Hot on the heels of the release of BlackBerry Internet Service 3.0, RIM has just posted the details for BIS 3.1 in the BlackBerry Technical Solutions Center. The main enhancement to be brought forth in BIS 3.1 is wireless contact synchronization support — something which Gmail users have been enjoying for a while now — but for Alt-N, Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail accounts, things get a little murky (the latter two require OS 6.0). Synchronizations will be scheduled to occur every four hours. Less noteworthy but something that people who constantly swap ‘Berries should take note of, is that you’ll no longer be able to log into your BIS account through a computer, swap your PIN and then use a different device. From BIS 3.1 onwards, you’ll first need to insert the SIM card currently tied to your BIS account into the new phone, log into BIS, swap the PIN and then proceed as normal. CDMA users will have to contact their carrier. Happy? Sad? Wondering when you’ll be able to wirelessly sync your calendars? Let us know your thoughts! More →
Virgin Mobile fired shots across the bow of its pre-paid competition this morning as it officially launched the Beyond Talk plans that we told you about just under a week ago. Starting at $25, the main selling point of the Beyond Talk service offerings is that they all feature unlimited text, email, data and web. The reason for the difference in price between the plans is the number of minutes you get. The $25 and $40 plans are good for 300 and 1,200 minutes respectively, while the $60 plan offers unlimited voice. For an extra $10, you can add BlackBerry data. Of course you won’t be able to use a BlackBerry on Virgin until the end of this month when it launches the Curve 8530 for $299.99, but the prospect of a pre-paid BlackBerry plan for $35 is worth waiting a few weeks for, right? More →
Not a whole lot to say here other than it looks like RIM has finally flipped the switch on 2-way Gmail sync, a feature of BIS 3.0, for BIS customers in North America. Overnight our tips line was lit up by BlackBerry addicts who ecstatically reported that 2-way syncing of of read, unread and sent email messages for Gmail accounts was now active, although we should caution we also received reports that the option for syncing came and went ad nauseum. Let’s just hope that the aforementioned issues were nothing more than minor glitches and will be ironed over shortly. How are things looking for you?
If you noticed your BIS-enabled BlackBerry was quieter than usual late last night, here’s the reason why: RIM’s North American BIS servers were temporarily out of action as they were being upgraded from BIS 2.8 to BIS 3.0. The new features that have been brought through to BIS 3.0 are by no means earth shattering, but a full change-log is awaiting your perusal after the break.
We know the boo birds are going to have a lot of fun with this, but today Rogers officially introduced North American One Rate data roaming plans. In exchange for an extra $10 per month, Rogers subs will be able to get their data freak on south of the 49th without having to pay a penny for per Kb data roaming. Instead, the used data deducted directly from their normal monthly data bucket. Here are the plans:
- $20 Personal Email on BB CDN/US
- $35 Consumer/Small business BB (BIS) 500MB CDN/US Plan
- $35 Consumer/Small business 500MB CDN & US Data Plan
- $40 Consumer/Small business BB (BIS) 1GB CDN & US Plan
- $40 Consumer/Small business 1GB CDN & US Data Plan
- $45 500MB CDN & US Mobile Internet Flex Rate Plan
- $50 DAP (for MSD customers) 1.5GB CDN & US Data Plan
- $55 Corporate BB (BES) 1GB CDN & US Plan
- $55 Corporate BB (BES) 500 MB CDN & US Flex Rate Plan
We don’t think the One Rate roaming plans will “shatter people’s perception of wireless data roaming when visiting the United States” as Rogers has stated, but we also think it’s hard to argue against the transparency of the new plans. Now to do something about voice and SMS…
Fun fact: There’s nothing that says you can’t switch to this plan as you’re boarding your flight to NYC and then removing it as soon as you’re back on Canadian soil. More →
We really love the boys and girls over at RIM, but if you haven’t already noticed, they’re pretty much stuck in 1998. Why do we say that? Well, RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis (who is absolutely brilliant) started spewing off his nonsense on data conservation at MWC and how “manufacturers had better start building more efficient applications and more efficient services. There is no real way to get around this.” Oh, but there is, Mike. It’s called actually having a wireless data network that can handle the things consumers and businesses want to do on their phones, and it’s called planning. More →
We’ve been able to independently confirm the following details, though we don’t believe we have all of the information surrounding this announcement yet.
