The Top 5 Free BlackBerry Apps For 2010

Ever since the iPhone introduced the app store, the demand for smart phone applications has gone through the roof. Each new smart phone that is now released is expected to have the extensibility support for apps, and that is no different for the current players such as the BlackBerry.

BlackBerry apps have become more popular over the recent months with the growing functionality of the iPhone pushing its rivals to go the extra mile. But with so many iPhone and BlackBerry apps available, which is the best?

Below are the top 5 free BlackBerry apps for 2010.

1. BlackBerry App World – The BlackBerry App World application personalises your smart phone with social networking, games and much more. Although quite an obvious choice, the App World application allows you to download new apps straight from your smart phone. Much like the iPhone App Store, this application exists to make it much easier for people to download apps without the need to hunt around the web to find them. A must have.

2. Qik – This app has been around a while, but Qik really is an excellent app to have. With video streaming becoming increasingly popular in 2010, Qik allows you to stream video straight to the web for your friends and family to see while in action. You are able to stream or download the videos from the Qik website, and it has complete social networking integration for websites such as Twitter and YouTube.

3. Foursquare – If you haven’t heard of Foursquare then you must have been living under a Internet shaped rock for the past few months. The basic premise of Foursquare is that it is a social networking website with a difference. Users access Foursquare from different places using the BlackBerry app, and it uses GPS to identify your current location. With each check in you earn points, and more points are awarded for being advantageous (ie: exploring lots of places in one day). This is one of those games that you have to experience for yourself – and it is definitely worth it.

4. Flixster Movies – If you are a big movie fan then this app should be perfect for you. Movies by Flixster is an app that allows you to watch high quality movie trailers, get details of the latest movies, read reviews and much more. The app is very user friendly and contains details relevant to the UK, Canada and the United States.

5. Pandora – Similar to Last.fm, Pandora is a personalised radio app that allows you to play all of your favourite artists and also related songs and albums. You are able to select your favourite artists in Pandora, and relevant recommended songs will be provided to you. As the BlackBerry website says: “Get the Pandora application… and be prepared to fall in love with music all over again”

So there you have it – the top 5 free BlackBerry apps for 2010. There are many applications available for the BlackBerry is it continues to show the world that it can compete with the iPhone – but some are obviously better than others.

iPod Touch: Top 5 Free Music Apps

So you got your iPod Touch out of the box, connected to WiFi, and you are ready for some apps. When it comes to free music apps for the iTouch there are hundreds of options and it can become a job in and of itself to find which apps are fluff and which apps deliver. Here are the top 10 best free music apps that will have you downloading, remixing, and enjoying any band imaginable in no time at all.

iTunes has worked extensively with Clear Channel Broadcasting to perfect their iheartradio. This program delivers just over 750 radio stations straight to your iTouch. Songs ranging from jazz to classical opera come in crisp and clear with a tagging feature that allows listeners to buy their favorite songs through iTunes.

For the musician needing to kill a bit of time, Drum Kit made my CrimsonJet is a great way to perfect those beats. Take advantage of the iPods responsive touch screen with a full drum from kickers all the way up to top hats. If this is not enough, MarketWall.com is offering their Metronome app for the music aficionados. A simple to use metronome for the iTouch with a customizable ‘tick’ speed. Fun Piano and Cat Piano user are two additional free apps for the piano lovers out there. These apps include anywhere from 6 to twelve piano keys with snappy response time when played on the touch screen.

Along the same lines as Drum Kit and Metronome comes Beat Wave. Be warned, this app is highly addictive as users can press various parts of the screen to develop progressively complex beats. This is hands down one of the best free apps and will have you playing along for hours with complex solos and layering musical patterns.

Last.fm has come a long way from the bland default music app that came pre-loaded on the iPod Classic Touch. It has evolved into one of the best radio apps that has ever been developed. Users can listen to upwards of 5 million songs, all for free. When connected to a WiFi or 3g network, listeners are updated with tour dates of the bands that are currently playing. Pandora still is heads and shoulders above the competition for free music apps though. Listeners can create custom radio stations based off of over 2000 unique qualities from syncopation to instruments being used.

