Top 10 Apps

Best Apps for Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone platform. Click on each of the Top 10 Apps 

WhatsApp Messenger

default                                                                                               Blackberry users, till now were the only ones with something like the Blackberry Messenger service. However, Android, iPhone, Symbian and even Blackberry users can now use the WhatsApp messenger to similar effect, with the additional benefit of this one being cross platform. If you have a lot of friends who have smartphones (well, who doesn't these days?), get them all to install WhatsApp. What you will save on is SMS costs, and gets the swiftness of IM into the conversations.

Instant Messengers (IM) seem to be a craze again these days, all thanks to the likes of Blackberry Messenger (or BBM as it is lovingly called out!), Google Talk and the dozens of multi-network cross platform third party IM apps. However, the slickness of use offered by the Blackberry Messenger was somewhat missing in all these solutions. That problem seems to have been solved to a large extent by a new app- WhatsApp messenger.
Installation and first use: Works a bit differently from the rest
Generally, the procedure with most IM apps is that you download and install, sign-up/sign-in and ‘add’ friends before you can begin chatting. However, WhatsApp works a little differently. Once you install the app, it registers with your phone number. Once that is done, the application automatically scans the contacts list in the phone, and adds those users who are known to be using/ already registered with WhatsApp. This is the single biggest difference between WhatsApp and other messenger services, where you have to add friends manually, either with their usernames or pin numbers etc.
The only issue here is that people, who you do not want to be in contact with, can add you to their WhatsApp list without needing you to accept any friend request. You may block or delete them later, but that is just an additional step to follow. And a privacy issue too.
Features: Works well, but looks boring
At a first glance, it is easy to brush off WhatsApp as just another IM application. It has a very basic interface, with four tabs- chats, favs, all contacts and status. The Chats tab, as the name suggests, is where all the action is. The favorites tab has your favorite contacts, which keep getting refreshed automatically as new users sign up for the service. It is important to have these people saved up as contacts on your phone for them to show up on this list. Despite the plain-Jane looks, it does pack in quite a punch.
The interface could have been a lot better though. The boxy feel, along with a basic white colour tone, does make it appear boring. There is no way to customize how a chat menu looks in a Blackberry, for example, but a chat background can be selected in the Android version. We cannot , quite frankly, understand this feature limitation on certain smartphones.
Performance: An IM, and then some…
After WhatsApp is installed, you can immediately get connected with friends who have already signed up for the service on their phones. Select any friend, open the chat window, and after a few seconds, the top bar shows when that person was last seen on the WhatsApp network. Type a message, and it is immediately sent out. Once the message is delivered to the recipient’s phone, you will see one green tick next to the message. When the recipient has read that message, you will see a second tick mark along with the previous one. Chats have the same experience as an IM, but then again, it sort of is.
The service uses GPRS, EDGE or 3G only, and a validated SIM card needs to be installed at all times for this to work. The service remains connected all the time, and needs a constant data connection. While we could not get it to work on Wi-Fi on a Blackberry, it worked perfectly on some Android smartphones without any data connection needed. Depends on whether you have a huge WhatsApp friends list or not!
Our Take: Get this. You will soon get hooked!
Don’t have a Blackberry? Can’t access BBM like most of your friends? Worry not. Just install WhatsApp on your phone, and cajole your friends into doing the same. Voila. You are connected, in a BBM-esque fashion. The app is free to download, and works on Blackberry, Android, iOS and Symbian devices. We suggest you download, install and sign up for this anyway. It is almost inevitable that your friends will get this too, sooner or later.
Price: Free (Data charges may apply, depending on your tariff plan)
Features: 7
Performance: 7.5
Build: 5
Value: 8
Overall: 7.5
Download from: Apple App Store, Android Market, Blackberry App World and Nokia Ovi Store



If you happen to access your files on multiple PCs or devices, then Dropbox is possibly the best client for you. Probably the simplest to set up amongst all the rivals, and instant sync across devices- you wont need to worry about not having that one critical file ever again. And it works on a wide range of devices as well.  

