Well, it was about time RIM showed some love to Mac users. While there were some limited solutions, like Pocket Mac and others third party software, it felt like RIM is leaving the Mac users out in the cold. From syncing to backups, upgrades to addins (such as Ewallet), I either had to use a Windows desktop or use a virtual machine running Windows.
RIM kindly sent over a final version of BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac for us to try out but the software is scheduled to be available today at www.blackberry.com/mac
Blackberry Desktop Manager for Mac comes relatively in small size to its Windows counterpart, a mere 28 MByte file. But it is packed with goodness. The installation is pretty straightforward, it only takes couple minutes. Only minor issue is that it requires a reboot.
After the reboot, I started the application, connected my Blackberry Bold and voila, it asked my password. Then it displayed a Summary screen where it lists critical information about your device, such as PIN, model, OS version, last time you synced the device, etc.
The Sync portion is based on the Sync Services of OS X. The documentation refers to Sync application in Applications folder, but if you are using Snow Leopard, the name is iSync. You can sync your Calendar, Contacts, Notes and Tasks:
As you can imagine, the Blackberry Desktop Manager uses your iTunes library to synchronize your music. You can sync the whole library or just selected playlists.
Backup and restore are pretty straightforward. You have the option to backup the device automatically each time you connect the device or simply manually select and run backup. During the backup, you can encrypt the backup file and backup on-board device memory as well.
Interestingly, during backup it couldn’t backup on-board device memory, complaining about encrypted files. On Windows, I never received such errors, it backed up fine.
Lastly, you can install/remove applications and upgrade OS as well. The upgrading the OS is based on the official releases and the desktop manager downloads required files over the Internet.
I like the way Install/Remove Applications menu was designed, as you can easily scroll and sort by name, version or size (unlike Windows DM).
Overall, it is refreshing to see RIM decided to support Mac environment better, it will help a lot of frustrated Mac users.