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Privus Mobile Caller ID for your BlackBerry

By Ryan Blundell on 5 May 2009 07:04 am EDT
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Privus Logo

Wireless essentials, add-ons, features or Wireless Bill Bloaters; for most, these services are nearly as crucial as having a voice and data plan. Most of these features are only available through your carrier and, in order to save money, may be bundled with other features. Within these bundles, may be services that you may not want, or even find quite annoying... *Cough* Rogers *Cough* Who Called

Of course that's just my personal opinion, that or a bad cold coming on. Besides functionality, you have to look at cost as well. Although it would be fantastic to have all the bells and whistles that you would want, you may not be able to afford it. The light at the end of the economical tunnel is still a far distance away and every penny counts. For this review, I experienced a couple of firsts; my first software review from the BlackBerry App World and (from what I remember) the first time I looked at a third party service capable of replacing am essential carrier service. Let's have a look at Privus Mobile Caller ID.

About Privus Mobile

Mobile Caller ID is available on more than 30 international carriers, on a huge array of devices. Privus Mobile offers a "Phone Filter" tool that allows you to determine if the service is available in your Country, and on your device. For BlackBerrys, you will need to be running OS 4.2 or higher and 1MB of space (a lot, I know). They also recommend that if you have WiFi, leave it on.

Sometimes, a good app is one that doesn't need to be set up before it can work for you. The concept behind Privus Mobile Caller ID is pretty simple; experience the same landline call display benefits on your BlackBerry. Well, not all BlackBerrys will utilize the full benefits of this application.

Here's how it works; Mobile Caller ID requires a data connection in order to retrieve caller information (name and number). The application will "ping" its database, along with the databases of major carriers (Rogers, T-Mobile, etc) for the required information, which is then verified before it is displayed on your screen. If you missed the call, or you have hung up, Mobile Caller ID will then generate a screen where you can see who has called and allows you to add the caller information to your address book with a click of a trackball. Throughout my testing, I found the service quite accurate and easy to use.

Privus for BlackBerry
Calling in using Mobile Caller ID

Privus for BlackBerry
Adding callers to your address book is easy

Only BlackBerrys with 3G will have access to caller information before you answer, the device requires real-time voice and data capabilities. Other Berrys will still be able to see who called afterwards and add them to the address book. The only problem I found was actually based on carrier information. The databases of smaller carriers aren't accessible, only the number and location will be retrieved. The application doesn't require many settings, but you can change the language, enable/disable the application and activate/deactivate the save contact prompt.

Privus for BlackBerry
the settings menu

Let's look at a quick cost comparison between a carrier and the service. Since I'm on Rogers Wireless, we'll compare their Name Display wireless essential.

Name Display

  • Cost: $8.00 / month (works out to be $24 for 3 months and $96 for 1 year)
  • Term: monthly term
    • Calls originating outside Canada will not display the name of the caller.

Privus Mobile Caller ID

  • Cost: approx $7.01 for 1 month, $19.97 for 3 months and $70.63 for 1 year**
  • Term: Subscription required (1, 3, 12 months)
    • ** The $5.95 for 1 month, $16.95 for 3 months and $59.95 for 1 year found on their website is in USD.

Conclusion

Privus Mobile Caller ID offers competitive pricing, enhanced features and more reliability. Even with only having Call Display (not name display), you still would have to manually look up numbers after the call. Besides its offerings, Privus Mobile Caller ID is backed by a rapid-response support team. Want to try before you buy? There is a free trial available. If that's not enough to convince you, ask Harry Sasquatch. I almost died laughing.

Pros:

  • Access to the name of the caller, even when they're not in your address book
  • Easily add to your address book with a click

Cons:

  • not all carriers have a database to access
  • 3G needed for real-time updates
  • uses data to retrieve information for every call - make sure your data plan can cover it.

Purchase

  • Privus Mobile is available through BlackBerry App World, but for more information, click here.
15 comments

Reader comments

Privus Mobile Caller ID for your BlackBerry

15 Comments
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The monthly/yearly charges seem to high for a not so useful application.

I would not pay to use it, just seems to be a waste.

i pay 7 bucks for caller id, if i dont have the person on my list on my black berry curve 8900(javelin) it shows up the name aswell. this application is garbage you get this free on a blackberry. im pretty sure on the iphone aswell.

Pricing seems in line with most carriers, so what's the benefit to paying for this versus paying the phone company? If it was significantly cheaper than the carriers (think $2 per month), then they might have more takers.

Just another reason why the blackberry is seriously lacking compared to the iPhone. This is available for free with the upcoming iPhone 3.0 software. I bet you'll have to pay extra for visual voicemail on the blackberry too when it finally becomes available (maybe another year from now), which has been available for free on the iphone for 2 years now!! LOL I do actually like blackberry devices, I want to like it, but it infuriates me that RIM is allowing their devices to conintie to get blown away in features by other devices.. Maybe when they're almost bankrupt like Palm, they'll get serious about bringing their devices up to par with the rest of the world.

The iPhone 3.0 software only shows the calling state/city if available for the number, not the name that the phone is registered to

This may be worth the cost to someone that has gone completely mobile and given up on their land line.

Not that I agree paying $8/month when I can use online data bases to find the caller information for most callers at a later time for free..

Let me get this straight: you're ridiculing RIM for not having a feature that the iPhone doesn't have yet either???

Talk to me when you can multitask, have real push e-mail, speed dialing, video recording, MMS, cut-and-paste, and about 100 other features that BlackBerry has and the iPhone does not. Who's the one playing catch-up?

*sigh* honestly, is there a more obnoxious user base then iPhone owners? even prior to being a bberry owner myself, i never had someone just pull out their berry and start going on endlessly how awesome their phone is. every time one of my friends or family members pull their iPhone out i have to listen to their ignorant buffoonery while i politely say things like, "oh wow that's very cool, my bberry does that too," i love watching their phone-peens deflate when they realize while, yes their phone is very nice, it's not God's gift to phonedom.

and yes RIM just posted massive 1st quarter earnings and is dominating everyone else.

I've had visual voice mail since last year when I first got my blackberry...

Who pays extra for caller ID??? unheard of!
And bankrupt??? didn't I just read something here that says RIM is completely dominating the cell phone market right now???

storm has the visual mail since the day it was lunched, and caller id was always free. but wait maybe its cause i have Verizon Wireless the greatest wireless service provider in the nation... big red all the way

Who Called?, combined with Voicemail-2-Text, is essential.

Here's why: I have call waiting disabled permanently and I never check voicemails.

The only reason I got voicemail, was because I could also get voicemail-2-text, before that, I didn't even have voicemail.

So, if someone was trying to call me while I was on the phone, Who Called would notify me of this.

For my use, this is an essential service and I use it all the time.

While "Who Called" may have its uses, it's just damned anoying for a lot of us.
The problem is not that the service is available, it's that Rogers MAKES me have it.
My call display notifies me of any missed calls already, so "Who Called" ends up being redundant and anoying.
The only time I find it even slighly usefull if when I'm out of service range or have my phone off for a period of time, but even then, any important calls would have left voicemail, so I still don't miss anything important, I just end up with extra texts to delete.