For someone who may be accessing his files on the office PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet, it isn't an easy task to keep them all synced. No matter how dedicated you are, it isn't possible to always manually do it.
In terms of the looks, the Dropbox client does look very different on an iOS device when compared to lets say a Blackberry or Android. And they have maintained this while always retaining all the features and keeping it simple to use and navigate.
For a basic “free” account user, Dropbox gives 2GB of free storage space, with the chance to extend that up to 8GB via various methods, including referrals. Once it is installed on the PC, you need to set up whatever folders you wish to sync. Immediately, the upload to the cloud storage space will begin. Now, when you install this on any smartphone or a tablet, you will need to sign in one time with your account. Once that is done, the files will show up, in the same folder format as you had set it up on the primary PC. Unlike with the PC version, the mobile versions do not automatically download all files to the device storage – it is more of an on-demand thing. Select the file that you wish to open, and it is downloaded at that time.
Among all the options that we checked out, Dropbox is by far the most convenient one to use, because of a gamut of reasons. Simplicity of setting up is the most critical. Once the sign up and folder selection is done, your files are uploaded one time. Any changes post that only result in incremental changes to your backups on the cloud storage. These changes are also reflected in all devices linked with your account.
Downloading of files, on-demand, on the mobile devices depends on the Internet speeds at that moment. The critical element here is that the particular device should have an application capable of opening that particular file. Be it a word editor for a .doc file or a media player for an .avi file. Photographs aren’t really an issue here, since they are opened within the app itself.
Our Take
For 2GB of storage space for free, and the ability to set up the service very quickly, we think everyone needs to sign up for Dropbox. And install it on any capable device that they may own. No more worrying about missing that one critical file ever again!
Price: Free to download
Specs: Online backup, storage and sync service, 2GB free storage space, works with iOS, Android and Blackberry
Overall Rating: 4.0 out of 5



For an app that doesn't need to even talk about its presence, it does have a solid one on most smartphones. A majority of Android phones come preloaded with this. And so do Blackberry phones. And if someone happens to buy another phone that doesn't, it is possibly the first app they download! Social networking is something most of us cannot live without.         

 Most people, we are sure, install Facebook as the very first app on their smartphones. If it doesn’t come pre-loaded, that is!
The way this app looks is vastly different, from phone to phone. On a bigger display touchscreen, the extra space allows for a better layout. However, on the smaller displays (most are non touchscreen ones) it does look very different. But the blue and white colour combination theme is standard across all versions of the app.
On the top is the bar that is divided into two distinct sections. One lets you access stuff like Newsfeed, Profile, Search, Messages, Chat, Photos and Places. The second part of the blue coloured bar gives you notifications about messages, posts and friend requests.
Just below the navigation bar is the text box to update your status, with two separate boxes pointing to uploading photos and tagging location.
Well, this Facebook app includes all features within itself, reducing the need to install any third party app. Which is why we were pretty bewildered to find that the HTC ChaCha gave this app preloaded along with a third party app for Facebook Chat.
Primarily, the FB Chat feature is built-in, and so is Places.
Well, the performance is absolutely fantastic. In the sense that we did not feel the need to download any third party app,because some features may have been missing. Because there were none! Updates came in seamlessly on 3G and Wi-Fi. Even on the smaller display sizes of the Blackberry phones, we were quite impressed by the text size.
The only little niggle we had with this app was the amount of time it took to open photographs, even on a sufficiently quick 3G connection.
Our Take
Download it, now! This is one app that needs no introduction, for a service that is more popular than any other social networking service out there. After all, some of us need to post every single detail on FB, all day long!
Price: Free to download
Specs: Available for iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry, INQ, Windows Phone, SideKick and Palm; FB Chat built-in
Overall Rating: 7.5



Twitter's official app for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone is a must have one. What this does is that it negates the real need to install any third party app to access the service. And we do think this official Twitter app does the job quite well. Symbian users miss out on the goodness though.

