SLIDESHOW

Free BlackBerry Apps for the Holidays

A mobile maestro handpicks 10 BlackBerry applications -- six of which are completely free -- that can help with shopping, travel, personal entertainment and much more this upcoming holiday season.

BlackBerry apps for the holidays

It's that time of year again: cold, ugly weather; holiday shopping amongst hordes of mad bargain hunters; travel; and -- have mercy -- family get-togethers.

Thankfully, your BlackBerry smartphone can ease the pain -- with a bit of assistance from your mobile-minded pal Al, that is.

What follows is a list of hand-selected BlackBerry applications, the majority of which are free, to help you stay sane and entertained this holiday season. (Note: All of the apps featured in this post were tested using a BlackBerry Bold 9700 running OS 5.0)

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Flixster for BlackBerry

When you're not shopping, the holiday season can be an excellent time to take in a great flick. The free Flixster for BlackBerry app provides access to a variety of movie information, including showtimes for local theaters, maps and contact details to help you get there, ticket prices and more. And you can use the app to purchase tickets online via MovieTickets.com. You can also watch movie trailers in some cases and read film reviews from RottenTomatoes.com.

Download Flixster from BlackBerry App World.

NHL Game Center 2010

Keeping tabs on your favorite hockey team while rushing through busy stores and carting kids can be a challenge, but thanks to NHL Game Center 2010 for BlackBerry, it's manageable. The free hockey app offers scores, stats, play-by-play action, game photos, standings, schedules and much more. A $20 "premium" version adds video highlights and live game radio broadcasts, while the full "live" version costs $80 a year but offers live game video.

Download NHL Game Center from BlackBerry App World.

BlackBerry Wallet

Smart holiday shoppers grab their gifts online, from the comfort of their own homes. RIM's free BlackBerry Wallet app is a safe and convenient way to store and access all of your various retailer loyalty cards, as well as payment card information and shipping addresses. BlackBerry Wallet can also supposedly populate the appropriate fields on a website with your financial information while making a purchase to save you time.

Download BlackBerry Wallet from RIM's website.

Starbucks (SBUX) Card Mobile App for BlackBerry

Holiday shopping, related-travel and schmoozing with the in-laws can be frigid, tiring business. But as long as there's a Starbucks nearby, you always have a warm caffeine boost within reach. And with the Starbucks Card Mobile App for BlackBerry -- and a valid Starbucks card associated with it -- you need only open up the app and share your account info to purchase anything Starbucks has to offer. In some locations, namely Target stores, baristas can even scan your BlackBerry to collect payment info.

Find details on the Starbucks app for BlackBerry on Starbucks.com.

Texas Hold'em King Live for BlackBerry

Let's face it: purchasing holiday gifts is frequently a gamble. But the free, Texas Hold'em King (THK) Live app for BlackBerry offers up another, lower-pressure form of for-fun holiday gambling. Poker fans can play online with other THK Live users, chat with other gamers, and rack up faux riches, from the car during travel or while standing in line waiting to pay for gifts -- anywhere you can tote your BlackBerry smartphone.

Download Texas Hold'em King Live from BlackBerry App World.

NBA Game Time Lite 2010-11

Are you a Basketball buff who can't stand the thought of missing your team play due to a holiday engagement? Yeah. Me, too. The NBA Game Time 2010-11 app helps ensure that never has to happen. With team and player stats for every game, live scores, starting lineup reports and conference and league standings, the free, "lite" version is all most fans should need to stay up to date. But a $10 premium version also offers live-game audio and video highlights.

Download NBA Game Time Lite 2010-11 via BlackBerry App World.

BeWeather App

Every smartphone-toting holiday traveler should be equipped with some sort of weather app, and BeWeather for BlackBerry is the best available for RIM smartphones. It's not free, at $9.99 -- a three-day trial version is available -- but BeWeather's mostly accurate weather data and vast array of customization options make it well worth the price. The developers update it frequently, as well, regularly adding new features and functionality.

Purchase BeWeather via BlackBerry App World or check out the free trial version.

Blaq

Just because you're out and about, taking care of some last-minute gift-ideas or en route to the next holiday get-together, doesn't mean you can't stay up to date on Twitter. Mobile Twitter apps come a dime a dozen these days but what sets Blaq apart from other Twitter apps is its exceptional design and feel, and its impressive list of customization options. It costs $4.99, but that's one five-spot you won't regret dropping.

Purchase Blaq from Mobihand.com or download the free trial version.

Fixmo Tools for BlackBerry

Fixmo Tools is a collection of utilities for BlackBerry that help keep your device running as smoothly as possible, among others things. And device health is of the utmost importance for holiday travelers -- how else can you ensure access to all of the valuable apps mentioned in this slideshow? The $15-software -- Fixmo is currently on sale for $10 -- packs a battery-watch app, with alerts; a memory-monitoring tool; an "undelete" utility that lets you recover deleted message; and much, much more.

Purchase Fixmo Tools, or test-drive the trial version, via BlackBerry App World.

Camera Plus

One of the best things about the holidays is sharing pictures of all your various celebrations. Camera Plus for BlackBerry, which costs $2.99, makes this task infinitely easier via BlackBerry, since it allows you to quickly snap a handful of images, peruse them to pick the best ones, and then rapidly attach them all to a single e-mail message. (The BlackBerry OS only allows you to attach one image at a time, so sending a collection of pictures can be a major headache.)

Purchase Camera Plus via BlackBerry App World.

Get Your BlackBerry Black Belt with CIO.com's BlackBerry Bible: Everything You Need to Know About Your RIM Smartphone