Despite spending more time online than the inhabitants of Tron, I never quite caught the Apple bug, and it seems I’m not entirely alone. Face it fanboys, some of us don’t want smooth touchscreens, we like our clunky buttons; we enjoy waiting aaaages for a single page to open.
Ok, so that’s rubbish, but the fact is that while it’s been overshadowed by iPhone and Android handsets recently, there’s still a lot of Blackberries out there and they’re a popular choice for business.
Sometimes though, you need more than just email, and while the range isn't as extensive as those offered by other fruitily monikered handsets there's still a solid range of useful (and not so useful) apps available for Blackberry.
Let's check out some of the best...
One of the best RSS readers on any platform, Viigo comes with a ton of preloaded streams and allows you to track up to 2,500 if you really want to (You don’t).
With a neat, intuitively organised interface and quick loading times it’s a winner whether you need market info or a daily horoscope.
Not entirely sure why they’ve retained the ‘I’ in the name, but superfluous vowels aside iSkoot is the must-have app for BB users who haven’t discovered Gmail yet/regularly use Skype.
A quick contact import function makes adding your address book a doddle, while audio quality is surprisingly good on the move, and there’s a handy IM function too.
Certainly a better option than keeping a stack of scratch-off international call cards in your wallet.
A simple, useful Twinterface that makes microblogging on the go a doddle.
Posts are easy to send and receive, although you’ll need to auto refresh replies and view DM’s and searches separately. Exactly like the Twitter web interface in fact.
Stripped back and sweet for tweets.
Of course, it can’t be all work work work, so let’s pick a decent game too.
What’s the best game ever then? GTA? Final Fantasy? Halo?
Wrong! It’s obviously Galaga, which of course isn’t appearing on the BB right now, but luckily clone Wrath is.
If there’s an app available that crams more scrolling photon beam alien destruction into the daily commute I’d like to see it!
Right! Back to work!
Despite cheap new packages and swoopy, curvy designs, at it's heart the Blackberry is still primarily a business phone, so it better come with some decent office apps.
Documents To Go comes preloaded onto the majority of phones and does a good job with major Microsoft Office documents.
If you need to actively edit then you’ll be looking at paying around £50 for a lifetime premium version, but with updates in line with new Office releases this is a sensible, useful choice for those needing quick access to data on the move.
While it isn't the cheapest expense software app available, Expense manager is straightforward to use and crammed with useful features including running totals and tabs to help track separate client invoices easily.
The whole thing is also built around a solid, reliable Excel exporter that won’t mangle your carefully constructed rates when you email them.
For music fans Blackberry’s large expandable memory, decent battery life (I’m ignoring the Storm for the moment) and great sound quality is a definite plus, but there’s a surprisingly limited set of music Apps available.
While Pandora’s is great, it’s still limited to the US so us continental types have to make do with nuTsie, an iTunes interface that maps your own library and streams from it’s servers, meaning you can turn off the home computer and avoid sideloading issues while listening.
Of course, you may run into trouble if you’re a huge fan of Chrome Hoof, but with a decent selection of popular tracks nuTsie is a solid music option.
While there are some decent dedicated social media apps for Blackberry there aren’t a lot of multi-management tools available.
I’m assuming this is because once again, devs assume that we sensible office types, with our suits and ties, will be more interested in monitoring cash flow and taking ownership of synergies than checking our Facebook.
How wrong they are! Don’t they know that the integrated social intersphere is the way of the future?
Luckily enough Snaptu have bucked the trend and given us this useful, image-based interweaving of Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
Each stream is cleverly managed and simple to use, with quick browsing and switching. Of course, it would probably have been a good idea to include a photo upload feature in an image-based piece of software, but what do I know?
Traveling away on business and slightly tired of arriving in Cameroon to find you’ve been booked into the local McDonalds instead of the Ritz-Carlton?
Tripit has decent apps for a range of smartphones, but the Blackberry one wins points for sending you intelligible confirmation emails at every step, and successfully confirming flight numbers, transfers and hotel bookings with ease.
Tripit also comes with a very simple mobile site that allows you to store your itinerary, meaning you can access it from a simple phone should your airline decide to ship your Blackberry to Guatemala instead off your intended destination.
Quick, easy and straightforward.
Finally, if you're tired of your Apple loving friends mocking your choice of smartphone, why not invest in an up to the nanosecond theme?
Prove your bleeding edge coolosity with MMMOO’s free newspaper theme, which will happily whisk you into the 19th Century with its classic sepiatone newspaper menu!
Settle back and picture yourself in a topper and waxed moustache as you lord it up over your textile mill/browse the web.