Beyond our BlackBerrys, a world lays before us. This multi-coloured ball sits third in line from our sun. Our solar system can be found with countless others in the Milky Way Galaxy, which in turn, is found along with an unknown number of other galaxies within our universe. Wow, we seem pretty small don't we? Almost the size of a trackball. Despite our technological advances, which allow us to communicate with people over vast distances, the world is still a pretty big place.
With the world becoming more mobile, having information right at your fingertips is a must. You may talk to someone on the other side of the planet, but how much do you know about their country? Do you want a broader view of the world besides your city?
Check out Worldbook, the World Encyclopedia for BlackBerry. With Worldbook, you can view a location's economy, government, map view, flags and more. If you're ready for a world adventure, pack your suitcase and follow me after the jump.
Worldbook is the 10th BlackBerry application brought to you by Intellibits. You may know Intellibits from their other BlackBerry solutions, including Cerberus Call Filter and SmsScheduler. You might ask yourself why you would want the world in the palm of your hands. Well, besides looking "worldly", you may come across a news report or conversation where the country in question is unknown to you. The information for over 260 countries found in Worldbook comes directly from the annually updated CIA World Factbook. With this in mind, Intellibits offers free Worldbook updates.
With Worldbook, I was hoping for an easy installation. There are quite a few steps to take before you can go on a virtual globe trotting adventure. The first step, is to install the Worldbook application, then you have to properly install the Worldbook encyclopedia. The encyclopedia can be installed on your Media Card or to your Device memory. I had quite a bit of trouble relocating the information to my media card, so I kept everything on my device, running up 8 MB. With the installation process finally completed, let's have a look at the application. The main section is a list of 263 countries listed alphabetically, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. You can search through the list by scrolling, or utilizing the quick search method by typing the name of the country in. Using the latter method, the application will automatically filter through the countries until you reach the correct one.
scroll through, or search through over 260 countries
At this point, you may want to delete any useless trivia you've racked up in your brain, you're about to experience information overload. Click on the country in question and you are given a second list, a fact sheet on the highlights. Worldbook will have a country's flag and map on hand, though you cannot zoom in too close for a closer look without distorting the image. The map is a basic view, and cannot distinguish roadways, national parks or such. I assume this is to conserve memory as having said detail on each map image may be too much.
See? My house is over there. No, over there...
A country's fact sheet also consists of...well...facts. Each category has numerous sub categories. To save time, I will list only a couple for each category. The categories are:
- Overview - a very brief look at the country
- Geography - Area, location
- People - population, age structure
- Government- type, capital
- Economy - overview, labor force
- Communications - Telephone system, internet users
- Transportation - airports (with or without paved runways), waterways
- Military - branches, manpower
- Transnational issues -international disputes, illicit drugs
almost everything you need to know about a country
While this information isn't enough to make you an expert, you can still have enough ammo to carry on a conversation. I checked out the site for the CIA Factbook and the information, maps and flags match up exactly. If there is any missing information, we can't blame Worldbook, we can blame...wait..can they still get me if I'm in Canada? The application is very quick at retrieving the information, no lagging was experienced. If I could get the information to store on my media card, instead of on my device, I would be much happier.
It's not an application you will use everyday, but it is beneficial to have it handy. Not only can you learn about other countries, you may find out something new about your own. Besides having to perform more than one installation, and issues with my media card, Worldbook performed quite well. True, you can download the information from the internet, but the application wraps it up in an easy to use interface. Worldbook doesn't have a free trial, but it is available at the CrackBerry store for $8.99. I'm sure that, no matter what country you look up, BlackBerry will mean the same in almost all of them. You can pick up your copy of Worldbook for Blackberry here.
Head over to www.intellibits.com for a very special offer. From the site:
To celebrate the release of our 10th application for the BlackBerry platform, we're offering you the unrepeatable opportunity to buy all our products in a single package, at 60% off the regular price!
That means just $24.99 (what you pay for a single copy of many other applications) instead of $61.90.
The offer expires on January 31st...so hurry up and don't miss the chance to have 10 great applications in your pocket for a very small price.
- quick access
- an excellent variety of information
- media card issues
- zoomed images become pixilated