RIM rolls out Google Calendar sync for BIS users

The Ontario-based maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), has updated its popular BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) system to include new two-way syncing capabilities for Google Calendar.

The feature, which was already available on the premium BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) system that is used by larger businesses, is now available for BIS, which is used largely by the consumer segment.

A significant number of BlackBerry users already use Google applications, such as Google Gmail, which currently offers the most robust email management system for mobile devices. Many of those same people also use Google Calendar, and until now, they could not get native syncing capabilities on their BlackBerry smartphone.

 The two-way Google Calendar sync means users could add, delete, or edit appointments from any computer, or mobile phone, and see the changes directly on their BlackBerry smartphone without having to manually refresh.

To activate the feature on your BlackBerry, simply login to BIS from your PC browser and enable the feature from the Edit page of your Gmail account. You then must login to the Email Settings app on your BlackBerry to re-authenticate.

Despite the BlackBerry smartphone primarily being an enterprise centric device, RIM took far longer than expected to add two-way Google Calendar sync functionality, given competing mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS already offers the feature.

Apple iOS devices, like the iPhone, go a step further when it comes to asynchronous integration with Google applications by providing sync capabilities with the native Notes application, which syncs with Google Notes, allowing users to easily retrieve and manage notes from their computer or mobile device.

Over the last year and a half, the RIM stock has lost over 45-percent of its value, with investors still uncertain about future expected earnings growth given intensifying competition and the lack of ability of the device maker to unveil a superior handset, or even a handset on par, with competing devices, like the iPhone. There is also increasing uncertainty over the backlash of foreign governments, like the UAE, who are threatening to ban BlackBerry service if RIM does not open up its service to allow governments to monitor select messages for national security reasons.

The RIM stock (TSE:RIM) is trading down but close to par from today’s opening price at $48.96 per share.

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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to [email protected]
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