Real Contact maps out BlackBerry Messenger contacts

Real Contact
By Ryan Blundell on 7 Oct 2011 10:39 pm EDT

Remember a while back when I asked you how precious your BlackBerry PIN was? I came across another service that expands upon the functionality of BlackBerry Messenger and potentially puts your PIN out there for the public to discover. Real Contact puts your BlackBerry Messenger users on the map, BlackBerry Maps to be exact, making them discoverable and locatable. Real Contact doesn’t make use of Google Maps, so make sure you have BlackBerry Maps installed (and BlackBerry Messenger 6, as well). The idea is to forgo the “Where are you?” messages and see how close your friends are to you.

Now while some of the information is pretty handy to have, some details that you see can be a little spooky; especially when you realize that others can see the same about you. If you’re worried about your own personal security, you can make your location and information as public, or private as you want it to be. Real Contact can also be used as a helpful reminder or notifier, as well. Contacts are displayed on the map, with their BlackBerry Messenger avatar showing up in a red or green marker (green indicates the contact is using the application, red indicates they are not). When looking at a contact on a map, you could potentially see detail such as; GPS coordinates, BlackBerry Messenger personal message, availability, signal strength and battery level. I guess that you can’t use the excuse “I can’t talk, my phone is about to die” anymore, especially if the other person can see you still have 83% power left.

Besides that, you can also set notifications when you are nearing a specific contact, address or when a contact is nearing you. This may help take the guessing game out of wondering when they will arrive. A contacts location is captured and relayed every 100 meters. Notifications go even further when you can set the application to let you know if a contact is busy, unavailable, finished with their phone call or has completed a calendar appointment- If you’re comfortable with sharing that type of information. It’s crazy how intuitive your contacts now seem to be, they’ll know the right moment to contact you and also know where you are. Not too shabby for a free service. You can download the application for free from BlackBerry App World.

More information/download Real Contact for BlackBerry smartphones

Reader comments

Real Contact maps out BlackBerry Messenger contacts


I have an idea for a map app. Say you are getting ready to run some errands and you need to pick up something from a drug store. You would tell the app, and when ever you are out driving & get within a certain distance of any drug store you get something similar to a calendar popup. Maybe even show specials if you tell it what item you are looking for.

Now thats a good idea. its not the very same but thats a little like how that new feature from iphone works. Its the only thing on it i like. I believe its call Siri or something

I think he meant without the human voice coz I dun want to be seen talking to the phone alone and feel like a douche

In the past I used an app on my older BBs called "Naggie" that did just that! I'm not sure if it is still supported, but it would definitely help me with my honey-do list!

I am getting messages from my BBM Contacts everyday to download it. This app must be pretty good, I think I will check it out. Not sure if I like the idea of my BBM Contacts knowing where I am... My wife is a BBM Contact, lol jk

Hmm I have some sort of map system on mine cause I downloaded and installed the program. I have an OS7 device. Although, the only person I see is myself.... and none of that info about battery, etc.

Hmmm, are you shore you don't have BB Maps on to you new device ??
Cause by the look of my torch 9810 i have BB Maps on to my device....

Any way, by the look of this app i might think it worth giving a try, one user mention something about an app with close reminder, i would love to see that app ;) to cause some time i find my self on the city and when i come back home and pass one of the groceries stores i realize i forget to buy MILK lol so it will be a good way and useful app if we gonna see it on app world "and only for BLACKBERRY like ps3 has only dedicated games"

Good concept great APP!

Yeah seems to be an AT&T thing... Man I hate my company sometimes, anyway exchanged email with RROYY and he's going to try to load BB Maps on his OTA site shortly...


what are you talking about? My co-worker and I both have OS7 Bolds and we have BB Maps. If it is not installed, just download it.

Definitely a popular apps in Jakarta, Indonesia where majority of people own a blackberry. Not good though if it only supports OS6 and above devices.

However, exposing your location to your contact will sometimes have a bad consequences :-p

I use Wizi Location every day but turn off when don' t need.
What the impact of this app in autonomy ?
Always running like bbm ?

Very cool but spooky too. Will definitely be a good tool to locate my teenagers without having to rely on their answers.

Tried it with a couple of colleagues & found we had to "re-invite" each other after having dropped the GPS signal; i.e. The Avatar didn't pick up (or show) that you were moving again. Ideally, once you've connected with another user - or users - the app needs to continue showing updated locations until it's directed to disengage.
This app also seemed to be a substantial battery drain on my 9700; running it in a vehicle? Plug in your charger.

9850 owner here.. I do agree it seems to be draining my battery substantially. I plugged out my charger at 2pm today and by 8pm it has around 30% left. Before installing the app my phone usually stands at around 70% after the same period of time the way I use it normally. I uninstalled it... from 8pm to 10pm the battery dropped to 14% (back to normal)

Or you can use Google's free, cross-platform, "Latitude" to see the location of invited (and accepted) contacts. In turn you can share your location exactly, approximately (what town) or temporarily disable (me-time). Only requirement is data & a Gmail account.

On BlackBerry "Latitude" is built into the popular Google Maps application. On Android it's also a part of Maps but with a shortcut icon for direct loading. Under iOS it is a stand-alone app, and of course works on web-browsers everywhere.

If you're reading this on a BB hit

BTW, not many folks know this, but you can talk to Google Maps for BlackBerry. Load it up, hold down the green button, and say, for examples, "Chinese Food", "Gas Station", or "1600 Pennsylvania Washington DC"; it shows locations, offers street views, reviews, contact info, gives directions, displays traffic, it just doesn't talk back.

It is true but Latitude has given me some ridiculous positions in the past. I loved the concept but it just did not actually work. However, they may have improved it recently. Also, hopefully this would not be the battery suck Latitude was.

Yes, AT&T blocks the BB Maps, indeed. My question: is there a way to un-block this additional nasty behavior of AT&T by going "inside" the hidden programs in the Blackberry Phone?
Mine is a Curve 3G that I have unblocked. I would like to use this program (or the WiZi Location) for my trips abroad and my BBM friends. Any help?

I have added it and can see how it can be useful. You can choose who has access to your info and whether you allow some people or all to have access to your location, calendar and phone info or any combination thereof.

The concern I have is the amount of battery usage of the program. It appears that it will keep the GPS on and update your location every few minutes. I don't think this will do well on a 9900 as I already have barely enough battery to last the day. Does anyone have experience with using this on a 9900? Does it affect the battery life as much as I think it will?

It would be nice if there was an option to reduce the GPS usage. For example, I don't need people to know my exact location; I would be happy if it updated every 30-60 minutes instead of every few minutes. An option to not use the GPS and do cell tower triangulation would be great too. These would reduce the battery drain for people that are concerned with this plus make people more comfortable if they don't want their exact location broadcast but don't mind if others know their general location in the past hour.

In a world where we are increasingly being connected through (anti-) social media, this can be a useful application. As we all want control over what info we are providing, I believe it would be beneficial if the providers of this app gave us control of not only what info we broadcast but also how frequently we broadcast it. With more control I believe more people will use this app.

My battery life has dropped 8% while I have been writing this.

Personal security is too important for me so I'll just have to skip this one. Cool app though, but too much to risk.