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BlackBerry Connect FINALLY Available In The US

After years of talk, rumours and posts (see BlackBerry Connect Is Ready But...) at long last the “Treo BlackBerry Connect” (BBC) software has finally been launched by at least one carrier in the US as Cingular Wireless, Palm and Research In Motion (RIM) yesterday officially announced the immediate release of BlackBerry Connect for the Treo 650.

Currently Cingular’s BBC offering is unfortunately only available for corporate customers who use the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and not yet for customers who are looking to subscribe to the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) which would provide individuals with the ability to have their personal emails pushed automatically to their smartphone from most popular Internet Service Provider (ISP) accounts (POP3/MSN/Hotmail/etc.).

BlackBerry Connect for the Treo 650 requires a BBC Rate Plan (starting at $39.99 per month) from Cingular and supports the following features:

  • "Push" Corporate Email delivers messages automatically – and wirelessly – to the Treo 650's inbox. Changes to the inbox, including read/unread status and deletion, can be automatically synchronized between the user's email account and the Treo 650.
  • Wireless Calendar Synchronization keeps the Treo 650's built-in Calendar up to date remotely, allowing users to receive, accept or decline meeting requests on the go.
  • Attachment Viewing lets users view Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and PDF documents in original format.
  • Remote Address Lookup (RAL) allows users to search their corporate directory wirelessly for email addresses without the need to download every name to the Treo 650.
  • Enables centralized device management, including support for IT policies such as over-the-air device disablement and password device lock, as well as end-to-end security with Triple DES encryption.

Aside from being absolutely delighted to see BlackBerry Connect for the Treo 650 finally be made available perhaps the most important aspect of this release is its timing. 

It is now well known that Cingular is anticipated to release two new Treo smartphones within the next couple of months – one PalmOS Treo 750p and one Windows Mobile Treo 750w.  Since Blackberry Connect is already ready to work with both PalmOS and Windows Mobile it is therefore highly likely that Cingular will want IT departments to begin implementing BBC on existing Treo 650 devices in the enterprise so as to build momentum for a BBC-enabled Treo 750 before its release.

Evidently I am also hopeful that now that Cingular has released BBC that other carriers such as Sprint and Verizon will shortly follow suit as well.

Cingular Wireless Offers BlackBerry Connect For Palm Treo 650 [Palm Press Release]

Treonauts are always super connected

Posted by Andrew on August 30, 2006 at 09:59 AM

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by Lindsey | Aug 30, 2006 11:28:25 AM

Thanks for the great link! I've previously lauded the Treo to my father as he's considered getting a smartphone, but he decided that he needed to get a Blackberry instead simply because his office uses a Blackberry server. But, he still hasn't bought the device, and now he can get a Treo instead, just like he wanted!!

by LIBiker | Aug 30, 2006 1:00:08 PM

Does it work with ChatterMail or only the Treo 650 installed VersaMail?

by andrew | Aug 30, 2006 1:27:36 PM

Lindsey - glad to hear that there will be one more happy Treonaut! ;-))

LIBiker - BBC will only work with Versamail...

Cheers, A.

by Leroy Brown | Aug 30, 2006 6:14:03 PM

If they move forward with this, and release BBC on Verizon and Sprint, we may start to see RIM shift away from hardware slowly, as people won't need the limiting Blackberry hardware anymore. I'm not sure if that's good for RIM or not.

by Richard | Sep 1, 2006 5:10:44 AM

I live in the UK, and my employer is about to buy me a Blackberry - since I already use a Treo 600 and would be willing to upgrade to a Treo 650, I'd really like Blackberry Connect on a Treo, of course.

Does anyone know if Vodafone in the UK have Blackberry Connect on Treo or are planning to support this? (Vodafone is our corporate mobile provider).

It's astonishing how long it's taken Palm and the mobile operators to roll out Blackberry Connect - they must have lost a lot of corporate customers as a result of this.

by andrew | Sep 1, 2006 6:50:37 AM

Richard - I believe that the chances are VERY good that Vodafone will indeed announce support for BBC on Sept. 12... Only a couple more weeks to go before we know for sure.

