ME AND MOBILE brings 10 best apps for BlackBerry users.
The BlackBerry Z10 has a lot riding on its shoulders, being the first BB10-powered model to launch and therefore giving smartphone buyers the initial opportunity to see how the all-new mobile OS stacks up against the competition.
BlackBerry hopes it’ll turn things around in the face of Android and iOS domination, and in terms of quality and depth of apps on offer to users, it’s starting to get there, with a good number of “native” apps designed specifically to take advantage of BlackBerry’s new software already available for new Z10 users.
There are still lots of useful, innovative, bespoke apps on BB10 that out-do plenty of their higher profile Android and iOS cousins, enough to make owning a Z10 a sufficiently different experience from using the other smartphones out there today. Here are 10 apps that help make the Z10 really stand out.
The Guardian’s thrown caution to the wind with this one, going all-out to create a native BB10 app that isn’t a mere port of an existing app or a simple mobile web site wrapper.
The paper’s app is instantly at home on the Z10, featuring a custom BB10 styled UI, a clean layout, integrated sharing tools and the option to use it in landscape mode if you’d rather more closely approximate the feeling of struggling with an actual broadsheet.
The official Amazon Kindle app for BB10 is a rather sad and sorry port of one of the older iterations of the Android app, so it’s not particularly useful for showing off the best of the format.
It’s left to indie products like Book Reader to add style and functionality to BB10, including support for EPUB, MOBI, FB2, TXT and CHM format books, making it a powerful tool for enjoying your DRM-free reading library on the go.
ClipMan Clipboard Manager
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to doing serious stuff on a phone is managing your clipboard content.
Even in BlackBerry’s latest OS it’s pretty fiddly to copy and paste text between apps, making this clipboard manager an essential for looking after your text snippets.
It monitors all text fields, populating a database with your words, presenting the option to miraculously save the day by searching for text you’ve previously entered – which you can then fling out through email or other apps via BB10’s usual sharing tools.
The maker of Open WA (previously known as OpenWhatsApp) is a little bit angry with BlackBerry, claiming it courted him, encouraged him to create a version of WhatsApp for BB10 — then went cold on the idea and refused to publish it on the BB app marketplace.
So if you want to use this slimline and stylish take on the cross-platform messaging tool you have to install it yourself outside of the BlackBerry World app store.
But it’s worth it, as OpenWS provides a vastly better experience on BB10 than the official WhatsApp BB10 app, featuring a slick, native design, integrated sharing, group chats and everything else that made WhatsApp such a winner.
The official BlackBerry Twitter app is one enormous compromise, designed to work across numerous BB models and dumping some image links out of the app to the mobile web browser. It’s pretty grim.
Neatly, however, is designed specifically for BB10, incorporating such posh UI features as a pull to refresh function, themes, threaded replies and more, all wrapped up in a layout that’s right at home on the stylish Z10. It’s a paid app, but your 75p investment gets you a much richer experience.
Songza calls itself a “Music Concierge” service, the big idea being that it uses your location data to automatically populate a streaming music playlist with the tunes it thinks you might want to hear.
It’s also part social network, with users encouraged to share tracks and playlists with others, plus it’s free to download and listen to as much curated music as you like.
One of the many life, task and note-taking apps we see around today; but this one has been designed with native BB10 support for full integration with BlackBerry’s sharing tools.
Conqu’s basically a posh calendar and to do list tool, letting you get seriously engrossed in creating a massive, tagged database of tasks and schedules, or simply use it as a list-making toy.
One clever touch is the way you’re able to delegate tasks to others, should you have the required rank and clearance to be able to palm your jobs off on other people.
A fully native BB10 file manager that goes several steps further than necessary by including support for cloud services and even FTP access for when sticking stuff on Dropbox is simply too easy a way of doing things.
The app lets you do complex file management stuff like copying and moving files between folders (complete with multi-select to ease the tedium of picking things out of lists), with social media sharing and remote printing making it easy to make your cloud objects tangible.