Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting, conference, class, or at home with your computer when your BlackBerry goes off but you can't pick it up even when the urge is so strong it can't be controlled? Wouldn't it be great if you could screen your incoming texts and emails without leaving the comfort of your chair and still feed your BlackBerry addiction? Now you can with Blurts Pro.
As a regional winner of the BlackBerry Super Apps challenge, Blurts Pro by MLH Software is a device and windows application that displays pop-up alerts via luetooth for phone calls (Caller-ID), SMS, PIN messages, and emails on your desktop. It comes in a free Caller-ID version and a paid for Pro version which not only allows you to view alerts but place phone calls, capture screen images, and copy your clipboard to and from your BlackBerry and PC.
The device application interface is easy to navigate and from here you can adjust alerts, Bluetooth settings, and select which email accounts to link. Users will need to make their device discoverable in order for it to pair properly with the program.
Initially my device paired flawlessly, but then it completely stopped responding. I discovered this might happen by using external Bluetooth adapters (WIDCOMM/Broadcom drivers) or turning on additional
services (headset, remote control, audio device, etc.). Blurts should be the only service running in order to function properly. MLH offers a great step by step tutorial to correct this issue and I've been running smoothly ever since, albeit a little frustrated.
What's great is that the built-in Auto Connect feature lets you pair your device whether it's in another room (20' range), in your pocket, in the holster, or in your bag.
Using Blurts and the Toolbar
Blurts is perfect for anyone glued to the computer all day who want the option to view incoming messages and decide what to do with them. It works by displaying a small pop-up, with or without sound, similar to the email desktop alert on MS Outlook. It even lets you adjust the translucency of the box and the time it stays on your screen.
Depending on the type of alert you can expect to see any or all of the following: Contact picture (if downloaded), name, number, subject, and the first line in an email. A little trick I learned is by double clicking on the email pop-up you can scroll through the entire message. Unfortunately, you can only respond to SMS messages.
Probably my favorite feature is that you can make and receive calls directly from your PC with the simulated keypad or with your keyboard. So if you're too busy to answer that call just click on ignore. Users can adjust the volume, toggle between speakerphone/handset, and disconnect all without ever picking up their BB.
Blurts supports SMS threading and you can reply directly from your PC. However, it will not sync texts sent from your device, only ones sent through the application. Anything that lets me type with my keyboard rather than the tiny BB keys is always a welcome advantage. You can even go beyond the 160 character limit to send texts in multiple messages.
Why lose a convenience key to take a screen shot or purchase other apps when this will do it for you? Blurts gives you a ten second delay to get the best possible shot and saves it to your PC.
Ever want to copy text from your PC to your BB or vice versa? Seamlessly copy and paste text back and forth at the touch of a button.
Not only can you download your entire address book but it comes with the added bonus of downloading their pictures as well to your hard drive. Although, I'm going to warn to you that if you change a picture, modify or add/remove a contact you'll need to reload the entire list.
Multiple email support
Assign hot keys for quick access
Install desktop software on multiple machines
Lock PC when device disconnects
Battery and signal strength indicator/warning
Unable to display alerts for other applications (e.g., BBM)
Cannot respond to emails
Not MAC compatible
My life revolves around using a computer and reaching for my BB for every email or text can break my concentration. Blurts' alerts are small, simple, and don't distract me from what I'm working on while still letting me give my BB the attention it deserves. I would like to see improved Bluetooth support so that all drivers and services can un at the same time, that way calls can be answered directly from the PC and not just dialed or disconnected. Bluetooth issues aside, this is a handy application to keep on your BlackBerry.
Blurts Pro is available for all BlackBerry devices with OS 4.2.1 or higher with Bluetooth Support for $5.99 and PC's with Win XP or higher with .NET 2.0 and Bluetooth hardware.
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