One of the technological advances resulting from the popularity of the Apple Inc.’s iPhone is the development of third-party applications (commonly known as “apps”), which can be downloaded and run from the hand-held device. The popularity of iPhone apps has spread to other smartphone devices, including the BlackBerry, a device manufactured by Research In Motion.
As with the iPhone, a number of aviation-related apps have been developed for the BlackBerry.
A BlackBerry model 87071
Benefits and potential weaknesses
Apart from being a useful source of information, the key benefit of these applications is their portability. That is, because the applications are available on a relatively small hand-held device they can be transported almost anywhere, including in the cockpit.
Many of the available apps have been designed with this portability in mind, and while some require access to a network, others maintain a data set on the device itself which could theoretically be accessed throughout a flight.
However, as always, users should be cautious in relying on the information provided by smartphone apps, particularly where data is not updated regularly.
BlackBerry aviation apps
Examples of aviation-related apps developed for the BlackBerry include the following:
1 Photograph by Miguel Durán, sourced from Wikicommons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RIM_BlackBerry_8707v_Vodafone.jpg.