Quick Review: Al Jazeera English for BlackBerry

Al Jazeera
By Joseph Holder on 10 May 2011 07:13 pm EDT

There are some names that come to mind when considering respected, world-wide news coverage. CNN, the BBC, Reuters (pronounced "roy-ters"), Al Jazeera. As an American (and indeed as a citizen of a country), my understanding of the world around me is somewhat insulated. As Ethan Zuckerman explains in a very good TED talk, we tend to get our news from familiar sources. It's only when we expand our news sources that we begin to see the rest of the world.

Al Jazeera English has an amazing app to do just that. Available for free in App World, the app links you to news stories from around the globe.  Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas are available with a click of the trackpad. But this app goes far beyond just the written word. In an article about NATO air strikes, with a click of the camera icon you're taken to the video version of the story.

The videos don't stop with just a few segments from the news. Al Jazeera English provides its live, 24-hour news broadcast as a streaming video. Just click where says Live Stream to launch the show in your browser. Want a little in-depth analysis? Click on the Programmes to read stories and watch videos from some of the shows on the network. When I say videos, I don't mean a short clip. I was pleasantly surprised to find my Torch happily streaming a 23 minute show.

My one complaint about this app is unique to the Torch (as of this writing). The touchscreen controls will not scroll. There's no problem when touching and using the app's buttons, but scrolling is a no-go. The only way to scroll is with the trackpad. Something that I'm sure will be fixed in version 1.01.

The Al Jazeera English app is packed with features from a respected world news outlet. I know I'll spend a lot of time using it to see, hear, and read about the larger world around me.

More information / download at BlackBerry App World 

Topics: News Al Jazeera Apps

Reader comments

Quick Review: Al Jazeera English for BlackBerry


Al Jazeera is known to be one of the most famous news channels in the Arabic world, if not the most famous.

I never thought of giving Al Jazeera English a shot because I usually read the Arabic version. I was astonished as to how professional the layout and how rich the content is.

I now have it as my bookmark.

As a Jew, I'm offended by this article and the fact that CrackBerry would promote such a network. Al - Jazeera is not by any means a neutral network, and everything they report on the US and Israel has a anti-semetic and anti-American twist. I doubt the author of this article has watched more than a few minutes of the network, because as he is American, he would know racist slant the network espouses. Here is just one of the many sources pointing out the networks ties to terrorism... http://www.rightsidenews.com/2011042613366/world/terrorism/us-officials-...

This article is about Aljazeera english, not its arabic counterpart. The two channels are run independently, which you would have realized if you'd bothered to do any research. You saw the name Aljazeera and jumped to conclusions. AJE is an excellent channel, and everyone here is grown up enough to make up their own mind after watching it.

I find your comments offensive and zenophobic.

The topic under discussion is an international News Media company. If you do not have views that resonate with what you read in that company, then simply do not read or watch or listen to that media company.

You have blatantly and negligently insulted other users of this board because they have views different to your own.

Oh, and by the way I am Australian.

I find your comments idiotic!

I am blatantly insulting you because you have views different than my own.

Oh, and by the way I am American.

Ahh come on man.. They're a lot more Neutral than most of the us news networks , just because it covers real facts about what's going on in palestine and the rest of the world doesn't mean their anti-semite , it just means it's objective journalisme , look at how they covered egypt for crying out loud . Maybe has it ever accured to you that maybe maybe it's the us networks who are anti palestine and anti arab , it's the mentality of people like you which makes the world so ever hard to achieve eternal peace , the mentality of picking sides , for me I'll stay in the middle :) .

Taking Offense at other Human Beings,,, how typical for Israeli/American morons and news. Either you are extremely unintelligent and wish to reinforce your own misconceptions, or You know the ramifications of what you say and are knowingly spreading hatred for other Human Beings to further Greed and War Crimes, as Isreal, the UK, and the US are now famous for.

The App in question is very good and is centered on "THE TRUTH", not Anti Isreal/American sentiment. To not focus on these issues is censorship and brainwashing.

Great App, AlJazeera is one of my 5 staple news sources and they did not hold back on this, it is a balls out app. It is by far one of the few "actual news" sources left, unlike what certain mainstream media and right wing American politicians have tried to have us believe.

Thanks for posting this dude.

I've watched Aljazeera English for years and have found it to be the most balanced and comprehensive news network I've ever watched; leaps and bounds better than any American network I'm afraid. Since my cable network doesn't carry it I watch on their youtube channel.

