More BlackBerry Storm Free Applications

Friday, January 16, 2009 ·

As I mentioned in my previous post, Must Have Free BlackBerry Storm Applications, I wanted to experiment with new paid commercial applications. Since then, I have discovered new free applications that are worth mentioning here. I will leave the Paid applications for a future posts.

When I had My Palm Treo, one of the most annoying things I had to endure is the touch screen remaining active during a call. I hoped I won’t have this problem with my new storm. As you all (current storm users) know by now, we are plagued by the same annoyance. During a call, we accidentally mute or activate the speakerphone with our cheeks. I spent too much time trying to find a setting that will lock the screen, There was no such setting. It was really frustrating until I found Talk Lock, a little free application developed by Cellavant who is a custom mobile software publisher. imageTalk lock will basically lock your phone about 2 seconds after you receive or make a call. The screen will look like the image to the left, a background picture with the call info and a slider to unlock the screen just in case you need to activate the speakerphone or the mute button. If you want to lock the screen again, just hit Menu > lock screen during a call and you are locked. it is still in BETA development, but I have not had any problems with it. I am very pleased with this one, it should be on my other post Must Have Free BlackBerry Storm Applications.

Some of my readers recommended Viigo, another free RSS reader. It delivers to your phone wide range of customizable contents and services form around the world. it is not your simple RSS Feed, it delivers news, sports, live scores, weather, stocks, finance, podcasts and blogs in one application. One of the cool features is that you can scroll through stories in the feed just by swiping your finger across the BlackBerry Storm screen. Taking advantage of the accelerometer, you can read the news both in landscape or portrait modes. This application is also in BETA Stages for the BlackBerry Storm, I experienced an intermittent freezes when going back to previous screens, but it is worth that little annoyance for an application so rich in contents and services. just point your Storm browser to GetViigo for your free download.

My last gem is YouTube. Although the blackberry storm is capable of playing YouTube clips through the web browser, the experience with a dedicated application is much better. With this application you can upload videos directly from your blackberry storm, share and rate and access your recommended and favorite videos. you can get the current client from Google. And yes Google is the parent company of YouTube.

If you come across other free applications for the blackberry storm, or you would like to share your opinion with us regarding the above applications, please post your suggestions in the comments area of this post.


Anonymous said...
January 22, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

Here are my beefs with the Storm thus far, in no particular order:

1. Cannot default the phone to speakerphone

2. When connected to an enterprise, the screen lock button is associated to the enterprise lock, meaning you have to re-enter your password to unlock. This is VERY annoying and results in me NOT LOCKING the Storm at all and as a result the screen selects things randomly when the thing is in my pocket. PLEASE separate screen lock from system/enterprise locking

3. The hardkeys are used so poorly it's pathetic. Voice dialing is useful, but if I'm inside an application can I PLEASE reuse the button? Volume buttons get reused in the camera...why can't all the buttons be application specific?

4. The backlight dims and goes bright randomly when I'm typing...what's with that??

5. The accellerometer almost never switches without me having to exaggerate the motion for portrait vs. landscape

6. The phone connects to a call audibly before it updates the screen, so there's no way to answer in speakerphone mode...ANNOYING!

7. There's no fast way to toggle between normal/vibrate/silent modes. This thing needs a lot of shortcuts to be written (ie: hold volume down and Blackberry button at the same time to toggle alert options)

8. in the browser it is MADDENING that the zoom function (tap) is the same as the highlight/select function. I'm constantly zooming every time I go to select something!! AAARRGG!!!

9. NO WAY TO UPDATE A CONTACT!! This one really pisses me off. Say you get an email from someone and you want to tie it to their phone number that's already in your contact list (or vice versa) there's no way to say ADD this email to so and so. You can create a NEW contact...that's it. Only way to update is to copy the info, then go search for the contact, select edit, then paste....s.l.o.w.

10. The camera takes like FIVE SECONDS to take a flippin' picture....WTF?? My kids won't hold still for 1 second let alone FIVE!! I have a fantastic gallery of almost precious memories...thanks Verizon!

So, it's obvious to me that this thing was rushed out before it was ready, and had a slew of different dev teams working on various aspects of the functionality...and none of them talked to eachother. Once you have the thing for a month you get used to the quirks, but when you first get it it is THE MOST confusing gadget I've ever encountered. Paradigms get established in one part of the phone that are ignored in other areas, or even better...the paradigms conflict with each other.

I'm keeping it cause I'm married to it now, but man, what a disappointment. I'm telling anyone who will listen what I've encountered with the hope that subsequent upgrades will tighten up the applications and overall user experience.


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