BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac, Storm Announced Stateside

The Boy Genius Report brings word of relief in sight for Mac users with BlackBerry.  The official Research In Motion (RIM) application BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac will bring all the functionality of BlackBerry Desktop Manager to OS X users.

Third party solutions like PocketMac for BlackBerry have filled the void left by RIM’s lack of official support, but in practice these solutions were not always elegant or simple enough for novice users.  The new app seems to address both these issues, although the early version depicted in the screenshots apparently doesn’t yet seem to offer much sophistication when it comes to handling and distinguishing between different media types.

What it does promise, however, is the ability to sync your iTunes library, playlists or specific songs to either the internal memory of your handset or to microSD cards.  Expect RIM to add the ability to sync other media types as well in the final release.  Including, one would hope, movies and other videos from your iTunes library, to take advantage of the apparently very impressive screen on the company’s latest handset, the BlackBerry Bold.  The application is said to be compatible with the BlackBerry Pearl and presumably all later models as well.  For more information about what to expect from the upcoming release, it’s probably safe to assume that the featureset from the Windows version will be closely mirrored.

In other BlackBerry related news, Verizon went official today with its announcement of the upcoming RIM touchscreen handset, the BlackBerry Storm, available at an unspecified date prior to the holidays. As RIM’s first touchscreen device, the Storm seems to be the direct result of the iPhone’s effect on the smartphone market. 

While the iPhone still lags in terms of enterprise integration, BlackBerry has had a hard time matching the consumer appeal of Apple’s device. The Storm intends to close this gap by offering a much-improved web browser, support for the upcoming BlackBerry Apps Center, and a capacitive screen with tactile feedback for users uncomfortable with a touchscreen keyboard.  The tactile feedback, officially dubbed “ClickThrough”, uses a physical spring mounted behind the display to make pressing on the screen feel like pushing one big button.  Early reviews and impressions of the ClickThrough experience have been very favorable.

BlackBerry/Mac users: Are you satisfied with the third-party solution you’re currently using?  If you haven’t picked sides yet, do official support from RIM, a BlackBerry App Store, and a tactile touchscreen affect your choice of smartphone purchase?

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