From your lips to God’s ears, that’s how we feel about our BlackBerry. Christmas is a time for giving and receiving and many of us will get a new BlackBerry, whether it’s from our beloved or a gift from ourselves. So now you have the new BlackBerry, what will you get for your new BlackBerry? This guide will show you some of our favorite accessories, and BlackBerry applications (both free and paid ones).
First advice, install that BlackBerry Desktop Manager. It’s the most important part of your phone. You never know if you’re going to have issues, or someone may wipe it out by accident. You can install it by inserting the CD that comes in box with your device. Sometimes it helps to grab the latest version from BlackBerry.com. Continue reading to see our favorite accessories and apps for 2009…
Top Five Accessories
1. The first and foremost important item you can purchase is a case. The Otterbox is always my first choice and favorite. It comes in three flavors: Commuter, Defender, and the Impact series. I use the Commuter but there’s a flavor for everyone and they meet the needs of the phone. From heavy to light protection, the Otterbox has your BlackBerry smartphone’s back. And if you choose a different case here’s the point I want to stress to you: please do not place your credit cards or any cards with magnetic strips in the same case with your BlackBerry. The RF (Radio Frequency) waves of your BlackBerry can clean the magnetic strip, remember if you want it to swipe, then protect that stripe (Special thanks and shout out to Al Sacco for that informative tip). Â For the light hearted BlackBerry users, there are the Golla bags which keep your BlackBerry with you while going “Green”. Â With a case, be sure you’re using a screen protector. There’s a few different ones available, my favorites are the Privacy Protector. There’s the dark ones and there’s the mirrored ones as well. For me, screen protectors and cases are a must have with the phone. For a great case, expect to pay $25 for a basic to around $50 for the Otterbox. Screen protectors can range from $8 to $13.
2. The next thing you need to keep in mind is a extra charger. There are several out there. My favorite is the dual-charger which allows you to charge the phone in the car and also can plug into a wall so if you find yourself somewhere else, you’re able to charge the phone inside. I’m always forgetting my home charger. The newer and more amazing ways to charge are the new PowerMats. I would recommend this too, since it’s an easy way to charge without worrying about plugs and outlets.
3. Memory Cards. Yes, these are the memory for your phone. You need this as a priority for your phone. They come in sizes from 2 to 16 GB. The more the better. Your BlackBerry needs the microsd for doing video, but more importantly it stores your music, your ringtones, your pictures, and your videos. Do you know what else it can hold? That’s right, your BBM contacts and groups if you back it up to the card. It can’t get better than that.
4. Batteries. Spare batteries or an extended battery are a real help. I use a spare extended life battery because there are times I can’t run to the car or office for a charger. Like when you’re in concerts, events, things of this nature. There are also battery chargers available and charging stations that will charge your phone and your spare battery at the same time. Seidio makes the extended life batteries.
5. The last thing on my have to have list is the headset. For Bluetooth, you have several choices out there and there are also wired. It depends on how you’re going to use your phone. A wired headset saves on battery life when used in calls, and Â I use the wired headset because I prefer listening to music and when I get a call it pauses. It’s more convenient for me since I don’t mind the wires but there are stereo headsets that are Bluetooth as well, just make sure that it’s compatible. For the wired, as long as it fits in your’re good. Â For Bluetooth to use with phone calls, you can do speaker Bluetooth or you can go with the headset. For the headset, I’d recommend the infamous Jawbone. Jawbone is state of the art with military grade technology. It also has interchangeable customizable ear pieces, so if one size doesn’t fit no worries. BlackBerry makes a great Bluetooth speaker and a great wired headset for the BlackBerry, because the headset that comes with the BlackBerry in my opinion, is the most uncomfortable and painful headset ever.
Apps are another great reason to have a BlackBerry.
