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!

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