Unless you have just emerged out from under a rock after a gap of about, you would surely know how big a rage Twitter has been. There was a strong demand to be able to access it anytime, for the tweets were the new way of communication! In tandem with the other rage- Facebook!
The Twitter app has a stylish look to it, with a combination of light blue and white across the entire interface. On the top of the home screen, you have icon-based tabsfor Home, Mentions, Messages, Lists, Trends, Search and Profile. Just below that is the box to compose new tweets.
While this app’s design and layout lacks the punch of a TweetDeck, it does manage to do the task quite well. And for someone who doesn’t want a complicated application, this app seems to fit the bill.
Critical to Twitter is the 140-character limit, and since a lot of users post URL links, the ability to shorten them is much needed. Built in- check.What about photographs that you may want to share? Built in- check. With Twitpic and YFrog.
Since this is a pretty basic app, these are the critical features it comes with, and is limited to pretty much that only.
Absolutely no problems with the performance bit. You can keep this app running in the background, and set an interval time for it to automatically update. And even specify the number of new tweets you want with every update. The web links do open up in the phone’s browser, and images also open as a pop-up within the app. However, the performance of both is totally dependent on the speed of the Internet connection.
However, a couple of problems we did notice on certain handsets. First off, if you don’t clean the cache from the settings menu for a few days, the app tends to slow down - in the sense that scrolling through the timeline will become a choppy affair. Secondly, if the web connectivity speeds drop quite considerably, you will get the error message “service unavailable”.
Our Take
Twitter has an official app for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. What this does is that it negates the real need to install any third party app to access the service. And we do think this official Twitter app does the job quite well. Symbian users miss out on the goodness though. Must have app on the smartphone though.
Price: Free to download
Available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone, built-in URL shorten service and image up-loader
Overall Rating: 7.5


There are news apps. And then there is Pulse. This one does it with some class, show and pomp. Completely customizable as far as content is concerned, and it can pull in content from about 20 sources at the same time. Social networking capabilities also added to enable sharing.
The simple thinking behind an app like Pulse is - offer news items in a visually appealing format. And from what we have seen, it delivers on that, quite well.
There are the inevitable straight comparisons between this and Flipboard, but unlike the latter, Pulse is more of a news aggregator rather than have strong roots in the social networking sphere. The dark coloured theme does bring out the visual appeal, thanks to the large images that accompany every headline. Once you open a story, there is literally no visual effects at play here, with all the focus on reading.
Pulse can pull news from about 30 sources, divided according to genre. You can completely customize how the news appears to you, and what sources get the priority. There are multiple “pages” that Pulse lets you populate with content of your choice.
Also, the service lets you sign up and bookmark stories for future reading. Once you sign up, these bookmarks are saved to your account, and can be accessed on any device once you sign in.
The speed of refresh and loading of news articles will depend on the web speeds, but we did notice that the app refused to pull images for some stories even after a couple of refreshes. Closing the app and opening it again solved this problem. It isn't a big annoyance, but slightly weird.
This app had been facing criticism for not having Facebook and Twitter connectivity, but that has come, with time. You can now share links from within the app on both these social networks now.
Weirdly, there is no manual configuration for selecting how much data you can download for offline use. It will save whatever you have already read, but text only and no images.
Our Take
For its minor niggles, the Pulse app does what it is supposed to do, very well. The amount of customization that you can do ensures you get info from whatever content sources you want. And the bigger the display size, the better this app looks. We think this is the best news app around, and suggest you give it a try.
Price: Free to download
News aggregator app, available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, Facebook and Twitter integration
Features: 7.5
Performance: 7
Build: 8.5
Value: 7.5
Overall: 7.5



