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Review: ShortcutMe for BlackBerry Smartphones

By Ryan Blundell on 26 May 2009 09:56 am EDT
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ShortcutMe

Just when you thought I was finished showing you shortcut apps such as; IntelliBerry, BBSmart ShortCuts and QuickLaunch, I've got one more to share with you. It's only fair, and hopefully after this read, you can make an educated decision as to which one will work for you. This time around we're going to take a look at ShortcutMe, the self proclaimed "Fastest BlackBerry Shortcut Application."

As with other shortcut applications, it lets you assign several applications to one or both of your convenience keys or search for apps from its main screen. One of the major differences is the number of clicks on a convenience key to determine which application you want to access! No need to scroll.

Those who find that they need quick access to multiple applications will truly appreciate the solutions found in ShortcutMe or similar products. Before trying out such applications, I always thought that two convenience keys were enough; apparently I was wrong, especially when I'm continually dealing with so many applications at once. I'm actually surprised that my Bold hasn't started to smoke yet. Let's see how ShortcutMe can keep up with this Abuser.

About ShortcutMe

From Fonware Ltd, ShortcutMe v3.1.1.0 will occupy 79kb of space. It's available for BlackBerry devices running OS 4.3 or higher (81xx, 83xx, 88xx, 89xx, 90xx & 95xx series). You may recognize ShortcutMe under its previous name, ShortcutBerry. RIM wouldn't allow any application to sport "Berry" in their name into the BlackBerry App World, therefore the name change was required.

ShortcutMe
main menu with menu options

As we open the menu, we can see a long list of applications and browser shortcuts. The browser shortcuts include; access to CNN, NY Times and Google. Beside each entry in this list you may see what appears to be abbreviations (i.e., BR would appear next to the browser entry). These are shortcut characters, designed to let you use your keypad to increase your navigation speed. The application will allow you to use as little as one shortcut character to and as many as four (the alt key + up to 3 characters). These character shortcuts don't necessarily need to be memorized. As you type out the name of the entry you are searching for, ShortcutMe analyzes your keystrokes and will narrow the list of entries down until you find what you are looking for. Initially, the application already has 70 shortcuts ready to go, but there's always room to grow. These shortcuts can be modified - altering the previously mentioned shortcut characters, font colour, even the display name. Font colours may seem unnecessary to some, but since entries can be shuffled around, the colours can be incorporated into your own personal filing system. Work related entries could be marked in one colour and media in another. Besides editing and moving, entries can also be created or removed; making for a very customizable application. Shortcuts can be created for almost anything - managing connectivity, setting reminders, accessing your to do list, shining a flashlight or contacting contacts.

ShortcutMe
add shortcut

Moving away from the keypad, let's take a look at your convenience keys. As I mentioned before, each of your convenience keys can be assigned to open one application each. With ShortcutMe, that number quadruples. Pressing the convenience key once, opens ShortcutMe (when assigned). Press it twice and an assigned app opens, press it three times and yet another app, and so on. Your Enter key can also get in on the action as well. In this case, you have to press the convenience key once to open up ShortcutMe, then press the enter key multiple times. In the options menu, you decide which app opens after the Double click, Triple click and Quadruple click. Trust me, it only sounds confusing. If you're not sure that you have everything setup correctly, the application gives you the option to check for any conflicts.

ShortcutMe
configure your convenience keys

ShortcutMe
configure the application

The application comes with not one, but two configuration (settings) menus; one for the multi-click management and the other for application appearance and functionality. Here, you can change options; such the font size for both the main menu and configuration pages, sorting rules, and vibration duration. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you, by default your BlackBerry will vibrate each time you select an entry using ShortcutMe. When it first happened to me, I thought a message arrived. Then I was worried because an email notification pop up from another app didn't appear. The application also provides support for QWERTY, QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboard configurations. Another feature I like is the ability to save your settings directly to your SD card. It's saved as a txt file, which means you can then edit them on your computer and then load them back on your BlackBerry.

The application was a breeze to pick up the basics and then it didn't take me long to master it. I'm now flying through my most needed entries without missing a beat. You'll find that there isn't much of a battery drain, as ShortcutMe doesn't run in the background.

ShortcutMe
oh look, I did it!

