Howdy CrackBerry nation! Another week has passed so you know what that means? Not only is it time to share with you another batch of apps for your BlackBerry 10 or Priv smartphone, but it's also time to catch up on all the news that transpired since we last met.
Starting things off this week is a chance for our readers to purchase some CrackBerry swag, more specifically a limited edition "Back in BlackBerry" t-shirt. This design will be available through Teespring until March 3, so be sure to get your order in! Also, this week was a brand new episode of the BerryFlow Podcast, where the team discussed several topics coming out of Mobile World Congress including the new mobile payments option through BBM powered by Barclays Pingit.
Now it's time to bring you this week's picks for all you passionate BlackBerry addicts out there. You can find each app and game I've rustled up for you by clicking through the gallery below. If your favorite didn't make the cut this week, remember you can help by offering your suggestions at the end.
1. Reading Trainer by HeKu IT GmbH
As someone who is constantly reading documents for work, class, and leisure, there are times I would like to read faster and concentrate better. Reading Trainer is one such app which provides the tools for you to improve your reading speed and comprehension.
Reading Trainer accomplishes this by presenting you with an array of challenges, including eye exercises, which are designed to teach you effective reading techniques. In a sense, you are basically training your eyes to rapidly recognize words, letters, and numbers and improve your retention. The lessons are straightforward and the app comes with a clean user interface.
2. Penzus MMS by Penzus
If you are looking to quickly create shortcuts on your homescreen for files located on your device, SD card, or the cloud, then Penzus MMS is one such tool. This productivity app recognizes 200 different file extensions, including music, video, images, documents, and more so that you can access your files faster.
Using Penzus MMS is quite simple and the process takes only a few seconds to complete. When you launch the application, you are presented with three options. These are finding and selecting the desired file, choosing an icon for the shortcut (should you wish to use a custom one rather than the default), and modifying the name of the shortcut. Once you have completed all three steps, all you have to do is tap on the 'Add to home screen' button at the bottom of the screen and your shortcut is generated.
Penzus MMS is compatible with all BlackBerry 10 handsets and is $0.99 to download in BlackBerry World.
3. Alto's Adventure by Noodlecake Studios Inc
Alto's Adventure is an endless runner snowboarding game. In this adventure, it is your mission to snowboard your way across the various hills and mountains. Along the way you must rescue runaway llamas, collect coins, dodge obstacles, hit big jumps, perform snowboarding tricks, and test your skills by completing level specific goals.
The game itself offers stunning visuals, solid gameplay, and is quite difficult to put down. The backgrounds are impressive and it comes with full dynamic lighting and weather effects. For example, Alto's Adventures will shift between night, day, and dusk, or a storm may suddenly block your path to make the journey more challenging. I find it is harder to spot the rocks and horse riders in your path when its night.
There are six different snowboarding characters to unlock, each with their own attributes and abilities, and 180 handcrafted goals. Tricks are not difficult to learn and the game comes with a tutorial to help master the easier ones.
Alto's Adventures is cross-platform and is free-to-play. While there are no ads or banners within the game, you can view videos to continue playing in select circumstances and you can use the coins collected to purchase upgrades. For a one-time fee of $3.99 in the workshop area, you can double every coin collected and there is no expiration on this feature. This is the only purchase to make and even that is optional.
If you are looking for a fun and enjoyable game, you can download Alto's Adventure for free in Google Play.
4. Accomplish: To-Do list reborn by Accomplish Software
Trying to keep track of everything during the day is no easy feat. This is especially true when our attention is directed towards meetings, deadlines, or other commitments. Accomplish is a unique task management app to schedule to-do's and reminders. Not only can you create simple to do lists but you can also plan out your time.
Accomplish is comprised of two components. The first is the to-do list for entering in all of your tasks. The to-do list is accessible from a slide out panel from the left side and each task can be color-coded. Any item you wish to remember is added to this part of the app. The second part is the day view where you can plan out your tasks in advance with popup reminders. Items can be added to the day view by dragging them from the to-do list, creating new tasks, or syncing tasks from other sources such as your Google calendar or BBM Group. Syncing works both ways and any to-do created in day view can be synced to your Google calendar.
Using Accomplish is quite easy. The interface is fluid, comes with a clean design, and offers gestures controls. For tasks scheduled that are not completed, they will move back to the panel. As of now, recurring tasks are still in the experimental phase. For those who do not prefer the white background, you can switch to a dark theme in settings. For an IAP of $1.08, you can install an additional color scheme.
For those who want a task list coupled with the ability to schedule them you can download Accomplish for free in Google Play.
5. Marble Power Blast by EntwicklerX
One of my favorite PC games was Zuma. It was an addictive match-3 puzzler whereby a stone frog idol fired magical marbles to eliminate all of the colored marbles from the temple before they reached the skull at the end of the path. Marble Power Blast is a similar match-3 bubble shooter game for your BlackBerry device.
Marble Power Blast comes with fifty levels and seven different locations for you to play. By unlocking the shuffle game mode (at level 10) you can generate your own levels with random difficulty, marble waves, length and number of colors. It also offers high resolution graphics and a smooth playing experience.
Marble Power Blast is free to download in BlackBerry World for all touch devices only and is an Android port. This game is not compatible with BlackBerry handsets with physical keyboards.
6. What You Might Have Missed
Blaq for BlackBerry 10 gains Quote Tweet option, adaptive theme and more
Popular third party Twitter app Blaq received a major update this past week. A few of the new features included in this update is the Quote Tweet option, adaptive theme, support for new languages, Instagram previews and viewing, and removal of the 140 character limit on Direct Messages. If you haven't already done so, be sure to load up BlackBerry World and download the latest version. New users can purchase Blaq for $2.99.
Until next week
That's it for this week folks. For more apps and games, be sure to head on over to the CrackBerry Forums where you will find even more hidden gems to choose from whether it be for BlackBerry 10, BBOS, the BlackBerry PlayBook, or even Android Apps in the Google Play store for the BlackBerry Priv. Of course, you can always find the latest and greatest top editor's picks in the CrackBerry App Gallery. Are there any apps or games you would like to see? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.