| | 04-12-2012, 07:16 AM Thread Author #1
Last week I decided to harness my search skills in finding an app in BlackBerry App World for sending Easter greetings to our relatives. The list of greeting cards apps was impressive, but I discarded most of them soon for being too standard and regular for my taste (I've never been a mainstream person in my life and I'm not a big fan of standard stuff). After a while I scrolled down to a free app named j4funzies, one of the very few which did not have "greeting" or "card" in their names. I clicked the app to read its description and yes, the app was really designed to send greetings.
The download didn't take much time, as j4funzies was about 200KB only and the installation was painless.
I ran the app and I was taken to the initial screen where I could select a category.
I picked one and the next screen displayed the greetings in it as images in a grid. The images were divided to pages which could easily be "turned" by swiping horizontally or vertically or by tapping the arrow buttons near the screen edges. The greetings, or "funZzlies", as the app creators had decided to call them (thumbs up for the nontraditional approach!) looked vivid, fresh and cheerful and didn't resemble the ones I had seen so far in other apps and web sites. There were not only Easter "funZzlies", but also for other public holidays and some casual. Not all greetings were free, but the paid ones were not expensive at all (mostly $0.99).
I tapped a "funZzly" image and after the download completed, it was opened in full size in a new screen. Unlike its preview image, the funZzly was animated and looked even more fantastic. There was a text in it which I could easily modify in the field below it. I was also able to change the font size and the text color. The changes were not applied automatically - I had to click the Preview button or menu and to see them in the funZzly.
There were three sending options: SMS, e-mail and PIN message.
To send the greeting I had to select a recipient and to type my name. Besides the text embedded in the greeting I could also type the subject and the text of the e-mail (PIN/SMS) which would deliver my funZzly.
Sending was simple, especially for free greetings - I tapped Send and waited a couple of seconds until the app told me that my greeting had been sent. Sending paid greetings invlolved an additional step - I was taken to the same screen used for purchasing paid apps in BlackBerry App World and I was asked to enter my BlackBerry ID and password and then confirm the purchase. Afterwards the sending was the same as for free cards. Payments went flawlessly, although sometimes a little bit slowly.
I also noticed that I could use a voucher instead of paying for a greeting. It turned out that these guys were giving a voucher for every two purchased funZzlies (until May 4, 2012). I did purchase two funZzlies and I did receive a voucher for one free.
The app user interface is intuitive, vivid, very distinctive and different from the other apps in this category. All screens are painted in warm and pleasant yellow-orange stripes, the green buttons are big enough to use with a touch screen. I like the way font size, text color and the way to send the greeting are selected - three buttons in a row only one of which can be active. Buttons and all other fields have soft round corners.
All downloads and other long operations are indicated with a progress pop-up, again in the same gamma and having a Cancel button.
J4funzies downloads its greetings from a server and therefore needs an Internet connection. Most of the apps which need internet ask you to choose how to connect. Fortunately, j4funzies is not one of them - it automatically finds the best way to connect to the Internet. It works with my home Wi-Fi network, as well as outside with my mobile carrier's network and automatically detects and switches to a new Wi-Fi connection.
Let's have a word about how funZzlies are received. The first three I sent were addressed to myself. The received messages were from me, not from an unknown gateway or server and contained the message text I had entered a few seconds ago, plus a link below it. All messages except the SMS had the subject I had typed before the sending. The e-mail was in HTML format and also had the animated greeting inside.
The link below the message text took me to a cool web page which displayed my funZzly. It even had social networks sharing buttons.
A few words in conclusion: although I have some remarks on j4funzies, like the lack of simultaneous sending to more than one recipient, the lack of publishing to Facebook or BBM and the only one available font so far, I would give the app an excellent rate.
It is a small, very cool and easy to use app and demonstrates its creators' nontraditional (in the good way) and out-of-the-box thinking and innovative approach in everything: choosing the name, inventing own term for greetings (funZzlies), designing the user interface and of course, all the funZzlies - not only their fresh look, but the idea of putting your own text in them, not using ready-made boring wish patterns.
I would highly recommend j4funzies to anyone who likes sending greetings and is always on the go.
If you'd like to give it a try, j4funzies can be downloaded from BlackBerry App World: Free j4funzies - Download j4funzies - Free Apps from BlackBerry App World.[HTML][/HTML]