BlackBerry is getting ready to officially launch its new BlackBerry 10-powered Z10 smartphone here in the U.S., and to help make sure you get the most out of your new phone, we've compiled a list of the 10 best BlackBerry 10 apps on the market. From cross-platform messaging and photo editing to gaming and file syncing, these apps cover nearly all of your smartphone needs.
News Republic (Free)
News Republic is a news aggregator app similar to the popular Pulse app for iOS and Android. Users create a custom home screen complete with news feeds they want to follow ranging from World news to Sports to specific news items. The app also lets you share stories via Facebook, Twitter, text message or email. If a particular story knocks your socks off, you can write about how it affected your mood and share it via Facebook.
TuneIn gives you access to your favorite radio stations from your BlackBerry 10 device. Enable your phone's GPS function and you can search stations by your location. So when you're on the road, you can quickly find the kind of tunes you like. You can also browse talk radio, sports and news stations. The app will also continue to stream songs when minimized to an Active Frame, so you can keep checking email and surfing the Web while jamming out.
N.O.V.A. 3 ($6.99)
Who said you can't play mobile games on your BlackBerry? N.O.V.A. 3 is a sci-fi-based first-person shooter that pits gamers against wave after wave of enemies. The game's graphics are impressive and gameplay is razor sharp. If you want to move your game to a larger screen, you can connect your BB10 device to your television via its HDMI connection and blast away at baddies from your couch.
The Box app for BlackBerry 10 lets users sync their photos and videos with their PCs from the road. Once you create an account, and enable the app's sync function, all of the photos and videos you take will be synced to the cloud whenever you connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Box also lets you sync over your data connection, although, as the app warns, that can get expensive over time.
ESPN ScoreCenter (Free)
ESPN's ScoreCenter gives you constant updates on the top teams, the biggest sporting events and match ups and headlines from around the world of sports. Sign up for a free ESPN account to track your favorite teams including scores and news. And with Gamecast, you can follow the action live from your BB10 smartphone.
Flixster is a mashup of IMBD and Fandango. The app, which is powered by Rotten Tomatoes, lets users check whether movies are fresh or rotten, look up actors' filmographies, and see what's playing in nearby theaters. If that's not enough, the app also gives you a list of recent DVD releases, so you can see if you'd rather stay in or head to the theater.
Angry Birds Star Wars (Free)
The birds are back and this time they're taking over the Star Wars universe. Angry Birds takes all of your favorite birds and blends them with your favorite Star Wars characters to create an all new experience that will have you burning through your BlackBerry's battery in no time. Better still, the birds gain new powers including Force Push and the ability to wield lightsabers.
WhatsApp (Free for First Year)
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform messaging app that lets BB10 users talk with contacts across different services. The app runs on either your phone's data connection or Wi-Fi and offers features like group chat, voice notes, share location, send photos and more. The first year of use is free, after which you'll pay just $0.99 a year.
BlackBerry 10's native weather app is powered by AccuWeather, but it doesn't offer nearly the level of functionality of Accuweather's own app. The native app, for example, can't check the upcoming forecast without having to exit to the BB10 Browser. Accuweather's app also offers satellite maps, 10-day forecasts, barometric pressure and more. If you tire of that, you can check out videos of wild weather events and lifestyle forecasts that let you know if you should go biking today or climbing on a particular day.
PicShop Lite (Free)
BlackBerry 10's Camera app gives you some great editing features, but if you want to get a bit more out of your photos, PicShop Lite is the app you want. Users can edit photos saved on their device, download them from Facebook or take them using the app and make edits ranging from red eye reduction to adjusting the image's focal point. Upgrade to the full version of PicShop for $3.99 to save 8-megapixel photos, get access to hundreds of unlocked features like meme maker and image layers.