Review: Jam for BlackBerry Smartphones

By Ryan Blundell on 19 May 2010 03:35 pm
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Buy one get one. Two for one. Super Size your Extra Value Meal. Who doesn’t want to get the most for their money?? Even if you don’t need what’s on sale, at least you can say it was a bargain. It’s all about stretching your dollar further.

“You can never have too much spam, even if it takes over your cupboards.”

The same thing can be said about BlackBerry applications. You want to make sure you get the most out of it, without having to switch to something else or add another application on top of it. Sometimes, with a battle between similar applications, the victor is often decided by whoever has the most impressive list of features. I was looking to find an application that includes a whole slough of features- I came across one that was aptly named Jam. Nearly splitting at its seams, Jam loads your BlackBerry with over a dozen applications, options and features. My downloads folder exploded with both fun and useful add ons. I wasn’t sure if I would make use of all of the items that Jam offered, but it was assuring to know that I did have options. Let’s take a look.

About Jam

The Jam application was developed by LSphone. LSphone is also behind applications like the vibrating notification app Feel It and the happy, animated I Charge Cool; both of which are also found within the Jam app. In fact, a fair chunk of what LSphone has developed has been squeezed into Jam. In order to use Jam, your BlackBerry should be running OS 4.3 or higher. The most current version of Jam is 3.0.0.43.1 and has a file size of 620.1KB.

After downloading Jam, I was surprised to see 23 different app icons. At first, I thought that they were yet another batch of carrier pushed items. There were also a half dozen additional features added to my Options. I would suggest that you take a look at Jam thoroughly, right after downloading, rather than taking a look at it later. You will notice immediate changes to your BlackBerrys behaviour that you may not understand. Almost all of the apps within an app are grouped by category, making it easier to scroll through them. Let’s see if I can tackle them all.


icon, icons everywhere

Shortcuts

Jam compiles seven shortcuts to frequently used items. The shortcuts allow you to compose a new SMS, email or PIN message. You can also add a new memo and task or even call your voicemail. This voicemail option left me scratching my head, as pressing and holding the “1” key takes you straight to voicemail anyway. Each of these shortcuts redirects you to the native feature, rather than a submenu of Jam. Another shortcut is the LogCut feature. Rather than pressing Alt and LGLG to open the BlackBerry Event Log, you can use this shortcut.

Blinking Lights

There’s nothing like blinking lights to cause a distrac -….oh, sorry. Jam incorporates a multitude of light based options for many different uses. The application provides a pulsing strobe light, a flashlight, an emergency lights imitator and hazard flasher (including SOS and police lights) and mood lighting (rawr). In some of the features, you can use your trackpad/trackball to adjust the brightness of both the LCD and the LED.


emergency lights imitator

Battery Charging Screen Savers

Typically, when I charge my BlackBerry, I would simply let my screen fade to black. Jam comes with three different applications you can use while charging. First up is the unique I Charge Cool. This app/screensaver informs you of your charging status by using colour (red to yellow to green). On either side of the screen you will find two “bouncing balls” that bounce higher as you charge. The same screen will also alternately display the time, battery level and a smiley face, which looks happier and happier as the phone charges. I Charge Cool will also sound when the battery is fully charged or if it detects overheating.

BlackCharge is a much calmer screen saver. With a black background, this app displays a battery that will fill as you charge. The bottom of the screen displays the time in digital and analog, the battery level and the temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit.

EarthSaver proves that your world is your BlackBerry and it is up to you to save it. Planet Earth takes on two roles, as a battery meter and a clock. The moon is used to count the seconds. As your battery discharges, the Earth slowly transforms into a harsh desert.


Save the Earth!

Notifications

To check the status of your BlackBerry, Jam is packed with multiple meters and notification options. On top of the battery and temperature monitor, you can view the media card memory status, RAM allocation, Flash Memory, Object Memory, Code Module Memory and Internal Filesystem Memory.


in-depth phone status

When I downloaded Jam, I had noticed that the vibrate feature of my BlackBerry would pulse occasionally. Having a look at my Options menu, I noticed that Jam was set up to vibrate to notify me before the backlight would timeout. I could control the intensity of this vibration as well. Jam also used this option to alert me to call waiting, conference calls and call connect/disconnect. The Reply-All email confirming option also notified me when I was replying to more than one recipient or if “RE:” was in the subject line; thus eliminating Replying to All by accident.


