BlackBerry Gets Mac Syncing Software - InformationWeek

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Mobile // Mobile Devices
01:22 PM

BlackBerry Gets Mac Syncing Software

The software enables BlackBerry users to sync their calendars, contacts, applications, and media with Macintosh computers.

Research In Motion has released software that enables Macintosh computer users to manage and sync their BlackBerry smartphones.

Like the Windows version, the syncing software enables users to update their BlackBerry smartphones with new firmware, add and remove applications, manage multiple devices, and automatically back up the phone on a schedule. The software will also sync data from Mac applications like iCal, Address Book, and Entourage with the handset. This version of the desktop manager software may also help small Mac-only businesses mobilize with BlackBerry devices.

The desktop software also features strong integration with iTunes to manage and sync multimedia files. With a few clicks, users will be able to sync non-protected songs, playlists, song information, and album art to their BlackBerry device. Apple will likely not block RIM's access to iTunes like it did to the Pre because the BlackBerry-maker uses a software solution while Palm essentially spoofed its USB vendor ID to make iTunes identify the Pre as an iPod.

The software may help RIM better compete against the iPhone on Apple's territory, as it could open up a new market for the BlackBerry. While RIM has risen to prominence due to its strength in the enterprise market, the company continues to gain traction in the mainstream market. Last quarter, the company said more than 80% of its new customers were non-enterprise users.

BlackBerry users on Macs have been able to manage their files for years with the PocketMac for BlackBerry software, but this is the first official version from RIM. The company said its syncing software will only work on computers with Mac OS 10.5.5 and above, and the free software can be downloaded from RIM's Web site.

Mobilizing business applications can lead to a more productive workforce and increased sales, but it also brings up multiple questions about security. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).

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