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Skype for BlackBerry to support 3G calls, unlike iPhone

Skype mobile for the iPhone has now launched, and the much-anticipated Skype app for the BlackBerry is coming in May. There are some differences between the two. The BlackBerry will get the Skype Lite version, that will actually support both 3G and WiFi calling over the BlackBerry, the iPhone is currently restricted to calls only over WiFi. However, some other features for the BB will not be present (at least immediately), including file transfer support, and voicemail. Skype for BlackBerry will initially only support the Curve and the Bold.

As part of Skype’s plan for mass integration, the company recently reached a deal with Nokia to have Skype preinstalled on the upcoming Nokia N97 when it ships. Skype’s next plan is to release a version for Palm’s upcoming Pre Web OS powered handset, followed with other standard versions for other platforms.

Skype for the iPhone pictured

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Skype Launches on iPhone, coming to BlackBerry

eBay’s popular VoIP service Skype has just launched a mobile version of its service for the iPhone. A BlackBerry version will launch by the end of May. It firstly rolled out the iPhone Skype app on Tuesday in Japan (already available in Japan from the time difference) and will also launch tomorrow for everyone else. Reports indicate the sound quality and everything else is great. The apps will be completely free to use and download, but some features such as making calls requires Skype credits.

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RIM to launch unlimited TV downloads

rimIt appears RIM is readying the launch of its new unlimited TV download service. Blackberry users will be able to actually download full TV show episodes from RIM’s extensive catalog of partners. RIM will restrict downloads only from WiFi because of pressure from network carriers over bandwidth concerns. It is unclear how Verizon customers will use the service because Verizon BlackBerry devices do not support WiFi since the company wants subscribers to add mobile Internet to their plans. We can also expect iTunes to enable video downloads to the iPhone as iTunes currently only lets you download music and podcasts over-the-air.

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RIM Rolls out BlackBerry Internet Service 2.6

rimBlackBerry maker RIM has just completed upgrading its BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) to version 2.6 for North American customers. To get the new features for your Gmail account, you must delete your email account and re-add it. The changes in 2.6 are not very significant at all, the new features include:

* Display of password characters
o BlackBerry smartphone users have the option to display password characters when configuring email addresses with the BlackBerry Internet Service. This feature makes it easier for BlackBerry smartphone users to integrate third-party email addresses, especially when using a BlackBerry smartphone with the SureType® input method. Read the full story

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Telus Announces $500M Infrastructure Investment, Did not block YouTube on Older BlackBerry Handsets

telusThe second largest telecom in Canada, Telus, has announced plans today to invest up to $500 million in expanding infrastructure in British Columbia and parts of Alberta. The company also outlined plans to build a more eco-friendly datacenter likely to be located in BC.

Telus said, “This investment is expected to ensure a smooth transition to long-term evolution technology, the emerging worldwide standard for 4G wireless networks.” Read the full story

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Facebook Announces Major Changes, New Homepage, to Fight Twitter, New Facebook BlackBerry App Sighted


Facebook has announced very significant changes today in its home page design, profile pages and the news activity streams. The most important change is the fact that Facebook has embraced the Twitter model by allowing people to become fans on public pages without the 5,000-friend limit.

Currently, many companies and celebrities are using Twitter to easily connect as there are really no limitations, some accounts have in excess of 170,000 friends. Read the full story

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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 (@carrier.blackberry.net) 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.

Read the full story

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Google Sync Now Supports iPhone, Windows Mobile

Google has just released a beta version of its new Google Sync service. Google sync will let you automatically keep your Google Calendar, email and contacts synced between your iPhone and Windows Mobile phone automatically. This sync capability was already available on the Blackberry and Symbian S60 powered phones, though now support has been added for the iPhone, Windows Mobile, and other SyncML supported cell phones. Google Sync offers two-way synchronization, so if you make a change on your mobile phone or your PC, the changes will be immediately synched with the server. Thankfully, you don’t have to send SMS messages to “GVENT” to update your calendar from now on.

Google has also partnered with TrueSwitch to make it easier for you to migrate data from other email services including Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, among other services. You will be able to easily copy over contacts, old emails and other information to gmail. The new settings for you to start doing this are already available under Accounts and Import in the settings page in gmail. Just remember these services are beta and things can still go wrong.

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Verizon Sells 1M Blackberry Storms, Q4 Profits Up

Verizon has just released Q4 results. The Blackberry Storm contributed to higher profits, with an impressive 1 million Blackberry Storm units sold. Analysts were expecting about 500,000 units sold. Verizon also reported 1.4 million new subscribers added during Q4. Verizon CEO and Chairman Ivan Seidenberg said “Verizon has shown that it is able to compete effectively in this economic environment,” Verizon posted $24.65 billion in total revenue and $1.24 billion in net profit in 2008. The Blackberry definitely Read the full story

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Microsoft to Launch MobileMe/App Store Competitors: SkyBox, SkyMarket

windows-mobile-7Microsoft has already confirmed it is developing SkyMarket, which is essentially a direct competitor to the Apple App Store, where people can purchase third party software for their Windows Mobile powered devices. Microsoft is also expected to launch its SkyBox service, which is essentially a direct competitor to Apple’s MobileMe. SkyBox will essentially sync and allow you to access your contacts, e-mail, calendar, SMS, pictures, and your files from a centralized system. Importantly, it is believed Microsoft will not limit SkyBox to only Windows Mobile device, instead allowing almost any newer handset to take advantage of the service, including Symbian and iPhone handsets, which would be a big competitive edge over Apple’s MobileMe. Microsoft is also expected to launch an enterprise version of SkyBox called SkyLine. It is unclear how the two will differentiate. Microsoft should launch these products in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In related news, Blackberry maker, RIM, has just announced it is accepting submissions for its own Application Storefront for developers who want to sell their Blackberry made applications. Note: Windows Mobile 7 Pictured Above

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