Third-party apps are a great way to improve the functionality of your BlackBerry smartphone. But if you don't want to break the bank, then our list of the 10 best free apps could be just what you need.
Send and receive Skype calls on your BlackBerry using iSkoot's excellent Skype client. Sound quality is better than you'd expect - even on slower 2G internet connections - and iSkoot's tabbed interface makes navigating your contacts list easy. iSkoot also allows you to chat by text, if you prefer.
It integrates nicely with your BlackBerry's regular phone settings, using your existing ring tones and the BlackBerry call log.
The program is not only free to download and install, but there's no additional charge for sending and receiving calls to and from non-Skype numbers (Normal SkypeIn and SkypeOut charges apply.)
Don't fall out of the Twitter loop when you're away from the computer. TwitterBerry from Orangatame Software lets you read all the latest tweets from your Twitter friends, plus you can send tweets, read and write direct messages, and view your @ replies.
Menu items let you call up your BlackBerry's spell checker (so you don't embarrass yourself) and insert symbols easily (so you can make the most of your 140 characters). You can also view your friends' timelines individually, as well as the public timeline of all Twitter users.
CallWave's WebMessenger lets you chat with friends or business contacts on the most popular IM networks.
You'll need to create a single 'master' account to log into the software, but once logged in to WebMessenger, you can automatically log in to your existing accounts with AOL, Google, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Skype or Yahoo. You can be logged in to multiple accounts at the same time, and once you log in to whatever networks you've chosen, WebMessenger will keep you logged in even when it's running in the background.
WebMessenger downloads your buddy lists so you can see at a glance who's online and start chatting almost instantly. Depending on the abilities of each particular network, you can create chat groups, send messages to multiple recipients, and add or remove contacts, just as you would with a desktop client - making WebMessenger a solid alternative to desktop chatting.