October 2010 BlackBerry App Roundup

By  Jeff Goldman — October 30, 2010

While the most significant product announcements this past month came in the form of RIM's introduction of two new BlackBerry devices, the BlackBerry Style 9670 flip smartphone and the BlackBerry Bold 9780, several new BlackBerry apps and application updates were also released in October, including the following:

British Airways launched a new BlackBerry application that enables BlackBerry users to board flights using BA's new Mobile Boarding Passes. The free app also provides real-time flight information, full integration with the user's Executive Club details, a dedicated travel news section, frequently asked questions, and a link to the ba.com mobile web site.

Internet fax service provider MyFax introduced a free BlackBerry app that enables small business users to access faxes from their Blackberry smartphones without opening a browser. "Small business owners rarely leave the office without their smartphone," says MyFax's Steve Adams. "The ability to access the same quality services they receive in their office is more than a convenience -- it's critical to their success."

Customer support software provider Zendesk introduced Zendesk for BlackBerry, a free app that provides support agents with full visibility into the Zendesk ticket system via a BlackBerry device. Key functionality includes the ability to access all customer support ticket views, update existing tickets and add comments for follow-up, create new support tickets, view entire ticket threads, and more.

MerchantAnywhere introduced the free Pocket Verifier Professional app for BlackBerry devices, which can be used with the company's Pocket Spectrum Plus Bluetooth card reader and thermal receipt printer. "Being the developer of the application, the manufacturer of the printer, and the ISO issuing the merchant accounts allows us to give unprecedented value to our customer base," says company CTO Blaine Leckett.

FedEx launched a new BlackBerry app and enhanced mobile web site. Key functionality includes the ability to track the status of a package, get a rate quote, create a shipping label, schedule a pickup, and find a nearby FedEx location via GPS or by entering your location. The FedEx Mobile for BlackBerry app can be downloaded for free at fedex.com/us/solutions/mobile/blackberry.html.

Business social network XING announced new iPhone and BlackBerry applications. The new apps offer an updated design as well as a list of all contacts' upcoming birthdays and the ability to find other XING users nearby via GPS. "The launch of our product offensive this fall is part of our mission to offer tech-savvy users enhanced and more comprehensive mobile products," says company vice president Thilo Horstmann.

A new version of Facebook for BlackBerry was made available via the BlackBerry Beta Zone. Version 1.9 adds a dedicated inbox, a new Facebook Search function (integrated with Universal Search), an optimized Friends List, and an updated navigation bar. More information on the new release is available in this company blog post.

UberTwitter introduced Beta-9 release 2 of its Twitter client for BlackBerry devices. Key enhancements in the new release include the ability to select either MapQuest or BlackBerry Maps to display locations, the addition of a "Retrieve Map" button to minimize battery drain, user-controlled GPS radio activation, and more. The new version can be downloaded here.

GWAVA announced the release of Retain 2.2 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which now supports archiving and searching of all BlackBerry Messenger text messages sent through a company's BlackBerry Enterprise Server -- this expands on Retain's ability to archive all SMS and PIN messages as well as phone usage data.

Dexrex Gear introduced ChatSync Mobile Enterprise, a new version of its ChatSync platform for enterprise BlackBerry users. The platform is designed to help enterprise users comply with IM and SMS retention policies. "Companies that operate under some sort of data retention regulations... must treat IM, SMS and social media communications the same way they treat email communications," says company CEO Derek Lyman.

Rhomobile updated its Rhodes application development framework to version 2.2. The new version enables developers to write applications that access and create events in the native device calendar, to add Bluetooth connectivity to their apps, and to write apps with support for Android's cloud-based push built in. The Rhodes framework is available for free under the MIT License.

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