In Retrospect: My Top Ten Apps for the Blackberry Storm

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Posted on 20th February 2010 by Pia Simeoni in Geeky Pursuits

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My fiancé has finally announced that our Droids are in. He’ll be picking them up when he visits one of his Verizon store locations on Tuesday. I’ve had such a close relationship with my Blackberry Storm 9530 for the last year and a half. Pink silicone cover. Folded business card under the battery cover to keep the touch screen from sticking. Fully tweaked with apps to keep it running smoothly and to keep me occupied on my 3 hour (total) commute to and from work. 8GB micro SD for music and photos. I’ve subjected it to so much behavior mod, it does exactly what I want it to do. We are close, my Storm and me.

So, I am actually preparing myself for this big change, making sure Google Reader is set up with all of my feeds currently on Viigo, and researching comparable apps and cool accessories.

I’m not sure the Storm is for everyone. Mine was strictly for personal use. But as a tribute to my Storm, here is my list of top apps that made my experience with the Storm a great one over the last year and a half. I’m sure these apps are available for most current Blackberry models.

Third Party Apps

Opera Mini. Much faster than the Blackberry browser, and renders pages to fit within the screen in either portrait or landscape mode. Visit the address m.opera.com, using your phone’s default Web browser. To download Opera Mini 5 beta, visit the address m.opera.com/next.

Viigo. Viigo boasts an intuitive, mobile-friendly interface, that delivers a wide range of customizable content and services from some of the world’s leading content providers and publishers. It has news, weather, real-time sports scores, stocks and finance, audio and podcasts, entertainment, social networking, shopping and blogs in one simple, downloadable application.

Pandora or Slacker. Both are great for streaming music with similar features.

Socialscope Lite. In private beta, and took me a while to get, but supports multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook, Foursquare and flickr. Functionality is limited for Facebook and Foursquare. It’s not yet available for Android devices, so I’m going to miss it but looking forward to trying out Seesmic‘s apps for social media.

PdaNet. One of the few apps I actually paid for, PdaNet allowed me to tether my Blackberry to my laptop via USB and use it as a modem. This was especially useful on my train rides when I had to get some work done. The connection would interrupt every time a call or message came through, but it was quick and easy to reconnect and well worth the money. And yeah, it’s available for many phone types, including Android.

MeterBerry. Another app I actually paid for. Just a couple bucks. Before upgrading to Blackberry OS5, the Storm would freeze on a regular basis, and you’d have to remove the battery and restart, which took literally close to 5 minutes. Then I learned that if you clear the event log about once a week, it wouldn’t freeze as often. To do that, you would have to hit Menu –> Show Keyboard and type “/”/” and follow the prompts to clear the event log. After that, you do a hard reset by taking out your battery. Then I stumbled upon MeterBerry, which does the work for you. You can set it to clear your event log and do a hard reset at the time you specify every day. I set mine to 4am so it’s ready to go for the day by the time I wake up. It also monitors your battery and memory, and you can set alerts if you go below certain performance thresholds. This turned my Storm into a new phone, and it rarely froze after I started using it. Then I upgraded to OS5, which improved the performance even more.

Google. I have Google Maps, Google Mobile App, Google Sync, and Google Voice installed. They are all great tools, but I can’t wait to use them on the Droid.

Ubertwitter. This was my Twitter tool of choice before I started using SocialScope.

Facebook for Blackberry. A must-have if you’re on Facebook.

I’ve used other apps, but these are the ones I use on a daily basis. I can listen to Pandora, while reading the news on Viigo, while posting interesting articles to Twitter, while browsing the web, while sending and receiving emails and texts. I know I’ll be happy with my Droid, but I will always think highly of the Blackberry, and in particular the Storm.

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