Third-party apps are a great way to improve the functionality of your BlackBerry smartphone. But if you don't want to break the bank, then our list of the 10 best free apps could be just what you need.

There's no doubt that a BlackBerry is a powerful device, offering the chance to do plenty of different tasks on the go. There are also a huge number of third-party applications available that can make the device even more useful.

Adding apps to your BlackBerry is easy too, because they can all be installed 'over the air', either by visiting the app's site with your BlackBerry's built-in browser and downloading the file directly, or by having an email sent to your BlackBerry with a direct download link.

Even better, we've found 10 really useful apps that are free. So read on for some brilliant ways to improve the functionality of your Blackberry without spending a penny.

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Viigo is a full-featured RSS feed reader that lets you read your favourite feeds and keep up with important news wherever your day takes you.

You can add your own feeds (Viigo's auto-detect function can discover the feed address for most websites), but Viigo also comes well equipped with a variety of tech, politics, sports, weather and other feeds.

Preconfigured feeds also allow you to easily set up traffic alerts, stay up to date with flight information, and track packages with FedEx and DHL. The new version, now in beta testing, adds support for custom search alerts and even podcasts.


The speech-recognition app Vlingo goes way beyond voice dialing.

Although recent BlackBerries support voice dialing, the speech-recognition app Vlingo goes far beyond dialing numbers from your address book. Using only your voice, you can run web searches ('Find post offices in London'), launch built-in BlackBerry applications ('Open calendar'), compose emails and send text messages.

The transcriptions tend to be very good, so you don't have to worry about double-checking before sending. Vlingo takes over the application key on the side of your BlackBerry, making it easy to access even while driving.

Google Mobile

Google Mobile provides easy access to Gmail, Picasa, Google Maps, Google Sync and more. A single interface gives you one-stop access to Google's Gmail and Maps applications (the latter of which can integrate with your built-in GPS tool, if your BlackBerry has one).

It also includes links to web services including search, Google News, Google Reader, Google Docs (which is read-only on mobile devices), Picasa photos, and your Google Notebook, all of which open in your BlackBerry's built-in web browser. Google Mobile also includes the Google Sync service, which allows two-way synchronisation between your BlackBerry's built-in calendar and the web-based Google Calendar.

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