Google plans on releasing a new tool-Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server-that allows users access to their Google apps, including Gmail and Google Calendar, through integrated BlackBerry smartphone applications.
The Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server will be available, for free, to all Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers come July; it is currently in beta testing at select companies and universities.
"This new software component will make it even easier for mobile users to use Google apps on BlackBerry smartphones," Raju Gulabani, product management director for Google, said in a May 4 corporate blog posting. "It allows users to access Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts using the built-in BlackBerry smartphone applications they already know and love."
The synchronization allows users to receive Gmail messages within their BlackBerry's e-mail client, have Google Calendar events updated and synced on the BlackBerry Calendar, and port any contacts saved on Google apps into native BlackBerry smartphone applications.
In addition, IT administrators can continue to manage BlackBerry smartphones using the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, according to Gulabani. "Google Apps Connector installs on BlackBerry Enterprise Server, connecting it to the Google Apps cloud and synchronizing e-mail, calendar and contacts for all BlackBerry smartphone users."
On May 4, Research In Motion announced the general availability of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0, designed to increase IT administrators' granular control over large mobile enterprise work forces, with several solutions intended to increase the functionality and flexibility of the BlackBerry line. At the same time, the server can be tuned to prevent certain prohibited applications from being downloaded by network smartphone users, boosting security.
Enterprise Server 5.0 allows IT administrators to wirelessly load software updates onto a BlackBerry network and schedule those updates remotely and automatically. Role-based access controls allow certain tasks to be delegated to IT staffs, but include the ability to restrict certain functions to administrators and workers of a certain level.
Google has also been rolling out new products this week.
On May 4, the search-engine giant announced two new applications derived from Google Latitude, its geo-location service that allows users to post their real-time location. Users can now display their Latitude position to Google Talk and Gmail Chat, via an application called Google Talk location status (beta), and also on a user's blog or personal Website, with Google Public Location Badge.