BlackBerry: Google Talk & Local, plus Macs

Canada’s Research In Motion (RIM) announced today that its wireless BlackBerry email devices will soon be able to send and receive instant messages via Google Talk, and can immediately start accessing maps, directions, and satellite photos via Google Local.

“Instant messaging and local content are two increasingly important areas of focus for mobile applications and we are very pleased to work with Google in extending these two popular Google services to BlackBerry users,” said Mark Guibert, Vice President, Corporate Marketing at Research In Motion.

Google Talk for BlackBerry should be available (for free) during the first quarter of 2006, and will enable BlackBerry users to send and receive instant messages from other Google Talk users. BlackBerry users will be able to create, delete, and rename contacts, be notified when a new message is being typed to them, see their friends’ online status, and save instant message exchanges in memory for future use. Google Talk for BlackBerry users will need a GMail account to access Google Talk

Google Local for mobile is available immediate for BlackBerry, and enables BlackBerry users to view draggable maps and satellite images, plot addresses and routes, obtain driving directions, and find local businesses (and phone them via a “click to call” feature). Google Local for mobile can store addresses users enter or use for directions for quick repeated access.

RIM also announced it will offer the complete version of Information Appliance Associates’ PocketMac for BlackBerry free of charge to Mac-using BlackBerry owners, enabling users to synch data between their mobile devices and Mac OS X Tiger’s core email, calendaring, and contact applications, as well as Microsoft Entourage. The software should be available via RIM’s blackberry.com site in February 2006.

“This licensing agreement will help expand the reach of BlackBerry to another important market segment,” said Mark Guibert, RIM’s Vice President of Corporate Marketing. “There is significant interest in BlackBerry from Mac users and we look forward to delivering PocketMac for BlackBerry to customers around the world.”