Cheers, A.

by Dave | Sep 1, 2006 12:11:11 PM

I'd like to know also if users are going to be locked into Versamail. I much prefer Chatter over Versamail.

by walter | Sep 2, 2006 11:54:17 AM


by Utsav | Sep 2, 2006 5:10:36 PM

I have an unlocked version of the Treo 650 that I use with T-Mobile. They don't support this device and have no plans to support it, so I'm not expecting an official version for them. Can this software be used with a standard Blackberry plan from T-Mobile?

by Edwin | Sep 10, 2006 7:06:44 AM

BlackBerry Connect on Palm Treo 650

Having tried using the BlackBerry Connect software on my Palm Treo 650 and comparing it with a BlackBerry 7100g handset that I had been using earlier, I felt I should share my experience so that users who are contemplating the switch may find this useful.

First of all, there not many devices or PDAs that can compare with the Treo when it comes to the basic PDA functions and features.

As for software, Palm definitely beats Blackberry hands down as there plenty to choose including very good freewares for the Palm but for the Blackberry, you will need to depend mainly on RIM to provide these.

As a phone, the 7100g that I was using is barely basis and though with 4.1 OS upgrade to allow it to send MMS messages, it still often cannot receive MMS. The Treo is only slightly better but just only. Both devices are still trying to emulate actual phones of which, they are not.

As a messaging, email in particular, the Blackberry still beats all other devices hands down. The unique 'Push Mail' feature meant an 'always on' GPRS connection to allow a link to BlackBerry's own network.

The Treo uses EDGE, a faster connection than GPRS that my 7100g was only capable of. This was a welcome when it came to browsing.

However I found a flaw in the Treo. Whenever I received a call, it broke my GPRS connection. Although it will reconnect back after the call has terminated, sometimes it had problems reconnecting back to the BlackBerry network. This meant that I would not be able to get mails until it does. This can be annoying because sometimes I had to do a manual reconnection and worst even force a soft reset. I have also experienced it to cause my Treo to crash and go into a reset loop that only a soft reset or removal of the battery could rectify it.

In terms of multimedia content, the Treo's meagre camera is better than none when compared to the 7100g. With DocumentToGo, I could at least compile my documents and spreadsheets on my Treo and even send these as attachments via email. However my 7100g could only forward attachments in emails but not create attachments itself.

The lack of any external memory also meant there is no way to insert data from external source or extend its storage capacity.

Of course I head that the Blackberry Perl will have resolved the above shortcomings. However, we have wait and see.

by Neophyte Treonaut | Nov 3, 2006 12:54:54 AM

Edwin and other treonauts, does this mean that I can use blackberry connect on my 650 if I'm not with Tmobile?

by matt | Jan 20, 2007 7:25:47 AM

I have an unlocked GSM Treo 650 with t-mobile service. I have subscribed to their Blackberry Enterprise plan and I am able to send and receive my corporate e-mail now, but I no longer have web/data access (connection fails). Has anyone been successful in getting them both to work at the same time?

by Marc | Mar 22, 2007 3:49:51 PM

See: http://www.marchansen.com/tn116/

Cingular Treo not required

I bought my Treo 680 directly from Palm so that I could have an unlocked
phone and change the SIM cards when I travel outside the U.S. According
to Palm's web site the Treo 680 would support the BlackBerry Connect
with Cingular service. When I tried to download the Blackberry Connect
software from Palm it asks for my serial number and gave me an error
that the serial number was not valid. I called Palm and after escalating
my issue several levels I was told that the software is only available
for Treo's sold by Cingular. It seems that Palm sold Cingular an
exclusive on the right to offer the Treo with BlackBerry Connect in the
United States.

So I borrowed a Cingular Treo serial number from a friend and downloaded
the software. It seems to work on unlocked Treo 680 without any problem.
I am running firmware "TREO680-1.04-ROW." A Cingular Treo I looked at
was running "TREO680-1.03-CNG." I am told that CNG stands for Cingular
and ROW stands for "Rest Of World." Note that I am using Cingular
service with the Treo.

by Sam | Apr 16, 2007 11:42:11 AM

Thanks to Marc for your detail of experience with BlackBerry Connect and the Treo 680. Good info!

I am considering doing the same thing only with T-Mobile. As T-Mobile doesn't offer/support Treo, I wonder if a proprietary serial number is required for their network.

Are there any Treonauts out there with T-Mobile, unlocked Treo 680 and BB Connect working?

Thanks for the help!

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