Last week we got a treat. Normally we’re lucky to get an update on one unreleased BlackBerry device per week. There are only so many models in pre-production, and only so much we can learn from each one. Still, I was a bit disappointed. I wanted to see more from the Pearl 9100. It’s been a long, long time since we saw a Pearl model released, and even though I hate the SureType keyboard, I still want to see more from this model. This week we got some more. No, not a new development or anything. The device basically is what it is at this point. But we did see some high res images.
BIS 3.0 coming March 28
Yes, we had heard before that BIS 3.0 was coming March 21, this past Sunday. That didn’t happen, though. Either it got pushed back or we got a wrong date. In any case, this will come overnight this Sunday, March 28. You might notice a lack of service around 2 a.m. EDT Sunday morning, so don’t freak if you’re out partying. To answer the big question, no, this will not include the two-way Gmail sync. I know, it’s greatly frustrating. The good news, though, is that it is planned as part of a future update. The bad new: the date is rather vague, listed now as Spring 2010. Yeah. It is spring currently, and will be through mid-June, technically. So it sounds like we’ll have to wait a bit before we can get this much anticipated feature. Then again, maybe we’ll see it before June. Ronen at BerryReview uncovered details on BIS 3.1 and 3.2, the first of which is scheduled for June. The later update should include Google Calendar sync, making the Google Sync app a bit less necessary (though still useful for contacts). That could be coming soon, too, as Yahoo! and Windows Live Hotmail should get contact syncing in BIS 3.1. Tip of the week: Take notes on your BlackBerry phone calls. Just in case someone says something important and you want to remember it later.
Is this OS 6.0?
Skype for Verizon users now available
We’ve been waiting quite a while for this, and now it’s available. If you use Verizon Wireless for your BlackBerry service, you can download Skype for your device today. Again, it works with the 9530, 9550, 8330, 8530, 8830, and 9630 models. You can take advantage of unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls, plus low rates on international calls. I’m not sure how this one’s going to run, but it’s definitely worth a look. Now, if only these devices had a front-facing camera to take advantage of video chat features…
To round things up this week…
- Test new apps at BlackBerry Beta Zone. It was once a private beta, but now it’s open to all BlackBerry users. Check out the blog post to see how you can test new apps.
- Vlingo 4.5 reads your email to you. Great for hands-free driving.
- MLB At Bat 2010 available for 9700, 9630, 8530. It would be better with live video, but this is a good start.
- Phone Halo for BlackBerry. This post got lost in the shuffle this week, so make sure to check out Cooper’s review.