Gift Ideas: Phones
Does this years bountiful crop of phones leave you scratching your head? Our Favs list for 2010 is here to help.
It is remarkable how much has changed in the world of cell phones in just 12 short months. Better, far better, phones are offered by manufacturers today than ever. Quality touch screen phones now abound. Faster processors, bigger, higher resolution screens and an exploding app industry have converged to create a perfect storm of powerful, fun and useful new products for 2010. With so many models and features, you may find it helpful to decide first what you want your new phone to be able to do, and that may help narrow your choices. It’s a form follows function kind of thing. Well enough about all that. Let’s get to the phones. Happy shopping.
BlackBerry Pearl 9100
The BlackBerry Pearl 9100 is a powerhouse masquerading as a thin and sexy silver flip, but its guts are nothing short of premium build materials and state-of-the-art software. The Pearl offers a modified, shorthand QWERTY keypad using Suretype, a kind of enhanced predictive text, that allows you to blast out texts crazy fast. You also get RIM’s famous “Push Email”, which means that email is received instantly.
But there is so much more. The Pearl 9100 has Bluetooth, A2DP (which allows you to communicate with several Bluetooth-enabled devices at the same time), and a display that provides 360 × 400 pixel resolution for crisp, bright, icons and text. While 2GB of storage comes standard, the Pearl can handle up to 32GB via microSD expandable memory, so you’ll never have to worry about running out of storage for pictures, video or apps. The Pearl 9100 is brute force packaged as casual technology. Take five minutes to learn this phone and you will have a powerful tool to assist you in every aspect of your life.
All my thumbs are up for this powerful phone, and it’s a genuine steal at contract pricing.
Samsung Galaxy Apollo
The Samsung Galaxy Apollo is the perfect blend between power, performance and features for folks on a budget. You’ll enjoy a 3.2 inch touchscreen display with solid resolution, a 3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, GPS and lots more to keep you engaged and productive.
The Galaxy Apollo offers you seven different home screens, runs on the now-famous Android platform, and performs well in its niche between power and casual users. This attractive and heavily customizable phone also offers a portal to the massive Android Marketplace, offering over 30,000 apps to keep you busy till next year!
LG Rumor Plus
It seems like everyone is texting these days, from teenagers to titans of business. The LG Rumor Plus is a great gift idea for the young and young at heart. This smart, attractive horizontal slider boasts a spacious and comfortable fully QWERTY keypad, allowing for thumbs of fury or hunt and peck, whichever style fits you. Either way, users will be able to text with the best of them. And we’re talking threaded messaging here, so you can always scroll back within each conversation to see what was said.
The Rumor Plus also comes with a 2.4 inch touchscreen display, a 2 megapixel camera (with video), speakerphone, Bluetooth, expandable memory up to 16GB via microSD, FM radio, room for up to 1,000 contacts and much more.
The LG Rumor Plus is a great phone for teens and folks who want to stay in touch!
The aptly named HTC Desire is an energetic, new-gen phone that makes our Editor’s Picks due to its laundry list of “I want that!” features. Running on the Android 2.1 operating system, the HTC Desire boasts a large, 3.7 inch AMOLED touch capacitive screen that offers a remarkable 400 × 800 pixel resolution. Reading books and web pages on this phone is truly enjoyable.
Add 3G speeds, GPS, 5 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1, email and a full suite of social media tools, and an actual lumberjack (no, no lumberjack), and you have a winning collection of popular features that has garnered this phone much deserved positive press.
The HTC Desire grants you access to the Android Marketplace and it’s over 30,000 apps, so you’ll have a real challenge keeping up with what this phone can do.
BlackBerry Bold 9700
Looking for a crazy powerful, can-do smartphone that won’t break the bank? We offer up the gorgeous, the talented, the BlackBerry Bold 9700. This is about as close to carrying a computer in your pocket as you can get. For starters, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 replaces the trackball with a touch sensitive optical trackpad, instantly eliminating all the problems ever caused by a trackball. But that’s small potatoes compared to the stunning, 2.44 inch, 480 × 360 pixel resolution display, rendering beautiful, highly-articulated colors, tight edges, and all wrapped up in awesome.
