Blackberry For Rest Of Us?

19 Comments

Given our collective obsession with all things Apple, many of us have overlooked a tiny news announcement by Yahoo and Research In Motion, that could have long term ramifications for maker of super-addictive Blackberry device.

BlackBerry users will be able to experience real-time delivery of e-mail messages sent to their Yahoo! Mail accounts and enhanced wireless synchronization of sent and deleted items as well as read/unread message status, providing users with more flexibility to manage their email accounts while on the go. Future development plans will also allow Yahoo! users to wirelessly import, modify and synchronize their Yahoo! Address Book and Yahoo! Calendar entries using their BlackBerry devices.

Even though not all service providers are supporting this service, and not all features are available as yet, Yahoo’s planned feature set is enough to trump the GoogleBerry offerings.

On the flip side, this move is an important, and a critical move for RIM. Why? Because it takes Blackberry mainstream. So far only the users of email systems based on Microsoft Exchange & Lotus Notes/Domino have been able to sign-on for the Blackberry service. This is expensive proposition, costing between $10-t0-$30 a month, depending on your needs. (I use hosted solution from TheMessegeCenter and it sets me back about $20 a month including BES. And the support is pretty darn good.)

Yahoo can help save some of those dollars. For carriers, this could mean more folks signing up for their $50 a month crackberry service. Something tells me that RIM is going to integrate more of these popular mail-offerings. I would love to see dot.mac integration, but that’s wishful thinking on my part!

Update: While you can check your wireless email from many different POP3/IMAP services using the Blackberry Internet Service, the wireless syncing of email/calendar etc still is only possible with ME/LN and lately Novell Groupwise.

19 Comments

Mika Lipponen

Dear Om Malik,

A recent article in CNN Money (http://money.cnn.com/services/newsletters/thirdscreen_sample.html): Is that a PC in your pocket? quoted Opera MINI, Movamail and Google Mobile Search as 3 MUST-HAVE applications for your handset. This article caught me thinking… are there many more serious business applications developed using J2ME MIDP technology or is FLASH LITE gaining more popularity.

I am a big fan of Movamail (www.movamail.com) and OPERA MINI (mini.opera.com), but lately i chanced upon a UK company called Tricastmedia @ the recent 3GSM World show in Barcelona. They have developed this nifty and feature-rich application named PEGASUS, touted the “Blackberry-killer for mass-market consumer phones”.

I actually managed to capture some of the info on my blog. Feel free to take a peek and let me know what is your thoughts. Like to pick your brains a little and get your words of wisdom.

http://mobiko.blogs.com/mutant/2006/04/anewentrant_t.html#more

Yours sincerely,
Mika Lipponen

Chris

This sounds alot like the Yahoo! Go Mobile service, which is already available for Nokia phones: http://go.connect.yahoo.com/6682

From the article, it sounds as though all the Yahoo! Go services will be available for BB. I already use this service on my 6682, and it works great… Yahoo! Go is beyond simply allowing you to download email and and chat with IM… it’s about the simplicy.

It syncs all your data live with Yahoo!, with out a touch of a button. You get immediate access to mail, which is always in sync with your Yahoo! Mail. Your phone calendar is always up to date with the Yahoo! Calendar, and the phone’s address book is always in sync with Yahoo! Address book. I can take photos with my phone and they get uploaded immediately to Yahoo! Photos where I can post them onto flickr, my blog, or just save them for later.

One nice feature is the news content. It lets you view RSS feeds you setup on My Yahoo!, so I can catch OM postings while on the road, or on the toilet ;)

As you can tell, I really like this service :D
And I definitely believe it will make the BB even more addictive than it already is.

Another note, Yahoo! mail lets users to POP mail from other accounts, so you can get those accounts onto your Yahoo! Go with out having to configure everything on the tiny device. I currently POP 3 accounts into my Yahoo! account so I can access them anytime from my phone.

Damian

Thanks for the tip Om – checked it out – and it works pretty well…although there is an option on my BB to delete the message from the handheld and the site and it doesn’t seem to work – anybody got this?