ShortcutMe
save your settings to your SD card

Conclusion

With more convenience than you can shake a stick at, ShortcutMe, as they say, is a "must have." Those with lightning fingers (or in this case thumbs) will love clicking and zipping through to the right entry. I'm not sure why there is a vibration feature included, probably to scare the poop out of me. ShortcutMe can be found in the CrackBerry App Store for $4.99. There's also a whopping 30 day free trial available if you want to try out all of the similar apps before you buy. So there you have it folks, now there's no reason why to not impress with fast access to what you need the most.
For a free trial, or to pick up your copy of ShortcutMe, click here

Pros

  • maximizes your convenience keys
  • multiple configuration options supports most native and third party apps

Cons

  • that sneaky vibration option

Download

Reader comments

Review: ShortcutMe for BlackBerry Smartphones

18 Comments
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I tried the program before Quicklaunch. What a nightmare. Yes, multiple convenience clicks are fine, but who can remember 4 clicks on both buttons and what they do. Nobody, that's who. Also, their FAQ and instructions were horrendous. QL isn't quite as pretty, but you push the one button, scroll down, and you are there. Easy to add programs, change sides on screen, fonts and color. Sometimes simpler is much better, at least as I found it.

I agree with the above comment (rfalter). While I tested out ShortcutMe, I found it fell short of the simplicity that QuickLaunch offers. As a beta tester of QuickLaunch 2.0, I chose to stick with QuickLaunch 2.0, as the new features in 2.0 are amazing. www.nikkisoft.com

I purchased shortcutme and have loved it ever since i installed it. For me i dont need a pretty UI to make the app better. It reacts fast, i have my convenience keys set to the most popular apps I use and it does it great. Being able to send my shortcut config to a .txt file for backup makes life a lot easier. Everyone has different tastes, but for anyone looking for a simplicstic shortcut program, you will enjoy this app.

I have used both QuickLaunch, Intelliberry and ShortcutMe.

Of the three, I have found that I genuinely prefer ShortcutMe. My take, ShortcutMe is a more feature rich application, more flexible and, indeed, faster. You don't have to use the multi-click, if you don't want to. The things that make ShortcutMe stand out is the fast filtering of the list, this feature allows my shortcut list to be as long as I want it to be without concern for loosing track and the ability to back up the shortcuts to the card is great.

QL 2.0 also has backup to file. It backs up your activation code, your quicklaunch options, and all your shortcuts. I don't want to argue with you, but I don't see how SCM could be considered simplistic, with the huge amount of complex options menu that require a manual to understand. But like you said, everyone has different tastes :) Be sure to give QL 2.0 a try when it comes out tonight.

I will definitely give QuickLaunch 2.0 a try when it is released. However, right now I am comparing the released versions of both. I note you have not mentioned QL v1.4 at all.

I might add that in my opinion, neither program is more complicated than the other to set up. QL has a series of menus and so does SCM. Further, I find the requirement that the program be running before it can be added to QL to be a complication.

That said, different strokes for different folks. It seems to me that as BlackBerry users we should rejoice that we have options, not too long ago that was not the case at all. When it comes to software, one size does not fit all. I am glad I became a BB user during a period when development for the platform is really taking off.

Im a user of both QL and was a tester for SCM. SCM is soo much better IRT options. I recommend giving it a shot. Can't beat a free trial!

I've been using Shortcut Me for a while, and I certainly give the developers high praise for continuing to evolve the product since its first release. During beta testing, I think I got about every feature I asked. Definitely worth the $5! I haven't tried the others, but I'm sure they're fine programs, too.

What I like most about SCM is...

The multi-click works nice. I use voice dialing, but I was always embarrassed when I accidentally hit the button. Multi-takes care of that, so that now I have to double press to activate. You can go up to "4" clicks deep, though I found that I prefer to use only up to "3". Now that I've used it for a while, I could not live without this feature.

I also like how I can quickly add new events, tasks or memos with only two clicks. I don't have too many shortcuts, so I reduced all mine down to a single letter. So, for example, I can press the convenience key and then "t" to add a new task. I have similar shortcuts for new memos, emails, etc. It makes it very fast to capture this information no matter what I'm doing with my phone.

Another nice feature is accessing the calendar modes with a single clock. I have "m" setup for monthly view, "w" for weekly view.

With all of this, I can access most most important apps without even looking at the screen.

I saw the vibration option was listed as a con, but I would disagree. Then again, my phone doesn't vibrate on emails, only on phone calls. The vibration interval can be adjusted, you can tell feel a differences.

