We had heard rumblings awhile back of something called BlackBerry Shield, a new app/service from RIM to offer some simple security features, like tracking your device’s GPS location, wireless backup, remote wiping, and lots more. There was little more to run on initially than a feature list, but now we’ve got a whole batch of screenshots providing a full tour of the web and device interface.
Besides the GPS tracking, you can make your BlackBerry ring loudly, even if it’s on silent. This is a great feature when you’ve lost your phone, but you know it’s around the house somewhere. If you think that your phone has been misplaced elsewhere though, you can display a message on your home screen remotely, so anyone who finds it can help out. You might be a bit nervous about strangers seeing and snooping through your personal information though, so BlackBerry Shield will offer device lock (with new password) and remote wiping. On the off-chance you do end up erasing everything on your phone, you can set up scheduled automatic wireless backup for contacts, calendars, memos, tasks and browser bookmarks, making it super-easy to get everything loaded up on your new phone. Right now, I use Google Sync for wireless backup, but it certainly doesn’t cover that whole range of data.
BlackBerry Shield will use the new ID system launching with App World 2.0, presumably to log in through the web interface. I could see BlackBerry ID quickly becoming a focal point for many current and future RIM services; some kind of tie-in with BlackBerry Messenger would be really great. There are no specifics on a release date, but BlackBerry Shield will be entering testing very soon. Whenever it does come out, it will be available to BIS customers for free.