Electronic Pocket, the developers of FlipSide, have just come out with a public beta of their new Ringo product. The Ringo application allows you to replace the built in BlackBerry profiles manager with their own version. The idea is that the Ringo application is much easier to use and simple.
In my opinion Ringo really needs to add some more functionality to be worth the $19.95 they will be asking once this gets out of Beta. I really wish they would add some profile scheduling to the application. On top of that it does not seem to have support for 3rd party applications that have their own profile settings such as Google Talk and Ramble IM.
I have taken a few screenshots below of the new application in action. You can sign up for the Beta yourself at this link but I think Ringo is supposed to launch very soon. For some reason even though it is in Beta you can already buy it from Mobihand.
When you first install the application you will get over 10 different security warning from your device saying that “an application want to access…” just click yes to all of them . When the application starts you get the following screen:
This is how they disable the RIM profile manager by just turning the sounds off. They were kind enough to include a button to change the profile from the application.
Once you are in the application you will see 3 tabs. The first lets you set the default global profile settings that the application will use if you do not have any exclusions.
As you can see there is an option for the Ringtone, Messages, Email, Volume, and Vibration preferences. They have done a great job of integrating a player for you to sample the tones from the application. RIM could really learn something from this.
When you try to change the tune you are automatically taken to a nice file browser as you can see above.
There is also a nice feature to be able to download over 50 tones free from their website directly into the application.
The next tab is the contacts tab which allows you to set different ringtones per contact. They have the same options as the default profile I showed you above.
The last tab is the groups tab. The groups tab actually uses the groups built into your BlackBerry address book. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Personally I hate the BlackBerry groups because they do not correspond with anything in Outlook so you have to set them up on your device which is a pain. I really wish RIM would just let you use the folders of your contacts in Outlook to set the groups. You can then set different notifications for each group instead of a per contact setting like the previous tab.
Last of all you can hit the menu button and get the option to set the other notifications on your BlackBerry that do not have to do with contacts. This lets you set the Calendar, Tasks, & Messenger settings.
Ringo does have promise but I really am not sure if I can justify 20$ for an application that does not offer much more than the native BlackBerry profiles manager. I also noticed that when I get Google Talk messages it does not ring because the Ringo application has no setting for it. This was also true for other applications that include their own settings in your profile. Hopefully Ringo will add profile scheduling to the application which would really make it worth the money!