RIM’s offer of apps worth over $100 in value to make up for an unprecedented three-day BlackBerry service outage in October ends tomorrow midnight, December 31. The three-day service outage left RIM’s reputation for enterprise-grade reliability in tatters, and RIM’s initial clumsy response with lack of information to customers and operators, combined with what seemed like a lack of empathy from RIM’s top management resulted in mass outrage among BlackBerry users.
To make up for the outage, RIM announced that apps worth over $100 in value would be available and has been pushing this hard on BlackBerry App World ever since. With typical BlackBerry apps far more expensive that apps on Android Market and Apple App Store, there aren’t hundreds of apps on offer, but only a handful. However, something is better than nothing and some of apps are great ones. So, if you’re a BlackBerry user and haven’t made the most of this offer, it’s time you do so, by tomorrow midnight.
Incidentally, users can download all these apps—it’s not like you can pick and choose only up to a value of $100. RIM hasn’t been clear on this, but I’ve downloaded all without any problem, including DriveSafe.ly Enterprise, which alone has a US$79.99 value.
Users on BIS, especially the popular Rs.299 plans with only e-mail, BBM and some social networking app access can download these apps over Wi-Fi from BlackBerry App World or download on their PCs from the BlackBerry App World Webstore and use BlackBerry Desktop Manager to install the apps on their BlackBerry. However, the apps that need data access to work will not work on the Rs.299 plans and will work only over Wi-Fi.
Here are the apps available in India, as seen from a BlackBerry Curve 8520 on BES running OS 5. My long term review BlackBerry Bold 9900 didn’t show the games Texas Hold'em Poker 2 and N.O.V.A., perhaps, because they are not available on OS 7.
Vlingo – Virtual Assistant
Vlingo – your Virtual Assistant
Vlingo came much before Apple’s sassy Siri and is highly regarded voice recognition app and 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 Deepak; There are hardly any crowds at MMRDA, looks like Anna doesn’t have a fraction of the support he thinks he has” or “find restaurants at BKC” or even “update Facebook; There are more Indians queuing for visas at the US Consulate in BKC than at Anna’s protest next door.”
DriveSafe.ly 2.0 speaks text (SMS) and e-mail messages aloud, so you can concentrate on the road while driving. You can also respond by voice with the Pro version.
DriveSafe.ly 2.0 lets you chat by sending text responses by voice and use voice commands like: repeat message, or call back sender. But please be warned, that while this app is preferable to your texting on your phone and driving, it is still recommended for use only in emergencies. It’s a fact that using hands-free and such apps will still distract a driver and can cause accidents.
This is the enterprise version of DriveSafe.ly Pro and one key difference between the Pro and Enterprise versions is encryption availability in the Enterprise versions and management capabilities for enterprise deployment.
Hearing a song playing on the jukebox or the radio and wondering which track it is? This great music app listens and quickly identifies the song and you can do everything from buy the track to read track and album reviews and even share on social networks such as Facebook.
iSpeech Translator Pro
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 quite good.
Photo Editor Ultimate
Photo Editor Ultimate is a great 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.
Nobex Radio Premium
With the premium version of Nobex Radio you can 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. You can also run Nobex Radio on sleep timer and choose anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours.
Bubble Bash 2
Bash together three or more like-colored bubbles to make them all explode just like before. 16 game modes filled with bubbles.
The Sims 3
Based on the No.1 PC game franchise of all time, 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 gameplay.
Design and build your dream city with SimCity Deluxe. Play as Mayor & City Planner. Choose a map, and zone residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Install roads, police and fire stations, parks and stadiums. But prepare to cope with crime, pollution, fires, and even tornados. Plus, maintain a balanced budget. Would be great for our city fathers in Indian cities, too since they seem to make a regular mess of their jobs.
Join the fight for mankind's survival against aggressive aliens known as Judges in this sci-fi FPS. With Earth no longer able to sustain life, huge artificial satellites called “near-orbitals” were constructed for people to live on. To protect themselves, the near-orbitals banded together to form N.O.V.A., the Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. Against his will, retired marine hero Kal Wardin is forcefully returned to active duty to prevent mankind's annihilation.
Texas Hold'em Poker 2
If you like poker, Texas Hold’em Poker 2 is a nice poker game. Learn poker tricks with Training mode or challenge advanced AI opponents in wild tournaments. Visit 8 venues around the world like Dubai or Macau for classic Texas Hold’em or try Omaha mode for an even more comprehensive poker experience.
BlackBerry, Blackberry App World, Bubble Bash 2, DriveSafe.ly Enterprise, DriveSafe.ly Pro, iSpeech Translator Pro, N.O.V.A., Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, Nobex Radio Premium, Photo Editor Ultimate, RIM, service outage, Shazam Encore, SimCity Deluxe, Texas Hold'em Poker 2, The Sims 3, Vlingo