The Bold boasts a 624 MHz processor that powers all the goodies inside, including Wi-Fi, GPS, Push Email, BB Messenger (integrated, threaded messaging), full HTML browser, 3.15MP camera, and a suite of native apps that will shoot your productivity through the roof.
This isn’t a blueberry. It’s a Blackberry. And the Bold 9700 will make anyone smile this holiday season.
Whether you choose to use the Samsung Vibrant to make calls and surf the web or hang it proudly in the Museum of Modern Art, just don’t leave any fingerprints on this masterpiece!
The Samsung Vibrant is cutting edge, from its 4 inch super AMOLED screen capable of producing a whopping 400 × 800 pixel resolution, 1 GHz processor, Android 2.1 operating system, 3G speeds, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 and more. The 5MP camera (capable of recording 720p HD video) offers smile detection, panorama, auto focus, digital zoom and more. All packed into a slim phone profile only 10 mm thick.
All this and access to over 30,000 apps via the Android Marketplace, the Samsung Vibrant will keep you brilliant and busy for a long time. Just…no fingerprints!
No cell phone guide would be complete without including the iconic iPhone. The 4th Gen iPhone is a blend of features and abilities that even uber- geeks could never have fathomed, and this latest iteration is a true nod to consumer demand for added functionality and modifications. Put bluntly, if you want to own the touch screen cell phone that started it all, pick up an Apple iPhone.
The iPhone 4 grants you access to over 250,000 apps via the Apple iTunes store, not to mention an unprecedented visual experience presented in 960 × 640 pixel resolution; no single device on the market today offers better “pixels per square inch” resolution. You are in for a major treat. Add a touch interface so organic that you will wonder why everything you touch in life doesn’t respond with such ease and comfort. Web pages are fully rendered on the iPhone 4, and you are in complete control. Your natural finger motions allow you full navigation through any web page in a way no PC could possibly deliver.
Remember the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”? Apple is the magic chocolate factory and the iPhone 4 is most definitely the golden ticket to social networking, business, navigation, work-make-easy and so much more.
If you put this under the tree for someone you will make their 2011 a fun and promising year indeed.
Motorola Droid X
The Motorola Droid X is a dream machine. Sure, you can make phone calls, enjoy threaded texting, interact with email, etc. But it goes way beyond that. Indeed, it’s so fast, so capable, that you can run up to 7 applications simultaneously. The secret lies in the powerhouse 1GHz processor, combined with the Android operating system. Add a massive 4.3 inch 480 × 865 pixel display and you can easily read and enjoy fully rendered web pages, books and more, without squinting.
The Droid X also boasts an 8MP camera that can record video in 720p HD, along with a suite of impressive photo effects including face detection and panorama. As an added goodie, Google is pushing its long-awaited 2.2 OS update just in time for the holidays, which means added functions, features and smoother response.
If you are looking for a true powerhouse-in-your-pocket, the Motorola Droid X definitely fits the bill.
HTC EVO 4G
If speed is your thing, why not pick up the first phone to run on a 4G network? The HTC EVO is 4G baby!; that means faster uploads, faster downloads, improved video streaming and more. It’s almost like the HTC EVO is waiting patiently at the next intersection of the wireless super-highway screaming, “Catch me if you can”!
Sporting a huge 4.3 inch, 480 × 800 pixel display and powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon chipset, the HTC EVO is a monster. It’s 8MP camera comes with a suite of features, including flash, digital zoom and, perhaps most impressive, it can record video in HD. Add a second, front-facing camera, FM radio, Stereo Bluetooth, 3.5mm headphone input, Wi-Fi and so much more, and you have a premium smartphone well-deserving of all the press it has received. The HTC EVO 4G is hanging out in the rarefied airspace occupied by only a few deserving smartphones.
Pick one up and find out what all the fuss is about.
The Most Expensive Cell Phone in the World
From $1 million
We here at Cellphonesetc know you, dear reader, are smart and well-informed (Expensive, thoughtful reader analytics tells us so). We also know you tend to make very intelligent buying decisions. But just in case an idiot snuck through our demographics, we’d like to set a trap by inviting you to view the most expensive cell phone in the world. Courtesy of Goldvish, “Le million” does indeed cost 1 million bucks.