With that said, according to multiple RIM employees, RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis will be making a “huge” announcement on Tuesday in Barcelona. The announcement is said to be about (at least in part) BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. We’re told this will be relaunched as a free and unlimited user BlackBerry Enterprise Server. You heard that right — a completely free and unlimited user BlackBerry Enterprise Server. We are under the impression BESX will use a user’s existing BIS data plan and not require the more expensive data feature, though this isn’t confirmed. Hit the jump for more! More →
Motorola has been going toe and toe with RIM over alleged patent infringement both here in the US and across the pond in the UK. Motorola’s UK case focused on BIS and BES technologies, claiming that the two messaging systems infringe upon patents that Motorola holds for an RF-based message communication system. In ruling against Motorola, the judge noted that messages from BES servers were not suitable for RF transmission and that RIM’s BIS servers are physically located in Canada and are out of the court’s jurisdiction. In a further blow to Motorola, the court held that there was no inventive step and the patent itself was declared invalid. Sorry Motorola, better luck next time, we guess. More →
BBLeaks got their hands on some RIM training documentation that details new features included in the yet-to-be-scheduled BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) 3.0 update. Some of the documented improvements include:
- Gmail read/unread status will now sync on handsets with Enhanced Google Mail Plug-in and BlackBerry OS 4.6 or higher
- Create and delete labels on device with Enhanced Google Mail Plug-in and BlackBerry OS 4.6 or higher
- Support for additional attachment types, including: OpenDocument presentations (.odp), OpenDocument spreadsheets (.ods), OpenDocument text (.odt), OpenDocument text templates (.ott), and Windows Media Audio (.wma)
- BlackBerry smartphone users will be instructed to contact their specific carrier and will be
provided with carrier contact information in HTML and WAP error messages.
The Gmail functionality and extra attachment support are definitely welcome additions to BIS’ repertoire; it does, unfortunately, leave all other BIS IMAP users out in the cold.
Down for us…
UPDATE: Appears to be a pretty big general outage as BES and BIS services are down for some users completely. We’re some of them.
Back on the 3rd we reported the release of BIS 2.8 to North American BlackBerry users, and with that came two-way contact synchronization with Google Mail — one of the new wiz-bang features. Today we’re getting reports from BIS users that now have the Google Mail contact synchronization option available to them from their carriers BIS website. While this doesn’t do anyone much good, as two-way contact syncing requires BlackBerry OS 5.0 or better, it seems to indicate the folks in Waterloo have the full court press on to finally get 5.0 out the door. Or you know, there’s like mad new BlackBerrys coming or something.
North American BlackBerry Internet Service users have an excuse to drink mimosas this morning — RIM and its carrier partners have flipped the switch on BIS 2.8. As we told you some time ago, BIS 2.8 offers enhancements that countless that non-corporate types have been yammering for for ages including but not limited to:
- Two-way wireless synchronization [every four hours] with Google Mail Contacts and the Address Book on the BlackBerry smart phone:
- Synchronize Google Mail contacts quickly and easily to the BlackBerry smart phone
- Add or edit Contacts and the Contacts are automatically updated, whether they are updated on the computer or BlackBerry smart phone
- Note: Two-way wireless Contact synchronization with Google Mail Contacts requires BlackBerry® Device Software 5.0 and configuration through email settings on the BlackBerry smart phone. Additional requirements and constraints may be found within the BlackBerry Internet Service 2.8 Documentation Kit. This feature is not supported on BlackBerry smart phones with BlackBerry® Connect™ software.
- Enhancements to email setup and settings:
- Automatic Login now supports most billing identifiers, which allows new subscribers with wireless service providers that use PIN, IMEI, or ESN as a billing identifier to create BlackBerry Internet Service accounts from the BlackBerry smart phone, without having to create a login user name and password
- Note: This feature will be available approximately one week after the BlackBerry Internet Service upgrade.
- Windows Live Hotmail revalidation:
- With BlackBerry Internet Service 2.8, new Windows Live Hotmail mail integrations will be defaulted to a protocol that is designed so as not to require 90 day reauthorization.
- Note: Existing BlackBerry smart phone users accessing Windows Live Hotmail using Microsoft MSP will still be required to revalidate their Windows Live Hotmail account every 90 days.
So how did you find the upgrade? Any hiccups requiring you to remove and re-add your email accounts, or is everything peachy?