Free BlackBerry Downloads: Five (More) Essential Apps

There's no shortage of free BlackBerry downloads for your RIM smartphone. The real challenge is not simply locating freebies, it's finding quality free BlackBerry software. That's why we put our thumbs to the keyboard and came up with five of the best free BlackBerry downloads on the Web.

Wed, January 28, 2009
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Bolt Browser for BlackBerry: Lightning Speed

RIM is a legend in the smartphone space: Its keyboards are inimitable; its "push" e-mail delivery system is the envy of the mobile industry. But the company's browser? That's a whole different story. The BlackBerry browser sucks; it's relatively slow, awkward to use and doesn't always render pages correctly, among other complaints. (The BlackBerry browser on the Storm, in OS v4.7, is a step in the right direction, but still...)

I've offered up free alternatives to the BlackBerry browser in the pastâ¬namely, Opera Mini--but today, there's a new kid on the browser-block: Bolt.

Bolt Browser for BlackBerry
Bolt Browser for BlackBerry

I have a few quibbles with Bolt--it too has problems rendering certain pages; it uses a proxy server, which could be considered a privacy/security risk; and it's still in beta and is a bit unstable. But whatever it lacks in these categories, it makes up for in speed.

Bolt is fast, Fast, FAST; in fact, it's the speediest mobile browser I've ever used. And it employs similar shortcuts to Opera Mini for scrolling, zooming and other page navigation, so it shouldn't take you long to get used to it. And Bitstream, the company that makes Bolt, also says the browser uses one-third of the battery life of comparable mobile browsers.

As mentioned above, Bolt is still in beta testing, and as such, you'll need to request an invite for a free download at this point. But Bolt ought to be hitting the big-time any day now, and you can expect to find a download link on the Bolt website as soon as it does.

(Note: Bolt is not BlackBerry specific and will work on a wide variety of Internet-connected mobile devices.)

SmartFlicks: Netflix for Your BlackBerry

I'm an unabashed film buff; I love movies and DVDs. But it's been quite some time since I stepped foot into a brick and mortar movie rental joint like Blockbuster or Hollywood Video to pick up a flick. I've long been a user of the Netflix DVD mailing service, as the price is right, selection is great and you can't beat the convenience of having movies delivered directly to your door.

I've always wished for more though: Wouldn't it be handy if you could access your account via mobile device, and add movies to your online queue whenever, and wherever, you might be. Thanks to Pyxis Mobile and its SmartFlicks app, my wish is now a reality.

SmartFlicks on BlackBerry
SmartFlicks on BlackBerry

The SmartFlicks free BlackBerry app lets you manage and update your NetFlix account from anywhere there's cellular connectivity. You can not only add and remove titles from your movie queue, but also reorder them at any point with no restrictions. You can even add films to your "Instant" queue for future viewing on your TV. (A Netflix compatible DVR, Blu-ray player of other peripheral is required for Instant viewing.)

The free BlackBerry app also offers up-to-date movie news, recommendations for future rentals, a film search feature and "What's Hot" and "Coming Soon" tabs for information on the most popular films and actors at a giving time. And its clean, intuitive user interface makes employing SmartFlicks almost as much fun as watching the movies it helps you procure.

Download SmartFlicks here.

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