Manoj from BerrySki asked me to do a review of their product, namely a new BlackBerry app for skiers. BerrySki offers you the possibility to download maps of the ski resort pistes in Europe or USA / Canada, and tied in with GPS functionality of your BlackBerry you will be able to see where you are on the mountain. For people who are afraid of roaming charges and want to avoid a surprise roaming bill when they get home after a ski trip this might be a good alternative.
As I no longer use my BlackBerry Pearl, I asked the email marketing man Chris Byrne from SpinnakerPro to give it a whirl. And thankfully he said yes. Chris downloaded the Kitzbuhel map, as that is a resort that he is pretty familiar with it. Here are some of his comments on the app and the installation process:
- Download and authorisation process is a little but clunky and could be a little easier, with a better guide to help you through the process.
- The map only has lift names, and not lift numbers. On some resorts numbers are easier to follow (especially in mainland Europe where the lifts generally have foreign names)
- Orientation on the map is a not so intuitive, it doesn’t appear to be like the offical resort maps, and it’s not “north-up”. This will lead to confusion when you try to compare where you are on your phone, with the piste map.
- Software does have a certain beta feel to it, so it’s possible they are still working on fixes.
Also, a possible improvement for the app would be some social integration with Brightkite/Foursquare/Twitter or Facebook functionality. Where you could push your status at regular times, or check in. Despite these little niggling complaints it is something that is worth buying if you need to have a ski map on your BlackBerry.
Berry ski costs from $14.99 for 1 European resort, to $39.99 for all European maps of about 460 resorts, for more check BerrySki.com.
Edit : Some comments from the app developer
- We do have integration with facebook via a facebook. Once the tracks are exported to our website, they automatically appear on the wall if the user has added the Snowdays facebook app.
- Actually the maps that we offer are actually north up, south down just like regular maps. The ski resort maps have top of the lift showing north. This is unintuitive when compared with paper maps if the lift going up is actually going south. We have tried to address this by adding directed arrows on lifts. We will work on a better fix for this issue.
Good to hear that they take the advice and questions on board and are willing to work with people when they have issues, well done Manoj and team !
Note : This was a non paid review of this software and views expressed above are the independent views of the author. If you would like a product reviewed please get in touch.