...QuickLaunch. Simple, clean, functional, and it looks like a native feature. ShortcutMe is nice, but way too cluttered and a bit confusing at first. It's more than I need, which is why I stick with QL.

Looks like it has nice features but the looks of it could kill. too many things to remember. QL 2.0 is the way to go. Much more improvement over QL 1.4 and some nifty new features too. :-)

I found ShortcutMe to be very powerful, fast and yet very easy to use.

First time I installed it, I removed all of its default shortcuts (takes 30 sec. to do that) and created my own, mostly one character shortcuts.

Its multiple-convenience-key-click feature is unique and handy. It launches my applications without me even looking at the screen. I double click a convenience key and it calls my wife. Triple click the same key and it calls home. And it has 6 of these for 2 convenience keys. What other application can beat this feature?

Its dynamic shortcut list that narrows down based on entered key makes even slow learning people to remember shortcuts.

ShortcutMe is addictive as the Blackberry itself.

I'm not at all a biased person,

I can PROUDLY say that i own both applications.

When Quick Launch first came out, i was like WHOA!!! why no developer ever thought of this little handy application before?.

After using Quick Launch for a while, i noticed that i was clicking, scrolling and pressing on my trackball too much, i was like wow, this can't be healthy for the circuit board under my trackball (excuse my paranoia ok guys). When i own a program and a feature is missing, i always like to look for other alternatives.

That other Alternative was ShortcutMe. First off, the clicking and scrolling through my shortcuts it's gone (Thank you fonware) and even though these ARE still options in ShortcutME, ShorcutME's main feature is it's Multiple Key combination and keyboard keys combination (after a click of either convenience key of course).

Basically all i do now is, Click either convenience key> then Key combination. In my case, for example another of my favorite applications reQall. These are my key press sequence, Right or Left Convenience key>RQ. That's it, "RQ" Brings up my reQall program and all i had to do to add it was go through ShortcutME's application browser. Most and if not all, of your installed applications will come up on it's list with no hasstle.

If one of your applications is missing, all you need to do is add it to one available empty slot (already preset for you to type your application name) and that's it.

Like someone mentioned above, "It's a powerful application", once you take your time in exploring it you'll notice to find that you CAN'T live without this application.

Once you've created and setup all your shortcuts just the way yo like it, you will feel that your blackberry is complete.

To round it all up, ShortcutME is more low key and private (Stealth). I showed this application to a friend (won't say what phone he uses) and he thought i was possessed, lol. Its a program you get adapted to, so it feels like a challenge and who doesn't love a challenge?

Quick Launch is pretty straightforward, basic click, scroll and click again with all my information in that one window that can get pretty long, only to slow down my device. Also, with ShorcutME, you can sort entries by individual colors.

P.S. I sometimes check Quick Launch updates but i just can't see myself without SCM. People tend to say that the application can look better but i say the application at least has an application look, Quick Launch is just a menu window, which can get boring at times. This application will only get better, i can feel it.

I was looking for a BB app similar to Launchy on pc (invoke > type 1 or 2 letters > go). I think the closest match is IntelliBerry, especially with it's "Smart Search" file/folder indexing and "Magic Words" browser launch. However, it doesn't play nicely with SureType, so I had to look elsewhere.

I hate scrolling, so QuickLaunch was no good for me.

ShortcutMe works great with SureType, narrowing down choices as you type. It has a built in conflict-checker, so you can't assign the same combo to more than one app.

I'd been upset after finding out the option to turn off "dial from home screen" was absent from the Pearl -- not anymore. Now, I have my app launcher, and I didn't have to sacrifice speed dialing to get it.

I also love the ability export/import the config text file. This allows me to freely experiment with different configurations, keeping a previous version to restore if necessary.

It's not the prettiest thing, but it's not on the screen long enough to be an eyesore!

in short, it makes happy juices flow in my geek brain :)

I use ShortcutMe and absolutely love it! I don't understand what's confusing about ShortcutMe. You press a convenience key and 2 letters... how difficult! For some apps you don't even need to type any letters. To get to Opera Mini I pressed the left convenience key and the letter "O" twice. What's the problem QL users?

im a storm user and love it... it seems to me that quicklaunch is made with the storm in mind while SCM is made with the BB that have a full qwerty board in mind... do the users of the SCM app agree?? Im trying to find good usefull apps for my storm..