BlackBerry Storm: Six experience-enhancing apps

By Joe Doherty, ITworld |  Mobile & Wireless, BlackBerry, blackberry apps

I own a BlackBerry Storm. And, I love it. Oh yes I do. I am the happiest BlackBerry geek around, and I'm proud to admit it. I don't care what iPhone has to offer. There are, however, a few, shall we say, foibles that I've noticed with the Storm. Dealbreakers? Not in the least. Perhaps it has to do with my last phone being, well, just a phone. Fortunately, there are some apps out there that can and will help you make your Storm weather well (get it? Storm...weather...? Nevermind).

In previous posts, I've reviewed weather apps, showed you where you can find cool apps outside of App World, and shared some of my favorite finds. This roundup, though, focuses on apps that simply make your BlackBerry Storm experience better.

The number one problem with the BlackBerry Storm is using it as a phone. My face nearly always presses "mute" when I'm talking to someone. Even worse, sometimes I accidentally press "speaker phone" and soon my entire office is privvy to both sides of my conversation. Sure, I could lock the phone, but that doesn't help as the Storm's phone app displays the mute, flash, conference and speakerphone on the touchscreen when receiving a call. Fortunately, there is an app for that: Stormlock, created by Steelthorn Software, will lock your Storm's screen for you when a call is received or made. Granted, this is not a free app, but at $2.95, this is significantly cheaper than fixing my face or (shudder) behavior modification.

Another similar product, StormSlider by David Grant, also will lock your screen. StormSlider is a little more robust than Stormlock in that you can configure the options to lock when your Storm's screen fades out, when the phone restarts or, of course, when you are using the phone. You also have the option to use a 4-digit security code to unlock your phone. Pretty nifty. You can activate StormSlider with the Storm's lock button as well, which makes this another excellent buy for $2.95.

Fabian Heuwieser has written a few apps for the Storm that I find are quite useful. VibAndRing, for example, solves the vibrate/ring problem. You Storm users know what I mean: the Storm will vibrate and then ring, causing many a missed call. For just $4.95, VibAndRing puts an end to that by allowing the Storm to ring and vibrate simulataneously. Another extremely helpful application is CallsBlocker. This application will help you block calls from unwanted, unknown and unsolicited numbers. This is not a perfect blocker, but it is a free download. So it's definitely worth the price of admission.

Resetting your phone normally requires you to remove the battery. Steelthorn Software developed a free program called QuickPull that allows you to do a soft boot of your Storm (or other BlackBerry). While researching this app, I saw another product that I would immediately purchase for the $3.95: BerryAnnoying. This application supresses the "click" sound the Storm's camera makes. VERY cool. Bad news, though: this is not available on Blackberry models ending with x30...all Verizon phones.
Dagnabbit.

Tell me about other BlackBerry Storm apps you've found.

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