Call Waiting Notification

Reply to All..or not

Other options include capturing screenshots (single or multiple) and the secure off feature that quickly powers off your phone, while erasing you caches and logs.

Conclusion

Now, while I don’t see myself using every single option found in Jam (multiple screen savers), I was impressed with what had to offer. It’s definitely an app that thinks of the little things for you. I especially liked having a detailed memory monitor and temperature alarm. Other free add ons include: a room thermometer, power saver during calls and a Trip Range and Economy Calculator (TREC). All of these options are not only jammed into one application, but also jammed into a low price. Jam normally goes for only $6.99 in the CrackBerry Superstore, but you can pick it up for the promotional price of only $0.99 until May24th!

Pros

  • Access to multiple meters, alerts and notifications
  • Entertaining screen savers
  • Blinking Lights!

Cons

  • Voicemail icon seems unnecessary

More Info

31 comments

InpherKnow

I have this, and I hate that I had so many icons, and going to my options menu seeing an option for each app installed. Why not incorporate the icons and their options into a single interface?

yomandenver

Radar Technician: Sir! The radar, sir! It appears to be...jammed!
Dark Helmet: Jammed... Raspberry. There's only one man who would dare give me the raspberry!

Sorry, just had to do it. :D

green mtns rider

downloaded it a month ago, seemed cool at 1st. lots of useless things bundled within the app. couldnt stand the vibration/feel notification all the time. dropped it...

jay_man33

I wont these apps a while back - talk about a useless app! You have no idea why there are 23 apps...about 20 of them are useless!

You don't need a clock charging, screen saving, picture of the earth. Who needs a strobe light on their phone?!

The meters barely explain what they're showing you - although I can reason it's probably a bar graph showing the uselessness level of the apps.

Also, the vibrating is annoying as hell - you can't even find the app that's vibrating, most half of them are located in the "options" menu! If you need your phone to vibrate when your backlight goes off or when a reply "all" is sent...then pay your friend beside you to hit you in the arm every time you hit "Send".

I'm so glad I won the app, I was excited at first to try it out...but so disgracefully disappointed. If you're going to even pay $0.99 for this app, just PM me and I'll gladly eat your coins and $#!T out diamonds for your entertainment - really, I've got the time.

MatrixDuck007NL

I agree totally with inpherknow...

You almost get confused by the icons.

maunvs

I actually won this app here in a crackberry contest and as soon as I downloaded it .....it totally slowed down my bold 9700. I had to rebooted it like 5 times per day. I only had it for 10 days....and as soon as I deleted the app my bb was working fine again!....other thing I did not like....too many icons...

urbanjas

There are so many other great apps, themes and products in the BlackBerry world. Why do you spend so much time pushing the garbage. Clearly it is possible to first read the user reviews and see that these things are not worthy. I see this all the time n these blogs. "Here is a great App or Theme by....", and then you go to the reviews and 90% of the people that have tried it hate it. If there is going to be a review it should also contain an honest list of what real users hate about the product or problems they are having. Or better yet, don't bother reviewing the garbage. Come on CB, you know that there are hundreds of apps out there that are better than this. Thanks for letting me rant.

KPower667

Hey jay_man33 if anyone pays you that's 99cents and you start sh!Ting out diamonds.. You better youtube that crap man..now that's something ill pay 99cents for to have a good laugh.hahaha and I too agree this is a worthless app..played with this on a friends bb..

SmakBerry

I think I'll listen to the reviews on this one and NOT get it.
Thx for the heads up guys

phone9

-- product unpublished --

urbanjas

You got carried away when you started charging for this. You say you were just experimenting with this. Why not let us experiment with it for free. Your delusional. Why should anyone pay you for messing around. And your delusional for thinking and saying that these apps are exceptional. Just remember, the site is called "CrackBerry". I think you were looking for the "CrapBerry" site. I am sorry for the hate but to many people think that they can put a little effort and time to make an app and charge for it. Most of these are over priced. We are not going to pay someone for just messing around.

