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Chapter 3. Managing Your BlackBerry from... > Install a New Application to Your De...

11. Install a New Application to Your Device

If you simply plugged in your desktop PC the day you got it and have since been happily using it without ever installing any additional applications, you might not see the significance of this task. More realistically, you've probably installed numerous applications on your desktop PC ranging from productivity applications to games. Your BlackBerry device is no different from your desktop PC in regard to expanding its software capabilities through third-party applications. There is a surprisingly wide range of available applications, most of them priced reasonably—and some are even available for free download.

It's worth noting that BlackBerry devices have been around for several years, and not all of them are as full-featured as the 7100 series. For this reason, you should pay close attention to any applications you consider installing to ensure that they specifically take advantage of the newer features in the 7100. Otherwise, you might end up with an application that is designed to run on a much smaller black-and-white screen. An application designed specifically for the 7100 will take advantage of the larger color screen and phone features that are built in to the device.


Speaking of installing applications, the following are a few websites you might want to visit to find useful BlackBerry applications: http://www.handango.com/, http://www.rimroad.com/software.html, and http://www.magmic.com/.


You can download and install an application directly to your BlackBerry device from the Web. See 50 Install a New Application Over-the-Air to find out how.

Download the Application to Your Desktop PC

Whether you have purchased a commercial application or found an application that is freely available for download, you must first download the application to your desktop PC before you can install it to your BlackBerry device. The website from which you are obtaining the application should provide a link for downloading the application. When prompted to open or save the downloaded application file, click Save to save the file; you will then get an opportunity to open the file and execute it on your desktop PC after it finishes downloading.

11. Install a New Application to Your Device

Install the Application Files to Your Desktop PC

Most BlackBerry applications include an installation program that simply places a special file on your desktop PC that is used by the BlackBerry Desktop Manager to install the application on your device. Follow the instructions for the specific application to install this file on your desktop PC, being sure to remember the location on your desktop hard drive.


If you download a BlackBerry application that is stored in a Zip file instead of an executable installation program (EXE), you'll need to unzip the application yourself. Just use Windows Explorer to extract the application files from the Zip file to a new folder. The primary file you're looking for is a file with an extension of .alx, which is the file used by the BlackBerry Desktop Manager to install the application.

Launch the Application Loader Wizard

With your BlackBerry device plugged in to your desktop PC and turned on, click the Start button on the Windows taskbar of your desktop PC to open the Windows Start menu. Then select All Programs, BlackBerry, Desktop Manager. The BlackBerry Desktop Manager application appears.

Double-click the Application Loader icon in the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. The Application Loader Wizard window appears.

Select the New Application for Installation

Click the Next button to get started with the Application Loader Wizard. The wizard will take a few moments to analyze your device and then display the Handheld Application Selection window. This window includes all the applications installed on your device, including core operating system components. The new application you are installing is not listed yet because you haven't added it to the list.


You must be careful when using the Application Loader Wizard because it allows you to make sweeping changes to the applications installed on your device, including critical core applications such as the phone and security features. Unless you really want to remove an application from your device, you should never uncheck an application in the Application Loader Wizard because it will be uninstalled. Generally speaking, it's not a good idea to uncheck standard applications unless you fully understand the implications.

Click the Add button to add the new application to the list of available applications. Navigate to the folder on your desktop PC where you installed the application files. Click the file with the .alx extension, and then click the Open button. After returning to the Handheld Application Selection window, you now see the new application at the bottom of the application list.

If it isn't already checked, click the check box next to the application name to select it for installation to your device. Click the Next button to continue in the wizard. The completion window of the Application Loader Wizard appears.

Install the Application to Your Device

The Advanced button enables you to tweak the installation settings associated with application data and currently installed applications. More specifically, you can specify that all application data be erased from your device prior to installation. You can also specify that all applications be erased from your device before installation. These are both fairly aggressive measures intended to serve as somewhat of a cleanup of your device's state. They are recommended only if you are having problems, and even then you should perform a backup of your device prior to proceeding with any erasure.


If you click the Advanced button to tweak advanced installation settings, you might have to progress through several screens to return to the familiar Finish button that allows you to finish the installation process. Just accept the default settings along the way if you aren't sure how to answer.

Click the Finish button to install the application to your device. After installing the application to your device, the BlackBerry Desktop Manager automatically synchronizes the device with your desktop PC. The new application is now ready to run on your device.

Run the Application on Your Device

On the Home screen of your device, scroll to the Applications icon and click the trackwheel. The Applications screen appears, offering a sequence of applications, including the new application you installed. In this example, I installed the Dreams Meaning Dictionary by Beiks LLC, which enables me to type a word and find out what it means if I dream about it. Scroll to the application icon with the trackwheel and click to launch the application.

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