invest. Pick up your copy of Message Peek here.