Review: Trapster 4.0 for BlackBerry

By Ryan Blundell on 16 Sep 2010 01:00 pm EDT
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Trapster

Despite accepting – and even flaunting – my BlackBerry addiction, I *cough* always make sure to follow the rules of the road. That means Bluetooth Headset in ear and two hands on the wheel (most of the time). Speaking of which, are you reading this while driving?! For crying out loud, put your BlackBerry down and read it later! The rest of you, carry on. As I was saying, safe driving doesn’t end there, oh no Mr Leadfoot. Now while you may complain about speed traps, red light cameras and other Speed Racer deterrents, they are in place for a reason. Sure I get mad when traffic slows down to a crawl as they pass by a live police trap, but I know that they are there to make sure I get home to my wife and son.

Trapster for BlackBerry helps you stay informed of what’s happening on the road, while minimizing your BlackBerry’s ‘in-hand’ time. With access to what other Trapster users are reporting, you can be alerted of various traffic control points, as well as specific road conditions. Safe driving is being aware of your own driving and your surroundings – Trapster is here to help. Buckle up while we take Trapster for a spin.

About Trapster

Trapster, known as a Speed Trap Sharing System, was first introduced in 2007. Since then, a user base of over 8 million strong, have been able to access and share tips on numerous alerts and conditions. Some see it as a way to support poor driving habits and avoiding tickets. In actuality, it’s a means of knowing what to expect while driving and, over time, promotes safer driving. The more alerts you receive about potential speed traps, the less likely you will be speeding on by. Besides BlackBerry, Trapster is available on a variety of platforms; Palm, iPhone/iPad., Nokia, Windows Mobile, Android – even Garmin and TomTom- all can make use of Trapster.

Trapster is free to use and currently supports BlackBerry OS 4.3 and higher. It isn’t necessary to have a GPS-enabled BlackBerry on hand; you can also incorporate a Bluetooth puck.

Through the mobile application, you can link up with your Trapster account. Unlike some applications, Trapster makes it easy to sign up for their free account from within the application – instead of having to create one the next time you access a computer. As it is made to be used while driving, the application requires very little set up or management.

trapster road view
Basic road map for Trapster
Trapster Hybrid view
Hybrid view

The application offers three types of map views; basic road map, aerial imagery or hybrid. Additional options allow you to see traffic, except for that annoying driver with the perpetual blinking left turn signal. Even though you should be keeping your eyes on the road, you should know that the maps are easy to read and navigate; allowing you to move around the map without experiencing choppy transitions. Whatever view you choose, your map will display any of the following conditions (as reported by you and other users):

Trapster Alert Types

Now you don’t have to be notified of all types of alerts - you can filter them out. Each trap or hazard has a confidence level. Confidence levels are colour coded to indicate if they have been verified by one or more users. So you could set a Speed Trap alert to sound only if it a Red Trap (highest level of confidence). Trapster also includes a Patrol option, which will mark reported patrol routes with a blue line. As you drive, Trapster will constantly monitor your location and compare it to any existing alerts. Initially, the application will display a maximum of 50 traps within a 4 mile radius. These values can be altered to suit your needs, including the option to switch between miles and kilometres. Similarly, Trapster will alert you when you come within 0.3 miles of a trap or notification; or choose an alert radius of your own. This radius becomes visible as you near an alert or condition; giving you time to make the necessary adjustments. Essentially it can alert you sooner than a radar detector. Additional alert information includes the date it was last reported.

Trapster popup alert
Alert pop up increases the alert icon for a short period of time
Trapster alert filters
decide which traps or conditions you want to be alerted about

You have a number of options when it comes to alert settings. You can choose audible alerts, vibrating alerts, popup icon, or any combination of the three. The audio settings can be set to play through the BlackBerry, a Bluetooth headset, a handsfree headset and more. Trapster does not make use of BlackBerry sound clips. They include a standard spoken alert system (ie –“Checkpoint”). Now you could stick with the default audio alert theme, or you can use any of the 16 funny themes including; Arnold (the Governator), Homer Simpson and Sponge Bob.

Besides being alerted of traps, Trapster has the ability to let you report traps and hazards, as well. All you have to do is choose the type of alert and place it on the map. Of course, you should only be doing this when you are not driving. While knowing where traps may be is good to know, it’s not 100% accurate. Obviously the police don’t stick to one area of town, or one particular road. The accuracy of the alert database is based upon the attentiveness of its users.

Conclusion

While some may still argue that it is a tool to benefit reckless drivers, I still say it actually promotes safer driving. One would assume that viewing all of the alerts that could pop up on your BlackBerry would eventually make you think twice about your driving habits. On the other hand, if you get an alert about a car accident, you can always take an alternate route before you are stuck behind it. Speaking of pop ups, I think that Trapster should have a large pop up notification available rather than briefly increasing the size of the icon. I also did find at times that the application took a minute or so to display all of the alerts within the specified area. I can’t give a specific time because I was, you know, DRIVING. I would definitely suggest giving Trapster a spin, just don’t blame me if you get a ticket. You can grab Trapster, for free, from the CrackBerry App Store.

Pros

  • Real-time alerts
  • Multiple filters

Cons

  • Takes some time pulling up the alert locations
  • No true guide to refer to

More Info

Reader comments

Review: Trapster 4.0 for BlackBerry

19 Comments

I've tried on various occasions to get Trapster running on my BB Tour phone with leaked and official versions of BB OS5. No luck. Trapster's tech support proved to be no help either. Boo.

i've been trying to use this app for year+ now on my Tour. I've gone through official/leaked/hybrid OS's, and not one have been able to use my GPS to locate me. I have always all permissions set to "Allow", and I've had all proper settings enabled in trapster app settings. I've reinstalled/wiped phone many times etc. Trust me... I've done it all. OH well, maybe it'll work on my future android phone :D

webmastir you got further along that I did. Whenever I would click on the icon it would just freeze my BB. You at least got into the app... not that that did you much good either it seems.

In the app settings under gps setup did you uncheck "allow assisted gps"? i had problems with this app working until someone told me about that. ever since then it's been working great

Can this be integrated with the bbmaps or googlemaps or is a separate app? It would be awesome if was, however I dont want three gps apps =/

Used it this morning on the way to work, am using a Tour with Hybrid OS.

Great app, warned me of the red light camera and many new construction projects.

Interesting how you say you have been using this program and yet it says in red that this program is not compatible to the Storm2 9550/9520. How did you get it to work?

Being a contributing Trapster member is dangerous in and of itself because it's yet another distraction while behind the wheel. They defend that by saying it's easy to do - but for most people it's no more or less difficult than texting.

I think we're all better off simply paying attention to road signs that give us plenty of warning when a construction zone is up ahead, slowing down for them, and actually stopping properly at red lights. If you do that, and you're not hauling @ss, that officer sitting at the speed trap won't bother you.

this app gives you some info that road signs can't. like a closed road or an accident. and it shows you how traffic flow is so you can choose another route if you want to.

For those having issues getting it to work, this might help. Could be they fixed some bug issues in the newer version.

Well I was wondering if this would actually work in East Vancouver and look at that! The screen shots you used include my house and surrounding area! Now I know it works here, I give it a try!

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Don't forget to mention that is's a battery killer. Trapster sucks your battery dry in a hurry "quickly". I am using a BlackBerry Torch, so can't say the same for other phones or platforms.