The documentation to BlackBerry Internet Service 4.0 has leaked online. The next generation cloud service will host a whole set of new features which will improve synchronisation, new support tiers and integration with BlackBerry ID, the new universal authentication service.
BlackBerry Internet Service, designed for the ordinary non-enterprise consumer, is the push service provided by BlackBerry manufacturer, Research in Motion, which sends and receives Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! and other POP/IMAP content through to your handset.
Late last year, BlackBerry Internet Service 3.2 was released across North America, which brought new features to Gmail users - allowing them to synchronise calendars and contacts, similar to Exchange functionality.
There are five significant new features:
Integration with BlackBerry ID, which was initially introduced for BlackBerry Protectand since rolled out to BlackBerry App World. This will create a single sign-on solution for accessing your email settings, and preferences which can be stored in the cloud. BlackBerry ID accounts will be associated with devices with BlackBerry OS 6.1 onwards, allowing users to seamlessly switch devices without fuss, hassle and most of all, manual backups.
Improved BIS end user communications will provide new and improved 'official' messages which will replace PIN messages, such as account notifications and service book downloads. All messages will be branded with the BlackBerry logo, but will require BlackBerry OS 6.1 onwards.
Automatic login improvements which should ultimately lead to less phone calls of panic to the network provider asking for a password reset. Though in BlackBerry Internet Service 3.2, currently in use globally, login details are remembered by the device, this will be improved.
User interface changes will be apparent, such as improved email, the removal of the import control option which checked Outlook for integration settings, and improvements to the secret question field.
Google Calendar improvement will include improved delete synchronisation and changes to the 'status' field, so this will allow free/busy statuses to be synchronised over the air to a Google Calendar.
It is a shame that some features have not yet been implemented, where others have succeeded. Considering the very vast majority of younger BlackBerry users are subscribing to BlackBerry Internet Services to access email and social media, the lack of features compared to other services could push users away.
Unless you add a Gmail address and configure it to do so, there is no contact synchronisation - and BlackBerry users cannot port their contacts easily to other devices, unless they manually backup using the desktop software.
Plus, the clear lack in ability to send HTML messages is annoying to some. Unless Research in Motion can essentially pimp out the BlackBerry directly to the younger generation with game-changing features, then they will lose out to competing markets.