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We’ve all run into someone with a new iPhone. And we’ve all learned to expect the inevitable “watch this” moment involved in this encounter.
Whether they identify the background music with Shazam, pull up a fancy screen saver, or fire up a classic PC game, it’s easy for even the most loyal BlackBerry owner to feel a slight pang of jealousy while witnessing these demonstrations. The iPhone is so shiny, so trendy, and it does so many cool tricks.
It’s better to cope with these feelings than to admit them. There’s no need to give up your BlackBerry. The following six iPhone tricks can be accomplished by BlackBerry Apps (and by the way, Shazam makes a BlackBerry app, too).
1. Cute Bubble Text Messages
crunchSMS changes BlackBerry text messages to an iPhone-like speech bubble format. All you need to do is block incoming text messages from your regular inbox, and you can use the app as an alternative.
Doodle Buddy lets iPhone and iPad users finger paint all over their touch screens, drop in stamps, and even collaborate with friends over the Internet.
Doodle allows owners of the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm do the same thing for $0.99. Similarly, Make a Mess has fewer features but doesn’t charge. BlackBerry enthusiasts who prefer navigation via ball don’t need to feel left out, either. SketchIt allows them to make Etch A Sketch drawings using the scroll ball or keypad.
Adobe makes an app for the iPhone that crops, rotates, changes the color of, and draws on photos. There’s even a Soft Focus feature. Sadly this awesome app has no BlackBerry sister, but the unbranded BlackBerry version, imgEdit, accomplishes just as many editing tasks. Plus it a has “a special Warhol effect.”
4. Doppler Radar
There’s something about the weather that turns us all into geeks. The iPhone has widgets and apps specifically designed to supply live radar maps to wannabe weathermen. While there isn’t a specific radar map app available for BlackBerry users, the “maps” feature of the Weather Channel’s free app is more than adequate for backing up amateur forecasts.
Often cited as one of the coolest apps for the iPhone, InstaPaper sends articles you find on the web directly to your phone so that you can read them later, even if your phone is offline. It turns out that the BlackBerry can do that, too. Save Web Page adds a “save PDF” option to your phone’s browser. Saved pages can be read without connecting to the Internet.
6. Remote Control Capability
iPhone users can purchase an accessory that plugs into the USB port and allows them to use their iPhone as a TV remote. The problem with this is that it changes the “where is the remote?” question to a “where is my USB accessory?” question. BlackBerry’s version of a home theater remote control, however, is a box that sits near entertainment equipment rather than connecting to a phone. The AV Shadow can use one phone to control your television, TiVo, DVD player, and satellite box. You can even use your BlackBerry to control Apple products like iPods.