As I was perusing my BlackBerryForums RSS feed on 11/16, I noticed a post titled “This Program Helps you Find Your Lost Blackberry”. Needless to say, I was intrigued. I contacted the developer and he provided a copy of the program for me to test and review.
It is only available for installation via PC, which is a pretty straightforward process. Once you have installed the program, you’ll notice that there is a generic icon titled “FindIt” on your BB menu.
Clicking on it does not seem to do anything, so you can hide the icon with no ill effects.
I tried it out by setting my BB profile to “Off”, locking it, and putting it in standby. I then sent myself a message (subject = “pleasefindmenow”) to my BES account, and sure enough, the BB started vibrating and emitting an oscillating series of tones. The volume of the tones was audible, but by no means loud. It would draw your attention if you were very close to it and there was other background noise. Otherwise, if you were in a quiet room, you could faintly hear it from the other end.
As my BB was in standby, I had to hit the mute button to turn the screen on. And, as the screen was locked, I only saw my “Owner” info, i.e. “My Name. Please call 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX If found.”. So remember, if your BB is set to lock automatically, or you set it to lock manually, you’ll need to put contact information in your BB’s “Options> Owner” settings.
Once I unlocked it, I saw my message (including my email signature), pop up on the screen. The tones and vibrating stop once you open an email. Unfortunately, I could not get this app to work when I sent the “pleasefindmenow” email to any of my BIS accounts. I would assume it would work fine if you didn’t have a BES account, so let us know if this is the case.
I also tested the app by not touching the BB when the tones started going off. The vibration and tones start simultaneously, but the bvibration lasts about 10 seconds, while the tones continue for approximately another 2 minutes and 20 seconds. After that point, there is no more notification, except for the pop-up message you included in the body of the email. I would have hoped there would be a space of about 5 minutes and then the vibration and tones would start again, in case someone was not near it that first time. It looks like you’ll just have to keep sending it messages until you find it, or someone contacts you, or the battery dies.
For BB’s with integrated GPS, I’d like to see the ability to send an email from a pre-determined email account, which would set off the alerts, but also automatically send a reply email with the GPS coordinates of the device (or the last known coordinates). That would at least give you an idea of where you may have left it,
- Works with any profile setting, even when profile is set to “Off”.
- Works when left in holster, standby mode, or locked.
- Finally, a solution to finding a silenced BB.
- Alert tones are not very loud.
- Vibration and tones do not repeat after initial trigger.
- Does not appear to work with all email accounts on the BB.
- Repeating alerts
- Ability to set a particular ringtone to go off, instead of tones.
- Integration with GPS to provide last known location.
I did not have any problems with the download or installation of this application. The only “problem” I had was figuring out how to turn of the tones. The solution is open an email (although that did not always work for me, and I had to reset my BB, or wait the 2.5 minutes for it to stop).
All testing was done on a BlackBerry 8320 Curve (v188.8.131.52) and no glitches or delete and re-installs were required.
Overall, I like this application. I think there definitely could be some improvements, as mentioned above, but it certainly accomplishes it’s stated purpose (“This Program Helps you Find Your Lost Blackberry”).