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 What's on my Blackberry    
 Dated:  Tuesday, March 31 2009 @ 02:10 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1,167 times  
PDANow that I've transitioned to the Blackberry 9000 Bold from my old PalmOS-based Treo, the search started for the applications I need on a PDA. Most of these applications are free.

In no particular order, this is what I have so far:

Pocket 10C SE calculator

An emulator for the HP 10C scientific calculator. This replaced "RPN" which I used for years on Palm-based devices. I would rather have a 16C emulator, but haven't found one yet.

Available here.


Shopping list application. Available here.

This thing comes loaded with hundreds of items in tens of catagories. I found that the best use of the application is to delete all the pre-installed items and create your own list of what you need to buy right now. As time goes on, you add items that aren't already on the list. Your list then asymtopically approaches a representation of what you buy at the store.

ShopMagic supports multiple lists at multiple stores, but I generally only need one shopping list.

Very good for one-handed use, even better than HandyShopper for the Palm, my previous shopping application. You can easily create a shopping list from items you had purchased before, and then check them off as you buy them, all with one hand.

Beware, there are "shopping" applications for the blackberry that are a waste of money. Don't buy one unless you can try it first. Not even if you have money to burn, because developers of bad code should not be paid for their sins.

Gmail, Google Talk

If you have a presence on gmail and friends using google talk, you need these applications. I personally like to keep my personal mail separate from my professional mail, so having a separate application for gmail, instead of running it through the corporate blackberry server, made sense to me.

You can get your gmail from LogicMail (see below) but the native gmail interface is better.

Available here.

KeePass for Blackberry

Stronger encryption (I believe) than the password keeper that comes with the blackberry, keepass has a very good desktop interface that syncs automatically with your blackberry. It supports multiple databases, so for instance, you can have professional and personal databases on your desktop but only sync the personal database to your blackberry.

Available here.


Free download from There are a number of translations and study bibles (with references) for download, some free, some not. The interface makes it very quick to find a verse. You can easily switch bibles to see a passage in different translations.

Google Maps

Supports the GPS in the Blackberry. Free to download and use, and works well enough that I was never tempted to subscribe to the $10/month AT&T Maps.

Available here.

Google Latitude

Google Latitude is a (voluntary) way for you to keep track of family or friends who carry GPS enabled phones. It runs in the background and updates their position on your Google Maps display every so many seconds. We enable it on vacation in case we get separated. I can see my daughter's position on the map in absolute terms and in relation to my own. Totally free.

Get Google Latitude here.


This used to be useful -- I used it all the time on palm, and it was nice to download content ahead of time so you could read stuff in "airplane mode". But lately I've had a very difficult time syncing with the AvantGo server.

Available here. Let me know if you have any luck with it.

Update: I've done some research on this, and found that most of the channels I was interested in (example: heavens-above, a satellite tracking service) is no longer available. I've also read that some wireless providers block access to Avantgo website. Avantgo seems to be a dead service.

Google Mobile App

This seemed like a good idea but I found I haven't used it since I downloaded it.

Available here.

Yahoo! Go

See Google Mobile App, above. If you want it, it's available here. I didn't find it useful.


A free app that allows access to an arbitrary POP mail account. Supports multiple accounts. If you have POP mail other than gmail, and you don't want your private mail going thorugh the corporate blackberry server, you need this. I'm shocked that blackberry doesn't provide something like this natively.

Available here.


Tweet anywhere you can get signal.

Available here.

Enterprise Messenger for Blackberry

Microsoft Communicator. Runs as a background process, ala gtalk. Warning: Shortens battery life significantly.

Available here.

Facebook for Blackberry

Allows facebook updates from Blackberry, including publishing photos directly from your phone camera to your facebook page. Also supports commenting on friends' facebook entries. Available here.

Opera Mini

No list would be complete without Opera Mini. Although I don't see a clear advantage over the native browser, either in stability or compatibility, I've noticed that the webpage for my home security system displays a little better on Opera, so I'm keeping it for now. But I find myself defaulting to the built-in browser.

Available here.

Blackberry App Store

Similar to the Apple app store for the iPhone. Very easy to search applications by category or keyword and install them directly on your Blackberry. Lots of free apps. Highly recommended.

Point your Blackberry browser to:

Hourly chime and speaking clock for the Blackberry

This app sits in the background and chimes or speaks the time on the hour. It comes with a large selection of chimes or can play an mp3 file. I am supposed to get up and stretch on the hour to alleviate back pain, and I use this app to remind me to do so.

Hourly Chime for Blackberry can be found here.

amAze free GPS navigation

amAze is a completely free GPS navigation system for the Blackberry. It gives turn-by-turn voice or visual directions, and a bunch of other features you'd expect on a pay service. It will display maps or satellite images. The interface is a little garish, but it definitely works. The app, maps and everything is totally free -- there's no gotcha here.

Get amAze here.

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