Six (More) Free BlackBerry Apps You Don't Want to Miss

Some things in life really are free. Check out these six fantastic BlackBerry applications and do more with your RIM smartphone without dropping a dime.

Tue, April 29, 2008

CIO — More often than not, you get what you pay for when it comes to mobile apps--though there are exceptions.

A couple of months ago, we gave you our first batch of a half-dozen free BlackBerry apps that can help you realize the full potential of your RIM device. The article included a great mobile RSS reader, a handy uber search application, an invaluable smartphone-based travel companion and a free mobile mapping app, among others.

This time around, we've got six additional free downloads that we're sure you'll love even more. Check out two voice-activated mobile search apps--one with GPS-integration and one without; an awesome alternative to the BlackBerry Web browser; a gaggle of Google mobile apps and an updater to ensure you've always got the latest versions; as well as a Twitter for BlackBerry application that we've quickly come to appreciate.

BlackBerry Voice Search: If You Speak It, Results Will Come

Typing search queries into your mobile device is so 2007. Today, applications like Yahoo oneSearch Voice and Tellme 2.0 "listen" to spoken words and phrases and deliver up results on your mobile's screen. Both these applications offer similar functionality, though Tellme 2.0 can integrate GPS location information where available, and both apps can be downloaded free of charge.

Yahoo oneSearch with Voice for BlackBerry
Yahoo oneSearch on BlackBerry

Yahoo oneSearch Voice, functions just like traditional text-query-based search engines, minus the typing. You can search for anything you normally would, including company names, movie showtimes, restaurant locales, etc. And though the application does not integrate GPS location information, you can get local search results from by simply stating your location after your query. For instance, if you're looking for steak houses in New York, you need only state "Steak Houses, New York, New York" and you'll be well on your way to a tasty T-bone.

oneSearch is also "intelligent," so the more you use it, the better it gets at recognizing your voice. (Unfortunately, the app's currently available only on BlackBerry Pearl, Curve and 8800 series smartphones.)

Tellme 2.0 with voice is very similar to oneSearch, but what sets it apart is the ability to integrate GPS data from BlackBerry devices into search results. So, for example, you'd need only state "Steak House" when seeking a center cut in Manhattan or Malibu, and you'll get a list of your best local options. Tellme can also use your GPS to provide driving directions and traffic locations, so you'll never be lost as long as your BlackBerry's at your side.

Tellme 2.0 with voice for BlackBerry
Tellme 2.0 with Voice on BlackBerry

Tellme queries Microsoft's Live search engine for results--the company is a Redmond subsidiary--and incorporates information from external services like Fandango for movie times. (Currently the application functions with only BlackBerry Pearl 8100, Curve 8310, 8800, 8820 and 8830 devices.)

To use both apps, you simply hold down the green BlackBerry Send key and speak into your device's external speaker and wait a few seconds for your results.

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