Like a dam at the end of a slow moving river, the BlackBerry App World is filling up slowly. Research in Motion would like us to think of the store as an exercise in quality over quantity, or as a RIM spokesperson told us recently "There's a reason why you won't find fart apps on the App World".
For Australians, the headline "best free apps" is kind of meaningless as all apps available to us through the App World are currently free. We struggle to see this as a bad thing though, it's like being a kid in a candy shop who's allowed to eat as much as they want.
The following is a list of our favourite apps downloaded through the BlackBerry App World. If paid apps are more your style, there is a world of apps for BlackBerry phones outside of the App World too, available from online stores like Bplay.com and MobiHand.
One of BlackBerry's super-apps, Viigo is a one-stop-shop for news feeds, Twitter, weather, podcasts, horoscopes, plus a range of data relevant to US and UK users like traffic info and online shopping bargains.
Snaptu is a very similar concept to Viigo, but its apps-based interface suggests some exciting upcoming contributions from online publishers and developers. At present you'll find apps from Engadget, Gizmodo and Google Calendars, but stay tuned for many more down the track.
A very simple, but very useful application. SmartBeBattery shows your remaining battery life as a percentage on the apps menu icon, so that you can put it on the home screen and always know exactly how much juice you have left in the tank.
The native Gmail app is exactly what you expect it to be with no real surprises, though as Gmail users we like having it separate from our BlackBerry messages.
Apparently this is an app that many Australians overlook. BlackBerry Messenger lets you communicate with other BlackBerry users for free, with features including conference messaging and the ability to send small files. A great tool for business with small fleets of road warriors.
Sure you can set up your Twitter feed in Viigo and Snaptu, but the clean, easy-to-use UberTwitter interface makes it worth using in its own right. This app is full featured, letting you do everything you'd expect to do in a Twitter app.
Navita offers its text translator for free on the App World, with support for 52 languages, and three default interface languages; English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Need an app to read your emails to you while you drive? Look no further. DriveSafe.ly (why the .ly?) will read the name of the sender and the message out aloud and can be upgraded through the browser into the Pro version.
Aussie developers BigTinCan dished up a simple, fun and useful tool in BuzzMe. This app lets you customise the way the phone reacts to calls, messages and missed call alerts, letting you change the flashing LED colours and vibrating options for each.