But don't take my word for it, watch for yourselves.

Nice. Now I can get up to the minute al qaeda videos delivered straight to my blackberry. Something I always wanted. Good job joseph. Loving it.

I find your comments offensive and zenophobic.

The topic under discussion is an international News Media company. If you do not have views that resonate with what you read in that company, then simply do not read or watch or listen to that media company.

You have blatantly and negligently insulted other users of this board because they have views different to your own.

Oh, and by the way I am Australian.

I find your comments idiotic!

I am blatantly insulting you because you have views different than my own.

Oh, and by the way I am American.

Crackberry has to stop promoting the anti-American muslim propaganda network whatever language it broadcasts.

For those short minded the network used to happily broadcast the footages of the American servicemen being beheaded and mutilated by muslims.

The application has to be removed due to its POLITICAL content, period.

I find your comments offensive and zenophobic.

The topic under discussion is an international News Media company. If you do not have views that resonate with what you read in that company, then simply do not read or watch or listen to that media company.

You have blatantly and negligently insulted other users of this board because they have views different to your own.

Oh, and by the way I am Australian.

I find your comments idiotic!

I am blatantly insulting you because you have views different than my own.

Oh, and by the way I am American.

Do you remember them being beheaded on tv or being shown held captive with the people holding them captive telling a message to west? Think, really think.

You could say American staions happily displayed pictures of prisoners they held that they made strip down and do whatever they said. So those stations are anti-middle east?

Facts are important. Use them. And maybe watch the station or go to their website. You may learn a little.

I'm with helives...I'm not Jewish, but as an American, and one who supports Israel, and any other Jews, I'm very disappointed in CrackBerry for writing such a positive article on the "news agency" if you can call it that, that supports terrorism and the enemies of democracy. Al Jazeera, regardless if it is the "English" addition or its Arabic counterpart, is one of the largest and most outspoken supporters of Al Qaeda, and virtually every other Islamic terrorism group. They hate America and everything we represent. Anyone who doesn't see that has had their head in the sand since 9-11-2001.

one of the preachiest articles I have ever read on crackberry, aside from the politics of Al Jazeera.

"It's only when we expand our news sources that we begin to see the rest of the world" oh wow thanks for the life enriching tip...

If you're going to do a product review, stick to the product and not about how much you love Al Jazeera, leave political opinions to the losers over at gizmodo.

Right, the author is clearly promoting Al-Jazeera through CrackBerry. I'm American as well, and just because one is American doesn't mean they need to get out and bow to a foreign network in order to know what is going on around them. Wow, this article is going on the wall of shame.

No news outlet is going to be completely unbiased. Every person is inherently going to have their personal opinions leak through in reports. One must take what the media reports and balance it against other information gathered. No one should draw conclusions from one singular source. The more media outlet apps the better.

Visits = $ ala ads. English version, Arabic version, what do YOU support?

Pay walls everywhere: Eventuality, app or no app. Quality or no quality. Angle or no angle. (I've been looking for REPORTERS for a loooong time, now. Not "journalists" who are full of opinions they can't keep to themselves. Facts. Not stories. Ugly or not. Unvarnished. Lay it on me.

For the record, I've steered clear of the droning lipstream US outlets as well. Garbage in, garbage out. That works for any language. Right down to assembly!

Just sayin'. (Let the flaming begin!)

I am amazed at Berryreview promoting such a disgusting news source. By no means am I politically correct but this stretches the limits. This is a biased propoganda website that serves no purpose other than to provide a platform for radical Islam

I am very surprised that Crackberry would give airtime to this site. But again this was the same site that was so thrilled by Nobama's use of blackberry.

I agree that every news source has some sort of bias; it is impossible to eliminate. But for Crackberry to praise Al-Jazeera English is shameful. Their parent organization is completely anti-American as well as anti-Israel. I have no doubt that this bias carries over to their English counterpart. There is no room for such support of outright biases on Crackberry. Reviewing the app is fine; praising Al-Jazeera for being a fantastic news source is not.