Krucial0211

I never thought this app would have alot of useless apps I'm glad ya helped me save a dollar...thanks crackberry guys!

phone9

Where did I say they were exceptional? I was implying just the opposite. I said, "you're probably not going to find a 15-app bundle of spectacular apps for $0.99 or even $6.99, because they would all be going for $5+ on their own." The implication is that when you see a 15-22 app bundle for $0.99 (that's 5 to 7 cents per app), you already know they're probably nothing spectacular, so how can you be disappointed as long as they work as stated?

urbanjas

You have to take into account the number of people that have dropped your app and have lost their money . The point I'm trying to make is that if CrackBerry takes all this time to review it they should also take the time to review the reviews. Your making money by submitting an app that has not been offered for trial and therefore no one is able to review and are basing there purchase on what you or CrackBerry have to say is unfair and opportunistic. I just think that there should be more disclosure. I do apologize. My thoughts are not entirely directed at you but at all app builders as well. Too many times we take your word just to find out that the app is buggy or pretty much useless. I know we defiantly have a choice as to whether we buy it or not but that choice should be educated. People clearly don't think your app is worth it and therefore are saying so. Don't try and justify crap. Just build solid and let us trial before charging. We should be able to believe the hype. Seems fair to me.

urbanjas

You sold this app for $9.99? What the F. That's why you can quit your job. Sorry but your ripping people off. And you even admit it here "The implication is that when you see a 15-app bundle for $0.99, you already know they're not great, so how can you be disappointed as long as they work?". And then you say you charged $9.99 for it. That's bogus. I end my argument there. Thanks for proving my point.

urbanjas

Would you like to try and explain how this could possibly work before you start charging $5.99 for it in the future. For those of you who want to know the real answer = it doesn't!!

rfalter

I agree with most all of the comments here.....just because you can write the code doesn't mean we need the app. Do I need to be notified when the backlight is going off? Or the temp of the chip. What the hey, there are SO many places to get BB software other than the Rim Store.....Handango and Mobihand come to mind, someone seems to have forgotten them. And they sell all the same stuff at the same prices at the same time, and have sales on the same stuff, at the same prices, at the same time. There is a motto, 'just because you can, doesn't mean you should'. Are you seriously making more money selling this than your old job? How much were you making before?????

phone9

-- product unpublished --

phone9

-- product unpublished --

mike340t

sheeesh 99 cents is NOTHING.. man people are harsh.... I have seen really really useless apps for more. Even if you only find two apps useful this bundle is more than worth it...

phone9

-- product unpublished --

eldergod

I sort of liked the flashy programs, granted not very usefull but fun. I'm glad I only paid $.99 though. I have an 8900 with OS 5 and wow, something in these programs drained my fully charged battery in under 2 hours. I neglected to notice it stops with OS 4.6, oops.

phone9

That would happen if the clock is set to show for too long when the backlight times out. It can be set to show for less time (set hold time to 0) or only when plugged in or started manually, and also can be set to dim the backlight when shown. If you have gesture adjustments on, it's easy to accidentally turn the brightness up and then it stays up when it shows next time. Gestures can be turned off to keep the brightness pegged at 10%.

Part of the problem is that there's no API for 3rd-party apps to turn off the keyboard light while keeping the backlight on (like the built-in clock can). Some of us developers have been asking RIM for that capability, and if we get it, we'll be able to make much more power-efficient replacement clocks.

F0nage

Not that it didn't have some nice features, but the UI is an abomination. I'm sorry but there's no polite way to say it. This isn't an app, it's a garbage can full of half-baked ideas. There's no way any serious person can have this much junk on his phone.

Now if they would create an app with a centralized menu, and self-explanatory icons, good ones instead of the silly ones they chose that look like they found them on the net on some kid's site, there would be a chance for this.

This is an example of some ok ideas gone totally beserk. The BlackBerry user is typically a business user or high-end gadget afficionado. You need a fairly high level of cleanliness and refinement to make an app people will buy and use for this platform. This totally misses the mark.

You can have all the good ideas and intentions but if you don't package it right it's going to bomb.

phone9

-- product unpublished --

ischinazi

It would be nice if we could delete the apps we don't need and just keep the ones we find useful instead of having all the useless ones cluttering the phone because of a couple that we like.

phone9

You can click on Jam in Options/Applications, identify the individual apps you want to delete, then select Modules in the menu, and delete the individual features you don't want.

All features are deletable as long as they are not running. For example, if Earth Saver will not delete, open the app, turn auto-starting off, exit the app, and try again.

phone9

-- product unpublished --

track143

If Jam was still $0.99 I would probably still get it. I'm sure it could replace a lot of the simple free apps that I have accumulated, but $6.99 or $5.99 is a pretty hefty price considering you can acquire similar apps separately for free. I'm up for trying it out now that I know I can delete certain unwanted sub apps, but the price would have to come down. I didn't have a BB when the promotion was ran and honestly didn't read the review until today.

phone9

-- product unpublished --