For that kind of money you might expect a personal, on-call satellite to give you pinpoint directions any time day or night, or maybe a customized AI interface that knows everything about you and plans your days with the foresight of a true fortune teller. But alas, these over-the-top phones tend to be rather rudimentary on the tech side and gaudy-crazy on the rare rock side.
To wit: The “Le million”, designed by Emmanuel Gueit, features 120 carats worth of WS-1 grade diamonds. You would think that anything covered in that many diamonds would look great, but somehow, as evidenced by the picture below, they made it look like a radioactive snakeskin.
Gift Ideas: Cell Phone Accessories
Get the most out of your new phone with great accessories.
Whether it’s a car charger, protective cell phone case or state-of-the-art Bluetooth headset, accessories protect and extend the usefulness of your phone. We’ve weeded through the internet to find some of the best. A good rule of thumb when considering accessories is to make sure you have a remote charging solution, a protective case, and a headset or car speakerphone so you can enjoy conversations safely on the road without worrying about getting a ticket!Enough of all that. Let’s bring on the 2010 accessories.
If you thought all screen protectors were the same, think again. ZAGG, the maker of InvisibleSHIELD screen protectors, take screen protection to an entirely different level. InvisibleSHIELD is a patented, ultra-thin and extremely durable material that protects your phone’s screen far better than cheap, bargain-basement sheets. ZAGG also claims that their screen protectors are “self-healing” via Nano-Technology, which is “visible as a very subtle texture in the film”.
And there is no more cutting and shaping to worry about, since InvisibleSHIELD screen protectors are sold according to your specific model phone. InvisibleSHIELD may not be inexpensive, but they do the job right and come with a lifetime replacement guarantee.
PTC Micro HDMI Cable
Imagine being able to broadcast videos, movies and more from your smartphone to you home TV. The HDMI (High-Definition Multi-Media Interface), cable from PTC does exactly that. This 15 foot premium gold series cable has a micro HDMI tip on one end that connects to your phone and a regular size HDMI tip on the other end that can connect to an HDTV, laptop, monitor and more.
PTC’s HDMI cable supports all HDTV resolutions up to 1440p and works with the Motorola Droid X, HTC EVO 4G and other devices that use a micro HDMI port. The PTC HDMI Gold Series cable is an affordable solution for sharing video content with friends.
BlackBerry Pearl 9100 Impact Series Case by Otterbox
A great way to protect your phone is with a stylish and thoughtfully engineered case from Otterbox. The BlackBerry Pearl 9100 Impact Case, for example, provides improved grip, protection against minor bumps, and a self-adhering screen protector. The secret lies in the durable silicone skin engineered with an inner coring that helps to dissipate shock away from your phone.
At just $12.95, your Pearl 9100 gets a bump in protection, no pun intended!
Body Glove Snap-On Cases
The folks at Body Glove have a great take on protecting your Motorola Droid X (Or any number of cell phone models). Their Snap-On cases are custom-fitted to your phone, offer excellent protection via a hard outer shell that is, get this, wrapped in a textured, almost squeezable material that makes gripping your phone easy.
But Body Glove goes further, adding an all-in-one clip system, including a removable knob and a rapid release clip which allows you to quickly remove your phone. The clip has a built-in kickstand that offers multiple angle settings, so you can rest it on a table to view videos, movies, etc. Body Glove’s Snap-On Cases make carrying a large phone like the Droid X a pleasurable experience, while providing protection and options.
Sandisk 8GB Memory Card
To really enjoy your smartphone the way it was meant to be, you need to have plenty of memory on hand. Your phone is filled with apps, photos, music, videos, games…even full-length movies. And the last thing you want is to run out of memory.
The Sandisk 8GB microSDHC memory card is a simple, fast solution to add an enormous amount of memory to your cell phone. Rest easy knowing that your phone can handle any download your throw its way, or even a full-length feature film. The Sandisk 8GB memory card strikes a nice medium between much larger cards you might not ever need, and too small a card that would max out too quickly.