This app throws up information on just about everything in your city - food, nightlife, events, movies, shopping, beauty and fitness. The details for an establishment include the contact number, ability to send messages and even find on the map. Must have app to discover the city a little better.
We had reviewed the Zomato app earlier, but that was just limited to food outlets and restaurants. However, the Burrp app just takes that as a base, and seems to build on that quite well.
The app does have a darkly neat interface. The dark colours don’t make navigation uncomfortable at all. The mixture of black and orange looks good, admittedly. Even on a phone like a Blackberry with a slightly smallish display, the text size is comfortable enough to read.
The first screen when you open the app looks to detect the location, or asks you to manually set it. Once that is done, it takes you to the primary categories page.
We do have a gripe with this app – it hardly ever detects our current location automatically. Yes, the GPS service was switched on. Yes, we were standing directly under the sky and not inside some building. Setting up the location manually is fine, but just that extra step that you need to do. Else, the app won’t move forward.
However, once you do get beyond this first step, the sheer amount of information available, well categorized.
Apart from that issue with automatic location detection, the navigation (information gathering, in this case) tends to be slow. This is particularly true if you are on an EDGE connection.
However, once you get past the initial setup, the amount of information on tap is absolutely brilliant. With well-defined categories, you know exactly where to look for. If it is a restaurant you are looking for (or even attempting to visit for the first time), this app will throw up the complete contact details, user reviews and even locate it on Google Maps. In the similar category, Zomato app does offer detailed menu details as photographs, and Burrp does that slightly better. You can even SMS the establishment if they have a mobile number registered.
In the category Restaurants and Nightlife, there are some listings that you may expect to find in the other. The other categories are pretty clear themselves, and the listing depth is what impressed us quite a bit.
Our Take
For someone who wants to discover the city a little better, or just want to try out a new place for eating, shopping etc., the Burrp app does go a long way in helping you with that. It is a free app to download. Need more motivation to get it?
Price: Free to download
Available for Blackberry and Symbian; coming soon on Android and iOS; local recommendation search engine; listing details; Google Maps integration
Features: 8
Performance: 6.5
Build: 8
Value: 8.5
Overall: 7.5

Facebook Messenger (for Android)

default                                                                                         With integrated SMS texting, the Facebook messenger app for Android is worth downloading if you spend a lot of time communicating with friends from your mobile device.

Is there a difference between the social networking you do online and the interactivity that takes place through text messages and real-time online chatting? If there is, the new Facebook Messenger app for Android will immediately make sense to you. Others, on the other hand, will see it as a needless second app that largely duplicates select features of the original Facebook for Android app (free, 3.5 stars). Facebook Messenger, which was developed by Facebook itself, compartmentalizes the more immediate activities of SMS texting and instant messaging by putting those two functions into a dedicated app. It's similar in many ways to BlackBerry Messenger, the private instant messaging service that lets BlackBerry smartphone users text-chat with one another, only Facebook Messenger is confined to the world of Facebook rather than one platform (in this case Android, though there is an iPhone version, too).
Optional alerts, or push notifications, let you know when incoming messages are received, just as your phone does with ordinary text messages. All the features of the original Facebook for Android app, including Chat, are still available—they haven't disappeared—so if you don't want a second Facebook app, you don't have to install Messenger. But there are a few reasons you might want it.
Faster, More Accurate NumbersAccording to Facebook, the Messenger client works faster than the instant messaging tools in the original Facebook app for Android, although in testing the app, I couldn't see a noticeable difference. The time it took to send and receive a message from Messenger to Messenger versus Facebook app to Facebook app was so slight (less than half a second), I can't say the difference wasn't caused by human error. All my test messages came through in less than three seconds, regardless of which apps I used. The Messenger to Messenger times were all under two-and-a-half seconds.
The real advantages of using the new Facebook Messenger app are that 1) it includes SMS (texting) as an option when sending a message, and 2) it draws phone numbers from your Facebook connections' when those people have made them available rather than contacts list in your iPhone, reducing the chance that you have an outdated or incorrect phone number. Other services have combined SMS with instant messaging before, so Facebook Messenger isn't wholly new in this aspect. What makes it special for most people, however, is that it leverages their Facebook network. One of the often-overlooked strengths of Facebook is that it's a central source of data about your friends, including their phone numbers, email addresses, and whereabouts (and maybe that creeps you out). If you want to send a text message to a friend but don't have her phone number stored in your phone, you can quickly send her a Facebook message instead. And if she's added her phone number to Facebook and granted the appropriate permissions, the app will automatically pull up her number as an option, in case you would prefer to send her a text.
If you're worried about your phone number being synced to Facebook without your knowledge, the culprit doesn't appear to be Facebook Messenger, but rather the syncing feature from the original Facebook app (which you can disable). But even if you disable the feature, anyone who has your phone number stored in his or her phone can add your digits to their own Facebook "contacts," i.e., phone numbers, list. And, it's also worth noting, that in our testing here, we could not verify that Facebook follows through on its promise that it won't share the phone number with others. We found a few instances of unexplainable phone numbers cropping up on some accounts.