I’ve been waiting for Yahoo to do this for the past 2 years. If they offer you a custom-branded email for like $2/month, they can kill every Exchange provider out there. In fact, if they had a good PC client, they could probably own the whole SMB market.

Om Malik

matt,

i think clearly as we see the overhang of the patent legislation lift, black berry is finally going to come into its own. a long time ago, i wrote a piece about blackberry being the imode of americas. i think the company has been slow in coming to that conclusion, and that is the most frustrating part about them.

8700c is a good device – i love it, but needs to be slimmer, and a better battery life. otherwise that RSS thing – going to suck-it dry.

Matt S.

Agreed, this will begin to take BB mainstream. It works fairly well with POP right now, via the Web Client, but I would bet $$ that only a single-digit percentage of people even try that.

Ideally, from your Yahoo/Gmail/Hotmail control panel, you could simply enter your phone number and they take care of the rest. A huge boon for BB.

Now if my 8700 just came with a music player…and an RSS reader…

/pd

thanks for the tip Om.

But I think that this strategic tieup is more aligned for IM and other services–silimar to the Gtalk which RIM have launched.

Secondly RIM ; “BlackBerry Mobile Data System v4.1, includes XML Web Services among its methods for integrating mobile applications with back-end servers, and supports the Microsoft .Net and Java 2 Enterprise Edition environments.

BlackBerry MDS v4.1 will be provided to some customers for beta testing this month, with general availability coming later this year. ” – ( circa last year)

so the RIM device will eventually support and XML and Ajax type services. I wrote earlier here

CK

As the race between the the GYM gang heats up, it’s understandable for them to partner with an established yet neutral brand. Except for Microsoft anyway, since they want a large piece of the mobile email pie as well. For the longest period of time I’ve been wanting an official MSN Messenger client for BlackBerry, but RIM people told me, even though they can (and probably have, if I read between the lines right) technically produce a MSN client, Micorsoft refused to let the cat out of the bag.

Om: With the RIM’s official blessings of PocketMac, maybe dot.mac integration isn’t too far behind! (Wishful thinking!)

Wes Felter

Yet another partnership between two closed systems. Why doesn’t RIM just enable push IMAP on the BlackBerry and let the service providers fall in line?

People seem to be learning that composable (er, “mashable”) services that use standard protocols are good in Web 2.0; why don’t they learn the same lesson for email and IM? Maybe we need some pundits to lead an “email 2.0” charge.

Mark

Some creative thinking can take you far…I check Gmail on my T-Mobile Sidekick II using POP. My Lotus Notes email from work is copied to my Gmail as soon as it hits the server. I’m reading email twice, but I filter it out of view in Gmail and have it on my mobile device as soon as it comes in.

The only drawback is that the Sidekick II doesn’t check the POP server that often. It’s easy enough to flip it open and hit Ctrl U to check for the latest, though.

Kevin C. Tofel

Forget the BB, Om. I just saw that company named emoze has push e-mail for Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail POP services. I’ll be testing later today as the software and service is free.

Shane Mitchell

Hi Om,

There’s an increasing trend for mobile IM clients. In the UK, there is an Israeli company, ‘followap.com’, that is working with Vodafone and other EU operators to launch IM & Presence over mobile phones. Ubiquity makes a further step to reality. Just need VoIP to go mainstream over mobile to take it to the next stage,

-Shane

Matt

Om,

Don’t forget that you don’t need Exchange or Lotus if you just want email– Blackberry Web Client can grab pop3 or IMAP mail. It’s not instant (it “polls” about once every 15 minutes), and you don’t get address book- but it’s something!

This sounds great, however, for Yahoo users.

-Matt

Om Malik

not sure when that happens but this is pretty sweet for all those who are yahoo users. i just hope yahoo doesn’t sit on their rear end and let this opportunity slip.

BlackBerryAnonymous

I’ve been wanting this for GMail! Maybe when CL2 is released?

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