I’ve only had a couple of days to investigate utilities and other software to load on the BlackBerry Storm but I’ve already come up with a few “must-have” apps. These may not be for everyone but they are already making a difference in the use I get out of the Storm throughout the day. Some are free and some are not, so you may want to try the free ones first.
AppleBerry Theme– free. This free theme is so clean and makes the Storm easier to use with the fingers. You may not care for the “Appleness” of this theme but I find it attractive nonetheless. It will auto-preview email and calendar events when you tap their icon on the home screen.
QuickLaunch– $4.99. This cheap utility lets you build a quicklaunch bar that can be toggled on/off with a convenience key on the side of the Storm. You can add programs and, more importantly, actions to the menu. I have added “Call Sheri,” for example, which will fire up the Phone app and dial my wife’s mobile number. This has already been a big boon as I put the most frequently performed actions in the QL menu accessible from anywhere in the phone.
Google Maps– free. This new version for the Storm uses the GPS to fix your location. (thanks to Kevin for this one)
Gmail Mobile– free. If you use Gmail you will want this app. It makes using Gmail on the Storm almost as good as using it on the G1 Android phone, which is pretty darn good. It will also notify you using the Storm’s message indicator when you have new mail.
Facebook– free. This app makes using the Storm to interface with your Facebook account a breeze.
Google Talk– free. If you use this for IM you’ll want the Storm version.
Google Sync– free. I sense a Google meme. :) This utility keeps your Google cloud data always synced with your Storm so if you use Google Contacts or Calendar you’ll want this.
WSJ Mobile (direct OTA download)- free. This mobile version of the Wall Street Journal does a good job presenting the news of the day in a format that works well on the touch screen of the Storm.
This is just the short list for now, but all of these have already become an integral part of my work. YMMV though, so try them if you see a fit. Some of these were preloaded in the Applications folder by Verizon so check there first. You can download it by clicking there if so. I am looking for a good Twitter app for the Storm. Twitterberry sucks on the Storm, so I’m open to any suggestions you might have. I have used the hahlo.com web site for Twitter but it’s not working as well as I’d like.
Thanks to Hector Gomez for the WSJ Mobile tip.