BlackBerry Apps for Maintenance Tasks - dummies

BlackBerry Apps for Maintenance Tasks

By Corey Sandler

You can keep your BlackBerry in tip-top shape by using apps designed for maintaining your PDA. Set features up just the way you want, get rid of the clutter, and even locate your BlackBerry when it goes missing — BlackBerry apps are available for all these chores and more.



ControlBBanel, a simple and useful toolkit from QuiteSimple, allows you to control your BlackBerry apps and consult panels of information about the device, including the percentage of charge remaining in its battery, the type of cellular network your phones uses, and all the applications loaded on your phone.


Also, this app incudes tools that allow you to clean your BlackBerry’s memory, restart the device, and read and clear your phone’s events log.


File Manager Pro


With File Manager Pro (from Terra Mobility), the BlackBerry takes one more giant step over the line toward being a full-featured computer in the palm of your hand. This is the equivalent of Windows Explorer on a PC or Finder on a Mac: a full-featured organizer and manager for all of the files stored on your BlackBerry.

You can open up the file structure on the internal (device) memory of your BlackBerry and on the larger media card installed in a removable slot within and copy, move, rename, delete, or send as an e-mail most files. You can create new folders and reorganize the location of documents.


Fixmo Tools


Here are some of the utilities in Fixmo Tools:

  • Undelete: Allows you to retrieve most e-mail, PIN messages, calendar events, contacts, tasks, and memos that you removed from your phone (but you have to act quickly).

  • Silencer: Integrates with your calendar and completely silences your BlackBerry during time periods when you have meetings scheduled.

  • Forward/Reply with Edit: Allows you to easily edit the original message when you reply or forward it.

  • Flame Retardant: Warns you if you choose to Reply All to a message on which you were BCCed (Blind Carbon Copied); perhaps you just meant to send a response to the original sender.


  • Speed Test: Measures the download and upload speeds of 3G, EDGE, and Wi-Fi networks.

  • Battery Watch: Tells you exactly how much voltage is left in your battery and translates that into an estimate of how much time for talking, browsing, or other apps.

  • Memory Monitor: Examines your phone’s memory use and cleans up the phone’s temporary cache to speed up operations.


  • Call Indicator: Allows you to assign different LED colors for calls, texts, and PIN messages.



QuickLaunch (from NikkiSoft) is sort of the BlackBerry equivalent of the taskbar on a PC running Windows or the dock on a Macintosh. The items you place in QuickLaunch are ones that are available elsewhere, but are more convenient when put in one place. And QuickLaunch adds a few of its own small but useful utilities.

What’s Running


The simple but highly informative What’s Running app tells you, well, what’s running on your BlackBerry.

Without even opening it (if you have enabled automatic update) the app shows you the total number of apps running and waiting in working memory (RAM). After you open it, you see a full list of running apps, along with important details such as whether they’ll automatically be loaded every time you turn on the phone.


Contacts Cleaner


Contacts Cleaner, offered by Beaver Creek Consulting, is a completely automated process: Install it and let it hunt down the duplicate contacts on your BlackBerry and take out the trash. After it identifies duplicate contacts (ones that have the same name for individuals or company name for organizations), one contact is kept and the other one copied into it; duplicate information is discarded.

Find My Phone


If you lose your BlackBerry but you know it’s somewhere nearby, you can use ShaoSoft’s Find My Phone app. This app triggers your phone to make a lot of noise and flash all kinds of lights.


The app can override vibrate mode. The only thing Find My Phone (and other similar products) can’t do is set off the alarms if your phone is turned off.

Human Voice Ringtones


Human Voice Ringtones, from TeleBEEM, delivers more than 900 different voice sets for e-mail, text messages, calendar notifications, and just about anything else that would otherwise beep on your phone.

The eight different voice sets include female or male business, cool, regular, or sexy. There are also some funky and mysterious versions. And an equivalent set is also available in French or Spanish. Bonjour señor!


Signal Strength


The SignalStrength app, from kurlu, displays a continually updating reading of the connection quality your BlackBerry is receiving. Put in on your screen and walk a few feet and see how it changes.

The screen shows the information in two ways:

  • A large version of the five-bar icon (the more green bars, the better the signal)

  • A numerical reading on the decibel (dB) scale (the closer to zero, the less signal loss, so a –75 is better than a –98)