Top Five Free Apps for BlackBerry
1. If you love music there are two free digital radio apps that are popular: Pandora and Slacker. Personally, I’m a Pandora user only because I had and used a Pandora account long before they came to the BlackBerry, and Pandora just keeps improving. Slacker is great as you can cache your stations when you have no service like when you’re flying. I don’t fly often enough to use that feature.
2. Love news and keeping up with sports and scores? You can get it all with Viigo. You can customize what news you get from politics and movies (the two seem inseparable) to wireless and celebrity news. Viigo keeps you current, it’s your news your way. Find out what’s playing where, what the latest scores are of your preferred sport, what your fave sites are posting.
3. Do you Twitter? There are a few choices I’d recommend. One is UberTwitter and the other is yfrog. Both are free. If you want you can submit for a SocialScope account, but it’s one you have to wait for the invite to use.
4. VPost Personal Beta, this app delivers your pictures, videos, voicenotes, and message all in one convenient message, and you can send to posts as well. It even can add your GPS location. I can’t go on enough how much I love this app.
5. Google Maps and of course Google Voice. Those two apps are very useful for any BlackBerry user. Google Voice is another by invite only if you don’t have an account.
Another application we recommend checking out is the BBSync Mobile App Store. It’s a free download that gives you access to tons of free and paid BlackBerry themes, and apps. Simply point your BlackBerry browser to GetAppStore.com to download.
There’s also our BlackBerry Sync Mobile Launcher which is free as well, allowing you to keep up with our posts right from your BlackBerry.
Top 5 Paid Apps for your BlackBerry
1. BerryWeather. I love this app, and you can set it as your wallpaper, keep track of nine other locations all from your BlackBerry. I enjoy the luxury of viewing my phone and knowing the current weather outside, along with alerts. The app is $9.95.
2. gwabbit is another favorite of mine. If you receive a lot of emails, then gwabbit is the time saver of choice. The paid version isn’t like the free version by any means, and if you are tired of copy and paste, this is a crucial app for you. Don’t copy and paste, gwab it for $9.99.
3. SMobile Security Shield. For all of us, trust me, at $24.99 a year, this is an investment. This can be as advanced as you like. It is anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-theft and gps tracking for when it is lost and “walks” off. I love this app, and you know with the advancements made in the cellular field, you know there are those bored enough to create spy and virus programs. SMobile has your security in mind. If you choose not go with SMobile, don’t leave yourself open to theft. There’s SmrtGuard ($3.99 monthly to $44.99 yearly subscription)Â and RobLock ($9.95)Â both great anti-theft and gps apps.
4. BerryBuzz and ColorID I place in a category together. BerryBuzz for $5.95 will allow you to set a different color LED reminder for each alert it contains. It’s nice to have something outside the red led flash. ColorID for $5.99…but wait, it’s on SALE until JANUARY 1st, you can purchase it for $2.99 until then. This appÂ allows you to choose a color pattern of two colors for your contacts who message you most. So I can have my manager with red and blue lights, my family with white and red, etc. So for category the two are somewhat beneficial to one another.
5. FitDeck for BlackBerry is one of my faves. I need to start working out more, making time for me, and I want to keep in shape. FitDeck is the Navy workout utilizing your body to get stronger, no equipment other than you, your BlackBerry and the app itself. And for $7.99 it’s a great app to use that I don’t need to purchase extra equipment.
I’ll post a top five all work and all play for work and personal apps that will assist you in either organizing and optimizing your BlackBerry for business use or all fun and happy apps that will help you use your BlackBerry in ways some of you hadn’t thought of.
That wraps up my selections for the top five in each category, but I’d like everyone to share their favorites too. I’m hoping each of you will share with me your top five free and paid, and what top five accessories you recommend. I know each of us has a different perspective and perhaps there’s something out there one of us weren’t aware of. Please share it with us and each other so we can see just what accessories and apps are really at the top of our lists.
(Don’t forget you can get 15% off any regular priced apps by using coupon code “syncholiday09″ when checking out!)