BlackBerry Internet Service 2.6 Coming March, BES 5.0 Coming Q2

rimBlackberry Internet Service 2.6 is set to launch in March and will bring many new updates. BIS 2.6 is expected to have better Gmail integration and the ability to use Gmail through IMAP as well. Unfortunately, only one-way sync of your Gmail account is still expected. Blackberry emails accounts ( are still going to be capped at 32kb, and there will still be no attachments or HTML support. BIS 2.6 will cost less at $5 per month.

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 5.0 will be released in Q2 2009. Probably the most important new feature in BES 5.0 is the Mobile Voice System, which lets subscribers make cheap calls. Other features include the ability to change folders from your desktop email client from your BlackBerry, and save both emails and attachments to your external storage. BES 5.0 will also include push over-the-air updates for IT administrators.

 HTC has also released BlackBerry Connect 4.0 for select HTC Windows Mobile devices. The update now includes a desktop tool to easily sync your contacts, calendar and email. The update supports the HTC TyTN II, Touch Diamond, Touch Pro and HD. And of course, you can continue to use your Microsoft exchange server hosting to get your pushed email.

I think RIM is beginning to make good changes to its platform. However, I think the changes have only been reactive to stronger competition, including from the iPhone. RIM has taken a long time to simply bring HTML email to its handsets, which was already available years before hand on other handsets. RIM should continue to add features to its email service, including the ability to format composed emails from the device. And finally, the BlackBerry really needs a better GPS navigation application, one that can store maps on external storage, just like TomTom on Winmo.

The BlackBerry is also expected to be the first platform to get the new and highly anticipated Facebook Mobile App upgrade which will bring many new features including the ability to sync your Facebook contacts to your phonebook.

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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to [email protected]
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