BlackBerry 7, Playbook Facebook App, Voice Chat, New Bolds, Enterprise Improvements, and More From RIM

Chris CrumTechnology

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Research in Motion (RIM) followed up last week's announcement of the Tungle acquisition with a slew of announcements today. Let's just take them one-by-one.

1. BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 Availability for More Corporate Phone Systems

RIM announced that BlackBerry MVS 5 with voice over Wi-Fi calling will soon be available for Avaya Aura 6.1, Avaya CS1000 Communication Server, as well as legacy phone systems such as Avaya Communications Manager and Nortel Communication Server.

Currently, it's also available for Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Call Manager Express, and Mitel Communications Director. RIM says it's also been re-architected to be more extensible with third party apps and phone systems.

2. BlackBerry Balance Launched

RIM announced the launch of BlackBerry Balance, which is described as an advancement for work-life balance for BlackBerry users. Or more specifically, "new technology that makes possible the convenience of using a single BlackBerry smartphone for both work and personal purposes without compromising the security of company content and the privacy of personal content."

Features include:

  • Secure access to business info, with prevention of the copying of info sent from or used by apps like Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or Gmail.
  • Business data cannot be used by personal apps
  • When a user attempts a prohibited action, a notification is displayed
  • If an employee leaves an organization, an admin can wipe info from the device remotely

It's built into BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.3 and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express 5.0.3 for Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino. It requires the latest version of BlackBerry 6.

3. BlackBerry Enterprise Solution for Smartphones and Tablets

RIM announced plans for a multi-platform BlackBerry Enteprise Solution for managing and securing mobile devices for enterprises and government organizations. This comes as the company is acquiring Ubitexx.

“The multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution is designed to address a growing market and respond to requests from enterprise customers who want a secure multi-platform device management solution from a company that already delivers the gold standard for enterprise mobility,” said Peter Devenyi, VP, Communications Platform Group at RIM. “We recognize the opportunity to continue leading in the enterprise market by providing customers with a common platform to help simplify the management of a variety of mobile devices.”

4. Video Chat App for BlackBerry Playbook

RIM announced the availability of the BlackBerry Playbook Video Chat app. This comes on the heels of video chat announcements from Google and Skype's Qik.

“BlackBerry is a renowned mobile communication solution for connecting users to the people and information that matter most throughout their day,” said Tom Goguen, VP, Collaboration and Social Networking at RIM. “With the BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat application we are excited to be enabling our customers to share important moments and events with family and friends via video calls.  With the BlackBerry PlayBook’s high-resolution video cameras and stunning display, a Video Chat call is the next best thing to being there.”

5. Facebook App for BlackBerry Playbook

RIM announced the launch of the Facebook for BlackBerry Playbook app, giving the tablet an official Facebook app even before Apple's iPad gets one. The Facebook experience, with the app, is optimized for the 7" multi-touch screen.

"There are over 30 million users of our Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones app who are staying in touch with their social network while on the go," said Tom Goguen, VP, Collaboration and Social Networking at Research In Motion, "Now with Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook we can also offer customers highly engaging social experiences optimized for the PlayBook including the ability to share FaceBook pictures and videos with friends and family on an HDTV."

6. BlackBerry 7 OS and New BlackBerry Bolds

Finally, RIM has announced the launch two new BlackBerry Bold smartphones. This includes the Bold 9900 and the Bold 9930, both of which are built on the new BlackBerry 7 OS.

BlackBerry 7 promises improved browsing, a faster user experience, voice search, and better management of personal/corporate content.

"The new BlackBerry Bold smartphones and BlackBerry 7 OS are inspired by millions of customers around the world who want the ultimate combination of performance, functionality and style," said Mike Lazaridis, RIM President and Co-CEO. "These fully-loaded and beautifully crafted smartphones offer a highly refined user experience with blazingly fast performance, a brilliant touch screen and an outstanding typing experience."

The devices come with built-in NFC support, augmented reality apps, and HD video support for recording and playback. They're expected to be available this summer.

Further details of the OS and the device specs can be seen here.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.