Top ten BlackBerry apps

Still in relative infancy, RIM's app store has grown to an impressive 5,000 available apps in less than a year. A wide variety of both paid for and free applications, RIM's Front Page Carousel is updated regularly showcasing a selection of featured apps, or skip straight to the Top Downloads chart to see which are the most popular. By recommending apps to friends and posting your own user reviews, BlackBerry App World is already creating a real community feel.


Social Networking: BLACKBERRY MESSAGING (RIM/Free)

Specifically designed by RIM this is the best instant messaging service for BlackBerry users. Of course it only works between BlackBerry to BlackBerry, but users will be able to enjoy a desktop like IM experience between one another. There's also the ability to indulge in group chats, while you can change your availability status letting other users know whether you're reachable or not.


Create a multitude of albums with the aid of this photo app. The Photo Album and Diary application enables you to add notes and titles to any number of albums you choose to correct. Photos within the albums can be viewed as thumbnails helping you find specific shots with ease. However, our favourite aspect of this app is the fact that you can send an entire album in one single email, making it a breeze to transfer photos to your computer as well as freeing up some much needed memory on your BlackBerry.


Music: 7DIGITAL (DevelopIQ/Free)
Turn your BlackBerry into the ultimate jukebox with the 7Digital app. Peruse the charts, listening to samples of the latest floor bangers. Find something you like and download the DRM-free MP3 tracks direct to your phone. You'll also be able to transfer any MP3's to the phone and play them on 7Digital's integrated MP3 player.


Sat Nav: TELMAP NAVIGATOR (TelMap Direct Ltd./£34.85)
We might have some concerns regarding the size of BlackBerry screens for them to be a true sat nav replacement (though the Storm2 does sport a 3.25-inch), but TelMap Navigator is good enough to rescind some of these reservations. Geared towards both the driver and pedestrian, take a wrong turn and TelMap will quickly re-route getting you to your destination in the quickest possible way. With its keyword facility simply type in 'burger' for a list of local hamburger joints.

Lifestyle: URBANSPOON (Wanderspot/Free)
An app for the indecisive. Akin to a one armed bandit, the UrbanSpoon's slot machine needs to be spun before it makes suggestions of good restaurants based on your current location. Of course if you're not in the mood for letting the food gods decide, you can also use your BlackBerry's GPS and manually search for a nearby restaurant by cuisine, location or price.

Utility: PAYPAL (PayPal/Free)
As BlackBerry App World requires PayPal for any paid for applications, this is a near essential app. PayPal is one of the securest ways of making online payments, but it's also a great tool for transferring money to other accounts. Not only does it provide piece of mind, its reputation is so good that it has close ties to other recognised sites such as eBay.

Location based: ATM HUNTER (MasterCard/Free)
This app got us out of a right jam recently when we ran out of cab money. Find the nearest cash points with this location based app. Either use your current location or manually type in an address and the nearest ATM's to you will be displayed. A real godsend when you're frantically walking the street s with no cash in your wallet.


Travel: WORLDMATE LIVE (WorldMate/Free)
A must for all jetsetters, the WorldMate Live app will ensure you don't miss that important flight, arriving at your destination fully prepared. With all your travel details stored in one place, you'll have instant access to your itineraries, a currency convertor and all the latest weather information. What's more splash the cash for the gold membership and you'll receive real-time flight status updates from over 350 airlines.


Work: XOBNI (Xobni Corporation/ From $9.99)
Already renowned for their emailing abilities, this messaging index app will further improve your BlackBerry's messaging capabilities. As an Outlook plug-in Xobni ('inbox' backwards) collates all communication you've had from one contact into one view. It also cleverly extracts additional contact information from the email, giving you the option to call or text them even if they aren't in your contacts book, while you can search for particular emails with the keyword search. Providing the contact has used the same email address, Xobni will also sync the contact with their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles.


Sport: GYM TECHNIK (TSR Gym Technik Ltd./Free)
If you're anything like us, we lift a few weights at the gym but basically have no idea what we're doing or how we should be doing it. The Gym Technik app is like your own personal trainer, providing virtual guides of how to curl those barbells without injuring yourself, while also recording and monitoring your progress. What's more if it all gets too much, you can always tell it to bog off, something you might not be brave enough to do to an actual personal trainer.

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