Last week I gave you an introduction to why BlackBerry’s are far superior to Treo’s. This week, I’m going to share a few of the applications I use many times a day on my BlackBerry.
For those of you who live in a Verizon-dominant area, have wanted an iPhone because they’re pretty and wanted the business superiority of a BlackBerry, you’re in luck, the Storm is out now!
Google, You Complete…My BlackBerry
Even though Google has released their G1 phone, they continue to develop applications for the BlackBerry, possibly indicating their knowledge that they are incredible business tools and aren’t going away anytime soon. A few of their killer apps can make your BlackBerry even better.
Point your BlackBerry browser here (https://www.blackberry.com/googletalk) to download Google Talk for your BB. Place the GTalk Widget on your web site or integrate with Plugoo or Meebo and now you have live chat on your web site that goes wherever you do. It also saves me a ton on text messages because I know a ton of people who use GMail, which automatically puts them on my GTalk.
Sure, it’s not turn-by-turn navigation, but it’s free and works very similarly to the regular browser-based GMaps. Head here (https://m.google.com/maps) on your mobile browser to download. For those of you with real GPS* in your BB, it will work automatically. If you don’t have GPS, it will triangulate off the cell towers to find your approximate location. Directions (driving, transit and walking), satellite view, traffic information and voice based search are all included.
*Although Verizon tries to be the “most open”, they cripple their GPS. I have a VZW BB Pearl, which has GPS, but it can only be used with the fee-based Verizon Navigator. So triangulation is all you get unless you buy a separate, external GPS unit.
Yes, you can (and should) setup your various GMail and Mail for Domains accounts with your push email service, but if you’re like me and strive for Inbox Zero, your BB gets cleaned out regularly, yet you still want to access your messages. GMail for BB is the answer! Not only will it allow you to connect to multiple accounts at once, it has an offline mode for those times when you can’t get a good signal. Also, the search is fast and easy so you can always get those old emails even if you’ve deleted them off your push email account. Here’s the link (https://m.google.com/mail).
Google Mobile App
Sorry, this is probably the most boring of them all, but entirely necessary. This application is a quick search tool, application launcher and auto-updater rolled into one. Google has mobile versions of news, reader, calendar, docs, photos and notebook – slimmed down web sites, not full fledged applications. The Mobile App gives you quick links to all of these as well as keeping all of the other apps I’m mentioning here up to date, with the exception of GTalk. Head over in your mobile browser (https://m.google.com)
The Holy Grail. This is what has made Outlook obsolete for me. GSync synchronizes your Calendar and now your Contacts too! So sync your BB with Outlook one last time, then sync it up with Google and all of your contact glory is now pulled into your GMail account. And it’s a two-way synchronization, so whenever you update on one, it’s done automatically on the other. Ditto for your calendar. Check it out (https://m.google.com/sync)!
For me, the only thing missing currently is a BB app for GReader. As soon as that comes out, my BB/Google integration will be complete.
Next week I’ll dip into a few more of what I consider to be must-have applications to round out your BlackBerry as the ultimate business tool (and further push Treo’s into the dirt) 🙂