Full Screen Caller PictureID for BlackBerry

BlackBerry? Check. Camera? Check. Address Book? Check. It's time to make your incoming calls shine. As you've probably seen in your address book, your BlackBerry gives you the option to add an image to each of your contacts. It's nothing fancy, but it does add a small personal touch to your contacts.

The good people of Toysoft Inc, have recently released PictureID for the BlackBerry. PictureID enables you to utilize full screen images for caller identification. The application will allow you to use images from the internal memory or from your media card. Toysoft has brought us applications such as Fakecall and the recently reviewed mySchedule NFL 2008.

Add fun or embarrassing images of your friends, family, or even blocked/ private numbers. Change font types and colours for each of them too. I've already set up most of my contacts using PictureID. So now we sit and wait to see who's going to call me....any minute now....

..sigh, my High School years all over again....

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

Toysoft offers various applications for both BlackBerrys and Palm Treo products. PictureID is compatible with the 87** series, 8888 series, Curve, Pearl and the Bold, taking up only 80kb of memory.

PictureID
main screen w/ options

Opening up PictureID reveals what would be a list of your PictureIDs, that is if you created PicIDs. Get to it. Clicking on the menu button opens up a slew of options. First, we should look at creating a PicID, or Filters, as Toysoft Inc refers to them. At the New Picture ID menu, you can see various fields to fill in. A great shortcut is to open up the menu and select "contact Lookup." You are then given access to your native Address Book. Select a contact and their name and numbers are automatically added to the fields. Keep in mind that each PicID can support up to 3 different numbers (typically home, work and mobile). After that, you can now choose a picture to associate with that contact, either from images stored in the internal memory or from your media card. As I sorted through my pictures, I thought to myself, how convenient it would be to preview the image using the application before I select it. Guess what? With yet another menu button click, you can! Please note that only JPG, PNG or GIF files are supported.

PictureID
creating a new PicID or Filter

Now to manhandle the text. Each PicID can have their own font features:

  • Show text at the top or bottom of the screen
  • Choose from 10 different colours
  • Choose from all of the fonts associated with your OS type
  • Change the font size from 10 all the way up to 30

PictureID
manage your unknown, blocked or general calls too

At first, there may be some confusion between a PicID and a Global PicID. In brief, a Global PicID covers all of the unknown calls you may receive. It also covers the callers that have caller id info, but have yet to be set up in PictureID by you (for shame).

PictureID comes loaded with North American area codes. With this preloaded database, your caller id screen should, according to Toysoft, display the name of the North American City associated with the area code. My caller id screen only displays the Province and Country. For this to work properly, PictureID would need to have the prefix numbers preinstalled as well.

PictureID
Preferences menu

Under the Preferences section, you can utilize these options to further personalize PictureID. Here, you can turn the Area Code look up feature on or off and show the caller's name as it's entered into PictureID. Also, decide if you want the images automatically resized to fit the screen. Toysoft warns that;

"The larger the picture the longer it will take to resize. This may delay the ringtone when you get a call for large pictures."

PictureID
The Finished Product

Looking at the image, one might wonder how to actually answer or ignore the call. Simply use the Green and Red buttons on the keyboard.

Enabling thumbnail view will add thumbnails to each of the PicIDs listed on the main screen. Note that doing so will allow the thumbnail images to be cached in the database, using up internal memory. Finally, set up the vibrate function to dictate the number or seconds to continuously vibrate, from "off" to 20 seconds. PictureID has run smoothly and flawlessly during the review period. Keeping my images at a moderate size, I haven't experienced any lag in the call and answer (or ignore) process. Updates are already planned for PictureID, with Toysoft hoping to allow us to edit/add our own area code names.
Image: picID call comparison caption: which call would you rather answer?

Conclusion

PictureID adds some enhancements to your native BlackBerry. Calls are brought to life with full screen images and personalized text. The Area Code feature is currently marketed to provide the name of the city but, provides the name of the area code only. To actually see the name of the city, a database of North American Prefix numbers should be provided. The application's interface is simple, straight forward and offers a few shortcuts. PictureID is available for $14.95, though you are available to try it out for 7 days free of charge. For more information on PictureID and to download a free trial, click here.

Pros

  • full screen picture id
  • customize text
  • preview images before you apply them

Cons

  • Area Code identification not City identification
  • Thumbnails eat up internal memory

Download/Buy