Arguably the all-star feature of BlackBerry Internet Service 3.0, two-way synchronization with Google Mail, won’t make it to the final cut. A recently-released knowledgebase article outlines all of the features we were expecting, like OpenOffice document and WMA file support, including some smaller stuff, like polishing e-mail revalidation when switching devices, reclaiming deleted BlackBerry e-mail passwords, and sending delivery receipts.
The BIS upgrade is apparently coming to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa on March 14, and presumably sometime similar in North America. For those many of you who were holding out for two-way GMail sync, another BIS update after this one is on the radar, which should bring Yahoo! and Hotmail contact sync, GMail calendar sync, and if it doesn’t come in 3.0, we could still see two-way GMail sync in 3.1.
GMail on BlackBerry has always been a pretty big deal. IMAP support offered real-time push delivery, a Sync application kept calendar and contact items lined up on device and in the cloud, and a BlackBerry plug-in enabled native support for stuff like stars, archiving, and labels. Many businesses live and die by GMail and Google Apps as much as they do by BlackBerry, so it’s really important that the two work together tightly. Since BES Express makes BIS accounts viable for small to medium businesses, they’ll be looking forward to these updates just as much as any consumer. We’ll all have to wait a couple of days to find out if they’ll be let down by BIS 3.0, but from here, things don’t look too good.