Hey, how many convenience keys do you have on your BlackBerry smartphone? One… that’s too bad. I have four- that’s right; I’m using the Bold 9900 and I have four convenience keys. See, they’re all lined up on the right hand side. Okay, Okay, I know they’re media keys but, to me, they’re also convenience keys. This added functionality is brought to you by MediaKeyBooster, which lets you configure up to four apps, commands or shortcuts to each of your media keys. Volume up, volume down, even play/pause; they can all be made to do more than they were originally designed for.
For things like opening the Calendar, Brickbreaker, or your Browser, I didn’t have to look at my screen anymore; I could just click a button a few times and away I go. Now is this really added convenience or do I now have to remember which app was on which button and how many clicks I need? Let’s take a look.
MediaKeyBooster was made possible by Fonware Ltd; the same developer for the powerful shortcut app ‘ShortcutMe’, which allows you to create shortcuts and macros-assign up to 3 commands on a single convenience key or space key. MediaKeyBooster is available for BlackBerry smartphones running OS 4.5 or higher. The most current version available to the public is 188.8.131.52, which has a file size of 27 KB.
Rating in CrackBerry App Store: 5/5
Rating in BlackBerry App World: 5/5
MediaKeyBooster is a fairly simple app to use and set up, once you figure out where the heck you can access it. There’s no icon to select, nor can it be found in the settings- under Third Party Applications. To set up, you have to press one of the media keys at least twice. What this does is bring up the set up page for that particular key and number of clicks. From here, you can choose to disable the app when a blacklisted app is playing (I’ll get into that a little bit later) and which app to open normally or alternatively. As the developer points out, some apps can’t be opened “the usual way”, so if you set an app to launch via Alternative Launching (by assigning either * or #), MediaKeyLauncher will attempt to launch it using “alternative methods”. If app runs in the background, set the Alternative Launching to _BG.
BlackListed Apps are applications that require the media keys for functionality (music application, streaming radio app, etc). By adding these types of applications to the BlackListed app section of MediaKeyLauncher, the application will not launch anything as the volume being is adjusted. You could customize it further, by saying you will allow a button to be pressed twice while using a media application, but a third time will launch something else. Enable/Disable the ability to open the main configuration page after 5 clicks. Regardless, when using a media app, 10 clicks will always bring up MediaKeyBooster. Keep in mind that if you want to BlackList an application, it has to be running in the background. By adding _FG to the name of a selected app, it will be considered blacklisted only if it’s running in the foreground.
Managing the BlackListed apps is actually done in the main menu. To initially access it, press a media key multiple times to access the setup menu for that key – then press the back button. I know you’re thinking this is a hassle, but hear me out; there’s another option. In the main menu, press your menu button and select “Home Screen Icon?”, the app will ask you if you want to install as home screen icon for quicker access. Don’t worry, it’s only a mere 7kb. You will also see additional options such as; the ability to store/restore settings to/from your media card. The main menu lets you choose which button you want to work with; once selected, it jumps back to the first view you saw (by clicking on a media key that is).
Quick access to applications is something that everyone wants, and MediaKeyBooster does deliver. I’m glad to see the app icon can be downloaded, but some people might not read instructions and get frustrated looking for one. It was easy to set up shortcuts and manage the blacklist. It should be noted that if you also had ShortcutMe on your BlackBerry smartphone, MediaKeyBooster can also be set up to launch ShortcutMe shortcuts or stop macros. If you’d like to pick up MediaKeyBooster, it’s currently available for $0.99 from both the CrackBerry App Store and BlackBerry App World (but you know, you should pick it up from the CrackBerry!).
Contest: We have 25 copies of MediaKeyBooster up for grabs. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post to be entered. Tell us which apps you want to creat a shortcut for? Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST.