MailTones Brings Ringtones to BlackBerry E-Mail

Last Updated Oct 29, 2009 11:48 AM EDT

Tired of pulling out your BlackBerry every two minutes to see if that new e-mail is from someone important? MailTones gives you an audio-cue alternative, playing custom sounds when you receive messages from your boss, co-workers, and other designated senders.

Using the app is a snap: Just set your BlackBerry's e-mail alerts to Silent, then configure MailTones to use the sounds you want -- including a couple dozen included "tones" or any MP3s you happen to have loaded.

You can apply these sounds to individual contacts, groups of contacts, and even subjects: The app plays an alert when the subject line contains one or more selected keywords.

I haven't tried MailTones for BlackBerry, but the iPhone version works very nicely (though it's not nearly as easy to set up).

Both versions cost $2.99, a very reasonable price for an app that promises to give BlackBerry users some relief from constant, distracting, and often downright rude e-mail checking.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.