These are the Free Apps coming to BlackBerry Users
BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) announced that their patient customers will receive free access to a set of premium applications for their BlackBerry devices from today (19 October).
This “expression of appreciation for the patience of BlackBerry subscribers” is in an effort to apologise to those users who experienced a 3 day service disruption last week.
“Our global network supports the communications needs of more than 70 million customers,” said RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. “We truly appreciate and value our relationship with our customers. We’ve worked hard to earn their trust over the past 12 years, and we’re committed to providing the high standard of reliability they expect, today and in the future.”
The complete selection of premium apps will become available to download at BlackBerry App World over a period of four weeks beginning Wednesday, October 19th. (Read the full Rim release here.)
Here’s a run down of the apps that will be made available over this period, with more to come:
(I’ve noted the list price for each of the apps to give readers an idea of the value of these offers)
SIMS 3 – Electronic Arts @ $3.99
Based on the number 1 PC game franchise of all time, The Sims 3 brings exciting new gameplay and endless possibilities all on your BlackBerry! Enjoy unexpected moments of surprise and mischief, as you choose whether or not! to fulfill your Sims? destinies and make their wishes come true. Create and customize your Sims appearance and personality, then take your Sims out of the house and into the neighborhood with all new open world gameplay. Make their world your own!
Bejeweled – Electronic Arts @ $2.99
The classic gem-swapping puzzle game Bejeweled comes to mobile with enhanced graphics and more fun than ever. String together three or more gems to rack up points in a fast-paced treasure hunt. Advance through levels in normal single-player mode or race the clock in timed mode. It’s a treasure trove of mobile fun!
N.O.V.A. – Gameloft @ $4.99
Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. A fast-paced sci-fi action shooter game offering the richest gaming experience of its genre.
Texas Hold’em Poker 2 – Gameloft @ $2.99
Hit the table of the ultimate poker game! Play wild Texas Hold’em parties plus a new Omaha mode.
Bubble Bash 2 – Gameloft @ $4.99
Bash bubbles in a colorful environment with more addictive gameplay. Enjoy new challenges including the bubble pulley, pendulum, invasion & more!
A little something for everyone here, it seems. Personally, I’m not a huge hand-held gamer but I’ll probably take a look at the Poker app. My daughter is pretty keen on the Sims 3 on her PC, so she might find that app worthwhile (although I fear she’ll be a little disappointed when she compares the two…) The rest of the games all sound a little meh to me, but the Missus tells me she “loves” Bejeweled. (Although I guess she may actually have said “I love jewels”. I’m sticking to my first guess though.)
Photo Editor Ultimate – Ice Cold Apps @ $1.99
Photo Editor Ultimate is the ultimate photo editor for your BlackBerry! You can edit your images easily and send them to all your friends. A menu item will be shown when you use the file explorer and select images, which makes it easy to start editing.
BlackBerry cameras have improved over the years, so a good image editor may be interesting. If it has the functionality and features of Instagram I’ll be impressed. But having looked at a number of disappointing BB image editors in the past, I’m not holding my breath.
DriveSafe.ly Pro – iSpeech.org @ $19.99
DriveSafe.ly 2.0 reads your text messages and emails out loud so you can concentrate on the road. Eliminate the temptation to reach for your phone by letting DriveSafe.ly read to you and automatically respond for you.DriveSafe.ly 2.0 Pro that allows you to send txt responses by voice and use other voice commands such as replaying the message or calling back the sender.
Drive Safe.ly Enterprise – iSpeech.org @ $79.99
DriveSafe.ly Enterprise lets you chat by sending text responses by voice and use voice commands like: repeat message, or call back sender. Drive safe listening to messages without texting while driving or reading emails in car. Drive – respond by voice, hands-free. DriveSafe.ly stops texting while driving (TWD).
Not entirely sure why the two different versions of this app. The second version is meant for multi-user enterprise environments (buy one licence, use the app many times). But is the app itself is no different from the Pro version, and if that is free, why offere them both? Whatever the case, this is an app we could all benefit from – who hasn’t ‘glanced’ at an incoming SMS or tapped out a reply message ‘while at the red traffic light’? Texting whilst driving is more dangerous than talking while driving people! Everyone get this app.
iSpeech Translator Pro – iSpeech.org @ $?.??
Speak and translate any words or phrases including email or text (SMS) in multiple languages with iSpeech Translator. The app’s human-quality text to speech and speech recognition are brought to you by iSpeech, the creator of DriveSafe.ly, award-winning leader in texting while driving applications. Speak or type any phrase and listen to the corresponding translation in your choice of language.
I can’t find any listing for the Pro version of this app, hence the “$?.??” pricing. The description is lifted from the free version and I really can’t see if the Pro version has any significant differences. Translations are supported in a number of languages, only one of which is an official South African language: Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese. May be a useful tool if you’re planning a foreign trip though…
Nobex Radio Premium – Nobex @ $9.99
Never miss your favorite radio programs again! With the premium version of Nobex Radio you will instantly be able to: Listen to premium, international content from over 16,000 stations in more than 100 countries around the world. Streaming is done either over WiFi, or through the carrier’s network.
This one definitely interests me – especially the fact that “streaming is done over WiFi”. I would be careful to rely on the carrier’s network for radio streaming as I doubt that the data usage would be considered free under your BIS service. May be worth a quick check with your mobile operator to confirm before you get slapped with a huge bill for extra data usage. (If anyone can confirm this for us, please drop a note in the Comments below.)
Shazam Encore – Shazam @ $5.99
Take the ultimate music journey with our premium app – Encore. Identify what song is playing (unlimited Tags). Buy the track. Share Tags by text, email, Twitter or Facebook. Read track and album reviews. See what’s hot with Shazam’s Tag Chart. Watch YouTube videos. Search music by artist, track and lyrics. View lyrics. Discover new music using Recommendations.
Shazam will be the first app that I download. I’ve used the free version and have been very impressed at the large database that the service maintains, and at how accurate the song identification is. More obscure indy artists don’t have enough representation on the service, and neither do South African artists for that matter, but all in all this is a great app for music lovers.
Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Vlingo @ $19.99
Vlingo is your very own Virtual Assistant. Simply speak to Vlingo and it will help you do more stuff, faster and easier than before. Try saying "Text John; What’s up?" or "find italian restaurants" or even "update Facebook; I’m on a boat!" Download to learn everything Vlingo can do for you. “Vlingo will do whatever you’ve told it to do” – Wall Street Journal
This final ‘was expensive, is now going to be free’ app on offer is an obvious and clear response to Apples’ inclusion of the Siri Personal Assistant application on the iPhone 4s which was launched late last week (ironically, at the same time as Rim and BlackBerry were in the middle of their outage.) If Vlingo does what the blurb says, and performs as well as Siri, it too may be worth a download to your Berry. Although, I notice the lowercase “i” in Italian, which is an unforgiveable sin for any Assistant. Even if they are a virtual one.
So, there you have it BB fans. The first batch of your freebies.
The apps should be available all the way through to end December. There really is no need to all rush over to App World immediately to start your app hording.
Remember, the stability of the BlackBerry server network took some pretty heavy flak last week when it went down. We’d hate for you all to land up crashing the server again in your excitement to get all these tasty apps onto your mobile.
Tell us what you download, and what you think of the apps once you’ve had a chance to test use them.