Being able to admit our addiction to our beloved BlackBerrys, we must also admit our addiction to ringtones FOR our BlackBerrys. Whether sexy, funny, funky or just down right odd, ringtones are another way to add our personal touch to our devices.
It’s a well known fact that ElectricPocket knows how to pump out amazing products. They also have a knack of coming up with snappy names for their products (including FlipSide, BugMe!, and FindMe).
Since I reviewed FlipSide, I’ve been keeping an eye on them, salivating, waiting for another taste. Ringo (not the Beatle) builds on BlackBerry’s profiles manager and tweaks it, boasting to bring “smart tones for smart phones.” Now picture this; use ANY mp3, aac, wma or wav file as a ringtone or notifier AND set them for different groups of people much more easily. Judging by the forums, I wasn’t the only one having trouble trying to add my own tones to the Berry, I hoped that Ringo would make my life a little easier.
Ringo is available to the 81xx, 83xx and 88xx series. Even though they are bad words here, I should mention that it’s also available and “proven” on device including Treo, Centro, HTC and Motorola Q.
Once downloaded I was bombarded by numerous security warnings, telling me that Ringo is requesting access, blah blah blah. After saying yes to all of them, I was then told that my Berry had to be rebooted. This is probably the first application I’ve installed that actually required me to reboot my Berry. If anyone has experienced otherwise, please let me know. It’s important to mention that when you run Ringo for the first time, make sure your Profile is set to Off so Ringo and built in alerts aren’t playing simultaneously.
The interface is smooth and fun, especially when it sports one of my favorite colours: green. There are 3 menus you can access with the trackball: tones (green), contacts (blue) and groups (violet).
In the tones menu, you have almost the same options as BlackBerry Profiles. The basic options are easier to manage. Ringo first presents you with the default tone options (Ringtone, Messages and Email), then followed by Volume and Vibrate. As with Profiles, you can choose a different tone for each selection. If you are like me, you may not want to hear the tones as you scroll through. With Ringo the tones are viewed in a tree list, reviewing the tone is an option, not automatic. A handy feature is a little box that you can check to make all tones silent in holster. A simple click of your loyal BlackBerry Button lets you select to view the system tones for the Calendar, Tasks and Messenger.
Contacts gives you access to…well….contacts! C’mon it’s sooooo simple!! With a trackball click you can import your contacts and edit them one at a time, applying tones for their calls, emails and messenger notifications. This is done in the same fashion as default tone options. Hmm let’s see…for my boss, I think I’ll use a sound clip from Jaws. The only option you don’t have is the ability to add a picture to the caller ID, perhaps something to look at for version 2.0.
Browsing through your tones
Preview your selection when YOU want
There are four options in Groups; Business, Personal, Unknown Callers and No Caller ID. This will work if you have group setting in your address book. Use Ringo to set up ring tones for each group so you can determine if a call can wait or not. With unknown or no caller id, I would personally set to silent so I won’t be bothered. So far, you cannot generate a new group in Ringo, you’ll have to go back to your address book first which is a bit time consuming and dizzying.
Like in college, Ringo lets you hang a virtual sock on your door with the Do Not Disturb option. All of your calls and messages are still received, but your BlackBerry will remain silent. Set up automatically (like your BlackBerry’s auto on/off feature) or manually, depending on a planned or “unplanned” personal time.
When Ringo’s a rockin, don’t come a knockin!
Now since Ringo is all about tones, let’s talk about your options WITH tones. Ringo gives you access to your BlackBerry’s previously loaded tones, as well as tones you have downloaded. It even has access to your music and, if selected, will automatically play a clip from the beginning of the song as your ringtone. What? Not enough for you? Well you also have access to Ringo’s library of FREE ringtones, all by clicking Get New Tones. Still not enough for you?? Yeesh, go check out Ringo’s online store and buy directly from your BlackBerry.
Free Tones, Buy Tones and Ads?!
Browsing the Freebies
Even though Ringo is a few steps above your native Profile Manager, it has missed a few, probably hopped, skipped and jumped over them. You still have to go back to your address book to add Picture Caller ID. Though it can be argued that it’s a ringtone manager, not an image manager. You also have to revisit your address book to create new contacts or new groups. My opinion is that it wastes time. Seeing on how it’s version 1.02, I’ll go easy on Ringo, as improvements can always be made. I’m a huge fan of Electric Pocket’s work and if they want to contact me, I’ll make sure my Do Not Disturb is off. Ringo is available at ShopCrackBerry.com for $19.95, and a free trial is available for download.
- smooth and easy to use interface
- access free Ringo ringtones or their online store
- use your own ringtones AND songs
- need to reboot before starting program
- still must access address book for picture caller id and creating new contacts and groups