Research In Motion will shortly release a version of BlackBerry Desktop Manager that allows sync between BlackBerry devices and Apple computers. Users will be able to synchronize data between their BlackBerry smartphones and apps such as iCal, Address Book and Microsoft Entourage. The software also integrates with BlackBerry Media Sync so users can transfer playlists and songs from their iTunes music collections to their BlackBerrys.
Research In Motion
plans to release a version of BlackBerry Desktop Manager
for Mac users, desktop software that syncs Apple computers with BlackBerry
devices, on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. EDT.
Once released, the application will be available on this site.
Desktop Manager software is designed to run on Mac computers with Mac OS 10.5.5
and higher and supports BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 4.2 and
higher," RIM said in a news release Sept. 30.
The BlackBerry Desktop Manager version for Macs will allow users to sync
data between their BlackBerrys and Mac applications such as iCal, Address Book
and Microsoft Entourage. It will also allow users to add and remove programs,
encrypt files, install software updates on their mobile devices and schedule
In addition, the application integrates BlackBerry Media Sync, allowing
users to port their iTunes music collections to their BlackBerrys by selecting
the desired playlists and songs.
Previously, BlackBerry users had to rely on PocketMac for BlackBerry, which
offered synchronization with iTunes, Mail.app, Contacts and Entourage. The new
offering may be seen as a more robust application, although RIM offered free
support for PocketMac for BlackBerry when it was Mac owners' only alternative.
Inside BlackBerry, the official BlackBerry blog, has been trumpeting
the upcoming Mac support since July.
Although BlackBerry Desktop Manager closely integrates BlackBerry smartphones
with Macs, RIM and Apple are definitely competing for a share of the
mobile-device space. Apple recently announced that customers have downloaded
more than 2 billion Apps from the App Store
since its opening in July 2008,
a number that puts it well ahead of RIM's BlackBerry App World. Microsoft,
Google, Nokia and Palm have also been formulating plans for catching up to
Apple, which now boasts an ecosystem of 85,000 Apps.
Despite the BlackBerry's reputation as an enterprise-oriented device, RIM
has been making strategic moves to meet an increasing consumer demand for smartphones.
During a June earnings call, co-CEO Jim
Balsillie claimed that his company's customer base is now evenly split between
consumer and business clients; during the first quarter of fiscal year 2010,
about 80 percent of the company's new customers were consumers as opposed to
enterprise or small and midsize business clients.
In that spirit, some of BlackBerry's newest offerings have veered away from
purely business functions. On Sept. 30, a Tivo application for BlackBerry
its debut, allowing users to program their digital video recorders directly
from their smartphones. The Tivo DVR Scheduler mimics the Tivo DVR interface.