If you don't want to read it, don't. Who cares if CrackBerry reviews this. Just because Al Jazeera (or anything else reviewed) may not follow your personal ideas, political views, or religion (or anything else) does not mean that others are not interested in learning about new apps, products, or other things involving Blackberry. Get off of your high-horse and let people live their own life and make their own decisions.

bloody hell...the jews are out in droves...

a wolf crying help...

im from the middle east but i dont watch al jazeera but its rather amusing seeing the reaction of jews...you can hide for so long under the protection of the US but its only a matter of time before things turn against you..

and its funny..i was thinking the other day why such negative reaction toward RIM by american press/reviewers...i get the feeling there is a hidden commercial war going behind closed doors..americans dont want to lose out to products not american based...its a war of economy it seems...canada now supplies the US with oil (around 1.5 mill barrel a day)..its far more stable economicaly and in other ways than the US...US is trying to atleast save its products and so forth and hence perhaps the attack against playbook and BB products..

but going back to the subject..the jews here should be ashamed of yourselves..having a channel like Fox news completely destroying facts and doing their best to harm muslim reputation is nothing short of media terrorism..

so F off and let people get on with their lives, assholes..

"you can hide for so long under the protection of the US but its only a matter of time before things turn against you.."
"...F off and let people get on with their lives, assholes.."

This is a supporter of al-Jazeera (and apparent hater of Jews).

I'm glad CrackBerry let us know this app is available and even reviewed it, but the only unbiased and fair thing about al-Jazeera is the review it got on this site. Comments like this guy's are the kind supported on al-Jazeera's non-English channels, and to blindly watch and support the English one is simply foolish.

I never thought nine or ten years ago, as al-Jazeera was showing al-Qaeda beheading Americans and UBL's propaganda that there would ever come a time when Americans embraced this network.

If you're not convinced of its bias, here are two articles pulled from their site just today:
- http://bit.ly/l3OoMd the first tries to make the case that these comments by Helen Thomas (http://youtu.be/nc4OeRu7cfs) weren't that bad.
- http://bit.ly/lqjuIo here, we learn how oppressive Israel is.

Again, I'm glad CB let us know about this app, and I may check it out, simply because it seems to have lots of coverage and videos, etc., but I'm doing so knowing full well of the network's bent against Israel and America, and I'll be taking everything with a grain of salt.

Wow! One of the most entertaining comment threads I've ever read on here! Keep 'em coming guys! As for the App - I've only heard good things professionally from this channel, so I'll give it a whirl and make up my own mind. It doesn't mean I'll be swayed by their opinions or bias, if there is one.

Don't think many of these people posting comments have actually read the news from these guys. I find it a very informative source of news.

If people want to see biased news go watch Fox

Lol, I love the 'if it ain't from the south it ain't legit attitude'. This channel is a nice balance to all the mindless right wing channels.

I am surprised Crackberry ran this one thinking it would not turn political. Al Jazeera does have an anti-American bias, they just tone it down in the English version. What they say elsewhere may shock some.(with any allegiance to the U.S.) In the end though, I am all for folks having as many news sources to choose from as possible.

In response to Siiid: If you think there are lots of right wing channels, you must speaking from a far far left perspective. In the U.S., there is only one major right of center channel. It does have a wider audience than any of the left of center outlets. Surprising that while mindless, it is most watched while the cacophony of left wing outlets are in decline. Funny how for all these years, any type of TV news was mostly left of center. Now we have an alternative, and the left is whining.

If you feel that AJ balances things, then we can only conclude that to your satisfaction it moves things to the left. Thus by your own statement, the left has an undercurrent which is anti-American. This has been obvious for years. Either you embrace this shame for America, never noticed or if you did would not admit it. You are so self absorbed that anyone who does not agree with you is mindless. You know better. This Siiid, is text book left thinking.

Yo, easy on the judgment, you speak as if you know me or something.
Right Wing sentiment being balanced by Left Wing makes me happy, the balance is what's good.
Are you saying right wing understands everything correctly? cuz I find their sentiment extremely biased, almost to dangerous levels.

Crackberry was created by a Canadian. This site has nothing to do with the USA. Canadian website, reviewing Canadian products.

Jesus folks, the politics are completely irrelevant here. Talk about the app you idiots.

Back on topic: The app looks very great but feels very sluggish because of the high graphics and poor tracking with the trackpad on my Torch. Anyone else feel it's sluggish as well?

People have the right to get there news where they choose especially if they are fortunate enough to live in Canada or the USA. People living under the yoke of dictators and Islam in countries like Iran, Syria, etc., not so much.
Sad to see Mr. Holder and the Crackberry guys promote the hate speech of Aljazeera but they have the right to do so just as free people can disagree.