SanDisk 16GB microSDHC memory card
The SanDisk 16GB microSDHC memory card is a true final solution for cell phone users who plan to use the heck out of their smartphone. Popping in one of these cards is like adding a few more rooms to your house.
So download those apps! Snap all the pictures you’d want! And play tons of music. The SanDisk 16GB microSDHC card is the choice for heavy smartphone users who never want to worry about memory…again.
Energizer XP2000 Universal Rechargeable Power Pack
The Energizer XP2000 is no bigger than hotel bar of soap, but it can provide your cell phone with up to 12 additional hours of talk time, without having to rely on batteries or outlets.
The XP2000’s unique design allows you to charge it off of your home computer, laptop, etc. Once charged, take it with you and should your phone need a charge, simply connect the USB cable to your phone, push a button on the device and the sequential blue lights let you know it’s charging your phone.
The XP2000 is good for up to 500 charges, comes with six mobile phone tips to fit most models and a travel case. At $25.25 this is one charging solution that is easy to use and truly compact.
Droid X Desktop OEM Charger Multimedia Docking Station with HDMI technology
This HDMI docking station allows your Droid X to broadcast videos, movies, pictures and music through your home entertainment system, all while charging your phone. It also changes your Droid X into a digital picture frame or alarm clock as it rests in the charging base. Oh, and it even syncs your media to your PC with an included USB cable. How sweet is that!
If you are a proud Droid X owner and have been wanting to explore its HDMI output capability, this docking station is for you. The unobtrusive, black, angled cradle will be a quiet addition to any home theater and provide powerful options that use your Droid X to extend and improve your home multi-media experience.
BlueAnt T1 Headset
Step up to the next generation in Bluetooth headset technology with the rugged BlueAnt T1. The T1 is billed as durable and reliable, and with its Wind Armour Technology is capable of providing clear audio even when wind speeds reach 35 kph!
The T1 features a sturdy earpiece and comes with a variety of interchangeable, soft-touch silicon covers that make the headset even more comfortable. With the T1 you also get a Caller ID feature, in which the headset actually tells you who is calling. Better still, answering or ignoring a call is now touch-free. Simply say “answer” or “ignore” and the T1 is happy to oblige.
Android phone users can add an application to their T1 which provides text message readout, and through its A2DP technology users can enjoy streaming podcasts, music, even turn-by-turn directions taken from GPS applications already on your phone. Attractive, durable and virtually touch-free, the BlueAnt T1 headset is a great hands free solution.
iHome iP86ZC Dual-Dock Alarm Clock Radio
The iHome Dual-Dock Alarm Clock Radio gives a lot of bang for the buck. This box of wonders allows you to charge two iPhones simultaneously, the option to wake or sleep to either one, and the option to listen to a custom playlist or the built-in FM radio. This attractive rectangular box features a large LCD clock readout on the front, and easy to navigate controls on the top. Or you can use the included remote.
The iP86’s 7-5-2 feature allows you to set up to three different alarms with different times, even on separate days. You can also customize up to 8 AM/FM presents. It offers EQ controls and uses Reason8 sound technology to create excellent sound that can easily fill a room. The iP86 is a small box packing big sound, along with a host of customizable features that can help you fall asleep, wake up, all while keeping your iPhone charged and ready for another day.
Shure SE425 sound-isolating earphones
For discriminating music aficionados only, Shure offers a premium listening experience in their SE425 sound-isolating earphones. While they may look similar to common ear buds, these earphones are among the best money can buy.
With a response bandwidth of 20-19000 Hz, a sensitivity of 109dB and an impedance of 22 Ohm, these earbuds are clearly not going to be found in a bargain basket anytime soon. Add in gold-plated connectors, five feet of cable, carrying case and 6.3mm stereo adaptor, and you have one of the finest set of earphones on the market.
Barely bigger than a breadbox, the iHome iP3 packs 50 watts of wall-to-wall sound and looks good doing it. Featuring Bongiovi Digital Power Station technology, best-in-class coaxial neodymium speakers and a modern housing that would look sharp on any surface, the iP3 turns your iPhone into home audio system.
