updated 04:40 pm EDT, Tue May 5, 2009
Gmail pushed to BlackBerry
A new Google service currently in the beta phase will let BlackBerry users push Gmail e-mail and calendar items on their native client software, according to a Tuesday report. Included in the Premier and Education versions of Google Apps, the service will make it appear that messages sent from a user's phone will come from a given organization's Google mail account. Furthermore, users can access the company address book from their phones and synchronize contacts as well as calendar items. Adding software to the BlackBerry Enterprise Software (BES) is required, with a version that supports the Microsoft Exchange version of BES now available.
This software connects straight to Google's mail servers instead of the company's Exchange server to synchronize items. The beta version is not faultless, however, as it thus far only lets online calendar items sync with a user's phone rather than sync back entries made from the BlackBerry device. This will be fixed by year's end, according to Google Apps product management director Raju Gulabani.
Also, only 250 users per BlackBerry server will be supported, instead of the usual 500 or more. Businesses with more than 250 Google Apps users will need to use an additional BES. Formatting of certain items also needs polishing, including calendar item reminders, images contained wherein do not load properly. Searching for e-mails is limited to items sent within a month.
A commercially available version of the software is due out in July, and Gulabani promises the user experience will be improved as time goes on by addressing the current issues.