Year after year, I can honestly say I install more than my fair share with applications. Between beta testing, reviews and my own curiosity, I’m surprised that any of my BlackBerry smartphones haven’t screamed “Enough!”. With that in mind, I try to keep my BlackBerry smartphone as clean as possible. If I don’t use an application frequently, it’s uninstalled. For the few I do hold onto, I don’t actually realize how much I use them as it becomes simply second nature to me. Many apps have come and gone, but a select few I still keep close at hand. Check out my most-used apps of 2011.
Ryan's most-used BlackBerry Apps of 2011
Okay, you may not think that I use this everyday, but in fact it’s very much active. I learned of Xobni through Adam and it’s stuck with me each time I switch devices. It automatically creates a contact profile for each and every single person you contact or are contacted by; without any effort from you. This info includes details from Facebook, LinkedIn, images, you name it. They’re listed by most frequently used and duplicate entries are easily merged. Being compatible with the Universal Search function, it makes it even easier to find contacts – regardless if they are in your native address book or not. Additionally, Xobni contacts are but a click away when composing a message. A must have for a heavy communicator.
Having a screenshot application is critical when it comes to reviewing applications. What’s the point of reading a review if you can’t see what the application looks like? Screenshot apps also help capture glitches, information, and incriminating tweets. ZonaSnap is one of the more robust screenshot apps I’ve used. As I capture an image I can effortlessly upload to Twitter or Photobucket. I could also email the picture or send it to a BBM contact/group. If I’m feeling particularly picky, ZonaSnap has a small editing suite so I can crop, blur, highlight or add a watermark. A picture is worth a thousand words; without pictures, my app reviews would end up longer than Kevin’s BlackBerry smartphone reviews!
Poynt is the ultimate answer to, “Where’s the nearest...”, “How do I get to…” or even “What’s playing at…”. It’s saved many an argument, I mean, a discussion between my wife and I. Poynt points us in the right direction every time. For example, I can look up a specific store by name, find the closest one, get directions (using Google Maps or BlackBerry Maps) and even call them directly. On top of that, I can see what movies are playing where, watch trailers and even buy tickets! When searching for restaurants, I can do so by name or type of cuisine. If you’re in the US, you can easily track down the gas station with the cheapest gas, no more siphoning from your neighbour’s car! Oh, if that’s not enough, you can check out current weather conditions and the long-term forecast too.
I may not get away with this as it’s actually a slough of apps within an app. Seriously, picking this up will give you 18 applications to check out. If you want to read about every single one of them, be sure to head on over to BlackBerry App World. I’ll tell you what I mainly use it for. I use the Mail Compliance Manager to warn me if my email contains profanity and/or CAPs or if I’m responding to an email that I was BBC’d on. Sometimes I email without thinking about who I’m sending it to, so this definitely helps. I also make sure my media is backed up to my PC with the WiFi Media Backup option as BlackBerry Protect won’t. It does have its own screenshot app, but it’s quite simple compared to Zonasnap. I also make use of the LED changing Call Indicator and the silencing by schedule app Silencer. This is one app I wouldn’t want to be without.
There have been many Twitter applications for the BlackBerry smartphone over the years, but I keep coming back to one. I completely agree with Bla1ze when he said that SocialScope is his favourite; mine too. I don’t use it for Foursquare or Flickr, but I have used it for Twitter (obviously) and Facebook. I love how easy it lets me view conversation history, as well as how beautifully the time line is laid out. Plus, SocialScope has a Quick Post icon that allows you to tweet with one click. As Bla1ze mentioned, it’s currently in beta, and has been for a while. It’s invite only- start making friends with a SocialScope user. This is what Twitter members should be using.