I’ve been a BlackBerry user for over a year now, and whilst I do often complain about various issues with the device – unintuitive software, crashes, battery life – I have grown to like the device that’s become my mobile companion.
One of the best things about the BlackBerry is its physical keyboard, but there’s another thing, too: the BlackBerry Beta Zone. It’s a website run by Research in Motion (makers of the BlackBerry smartphones), that allows anyone to register and test the latest versions of RIM-native BlackBerry Apps. These include apps like BlackBerry Travel, Facebook for BlackBerry, Twitter for BlackBerry, and even the future versions of BlackBerry App World.
The range of per-release titles varies from time-to-time, depending on what’s currently being tested, but I find this place quite interesting to see what the future of BlackBerry software will be like.
The Beta Zone is also great for when a recently-released version of an app becomes dysfunctional. Case in point: BlackBerry’s new App World became faulty upon updating it, and so I was able to resort to the Beta Zone to download a beta version of a bug fix. Prior to this, I was also able to test the new version of Facebook for BlackBerry, which eventually was released as version 2 and had Facebook Chat support.
It must be noted that apps in the Beta Zone are only those created by Research in Motion – so you won’t be able to find apps by third-party developers (you’ll have to check with those developers if they have their own beta programmes open to the public). Also, as this is beta software we’re talking about, remember that it can be buggy and not work as expected – it’s still a testing version. Tread carefully…
You’ll need a BlackBerry device in order to register for the Beta Zone. Visit this page to become a member of the site. Registration is free, and once in, you’ll be able to use the latest BlackBerry-made apps, for free! Enjoy.