Free BlackBerry Storm Apps: Seven Essential Downloads

The weeks following the release of the Research In Motion's first touch screen , the Storm, , were unfortunately filled with complaints from users, and critics alike regarding the extremely poor quality operating system that shipped with the device. And rightly so; RIM and rushed out buggy OS code that was simply not ready for prime time, in order to meet previously stated release dates.

However, behind the scenes, a variety of mobile software developers were studiously working those weeks away on new applications for the much-anticipated device. Now, less than a month later, Verizon has updated and improved the Storm OS, and many of those apps are starting to pop up on the Web. Best of all: Many of them are free.

Not all of the following applications were developed specifically for the Storm, but each and every one functions well on the device--with the exception of a few minor bugs. I've mentioned most of the apps in , but that was before the Storm landed and before anyone knew whether or not they'd work on RIM's first touch BlackBerry.

(Note: All of our recommended applications were downloaded and tested using a Verizon Wireless 9530 running OS, the latest official Verizon release.)

WeatherBug for BlackBerry Storm: Makin' it Rain

One of my personal favorite free BlackBerry applications, WeatherBug is a unique and valuable mobile weather app. The software creates a dynamic icon on your BlackBerry home screen that updates itself according to your local weather conditions--or the weather conditions in a pre-specified locale. For instance, when it's partially cloudy, your WeatherBug icon displays an image of the sun with a cloud eclipsing it, as well as the current temperature and the day's predicted high and low. And when the weather changes, the icon is automatically modified accordingly.