The iP3 also features Reson8 speaker chambers, adjustable EQ, an Auxiliary input jack (listen to aux audio sources), and even a remote control. The iHome iP3 offers amazing audio and another great way to show off your iPhone.
Note: Please check your phones specifications to determine which accessories will work properly.
Gift Ideas: Apps
No shiny new smartphone is complete without a great collection of Apps.
Free iPhone Apps
The Google Earth app for the iPhone is so damn powerful I’m not sure I can express it properly; Oh, but I will try!
With Google Earth, you can travel the world with the swipe of your finger, clearly less expensive the current airfare rates. The content of the regular desktop Google Earth is available on this app, along with HD resolution for over half the earth’s mass!
With Google Earth you can:
- Swipe with two fingers to view mountainous terrain
- Search for cities, places and businesses around the globe with Google Local Search
- Use the Location feature to fly to your current location
And so much more. This powerful, Google-powered app is fun, useful, and just plain engaging. Travel the world for free with Google Earth.
iTalk, by Griffin Technology, is a sweet voice recording app that offers one-button record, the ability to name files, delete files, even select the sound quality of your recording from good, better, and best. And for fancy phone fans, you can even drag and drop files to your desktop over a Wi-Fi connection (requires the use of iTalk Sync, a free download).
The screen layout of iTalk is pure minimalist, including a huge red button that says, simply “Press to Record”. The free version runs occasional, small ads at the bottom of the screen, and the paid version eliminates the ads for a cost of $4.99.
If you are someone who would use your phone’s voice recorder more often if it didn’t require so many darn steps, then check out iTalk.
Paid iPhone Apps
Perfect Browser makes your iPhone feel like your home PC when it comes to surfing the internet. Whether you want to use the tabbed feature in which you can have several pages open at the same time, or the “find” feature where you can search for any word or phrase on a web page, Perfect Browser brings to the iPhone layers of functionality and freedom that many mobile browsing applications simply cannot.
Some of the great features of Perfect Browser include “Hyper-Scroll”, which allows you to move around a web page quickly, the ability to turn your browsing history on or off, and the ability to interact with any link on any page you are viewing.
If you want to experience what PC browsing feels like on your iPhone, check out Perfect Browser.
RadioBOX has to be one of the best damn iPhone apps out there for music and talk show fans. For 99 cents you get a powerful app that provides access to over 30,000 radio stations, yeah that’s 30K!. From independent stations to local, commercial and more, you are granted a golden ticket to a massive real-time repository of radio content!
Find what you want by station, genre, location or even description; RadioBOX can access the stuff you want to hear quickly and easily. Better still, you can enjoy your selections while also surfing the web, reading emails, all while your favorite radio content continues in the background. Nice!
The list of impressive features is too long to list here. This is one well-designed app that will make any info-hungry iPhone owner smile.
SAT Visual Vocab
What better platform than an iPhone to provide SAT assistance to thousands of college-bound kids. SAT Visual Vocab is a study app for students who want to improve their English score on the SAT. It does this by helping them learn the words and definitions most likely to be used on the test.
This is a large application, over 300MB. One of the reasons for its size is that each of the 1,040 words comes with an audio file that provides complete definitions of each word, examples of use in sentences, and pronunciation.
Whether you choose study mode or quiz mode, you will be hard pressed to walk away from this app without having improved your vocabulary…and you SAT score! SAT Visual Vocab is an innovative way to help teenagers build a better vocabulary and better prepare for the SAT’s.
Most Expensive iPhone App
Apple’s most expensive app to date, appropriately called “I Am Rich”, costs $999.00. You are probably wondering what made this app so spectacular as to garner such an over-the-top price tag. The answer, (Are you sitting down), is… nothing.
“I Am Rich” is truly a useless application which features a faux red, glowing gem with the words “I Am Rich”. It doesn’t make you more efficient. It doesn’t improve your life in any way whatsoever. As far as this writer can determine, it does little more than alert folks that you are, indeed rich, or a moron, maybe both.
Apple has strict rules governing approval for apps and clearly had some issues with this one. While it was initially allowed to be sold, Apple has since taken it down, much to the chagrin of Armin Heinrich, the program’s developer.
