Top 5 iPhone apps for BlackBerry switchers

TiPb checks out the best, most must-have apps for former BlackBerry users to load up as soon as you get your new iPhone 4

Switching from BlackBerry Storm or Bold or Tour to the new Verizon iPhone and curious which are the best, most must-have apps you need to make yourself feel at home? Well read on for TiPb’s top 5 most recommended, most must-have apps to get your Android experience maximized on iPhone.

Google Sync (Push email, calendar, contacts)

While you're giving up BIS and BES, you don't have to give up your addiction to super fast push email, calendar, or contacts and since Google has licensed ActiveSync, you can even get it for free! If you already have a free Gmail or paid Google Account, you're good to go. Just set it up as an Exchange account on your iPhone and get your push on. If you don't already have Gmail, go grab an account and then set it up as Exchange. You can even forward your old account or have Gmail fetch it for you so your transition is smooth as silk. [Built-in - Gmail link]

Also check out:

  • MobileMe is Apple's paid push email, calendar, and contacts service that also gives you iDisk cloud storage, photo galleries, and a host of Mac features. [$99/year - MobileMe link]
  • Good for Enterprise is for those who want extra secure Exchange or Lotus email on their iPhone. (You'll need Good on your IT sever side as well.) [Free - iTunes link]

Kik (BBM)

KikBBM put the crack in CrackBerry and leaving it behind is hard to say the least. The good news is you're leaving a BlackBerry locking but now have access to cross-platform replacements like Kik. It gives you all the real-time sent, received, and read status you crave and if you get your friends onboard, you'll never miss BBM again -- and can probably save on SMS text messages as well. [$0.99 - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • WhatsApp Messenger is similar to to Kik and works on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia. [$0.99 - iTunes link]
  • BeeJive isn't BBM but it is IM and if you'd rather use something more universal, that supports AIM/MobileMe, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk, Facebook, MySpace and Jabber [$9.99 - iTunes link]

Boxcar (Notifications)

BoxcarWhile we can't turn the iPhone 4 LED flash into a notification light for you (yet!) a lot of apps come with built-in push notifications and local notifications that will give you popup alerts, badge number counts, and sounds. Boxcar takes this to the next level with push notifications for Twitter, Facebook, Email, RSS, Growl, Github, Google Voice, Google Buzz, App Recommendation, and more. [Free - iTunes link]

Reeder (RSS/News Feeds)

BlackBerry 6 includes feeds and while that's far from being a mainstream feature power users will want their RSS -- enter Reeder. It syncs with Google Reader accounts and it's lightning fast. Just tap the app open and start browsing, reading, and sharing your feeds. [$2.99 - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • NetNewsWire isn't as fast but it's widely popular and it's free! [Free - iTunes link]
  • Twitter might sound crazy but many sites push their RSS to Twitter so you can follow them or makes lists of your favorite sites and get your news that way. [Free - iTunes link]

Jailbreak [Themes/settings]

The App Store has 350,000 apps but due to Apple's policies there are just some low-level, system-side things they just can't do. Jailbreak -- which "breaks" open the root "jail" and lets you install non-Apple approved apps is an option. With Jailbreak you have access to the Cydia Store, themes and customizations, notifications and easy settings access, and pretty much everything else you can think of and Apple would never approve. Check out our Jailbreak Starters Guide to get you going, our Top 5 Jailbreak apps and Top 5 Jailbreak themes for some of our favorites, and head on over to the Jailbreak Forum for expert help and discussion.

More iPhone apps and games

Once you've gotten that Google fix and you're ready for the best of the rest, check out TiPb's Top 10 iPhone apps where we list off some of the best, most must-have social networking, communications/IM, productivity, music/internet radio, photography, utility, and location apps, along with casual, time management, and hard core games. We've also got an ongoing series of top app lists in different categories and we're adding more all the time, so keep your eyes peeled!

Your top apps?

So there you have them, our top 5 best iPhone apps for Droid/Android switchers. Be sure to check out our Picks of the Week and iPhone App and Games Forum for more recommendations, and if we missed any of your favorites leave them in the comments below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Verizon iPhone starting to arrive!

Next up →

Top 5 iPhone apps for Droid/Android switchers

Reader comments

Top 5 iPhone apps for BlackBerry switchers


Kk is exactly like bbm and is comparable with blackberrys aswell as android and obviously iPhone/touch so really you're not leaving much behind

Kevin at Crackberry will be preparing a retaliation article about switching from the iPad to a Pllaybook and it will be 20,000 words long.

Why does Kik receive so much attention? Can the people of this site please get something right - this is the 2nd time I've seen this now. Kik service is BARRED from RIM's servers - so messages are not received instantly on a BB device. It's also a very basic messenger.
LiveProfile is everything Kik is but MORE. It's the closest thing to BBM. So please stop advertising Kik (BBM) as the closest thing to BBM as it quite simply IS NOT. LiveProfile deserves that title instead. Go check it out.

I am glad I found your acltrie. Your content is like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise polluted sea of confusing content. Your acltrie is interesting and original.

Thank you good sir. I've now jaoblriken my iPod Touch 4G for the second time. Now I can test out this ArDefender app!!PS: Minecraft is awesome!

Does anyone know of an app that allows "suretype"? I am going to miss that the most going from a BB Storm to the iPhone 4.

What about PingChat as an alternative to Kik... like everyone else said, Kik was kicked out of RIM (see what I did there lol)

Terrific site, where did you come up with the iinfrmatoon in this blog? Im glad I found it though, ill be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.

Developers are always looking for ways to get their apps reviewed. Found this great site that has paid apps for free but only for a limited time. They usually revert back to paid apps within 24 hours so it’s best to check back twice a day.
The website is:

In my reievw of the original Apple iPad, I've already discussed the pros and cons of a tablet vis-a-vis a regular notebook/netbook so we'll skip that part {see Apple iPad reievw}.

sagt:Ich traue denen Sachen nicht mehr. Das ist so etwas wie am 1. April. Stets vor Apple-Prasentationen kemmon solche Sachen vorher raus. Oft stimmt es danach aber nicht, die Seite wurde gehackt oder der Twitter-Account missbraucht. Abwarten, heute Abend wissen wir mehr!

Read "The top 5 iPhone apps for Blackberry switchers."
There are several suitable replacements for BBM on iPhone. The only down side is that they are 3rd party apps and not standard in all iPhones. I think Apple could make a killing if they included some kind of BBM style client standard.
The thing is, for nearly all things you want to do on BB, you can find something to do that on iPhone. I disagree the BB is superior for communication considering the myriad of communication options available in the iPhone app store.

Whoops. Sorry this post was supposed to go to a BB forum article (multiple tabs in iPhone browser, got them mixed up.)

I would like an app similar to the blackberry calendar. I have seen before, but i don't know the name and can´t find it, someone know?

This is the best website for anyone who desires to find out about this subject. You notice so much its almost onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would want...HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for ages. Nice stuff, simply nice!

All right, I am adding the Arthur Phillips book to my list BUT I take issue with your choice of Wintergirls. Wintergirls does not do it for me. It's just too damn brutal.

Hello there Brilliant post you have got with this one with regard to here. Props on work this information up. Should be this one the leading area spot to select a low-cost BlackBerry smartphone from?

Thanks for your tips about this blog. One particular thing I would like to say is that purchasing electronic devices items in the Internet is certainly not new. The truth is, in the past 10 years alone, the market for online electronic devices has grown significantly. Today, you could find practically almost any electronic device and other gadgets on the Internet, which include cameras plus camcorders to computer spare parts and gaming consoles.

Normally I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice article.