It's not about hatespeech, it's about a great news app for Blackberry. One that is a far better app (not content!) than CNN, Fox of BBC.

Good lord people. I challenge any of you to go watch the documentary "Control Room". It will show you that ALL news outlets, including Al Jazeera, are businesses and thus play to the crowds that PAY THEM and KEEP THEM IN BUSINESS. Stop being offended by a review on the internet and get a life...

It amazes me how so many people who don't know Arabic know how biased AJE's Arabic counterpart is. Watch AJE english for an hour, I bet it will change your preconceived notions.

Just because a news network shines a light on America's hypocrisies doesn't make it biased. NOT covering our hypocrisies would make them biased.

A "respected" news app?? Pardon me, but the only so called news outlet that gladly broadcasts beheadings, carries water for Al Queda and the Taliban, and a number of other really fine upstanding organizations with nothing but love for the western world. This is RIM cowtowing, nothing more and frankly I am disappointed.

I just love it when the average ignorant Joe talks about a news channel without knowing what the hell they're talking about.

To all those "offended Americans" - before you get all too "outraged" and start lashing out words you don't know the meaning off, LISTEN TO AL JAZEERA often and THEN you will REALIZE that in countries in the Arab world, this channel is considered to be funded by the Americans and Israeli due to their bias TOWARDS the Israeli's and not against.

But then again, you elected an idiot president for 8 years. I honestly don't blame you. Wasn't he the ignorant that didn't know his left from his right? Yup, yup he was. And you managed to elect him TWICE.

Before you worry about news channels go figure out why your kids are miserably failing in schools and why your educational system has been declining! You might find a connection. Perhaps if you were slightly more educated and not the idiots that you are, PERHAPS, just PERHAPS you may understand that people, other than yourselves exist on this planet. Oh and by the way, Palestine existed before Israel. So go back to history see what your respected grandfathers have done to the Palestinian land and compare.

Good luck.

Actually the idiot in the whitehouse is the one currently occupying it. With W as commander in chief it was very clear who the jihadists were.

As far as this being a Canadian site since when were Canadians immune from terrorism. As long as there is a fascination with 'Al Jazeera' there is another group of people who will become numbed to the global threat.

The land the palestinians claim as their "rightful home" was, previous to being israel, part of the ottoman empire and was lost after world war I. The palestinians never exercized soverighty over the land, nor took ownership of it and hence didn't have a right to it. War was, remember, the way the arabs took control of the land in the late tenth, early eleventh centuries. After the ottmomans lost it, it became british territory. War redifines borders, like the redefinition of north aftrica after the moor's. In 1948 it was, with UN support and blessing given to the jews and renamed israel.

Good Luck.

yep that pretty much covers it in a nut shell

but back to the matter at had i do like this app nicely design only just a but sluggish at times

ps. everyone needs to calm down :-)

To my fellow blackberry users that happen to be Jewish and don't like Al-Jasera, I respect your views but I hope you at least consider viewing their broadcasts and how they are pulling that part of the world out of darkness. Interestingly, Al Jasera was a major force in the "Jasmin Revolution" now taking place in the Middle East.
The level of control of the media in that part of the world was only cracked by a twitter cyber rebelion that flowed to Al-Jasera and they broadcast. Keep in mind that many countries in the Middle East actually are critical of them and their reporting. Many reporters are currently being held in several places, such as Libya.
Anyway, I subscribe to the Economist, Roubini Global Economics (He is Jewish by the way), Bloomber, and adding Al-Jasera is only one additional source (and a fairly good one... so far) of information from a part of the world that is shrouded in darkness to most of us.
As a retired U.S. army officer, I have supported the existence of Israel with more than words so I have no agenda other than supporting good news sources.
Regards to you and good job to blackberry for continuing to open communication in the world.

holyshit this is funniest thread all this abt a news channel all wat crackberry did is to review this app frm a professional point of view its not forcing and as it was said before there is an invention called the remote dont like the channel just change it

Gosh, so many trolls. If you don't like it, don't watch/listen/read it and do something else for everyone's sake!

I'm canadian, I'm neutral and a news source is a news source. I couldn't care less if it was a -media run by same people.

People need to lighten up.

Do any of the people who take offense have a single clue what the Israeli's have done and continue to do to the Palestinian People? I'm sure if you did than these comments would be much different.

You should take offense to your own ignorance.