Despite being an admitted BlackBerry User and (mostly) Abuser, it is true that my BlackBerry smartphone isn't always attached to my hip. Yes friends, I can muster enough willpower to set it down on my desk, bookshelf, etc, and walk away. You massage your thumbs and view a world that isn't limited to 480x320 (well in the case of my Bold anyway). Those who truly know the addiction, understand that this peace will not last forever. You hear a subtle vibration from the direction of your device/dealer, perhaps a tone follows as well. The LED blinks red, whispering "Read me...read me" over and over. Egads! Something has arrived, but you're not sure what or from whom. Is it important or can it wait? Your eye twitches as you fight the urge to lunge for your BlackBerry.
Okay, so maybe the addiction isn't that bad, or is it? But it would be nice to know who it is, or what you're being reminded of, so you can decide what you want or need to do. If you can't seem to make the decision on your own, SmartAlerts is here to assist you. If you want to learn how you can create filtered alerts for email, missed calls and more, read on!
SmartAlerts has been developed by Bellshare, makers of "Premium Apps for BlackBerry Smartphones". You may recognize the other members of Bellshare's family of apps, which include BerryPopup, the popular BerryBuzz and the previously reviewed BerryWeather. Like any well rounded families (and some dysfunctional too), it's always best to work together. The same goes for Bellshare's suite of apps, which we will touch upon a little later. SmartAlerts, currently in version 1.0.4 is available for BlackBerry smartphones running OS 4.2.1 or higher and will require 66.3KB of space.
choose what filter to create
With SmartAlerts, you can create filtered alerts for Missed Calls, Calendar entries and incoming SMS/Email messages. You will then be alerted of any of these events by a sound. These sounds can then be managed in your native BlackBerry profiles. Opening SmartAlerts for the first time, you will be brought to a blank screen, save the "Create New Alert" button near the bottom. This will open up the four types of Alerts you can create. As you begin assigning alerts, the application will group them based on the alert types. The first thing any alert needs is a good name, and then you can set the filtering parameters. Let's take a look at the four types available to you;
Setting up email filtering criteria is pretty straight forward. In the address field, you can enter in a complete email address or parts of one in order for the application to match with the senders address. The application allows you to access email addresses in your address book. You can then choose whether this address will be found in the To field, From field, CC field or all three. Other criteria include: keywords found in the subject/message fields, which of your email addresses to use and if you want to be notified of all messages from the recipient, or only message with/without an attachment.
creating filters for email
adding features from BerryBuzz and BerrySupport
As with the Email alert entries, you can access phone numbers from your address book and use one to fill in the Number field. You can also choose to be alerted based on keywords found in the body of the incoming text message.
The Calendar option was a little tricky to grasp. Alerts will sound based on keywords found in the Summary, Notes or Location fields for each of your Calendar entries. You cannot create Calendar entries from within the application itself. Before SmartAlerts, I could manage tones for my calendar entries, now I could essentially assign different tones for each, simply based on keywords.
Sure, you can set up Custom Ring Tones for your contacts, but what happens if you didn't hear the call come in? Or, if you don't have the number in your address book? It's a quick way to assign custom tones while on the go.
the main menu, ready to go!
The main menu of SmartAlerts is now loaded with various filters, again grouped by Alert Types. These filters can be easily disabled, edited or deleted or reordered all from the menu button. The application can create a new item in your native profiles. You choose the name and you choose the tone. SmartAlerts also allows you to manage your profiles without leaving the application. Each filter will display the following information;
- A green circle with a checkmark shows that the filter has been enabled.
- The name of the filter.
- The name in BlackBerry Profiles.
Now it's time for some family support. If you have BerryBuzz (version 1.1.83) you can take advantage of its features. With each SmartAlert filter, you can use BerryBuzz to assign various colours for your LED to blink and choose intervals for alert reminders. These reminders can range from every 10 seconds to every 60 minutes. After you have activated the LED colours, head back to the main menu of SmartAlerts your filter will now show a small square displaying which colour the LED will blink. To take the Bellshare experience even further, download BerryPopup. If you do happen to be close enough to your BlackBerry (that is if you haven't had to chain yourself down to fight the addiction) you can use Berrypopup to view a popup preview of the incoming email or SMS.
the options lay before you
A Very Berry Conclusion
Whether on its own or in a family gathering, SmartAlerts will help you keep on top of important messages and ignore those that can wait. Setting the alert filters is fairly easy. I can think of two improvements that could make it even easier. First, allow user to access SmartAlerts from the applications menu, rather than the options menu. Second, in SMS or missed calls, allow users to manually enter in a phone number without having to use the Alt key. I was rather pleased to see how well the application worked with BerryBuzz and BerryPopup. Some may find the price too high, costing you $8.95. There is a free trial available if you want to try before you buy. To pick up a copy or SmartAlerts, or for more information, click here.
- alert filters easily created
- create items in BlackBerry Profiles
- great for those who are heavy BlackBerry users
- further entry shortcuts needed
- better application location required