RIM Execs on the Best BlackBerry Apps: Eight Downloads

Research in Motion executives, including a VP of global alliances, a product management director and the co-CEO, share their favorite BlackBerry downloads.

Thu, May 15, 2008

CIO — Over the past few months, we've given you Six Free BlackBerry Downloads You Don't Want to Miss and Six (More) Free BlackBerry Apps You Don't Want to Miss--and even offered up seven great downloads for Windows Mobile users. This week, on a quest to learn more about the best BlackBerry apps out there, we went directly to the source: Research In Motion (RIM) executives. These guys know BlackBerrys, and they spoke with us at RIM's 7th annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) in Orlando Florida.

We asked Jeff McDowell, VP of global alliances; David Heit, director of software product management, and RIM's president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis about their favorite third-party BlackBerry downloads, and each executive had some interesting suggestions.

The following eight downloads, many of which are available for free, are the apps that these three RIM executives find most valuable and use the most frequently.

TeleNav and Garmin GPS for BlackBerry

Like many executives, Heit's frequently on the move, but he rarely goes anywhere without his BlackBerry. GPS-based apps like TeleNav's GPS Navigator for BlackBerry and Garmin for BlackBerry help him get where he needs to be on time and as painlessly as possible.

TeleNav's GPS Navigator for BlackBerry

TeleNav's GPS Navigator offers users a choice of voice or on-screen driving directions. It can also help you find and navigate to nearby restaurants, Wi-Fi hotspots, or any of the company's other 10 million business listings. And TeleNav provides traffic alerts and rerouting information based on those notifications. (For related coverage, check out our review of TeleNav's mobile workforce management product, TeleNav Track.)

Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry

Like TeleNav, Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry offers voice or text turn-by-turn navigation throughout North America. It also has some six million "points of interest," or preprogrammed locales of note. And the Garmin Online service provides traffic information, weather forecasts, local gas prices and more.

Both services are compatible with a variety of BlackBerry devices, including Pearl, Curve and 8800 series handhelds, and can also be combined with an external GPS "pucks" to enable devices without built-in GPS functionality to utilize the service.

Users with internal GPS pay $99 for access to Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry (that covers you for the life of the device) and $99 per year for TeleNav GPS Navigator. And folks without GPS can pay an additional $50 for a puck from Garmin or $99.99 from TeleNav.

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