TuneWiki is another innovative music app which allows iTouch owners to listen to their favorite songs with scrolling lyrics. With the new release, listeners may even search TuneWiki libraries to find lyrics to music videos and songs on the radio. This works flawlessly with Rhapsody, a free to download radio app with millions of songs and customizable stations for a small monthly fee.

5 FREE Phone Apps That Help You Relax, De-Stress and Reduce Anxiety

Our attention is pulled in more than a dozen directions daily. It can be hard to find time to relax or justify doing so when you have so much on your plate during a typical day.

Meanwhile, if you’re like the vast majority of multi-taskers, your smartphone or tablet is probably never out of reach. Why not make the most of it and use it for something other than checking your email for the umpteenth time in 15 minutes?

Believe it or not, these devices do offer apps to help you relax, de-stress and reduce anxiety for a change. Busy as you are, these can help slow you down even if you only have a few minutes to spare-waiting at carpool, in line at the bank, or just a brief time you set aside for your own mental health when it feels like the day is spinning out of control.

Here are five of my favorites:

1. Breathe2Relax (free). Breathe2Relax help you practice diaphragmatic breathing, with a video demonstration of and even a breathing timer you set yourself to achieve the maximum impact of deep inhaling/exhaling. There’s also a lot of great information about the biology of stress, its consequences and coping mechanisms.

How it helps: Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing helps calm the body and focus the mind. This app walks you through everything you need to know to practice the technique incorporate it into your daily stress management.

2. T2Mood Tracker (free). T2Mood Tracker allows you to rate how you’re feeling in areas including anxiety, depression and general well-being at any given time during the day.

How it helps: Sometimes just acknowledging that you’re feeling anxious, sad, lonely or experiencing other painful emotions can bring some relief-you’re not crazy, but you are suffering, and healthy to be aware of it.

It can also charts your mood over time, so it can help identify triggers for stress or depression. Meanwhile, if you are in counseling and your therapist asks about your feelings over the past week, you can give a more reliable answer than just relying on your memory.

3. Take a Break! (free). This app requires a little more privacy-but not much more time-than some of the other apps mentioned here. Just choose one of two meditation programs (“work break” or “stress release”), plug in some ear phones, close the door and your eyes as a narrator quietly guides you through several steps of meditation.

How it helps: When you’re busy and feel like you have a world of responsibilities on your shoulders, this app helps remind you that you’re entitled to take a moment for yourself. And the steps it outlines can be effective in bringing calm and perspective into a hectic day.

4. Relax Melodies HD (free, with paid upgrades available). Relax Melodies is self-explanatory, with almost 50 calming sounds to choose from, including several choices among nature, music, and others like “Zen” and “white noise.”

How it helps: It instantly transforms your environment, making it possible to remember that there is a world outside of your office, chaotic household or even 5 o’clock traffic. (Tip: users say Relax Melodies is also an excellent sleep aid.) The $2.99 upgrade offers additional sound options and removes the ads, though the ads are easily enough ignored unless you’re staring at the screen.

5. Calm.com (free, with paid upgrades available). Calm.com offer seven guided relaxation sessions from 2-30 minutes. Topics include: posture, mindset, mind/body connection, and breathing. Premium programs are also available with varied prices, mostly around $1/month. These include programs focused on anxiety, confidence, creativity, energy, focus, and sleep.

How it helps: Calm.com emphasizes a no-pressure approach to learning the steps, with a guiding voice that assures the user it can be hard to find calm at first when we’re accustomed to living life in high-alert mode.

Try a few of these and see if there’s one you particularly enjoy so you’ll be more likely to keep with it. Whether it’s helping you be mindful of your breathing, slowing your thoughts or just going through the steps of a simple relaxation exercise, I encourage you to find some time for yourself today that is just for you to relax. It’s totally worth it!