For an app that builds around the idea of check-in, it depends on a lot of interaction between the users to offer the user the experience he expects. You sign-in your current location, and wait for friends to give you recommendations about the place, and what you can do around. It is critical that you have a big enough friends circle active on this app.

It is definitely not our usual habit to manually sign-in our location every time we go to some new place. Which is why after some initial interest, even Facebook and Google have cooled off on the location based social networking. However, Foursquare does a thing or two quite interestingly.
First off, you can download Foursquare on iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Palm. Once the app is installed, you can link up with friends on Facebook, Twitter and your phone’s contact list. Whoever has already signed up for the service is sent a friend request, and who haven’t signed up yet are sent an invite.
Now, if the app is open, it’ll detect your current location via the GPS. You can sign-in from here. If you are at someplace you want to write about, you can do that as well – called insider information. A lot of times you will be at places that aren’t listed on the Foursquare database. But fret now, because you can add those places. This is where the activity of your friend circle comes into play. If they happen to have written recommendations about this place, you will get that now. You may even get recommendations about places and activities nearby.
For every check-in that you do, you will earn badges for it. While this feature isn't active here, but you even get discounts at certain restaurants in the U.S.A. If you happen to check-in at one location the maximum times, you become the mayor.
Overall, this is an app that doesn’t have much purpose, unless you are the explorer types. But if you are, then the chance to earn badges may just be the motivation you need.
Price: Free to download
Specs: Available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia and Palm; location based check-in; social network for recommendations and reviews
Overall Rating: 6.5

Launcher Pro

default                                                                                           Customization is Android's other name. And to change the way it looks is the favorite pass-time of a lot of people. Launcher Pro does that job the best, so much so that you may consider replacing the handset maker UI with something more in tune with what you like.

We usually do not put too much focus on a single platform app, unless it is quite brilliant. Which this app is!
While the app itself isn't much, except like a control panel, what matters is what it does to the phone’s UI. It allows you absolute control over how it finally looks. We have used it to good effect on various Android phones, and ultimately replaced the pre-loaded themes.
Download this from the Android Market, and install. When you press the home key next, it’ll usually show up Launcher Pro and the other preloaded UI (HTC Sense, MotoBlue etc.). Select Launcher Pro, and tick the ‘set as default’ option. This will set Launcher Pro as the default home screen.

The basic (as in free) version of Launcher Pro offers full functionality, except for the detailed widgets. For that you need to download the paid version. However, we suggest you stick to the free version first.
We have tried this on multiple phones, and were quite pleasantly surprised to find out that the likes of HTC Sense, Samsung TouchWiz UI and even LG’s Breeze UI do tend to slow down phone performance! Apart from the customization options, the fact that it may just make your smartphone a tad quicker as well is just enough motivation, we think.
If you are using an Android phone, and are interested in a bit of customization of the entire UI, or just plain and simply unhappy with the existing UI, Launcher Pro is the free app to download. The customization options are just immense, and if you tinker around with it long enough, the resultant look might just be the best around. Live wallpapers, themes and add-ons are available for this app on the Android Market, allowing you to keep tinkering with the look of the phone.
Price: Free to download
UI customization app, available for Android 2.1 and beyond, paid version for advanced widgets, works with pre-loaded UI
Features: 7.5
Performance: 8.5
Build: 8
Value: 8.5
Overall: 8

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