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Sidebar wants to bring free content to you

It took me a while to understand what this Sidebar application is about, but eventually it became clear: Sidebar is a push application that recommends content to you on your BlackBerry. Or, in their own words…

Sidebar is a personal content recommendation and delivery engine. In short, we find the fun stuff (videos, apps, games, podcasts, photos, news updates, interviews, chances to win great prizes, jokes, music, sports, fashion advice, etc.) in the mobile world and make it easy for you to discover, access, and share. New content arrives daily. We’ll let you know when it does so you don’t miss out on anything. The more you use Sidebar, the better we get at picking stuff you like.

I haven’t tested it yet, but the rest of the description makes it sound a lot like they throw at you something they think you are going to like, and you indicate whether you like it or not. The more you use it, the more the software “learns” what you like and adjusts the pushed content accordingly.

I have mixed feelings about that. The first time I used, right after it was made available, I was impressed at how fast it learned my taste and actually succeeded at playing songs that I liked more than 95% of the time. Unfortunately, that apparent accomplishment wore off pretty quickly. The selection became quite restricted, repetitive, obvious. Instead of pleasing me, the thing was really boring me.

This is not though. I haven’t even used in a very long time, to be honest about it. Maybe they have improved their system, and maybe Sidebar has a much better system. You be the judge.

Getting the software isn’t very easy. They have this annoying system that only sends you a link by SMS. In other words, only U.S. carriers are welcome. Why they can’t just provide a clear link for people to download and install the app is beyond me. But then I found out it is possible to install the app from this link with the BlackBerry browser. But it has to be in the BlackBerry mode, not Firefox or Internet Explorer. I was able to download and install using that approach, but the application didn’t work for me.

Let me know if you have better luck. Also, I recommend reading their FAQ. They can be interesting. Most notably, they state that the application and service are free, the content is paid by sponsors. I am afraid that could limit the content, but only a hands-on experience will tell. Like I said, the application didn’t work for me. You may also want to read this press release.

4 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Can’t download either:

    “Oops — Sidebar isn’t ready for your phone, but will be available soon.
    Enter your email below and we’ll send you a note when it is ready to download, along with instructions.”

  2. Hi Luciano,

    I work here at Sidebar and we took note of your issue. You made a great point about the download page and in turn we’ve posted a direct download link above the form field box on this page:  This link (, when clicked from a mobile browser will take supported devices directly to a download page. Non-supported devices will have the option to get be notified when Sidebar is ready for their device as c0rinne noted above.

    We hope you’ll take another moment to download Sidebar and see what you think! And of course if you have any other issues or questions, please contact us at [email protected].

    Thank you for helping us improve our user experience.

  3. does work and will download however when you try to install it keeps saying that all permissions need to be set to ALLOW which I did repeatedly and it still will not load. There still seems to be issues!!!

    • Hi HarlyFan,

      If you’d like, please e-mail [email protected] with your comment above and one of our tech team members will reach out to you directly. They’re looking into it, but just need to know a few of the steps you’re taking during the download process to identify the problem.

      Thanks again for bringing these to our attention.

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