What’s more amazing is that eight people purchased the app; six from the U.S., one from Germany and one from France, all within the first 24 hours that it became available.
Free Android Apps
Google Sky Map
Google Sky Map makes full use of what your Android smartphone can do. Using your phone’s compass, accelerometer and GPS, Google Sky Map allows you to aim your phone at the sky and literally see what is beyond the clouds and ambient light. You can view constellations, stars, planets, etc.
As you move your phone toward different parts of the sky field, the app reveals different, real-time astrological sites of interest. The app also allows you to customize the information you are looking for, that is, you can search for just constellations, or just planets, or the whole darn beautiful cosmos all at once.
It’s remarkable. Having the ability to aim your phone up to the Heavens day or night, and see what lay beyond. Fun, free, educational, and just plain beautiful, Google Sky Map is an app every Android user should experience.
It seems like every retailer now offers their own customer club card, and they can clutter a key chain or wallet quick. Key Ring for Android has the solution.
With Key Ring, you simply scan all of your customer club cards into your phone. That’s it. When you are checking out at a store, simply pull up the appropriate card and allow the store’s bar code reader to scan your phone. Now how ‘bout that! Key Ring allows you to add retailers easily, even non barcode retailers such as Hertz, American Airlines, etc. You can add an unlimited number of cards and even back them up to your SD card.
Key Ring is definitely the perfect free app for hectic holiday shopping!
Everyone needs a good laugh, and the folks at Onion News specialize in creating realistic-looking video news stories that will have you falling off your sofa! Funny, irreverent and always topical, these Onion News video feeds will make you smile, and often make you think.
What better way to make use of your Android’s large, high resolution display than with some top-notch skit humor couched as a conservative news station reporting the news(?). Fun, free and a great way to reset when you are having a rough day, Onion News is an Editor Pick for a top free Android App.
For all you social networking butterflies out there, Seesmic has a solution that allows you to keep in touch with all of your Twitter Tweeps. Seesmic lets you stay in touch with a real-time Twitter stream that is customizable, allows you to retweet, send Direct Messages, photos, even post videos to YouTube. The screen layout is simple to understand and “grab and go” ready for folks who are less interested in a learning curve than in reaching out to friends.
You will enjoy the fast refresh rates, the rich and diverse features offered and the clean, clear screen layout which helps you keep track of your followers and your comments.
Powerful, clever and regarded by many as the best third-party Twitter app available, Seesmic is bringing a lot of smiles…and a lot of people closer.
Paid Android Apps
Remember the Milk
Everyone wants to be more productive, but too often apps just add to the problem by being cumbersome. Not so with Remember the Milk. This powerful tool allows Android handset users to enter tasks the way they talk. Just write, “Next Friday,” or “In two weeks,” for a deadline. Easy, right?
It gets better. Using your phone’s GPS, Remember the Milk can remind you of a task when you are physically close to the location. This smart reminder system that can warn you of upcoming completion dates via SMS, email or even IM. Use the map to see where your tasks are located, work with others to get more done, and add new tasks as simply as sending an email.
While Remember the Milk is a free app, there is an annual $25.00 subscription fee required for the RTM Pro Account.
Turn your Android smartphone into a powerful police scanner. Follow EMS, police and fire, not just in your hometown but anywhere in the country (and other countries)!
Police Scanner allows you to create presets for any county in any state, then further clarify your choice by selecting EMS, police or fire. Then, with a single click, you can tune into whichever one you wish. The interface is friendly and simple and hearing the real-time crackle of police radios as you follow civil servants is exciting.
Imagine turning on a television network news channel and watching a car chase. With Police Scanner you can do much more. You can instantly add that location and be rewarded with much more information than any network news channel could possibly provide.
For $1.49 you have immediate access to important first responder activity around the corner or around the world.
Use your Android smartphone as a tether to your PC, without incurring additional usage charges!
Easy Tether allows you to tether your Android smartphone to your PC, sharing your phone’s data plan connection. Think of it this way: You know how you can watch YouTube videos or send email with your Adroid phone? Well, using that same online connection (data plan), you can now tether to your PC to gain internet access!
