With a huge range of third-party apps for BlackBerry available, its hard to know which ones really are a must-have. We spoke to three executives from BlackBerry handset manufacturer Research in Motion to find out just which downloads they cannot live without.

Over the past few weeks we've recommended a number of downloads and apps which are guaranteed to make your BlackBerry even more productive but for the real low-down on the best apps out there we went to Research in Motion, the manufacturer of BlackBerry handsets.

Jeff McDowell, vice president of global alliances; David Heit, director of software product management, and RIM's president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis shared with us the favourite free third-party apps that they find most valuable and use the most frequently.

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TeleNav and Garmin GPS for BlackBerry

Like many executives, Heit's frequently on the move, but he rarely goes anywhere without his BlackBerry. GPS-based apps such as TeleNav's GPS Navigator for BlackBerry and Garmin for BlackBerry help him get where he needs to be on time and as painlessly as possible.

TeleNav's GPS Navigator offers users a choice of voice or on-screen driving directions. It can also help you find and navigate to nearby restaurants, Wi-Fi hotspots, or any of the company's other 10 million business listings. And TeleNav provides traffic alerts and rerouting information based on those notifications.

Like TeleNav, Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry offers voice or text turn-by-turn navigation, although sadly it’s only currently available for North America. It also has some six million 'points of interest' or preprogrammed locales of note. And the Garmin Online service provides traffic information, weather forecasts, local petrol prices and more.

Both services are compatible with a variety of BlackBerry devices, including Pearl, Curve and 8800 series handhelds, and can also be combined with an external GPS 'pucks' to enable devices without built-in GPS functionality to utilise the service.

Users with internal GPS pay $99 (£50) for access to Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry (that covers you for the life of the device) and the same per year for TeleNav GPS Navigator. And folks without GPS can pay an additional $50 (£25) for a puck from Garmin or $99 (£50) from TeleNav.

Visit PC Advisor's BlackBerry spotlight for the latest news, reviews, tips & tricks relating to RIM's handsets and services

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