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2/9/2010
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Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Blackberry Internet Service 3.0 Gets Improved Gmail Support

Information about RIM's BIS 3.0 product has been leaked and it looks like users of the service will get better support for Gmail via its IMAP feature. That is good news for individuals and small companies using the device, but you are still married to BIS. The device cannot do much without it.

Information about RIM's BIS 3.0 product has been leaked and it looks like users of the service will get better support for Gmail via its IMAP feature. That is good news for individuals and small companies using the device, but you are still married to BIS. The device cannot do much without it.Engadget has some shots of a document that Blackberry Leaks had posted, but that has since been pulled down. Blackberry users have been able to send and receive email from Gmail for quite some time, but a number of features have been missing. BIS 3.0 fixes at least three of those shortcomings.

  • You will now be able to sync the read and unread status of emails. No longer will you read through dozens of emails on your device while on a plane only to have to mark them all read in your Gmail account once you get back to the hotel on your laptop.
  • Items sent from your Blackberry will be saved in the Sent Items folder of your Gmail account.
  • You'll be able to create and delete labels right from your Blackberry.

For those of you that don't use a Blackberry, but use something else, practically anything else may be wondering what the big deal is. Windows Mobile, for example, has been able to do all of those since before Gmail was launched. Google uses the IMAP protocol to allow devices to work with messages and folders and IMAP has been around for over 20 years. IMAP email clients see Gmail's labels as folders that can be added, removed or renamed.

Rather than adding these features to the device though, RIM prefers to keep the device as dependent as possible on its servers. That way, when a RIM service goes down, it is a spectacular crash often affecting entire continents at a time and garnering worldwide press. It doesn't work that way with other devices. Sure, individual services may go down on occasion. Gmail certainly has, as has Apple's Mobile Me service, but when that happens, other email services on the device still work fine. Not so with RIM. When its servers go down, it renders all devices connected to it inert when it comes to messaging.

For now though, enjoy the 3.0 upgrades once carriers start rolling it out. We can continue to dream of a day when RIM develops some email features that work directly on the client, totally independent from servers between you and your email account.

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