Even more exciting, Easy Tether is a non-rooted app, meaning you won’t have to worry about violating your phone’s warranty by messing with its operating system. Plug and play all the way for $14.95.
Documents To Go
Documents To Go is an extremely powerful business application that allows users to work within Microsoft environments such as Word, Powerpoint, Excel and more. You can view, edit, and create MS documents, along with Adobe PDF files, all from your Android smartphone.
Filled with features that make document handling easy and productive, Documents To Go is a must-have utility for folks who need access to information in an editable form, right on their Android handset.
Priced at $29.99, this is one utility that will pay for itself quickly for the busy professional.
Free BlackBerry Apps
Beyond 411 is a powerful resource app for BlackBerry users than can really come in handy on the road. Working with your BlackBerry’s GPS, Beyond 411 provides location-specific information fast. Feel like Mexican food tonight? Need to find a movie theater? Simply start typing and Beyond 411’s predictive ability begins listing options almost instantly.
But more than just providing business listings, Beyond 411 is also customizable, allowing you to add additional websites and shortcuts. And since this is an app that will be most often used on the go, users will really appreciate the option to call businesses with just one click of the trackball.
Beyond 411 is intuitive, fast and free. It can even help make the rest of your holiday shopping easier!
Capture It allows you to take a snapshot of your BlackBerry screen without having to use your home PC. It integrates smoothly into your menu selections so when you press your BlackBerry menu button, “Capture It” becomes one more option available to you.
Whether you are a blogger for a geeky how-to website and need pictures to go with your text, or just want to show off your high score on Asteroids, Capture It is easy to use, plays nice with your phone and free.
Viigo is a powerful RSS reader that allows BlackBerry users to have personalized content sent to their phones daily, all in a single, centralized app. No longer do you have to bookmark favorite websites, or pull up your Google search history to remind you of your internet travels.
Viigo starts you off with a selection of RSS feeds broken down into various categories, but you can add or delete easily to make your Viigo experience genuinely personal. Stay informed on all the topics you are interested in with a click!
Aquired by RIM, Viigo is a powerful, one-stop RSS application, from weather to news, sports to politics. Whatever content you want, you can stay up to speed easily with Viigo.
Paid BlackBerry Apps
MP3 Ringtone Maker
Imagine being able to take any song on your BlackBerry and turn it into a ringtone. With MP3 Ringtone Maker you simply pick a song or video, create the start and stop points with a click, so you get just the bridge of the song or whatever part you like most, then make it your ringtone. You can even listen to the finished product prior to transferring.
In addition to being a ringtone maker, the app also transfers the converted MP3 file right to your BlackBerry device automatically.
MP3 Ringtone Maker works easily with your BlackBerry and if you are someone who changes their ringtone frequently, the $9.99 price will pay for itself quickly.
Have you noticed how easy it is to acquire lots of “partial” contact information on your BlackBerry?
Contacts Cleaner 2.3 is a search and destroy app that finds, removes, merges and otherwise cleans up your BlackBerry contact list. It doesn’t ask for permission for each endeavor; instead it goes through your contacts by first name, last name and company name, selects the one with the most information, and stores the duplicates in a separate file for a final review. When it’s done all you need to do is review and with a single click you can remove all the excess.
The 2.3 version works on all BlackBerry models and the interface is easy since the app does all the work and only when it’s done asks you to review and delete. Nice!
Personal Assistant Premium
Personal Assistant Premium (PAP) offers a robust collection of features that would turn any CEO’s head.
With PAP you can engage in online banking and monitoring, make credit card payments, access various investment portfolios with one touch, inquire into travel itineraries and even cross-check them against your frequent flier miles earned.
Personal Assistant Premium is productive because it was thoughtfully designed and continues to be supported and updated to ensure its doing its best to provide you the kinds of information you need, when you need it. Pageonce, maker of Personal Assistant Premium, even allows you to deactivate PAP should your phone become lost or stolen.
This is an impressive, sterling silver application that performs as advertised. For $6.99, your BlackBerry will receive an instant shot of Productive!