Research In Motion has released the first of a number of free BlackBerry apps intended to compensate its users for a widespread service outage last week.
The iSpeech DriveSafe.ly Pro was available for download on the BlackBerry app store as of Wednesday morning.
The app reads text and e-mail messages aloud for motorists and was initially sold on the store for US$19.99.
RIM says it will offer at least a dozen free apps, valued at more than $100, to its users after widespread outages knocked e-mail, texting and Internet services offline last week.
The outage started in Europe and spread to the Middle East, Africa and North and South America for varying times.
Over the next few weeks, RIM said it will release a variety of other apps, including versions of popular mobile phone games like the Sims, Bejeweled, Texas Hold'em Poker and Bubble Bash.
The apps will be made available on BlackBerry App World and continue to be offered for free until Dec. 31.