This past month saw the usual flood of announcements of new apps and significant updates for BlackBerry smartphones, from online backup and mobile printing applications to popular social networking solutions like Twitter and Google Buzz.
Online backup provider Carbonite introduced its new BlackBerry app, which provides users with access to their backed up files via BlackBerry smartphones. Users can view backed up files arranged the same way they are on their computers, and can view and email a wide range of file types, including PDFs, images, Excel files, Word documents, and audio and video files.
Ricoh Americas Corporation launched its free Ricoh HotSpot Printing Application for BlackBerry smartphones, providing users with a 'Print' option in the BlackBerry email client that enables the user to search for and print at any Ricoh HotSpot printer. To print to a supported printer, the user then forwards the file to be printed, either by email or by upload, to the selected printing device.
Bitstream Inc. introduced BOLT 2.1, the second generation of its mobile browser, which adds tabbed browsing, tighter integration with Facebook, support for HTML5 video, and support for several popular Flash video streaming web sites. "Bitstream has engineered BOLT to maximize the utility of the Internet on mobile for end users," says company CEO Anna Magliocco-Chagnon.
BigHand released Version 4 of its BigHand for BlackBerry Dictation App, adding the ability to take photos from within the app and attach them to the related voice file, to attach any document or file to BigHand dictations, to access and review final documents via BlackBerry, and to view all dictations, including those submitted from the desktop, via BlackBerry.
YouMail updated its visual voicemail application to version 2.0. Key enhancements include a streamlined user interface, enhanced organization tools, an improved voicemail transcription experience, and more efficient options for following up on a message. "The YouMail App for BlackBerry phones redefines the voicemail experience as fast, easy, flexible and powerful," says company CEO Alex Quilici.
Trango Limited introduced its new Trango Tracking solution for lone workers and travelers, particularly those in high-risk and remote locations. The application supports a variety of different alarms, both manual and automated, which can immediately send the user's position to Trango Operations and open a voice channel if appropriate.
Tawkon released an application that monitors device radiation levels, then prompts users to take simple steps to decrease their potential radiation exposure. "We created Tawkon to provide a smart, practical solution to mobile phone radiation, with minimal disruption to normal phone usage," says company CEO Gil Friedlander. The app can be downloaded for $9.99 at BlackBerry App World.
Twitter updated its app for BlackBerry smartphones, which remains in beta. Key enhancements include the ability to quote a tweet simply by selecting 'Quote Tweet' from the menu options, the addition of auto-complete functionality to help find other users, the ability to share photos via yfrog and TweetPhoto as well as Twitpic, and the addition of several new navigation hotkeys.