Like any smartphone OS, RIM’s BlackBerry App Store has its fare share of new apps being added on a regular basis. Here’s a quick look at some of the apps that I’ve found to be quite handy. Two of them are Mumbai-specific, but are not meant for Mumbaikars alone and in fact may be extremely helpful to people who don't know Mumbai well enough, travel to our city frequently, or even once in awhile.
CamCard (Business Card Reader) – Available for iOS and Android as well, in Lite and paid versions.
I attend lots of business events and meetings and storing and categorizing cards is a perennial headache. This brilliant app turns your BlackBerry into a scanner and does just what the creator claims – transforms piles of business cards into your phone contacts in several clicks. You need to snap card photos either using your BlackBerry's built-in camera or by downloading pictures to your BlackBerry picture folder. In cases where the image wasn’t clear enough, or in the rare instance where the app failed to read some information, I could always add or change fields at the result verification stage.
For quick business card storage
A finalist in BlackBerry Super App Challenge in 2010, CamCard comes in a paid as well as a free version. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the creators have specified the features unavailable in the free version. The paid version costs Rs 466.45 via BlackBerry App World. If you exchange a lot of business cards with other people, this app will be well worth the money you spend on it.
This one's in beta but works great for me, because it makes my most dreaded part of the day (waking up in the morning!) a bit more tolerable. Wakeful aims to help you kick off your day productively by providing you with your life's most important information when waking up. So, you wake up to a talking alarm clock that reads you the latest news, stock information and weather.
Wakeful can be configured to wake you up in a professional male voice, or a soft feminine voice. The app downloads the latest news from the Net just before you wake up. The news and stock information on offer is international and perhaps later versions might offer location specific news, but for information junkies like me, it still works great. Since my location was set as India though, I didn't get any weather updates.
Sign up for the beta at http://www.wakeful.com/
m-Indicator is a free but ad-supported app. Others have created separate apps that give you Mumbai's BEST bus routes and taxi and auto fares, but this app does it all and even adds Mumbai's lifeline – the local trains – to the mix. The interface is simplistic and professional. The app offers local train timetables for all of Mumbai's railway systems: Western, Central, Harbour Line, the Thane-Vashi line, Diva-Roha line and the Dahanu-Panvel line. Choose the line, select the direction and Railway Station you are at and the app will throw up a list of trains heading in that direction, with final destination and type of train (Fast or Slow).
The app also supports PNR Status for Indian Railways; however, this feature uses text messages to function. The app also has a link that takes you to the latest Mega Block information.
Great for residents as well as visitors
BEST bus routes are also mapped and you can search either by Source & Destination or by Bus Number or Bus Stop to find which buses halt at that particular bus stop. AC bus timings are also available. Auto rickshaw and taxi fares are also available instantly with night charges automatically applied depending on what time of the day you’re using the app. Listings of movies playing in Mumbai and Maps are also available, both through Google though.
You can download it for free using your mobile browser from http://m.mobond.com. Incidentally, this app is also available for Android devices via the App Market but you'll also be required to download and install J2ME Runner in case you don't have it already.
Mumbai Airport Mobile App
With the busy Mumbai Airport being completely renovated and modernized, even as it is fully operational, things can get confusing. The Mumbai Airport Mobile App helps you get information about Mumbai Airport quickly and easily from your BlackBerry – find out about your flight status, locate ATMs or Forex outlets, find a restaurant to eat at and more. The Transportation section gives you information on getting to and from the airport and you can dial directly from the app.
For the frequent flyer
For instance, since I travel a fair bit, I use Fleet Taxis to get home from the airport and the app is very useful in dialing taxi companies directly or even the pre-paid taxi counter. Plus, the app also offers a list of useful phone numbers for the airport, airlines and embassies. You can also provide feedback to the airport authorities using the app. If you’ve had issue with earlier versions I suggest you download the latest and it should be smooth sailing.
Download for free from http://www.csia.in/ OR http://demo.moveo.in/download/
Stay tuned for more apps across the various Smartphone platforms.