BlackBerry Internet Service version 2.8 is arriving September 10th., according to some leaked change logs, and will be hosting a whole bunch of new features.
- Two-way wireless synchronization 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
- The documentation says this is scheduled to sync every 4 hours and will not work on BlackBerry Connect devices. It also will obviously not work on BES contacts or even Google Mail Contact Groups whatever those are.
- 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.
*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.
- Additions to official Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, and Yahoo! Messenger clients:
- Add dedicated icons to the Home Screen for one-click access to conversation boxes of specific contacts. The icon appears as the contact’s display picture or avatar
- Add contacts and display pictures or avatars to the address book to easily send instant messages, email messages, SMS text messages, or place a call right from the address book or conversation box
- Search through saved conversations
- Add dedicated emoticon icons in the conversation box
- Sign out from the Home Screen
- Set alerts when contacts come online
The majority of the updates will depend on having device software 5.0, at which we’ve already had a good look, although Google Sync is already available through a separate background application. I’m curious how the instant messenger avatars will deal with existing Facebook profile pictures synced to the native address book – maybe it’ll just continually update with whatever is most recent, but it might be a little distracting having caller ID pictures changing that often. Still, great changes all around, and even if there are a few delays, it sounds like they’ll be worth the wait.