The Essential Download: BlackBerry Hub, Firefox, Rio 2016

Get more productive, active and entertained with our weekly roundup of the best new and updated iOS, Android and Windows apps

Welcome to the Essential Download, a selection of new, updated and essential applications that will make working on a mobile device simpler, more productive and secure activity. There’s even room for a bit of fun as well.

BlackBerry Hub+ (Android)

BlackBerry Hub Android

Don’t want a BlackBerry? Don’t want a Blackberry Android? Want to turn your Android smartphone into a BlackBerry? Good news, the company is letting you install its best apps on any device running version 6.0 Marshmallow.

Previously exclusive to BlackBerry 10 OS and the company’s Android handsets such as the Priv and the recently announced DTEK50, the Hub unifies emails and social posts, making it easier to stay on top of communications.

The Hub+ suite also comprises BlackBerry’s calendar, contacts, notes, tasks, device search, app launcher and password keeper. Users can either download all the apps or just the ones they want. Afree 30 day trial is being offered by the company, after which users can either keep the apps for free on an ad-supported basis or pay 99 cents a month for the premium experience.

We asked BlackBerry about an iOS version, but it appears as though one isn’t imminent.

“BlackBerry is currently focusing on the Android platform while investigating how best to deliver the BlackBerry application experience on iOS,” a spokesperson told TechWeekEurope.

Mozilla Firefox (Android)

Firefox Android

Firefox for iOS was updated last week but the Android version is on the same release cycle as the desktop edition. Alongside the usual security enhancements, Mozilla has removed support for Android 2.3 Gingerbread but added a new action bar for 6.0 Marshmallow.

It has also improved audio and video support with better volume controls and automatic pausing of a video if you receive a call.

Dropbox Paper (iOS/Android)

Dropbox Paper 1

Dropbox Paper is still in beta, but now anyone can sign up for the collaborative document service. The software lets teams create and work together on documents complete with text, images and embedded videos. These can be shared automatically with Google Calendar attendees and checklists can also be created for projects.

The Android app is available immediately, but you might have to wait a little while for the iOS edition.

Instagram (iOS/Android)

Instagram Stories Android

Do you like Snapchat stories? You’re going to love Instagram stories. The Facebook-owned imaging app lets you share multiple photos and videos in a slideshow, which then disappears after 24 hours. Keep your followers informed without flooding their newsfeed.

PokeFit (Android)


Pokemon Go has been nothing short of a phenomenon but it does cause some headaches. We’ve documented the issues with battery drain, security and productivity, but some good can come out of it – specifically, it encourages you to get out and get active.

PokeFit, which is Android only, adds a display to show you how many calories you’ve burned, distance covered and how much battery you’ve used while trying to catch em all. Another Pidgey? Great…

BBC Sport (iOS/Android)

BBC Sport Rio 2016

BBC Sport has been updated for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which start on Friday 5 August. The Olympic broadcaster has 24 streams of live coverage and will be transmitting some events in 360 degree VR. It will also have all the latest news, stats and radio commentary too.