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PSA: Why Pay for a BlackBerry Flashlight App?

beheadingThere are a few embarrassing faults in App World but the ones that really cut deep are the top ranked paid apps that make no sense. The top two offenders are “flashlight” apps and “memory” boosters/enhancers/megadupers. In this public service announcement I wanted to cover the former. WHY in the world is the top paid application in App World a flashlight? It makes no sense and I will give you two reasons why:

Q: First reason why you should not pay for a Flashlight App:

A: YOU DON’T NEED AN APP!

You can perform the SAME “Flashlight” feature using the LED flash on your BlackBerry by starting the “Video Camera” app and hitting the spacebar. It really IS that simple. All an app does is cut the steps down from 2 to 1. Want to turn the flash off? Just hit spacebar again! Is that worth $0.99? If so then…

Q: Second reason why you should not pay for a Flashlight App:

A: THERE IS A FREE FLASHLIGHT APP!

So if you really need a flashlight app the awesome team at ShaoSoft released FlashOn (OTA link) which is a free flashlight app. The app lets you use the LED flash along with changing the color of the screen and the color of the front LED. You can even set the duration for the light to stay on. You can even try the FlashOn beta v2.0 (OTA link) though I am not sure what it adds.

Still want to pay for a BlackBerry flashlight app? In that case I am at a loss for words… Maybe we need to start a grassroots effort to post reviews in App World with this PSA…

To conclude there is nothing wrong developers charging for apps that perform a useful function for users but I just find this example a bit ridiculous. The TOP paid application in App World should not be a 2 line native API call to the camcorder app. That my friends is a joke.

END PSA

18 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Tether (at 30-50) is another good one for this list. You can tether for free using desktop manager. As long as you don’t go crazy with the data usage (just use it for the same amounts of data you use your phone), your ISP won’t know the difference. (AT&T: Not that I’d know, having never had experience with this….)

    • Actually some mobile providers block Modem mode, so you can’t tether for free using desktop manager. T-Mobile doesn’t block it, but I know Verizon does unless you pay them an additional $15 a month.

  2. Thank you for this.

    It needed to be said.

    Maybe we need to encourage ShaoSoft to put this for free in appworld and drive out these idiotic apps.

  3. You can perform the SAME “Flashlight” feature using the LED flash on your BlackBerry by starting the “Video Camera” app and hitting the spacebar

    or set the right side or left side key in “Screen/Keyboard” options to “Video Camera”.
    That’s what I did.

  4. US Cellular let’s you tether through them for 15. If you don’t get their package, they suspend you service. That’s why I use Tether. *and I have had my service temporarily suspended ;)*

  5. I don’t get paying for an app that already exists. I’ve also reviewed the so called memory boosters. I’ve never seen the help. Waste of money and a get rich scheme. I’ve also always used Shaosoft due to the fast access of having an app and not using a convienence key

  6. iPhone app folks are laughing themselves silly! Blackberry users are clueless and desperate for decent apps that they’re willing to pay for something that is essentially free! If we’re willing to pay 99 cents for two-line apps, what other junk are we willing to pay for?!?!

    I myself am tired of seeing Deal of the Days for Tether at 1/2 price: $24.99! What a rip off! This is another app that people are overpaying for. Tether does make it a liitle more convenient, but RIM does offer that option in the Desktop software as well as instructions for tethering your Blackberry .

    • But there are people out there who get their service cut off for tethering unless you buy the carriers plan. So a program that uses the phones mobile data for one time fee of $20 or so dollars is cheaper that $15 x 12 months.

      I know what you are saying, but it doesn’t work for all carriers or customers. Sad really.

    • Simply not true Joe. Tether works on ALL carriers, using BBDM does not. Not fair to bash an app YOU don’t need when millions of us DO.

      • Not bashing the tether app. Just bashing the PRICE of the tether app! Certainly, you think it is worth the $50 (or $25 discounted from time to time). If so, that’s good and I’m happy you found it worth the $$$. I certainly don’t think it is worth that much, but maybe this is the only option for many who can’t get tethering otherwise.

        It’s like me charging $10 a gallon for gas when I’m the only gas station in town. It’s still a rip off!

  7. Someone really needs to investigate the memory boosters. Those cost way more than the flashlight apps and their effectiveness is questionable.

    • Agreed

    • I use Meterberry on the Storm. I love it. I think it does a decent job recovering memory. It also provides other benefits too (primarily monitoring RAM), allowing auto-resets, etc. It’s an app I couldn’t do without.

      Now, if RIM were to provide a proper memory management philosophy, I probably wouldn’t need Meterberry, but I’d still use it.

      What I mean by “proper memory management” is this:

      When memory is low, my BB 5.0 Storm will ask me to select which apps to DELETE! Are these folks insane?!? What I need is for BB 5.0 to ask me which apps to CLOSE! If there are no apps to close, it may request a soft reboot if it can’t free up any more RAM to operate.

      When I get this stupid request to DELETE apps because of a memory shortage, I initiate a software-based “battery pull” if I have no more apps I can close. I did catch my son attempting to DELETE a bunch of installed apps because he saw that screen because of low memory. Glad I caught him in the act! RIM has got to fix this!

      I would agree with Chris W that memory boosters are mostly ineffective because RIM hasn’t given these app developers any insight into the memory management internals of BlackBerry OS. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are of no value… just limited value.

  8. The problem is you can only leave a review telling folks these flashlight and memory apps are useless if YOU buy the app. Who wants to waste their money like that?

    Even funnier is I get an email from S4BB today bragging that they have a thousand reviews for their memory booster. Sad.

  9. yup, exactly. thanks for the best solution.
    Thanks god i never thought to bought one 😀

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