I admit to being a purist. I prefer native apps to Android ports. Built for BlackBerry apps give me the best user experience on my Z30, but apps that have been ported into BlackBerry world are a close second. Android apps? I was reluctant to use them at first, worried about battery drain or security loopholes, but I’ve mellowed out a bit with time. As a rule, I don’t download an Android app if there is a BlackBerry version available. I have the Amazon app store installed on my phone, and it’s pretty nice, if rarely used. There are, however, three Android apps that I am unwilling to live without: Waze, the Starbucks app, and Netflix. [Read more…]
With all the hubbub recently about Facebook Messenger and the myriad of permissions it requests just to be able to run in the background, I was curious as to what permissions I have given some of the apps on my BlackBerry Z30. (Okay, the real reason I wanted to know is that I accidentally connected an app to BBM after an update and didn’t want to leave it connected but also didn’t want to delete it and reinstall it if I didn’t have to – Once again, my mistakes become blog fodder.)
In case you couldn’t tell from the title of my blog, I’m a BlackBerry fan. I have tried iphones and Androids and while they were a lot of fun, my infatuation usually only lasted a month or two. I’ve had my Bold 9900 for a year now. A year of bad press for Research In Motion and of people constantly asking me why I would want to jump on board a sinking ship. The answer is simple: I don’t believe that the ship is sinking. I LOVE the functionality of my BlackBerry Bold 9900 and am very excited by what I’ve been hearing about BlackBerry 10. My Bold 9900 allows me to work from the dock, at a football game, or from my bedroom. Documents To Go allows me to edit word and excel documents from my BlackBerry without turning on my laptop or PlayBook. BlackBerry Messenger (which despite some comments I’ve heard on Twitter is not going anywhere) helps me keep in touch with friends and family.
I have a bunch of amazing apps on my BlackBerry Bold 9900 and on my PlayBook. To all those who say that BlackBerry doesn’t have a wide selection of apps, I ask: Have you been to App World lately? The app that I fell in love with most recently is BlackBerry Traffic. I drive into Toronto a few times a month, and there’s nothing I like less than being stuck in traffic because I don’t know the alternate routes. Now I have an app that not only gives me my ETA based on current traffic conditions but it also gives me an alternate route in case I can’t take the traffic jams anymore. How awesome is that? The app gives you turn by turn directions either through your bluetooth headset or through the speaker on the BlackBerry. You can even set it up to go through your car’s audio system (though I haven’t done this yet). I learned about this awesome app from my friend Nick who used it to get us to the Canadian National Exhibition on Sunday despite some fairly major construction on the 401. Yes we still ended up stuck in traffic but we knew how long we would be in that traffic and that (surprise!) there wasn’t any traffic turning into the underground parking at the Direct Energy Centre.
The app is updated in real time by other users who are also running it. So if I leave from the cottage 30 minutes ahead of Dad and we’re both running it, he gets updated if I slow down for an extended period of time.
If I’m going home to visit my parents, I have a plethora of routes I can choose from. BlackBerry Traffic makes it easy to pick the right one. I simply select my destination and choose the route that’s quickest.
In this case I’d pick the 2nd one because it doesn’t take me on the 407. The green sections indicate good traffic flow, the yellow indicates slower than normal flow, and the red sections mean traffic is very slow.
You can click on a route and it will show you road by road how the traffic is:
I’m going to test this app out more thoroughly over the Labour Day weekend when I’ll be doing a lot of driving, some of it to very unfamiliar places. So far it’s the best traffic app I’ve seen for ANY device.