BIS 3.1 on Your BlackBerry: You Might Have it Already

Reports are coming in that Research In Motion Ltd.’s (RIM) BlackBerry Internet Service has already updated to version 3.1, and new icons and features are currently being pushed to devices. While the update is still rolling out, it allows you to synchronize your Yahoo! Contacts to your phone. However, Windows Live Hotmail synchronization support is also expected to be released very shortly after this update finishes.

The new update—while not unwanted—seems to offer only a tease of what will eventually be a part of BlackBerry OS 6. From RIM’s website:

-      Synchronize contacts quickly and easily to the BlackBerry smartphone

-      Add or edit contacts, and the contacts are automatically updated whether they are updated on the computer or BlackBerry smartphone

Interesting, so how exactly often do the contacts get updated?

“Wireless contact synchronization with MDaemon and Yahoo! occurs every four hours. This means that a delay of up to four hours might occur when changes are made on the BlackBerry smartphone.”

Not an unbearable situation, since I think many of us simply want a way to get all of our old Yahoo! and Hotmail contacts into some usable form. While you might be wondering if anyone still uses either of these services, let me assure you that they do. Gmail might be the coolest free email service under the sun, but you have to remember that quite a large chunk of the world’s population that uses email does so through Yahoo and Hotmail still.

While the news of BIS 3.1’s release probably did not make your day, you have to keep in mind that releasing a new OS—like RIM will be soon—requires updates to everything. Every day that RIM makes a small change here or there in their software means that OS 6 draws inevitably closer to launch. So by all means RIM, keep updating. In the mean time, we can still look at pictures of the BlackBerry 9800 and imagine what the new OS will allow the device to do.

Have you gotten the new BIS 3.1 update on your phone yet? Have you tried synchronizing your contacts with it? Let me know how much you like it.

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