Babies and BlackBerrys: two of the most precious things in the world. We joke about our addiction to our BlackBerrys; I can admit that changing batteries is far less hazardous than changing diapers. Hopefully we all know what is truly important (for those still contemplating, the answer is children). If you think about it, there are a few similarities between babies and BlackBerrys. Both are carried with caution, both are adorned with accessories, both draw attention and both consistently amaze you in new ways. If something doesn’t agree with them, you do everything in your power to console them. But what if you could use one to help the other?
I’m not talking about having your baby fix your BlackBerry. You’ll probably just end up with physical and drool/liquid damage. I’m talking about an application called Woomby. Your BlackBerry is turned into the ultimate baby buddy. From entertaining music and videos to soothing lights, your bundle of joy will get some much needed TLC from your BlackBerry. So instead of vying for your attention, you’ll be vying to capture the attention of both your baby and your BlackBerry. We cannot be held responsible for the impending “Mine! Mine!” argument you will have. Read on for more.
Woomby has been developed by CPS Elements, which has also brought us other useful apps that include; the stolen device searching ”Guppa” application or the multiple search engine “Pintas”. Woomby is available for most BlackBerrys running OS 4.2 or higher. Currently, Woomby is available for the 8xx series, the Curve 8900 and the Bold 9000. There`s no word if other devices will see support in the future, but I did see Storm and 88xx media files available through the mobile app. The current version of Woomby is 2.0 and will require 620.0kb. You may remember Woomby from the ``Berry on Board: Useful BlackBerry Apps for parents`` article posted a couple of weeks ago. During that time, the application was listed as free on various sites (BlackBerry App World, CrackBerry App Store and the CPS Elements Webshop to name a few). Unfortunately, many of us were told otherwise; the application asked for a license key. I decided to contact CPS Elements to get to the bottom of this. They were impressively quick to respond and informed me that they were in the process of changing Woomby to ``a complete freeware``. It`s not up in BlackBerry app world yet, but you can pick it up at the CrackBerry App Store. Your little one is probably having another nap now, we`d better get into the application before they wake up. Woomby offers a few different modes that will hopefully tend to your baby`s needs.
This mode allows your BlackBerry to act like a baby monitor in a sense. Rather than acting as a live monitor for you to listen with, Woomby can be set up to listen for noise. It`s not necessarily tuned to your baby’s cry, but it can be set up to activate at a set noise volume and/or duration. If your baby starts to cry or fuss, Woomby will activate. There are many different actions to choose from:Playback a sound file – here you can choose a file from your media card or device memory. Unless you want the crying to continue, I would suggest staying away from the heavy metal. The duration of the file can be set up to 30 minutes and the volume set in increments of ten, from 0 to 100. There’s also a test button that allows you to try it out before putting it into action.
Show Illuminations – this time, your baby will be dazzled by a basic light show. You can choose from 12 colours, each colour covering the screen completely. Again you can set the length of time. In addition, the brightness and transition speed can be altered.
Start Illuminations and Sound – this option combines the first two options to create a soothing symphony of sights and sound.
Torch – You go and check your baby to see why they are crying. Rather than flicking on a bright light (which may startle them), Woomby can activate torch mode so you can grab your BlackBerry and automatically use it as a night light or to see.
Entertainment – okay, so maybe your baby doesn’t want to sleep. This option lets you play any file, (video, audio, etc). There’s no option to adjust length or volume.
Make a Phone Call – this is a baby monitor with a twist. If activated, the application will call a number of your choice so you can hear what’s going on. The number can be chosen from your contact list or manually entered. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be too far away. This option also lets you activate one of the other options listed above.
If you feel a little weary about having an active WiFi or cellular connection near your baby, you can choose to deactivate these.
adjusting more settings
As your child gets a little order, and you feel a little brave, you may allow your baby to hold your BlackBerry. With the key assignment feature, your keypad becomes a playground. Each key can be made to activate each of the previously mentioned options, including entering into listening mode. In the menu, highlight a key and click the trackball. The popup will then ask you to select an action. Below the keypad, the window will tell you the type of action of a highlighted button as well as its specific settings. Assigned keys are shaded in red. There are two modes that your child can see; Normal Mode (which shows the keypad on the screen…booooring) and Expert Mode (which shows the Woomby logo, the How it Works animation or another image of your choice…yay!!).
assign actions to keys
How it Works
Woomby allows you to use your own media (images, sounds or video) or use their own. They include soothing womb sounds or lawnmower sounds (that’s soothing?!), and songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. They also provide sing along videos; Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald. The downside is that these aren’t included in the application. Though free, they still need to be downloaded. The application was very easy to set up and I found it mostly effective. I did have a little trouble with the noise detection, though it is probably set up for a baby’s cry, not my own.
online files to download
While not a super nanny in the least, Woomby does help your BlackBerry and Baby to get together. The application does say not to have your smartphone within their reach (listening mode), warns about radiation and strongly advises that it doesn’t replace your parenting responsibilities. Whether soothing or entertaining, Woomby does help you from day to day. In future builds, the application should be able to detect whether your little one has pooped or not…kidding! This application is free (for real this time) from the CrackBerry app store. If the link doesn't work, try this one.
- use your own media or Woomby's media
- easy to set up and activate
- ignores a grown man's cries