On Friday 3rd, Blackberry launched its new App World facility – containing a shedload of utilities you can download onto your Blackberry device – including a lot of free stuff. If you are familiar with Apple's App Store utility for the iPod, you'll get the idea. You can either download via a PC (must be running Internet Explorer as the browser) or direct to your device (which we did here – took a couple of minutes & we have a weak signal). However…
Glancing thru the gzillions of downloads available we found, among the free apps, there is a Bighand app that allows you to record, edit and send voice files, instructions and dictation files. As far as we can see, this is a free version of Bighand Mobile 188.8.131.52 however it does appear that to get anything out of the device, you need to have the Bighand DDS workflow infrastructure in place back in the office. We've just downloaded the app and will report back once we've had a play with it.
• We've now had a chance to play with it and, frankly, were unimpressed. What seems to be the big issue here is that Bighand are merely pitching this as a taster for the Bighand Blackberry interface – however nowhere in the material on Blackberry World is this made clear and you could be forgiven for thinking you were going to get some kind of mini digital dictation app. Obviously not the whole Bighand DDS workflow works but at least something comparable with Blackberry's own free voice note recorder app.
What you actually get is a greeting file saying hello and we do hope you'll upgrade AND the ability to record a memo. But that's it, you can't, for example, email the voice file to your desktop for later use – something you can at least do with Blackberry's own recorder. Given that you may have download issues (Blackberry and Bighand are pointing fingers at each other but basically if you've got an older Blackberry with an OS upgrade – as distinct from the latest Blackberry with the latest OS factory installed – you have to fiddle with the applications permissions manually otherwise the device freezes & you have to remove the battery & reboot) then I suspect a number of people who try this app will also wonder why they bothered.
You expect applications on an App World – not product demos, otherwise they'd call it Demo World.
For the record, Winscribe have a similar system available but whereas Bighand is in Professional & Business section of the store, Winscribe is in the Voice Dictation subsection of the Productivity & Utilities part of the store. Check out MotionApps mVoice system, also available on the store – this lets you try the system (which is more advanced than Blackberry's own recorder) before you decide whether or not you want to buy.