Well, it has been rumored forever, caught on video, and we’ve even done our part in sharing the news as well, but we can’t hold out on y’all any longer — we have been toying with the BAS for the greater part of a month. It’s a solid effort on RIM’s part, but will it do anything for them or just waste engineer’s precious time? The answer, friends, is in our review after the break.
Well, well, well. Look what we have here. It seems dear old RIM is getting ready to unleash BlackBerry Application Suite (formerly known as Virtual BlackBerry) sometime in the near future as references to it have been found in some of the latest device.xml files within beta OS releases. Don’t remember what BAS is? It’s the little application for Windows Mobile that lets users run the BlackBerry OS virtually on a Windows Mobile device. Ok, now that we have that out of the way, hit the jump for the real news about BAS.
It certainly doesn’t take long for information to start pouring out of RIM as soon as one of its NDAs springs a leak. A host of details emerged today about the BlackBerry Application Suite which allows a Windows Mobile device to run the BlackBerry OS as an application. The Application Suite is approximately 32 MB in size and is currently based on OS 4.2.1 which can be programmed to boot up as soon as Windows Mobile boots up. BlackBerry email, PIN messaging (important to many is the fact that BlackBerry Messenger works), calendar, tasks, address book and memos function in the same way as they do on a real BlackBerry, including BES synchronization. IT policies are supported and Windows Mobile and BlackBerry can simultaneously through their separate APNs. Also of note is the fact that Windows Mobile and the Application Suite can each be tied into a separate Exchange accounts without complication. But with all that work having been done, there are quite a few key features of any good smartphone that will not work. Features like GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi cannot work as the Application Suite does not have access to them. Phone calls cannot be made through the Application Suite so it routes all calls through Windows Mobile. Video playback is not supported and some applications may not work properly on devices with VGA resolution. Sounds like RIM would have been better served if it had decided to work with an open OS… *cough* Android *cough* Symbian
So there you have it – BlackBerry Application Suite in a nutshell. Do we like or dislike? Either way, hit the jump for a horribly blurry video of the Suite in action.