When one of your contacts calls, you can be alerted to their identity through a custom ringtone, and/or with name and photo flashed on the screen of your BlackBerry.
But what if your contact sends your BlackBerry an email or text message? Your phone can alert you that a message has arrived, but can’t help you identify who the sender is until you actually open the message.
Aerize Email Alerts brings the convenience of Caller ID to email and text messages (SMS).
Download and Installation
I purchased Aerize Email Alerts (or Aerize Alerts for short) from the BerryReview Store that had a special price of only $5 (normally $10–still a bargain) until Oct. 31, 2008 (sorry…now expired). But naturally you can purchase it directly from Aerize, too.
In case you’re new to purchasing, downloading, and installing apps, I’ll show you how I did it. (You veteran app loaders can skip to the next section.)
I chose an OTA (over-the-air) download from an SMS (text) message sent from the store. For me, that’s far easier than downloading to my computer, then installing the app using Desktop Manager.
Just moments after my online purchase, I received the text message with a link for the download. That link opened my BlackBerry Browser to conduct the download.
Since Aerize Alerts needs access to your email and SMS inboxes, you have to grant the app those permissions. For security reasons, you are notified that the app is requesting those permissions and you have to explicitly click to allow it. If you ever download an app you’re suspicious of, scrutinize carefully the permissions it claims to need. Better yet–don’t download apps without knowing they’re safe.
After successful installation, you find an envelope icon on your Home Screen.
When I first opened Aerize Alerts, I saw it seemed to be asking for a Serial Code. I’m quite sure that’s because you can download a trial version to play with for 7 days, but to use it after the trial period, you have to purchase it to get the Serial Code.
The Serial Code was emailed to me separately; it was actually referred to as an Activation Code. I scrolled down and typed it in (although it looked strange since it overlaps the Aerize logo, as the screenshot below shows). Be aware that the Serial/Activation Code is tied to your BlackBerry’s PIN. That would prevent you from installing it on a different BlackBerry later. Or, if you typed the wrong PIN for your phone when you did the online purchase, I suspect your code would not work. So, be careful.
Here are the settings you can configure for Aerize Alerts:
- Font size (for the pop-up notification for email/SMS): Small, Normal, Large
- Auto-dismiss (this determines how long the pop-up notification remains on your home screen): Disabled (the pop-up won’t go away until you force it to), 3 sec., 10 sec., 30 sec.
- Show Email Popup: yes or no
- Show SMS Popup: yes or no
- Condense body preview: yes or no (whether you want the message body to be shortened or shown in full) [ Postscript 2008-11-01: An updated version changes this setting to Body Preview: Disabled, Long, or Short ]
- Only show if:
- Anyone (show pop-ups for any sender)
- Sender is contact (show pop-ups only for senders known in your Address Book)
- Sender has picture (show pop-ups only for senders who have a Photo ID in your Address Book)
- [ Postscript 2008-11-01: An updated version adds: High Importance ]
That’s the extent of configuration: short and sweet. Save your settings.
Here’s how it works. Depending on your configuration settings, when an email or text message arrives, a pop-up overlays whatever is on your screen.
- Click OK to dismiss the pop-up.
- Click Open to open the message.
- For email, click Mark Opened so the message will appear as opened in its inbox.
- For email, click Delete to delete the message from its inbox.
After using Aerize Alerts for only a few days, I’ve seen one minor bug: after dismissing a pop-up, my Home Screen didn’t render correctly, I just opened something and closed it and the Home Screen got repainted back to normal. I don’t consider this a significant bug. If I discover other problems, I’ll return to document them here.
Postscript, 2008-10-22: If I use the Application Switcher to see what’s running on my Curve 8330 (OS v126.96.36.199), and if I click the Aerize Alerts icon, the Switcher “freezes up.” The trackball won’t roll and the Escape and Menu keys don’t function. Fortunately, the End Call (red) key terminates the Application Switcher and all is well again. Not a biggie.
Postscript, 2008-10-25: NewBBie reader Andrew (see comment below) notes that if your phone is in keyboard lock when an Aerize Alert pop-up would happen, the pop-up does not appear when you unlock the keyboard. So, when you unlock your keyboard, you will need to open Messages to see if anything came in. Also, if your phone is in Standby, the pop-up will bring it out of Standby. You might or might not want this to happen.
Postscript, 2008-11-01: Version 1.1.0 made several improvements and changes that aren’t fully reflected in the article above.
Postscript, 2008-11-08: Version 1.1.1 made several improvements and changes that aren’t fully reflected in the article above. I will not continue to track these updates since they are coming so frequently and changes are so relatively minor.
I chose Aerize Alerts for my BlackBerry Curve 8830, but it’s available for all versions of Pearl, Curve, and Bold (as well as several other models).
Aerize Alerts answers the frequent complaints that BlackBerry owners can’t tell when one of their friends sends them an email or text message without accessing the Messages inbox. Now, you can just glance at your screen and know.
I highly recommend this app for its usefulness, quality of performance, and affordability.