Its good to see that RIM is still actively working to improve the BlackBerry Internet Service. We recently got the update to v3.1 but version 3.2 is just around the corner. Piotr over @BBNews.pl sent over this list of the upcoming updates for BIS 3.2. Nothing really groundbreaking here other than Google Calendar sync but it is nice to see RIM starting to integrate BlackBerry Protect and BIS.
NOTE: This info is similar to what we heard back in March though calendar sync was also supposed to come to Yahoo… Back then the planned launch date was October and was going to include a new small business management console.
Summary of new features: (full details below)
- Google Calendar Sync- Need we say more?
- Improved security- you will no longer be able to get away with a 6 character password for BIS
- Automatic Login Improvements
- User interface updates
- Improved windows live revalidation reminder messages
- Improved administration and connection with BlackBerry Protect for Carriers
Google Calendar Synchronization
Wireless calendar synchronization with Google Calendar is a feature developed by RIM that allows users to synchronize their device Calendar with their Google webmail Calendar. Synchronization is two-way, meaning users can add, edit, or delete information on the desktop or the device and the info is wirelessly updated respectively. Synchronization with Google Calendar is done wirelessly over the air, meaning users will not have to physically connect their devices to their computers.
If the BlackBerry smartphone is also associated with an email account that uses a BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, the Calendar application on the device will contain entries from both the Google Calendar account and Calendar entries from the email account that uses the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Users cannot synchronize Calendar entries from the account that uses the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and their Google webmail Calendar.
Additionally, Field and Status mapping differences exist between what appears on the device calendar vs. what will appear on the Google Calendar, such as pop-up reminders, which the only reminder type supported with sync (Google Calendar allows for additional options such as SMS reminders). If there are multiple reminders scheduled (which is a Google Calendar option), the reminder closest to the event is the only reminder synchronized with the device.
For increased user security, users will now be required to follow a more stringent password policy when setting up (or changing) their BIS account password. With the BIS 3.2 release user passwords are required to be 8-16 characters in place and contain a mix of upper and lower case characters as well as numbers. Previously the policy was that passwords only had to be a minimum of 6 characters.
These new password requirements will help to ensure that email user accounts are not compromised, particularly when an account is being set-up by a carrier representative that may use very basic passwords when setting up a user’s account that, for obvious reasons, may be accidentally duplicated (i.e. password).
Automatic Login Improvements
As part of BIS 3.2, the existing Automatic Login functionality will be updated for an improved experience for users who have a username and password. Previously, BIS users who had a username and password were prompted to enter their credentials whenever they accessed their BIS account from their device. Customers often forgot their credentials, which drove support calls. In BIS 3.2, users who access their BIS account using a username and password on their device without the email setup application (devices running 4.6 handheld software or earlier) will be automatically logged into their BIS account, thus eliminating the need for a user to enter their credentials. This will provide an improved experience for BIS users, and help reduce calls related to forgotten BIS account credentials by extending the Automatic Login behaviour to username/password users.
Note: Users who have a BlackBerry hosted email address (@<carrier>.blackberry.com), and currently do not have a password assigned to this email address will use their BIS account password for validation actions.
Once BIS 3.2 is released, the user will have to enter their BIS account password (justinBB123) when they make changes to their hosted email address from their device.
*At this time, users who have a username and password and access their BIS account from their BlackBerry using the email setup application will not be affected. The email setup application allows a BIS user to remember their credentials, which also helps eliminate the need for users to remember their credentials
User Interface Changes
Previously, WAP users were not able to view the password for their integrated accounts when switching to a new BlackBerry handheld. In BIS 3.2, WAP users can now display the password, which will help users ensure they are typing the correct password when validating the email address prior to completing the device change process.
1) After insert the SIM card into the new device and selecting ‘Email Settings’, the user is prompted to move their email accounts over to their new device:
2) Selecting ‘Show Password’ will display the password for all the accounts to be validated.
Windows Live Hotmail Revalidation
Currently, users who have integrated a Windows Live Hotmail email address (and are using the MSN/MSP protocol) are required to revalidate their email account every 360 days. Currently, users receive a direct email from BIS 3 days prior to their token expiration, informing them of the need to revalidate their account (and providing instructions).
In BIS 3.2 an additional email will be sent to users 1 day prior to their token expiration with the same message that will link to a KB article with written and video instructions for how to revalidate their account
*Does not apply to users who have integrated a Windows Live Hotmail email address and use the POP protocol
BlackBerry Email Administration Tool
As part of BIS 3.2, carrier administrators will now be able to perform BlackBerry Protect remote administration commands from within the BlackBerry Email Administration console. The four BlackBerry Protect functions that carrier administrators will be able to perform on behalf of BlackBerry users (who have a BlackBerry Protect account) are: activate a loud ring on the user’s device, lock the user’s device, create a message that will be displayed on the main screen of the user’s device and backup the information on the user’s device:
- Loud Ring
- Makes the device ring for 1 minute
- Sets the device profile to “Loud”
- Display Message
- Allows a carrier administrator to update the homes screen of the BlackBerry to display a message. i.e. If found, please contact me at 123-456-7890
- Lock Device
- If a password is already set on the BlackBerry, carrier administrators will be able to lock the device using the existing password
- If a password is not set, carrier administrators will be able to lock the device using an automatically generate a new password. The user will be able to retrieve the new password by logging in to BlackBerry Protect website.
- Back Up Device
- Initiates a backup of all supported BlackBerry Protect data
- The end user must already have BlackBerry Protect installed and be logged in on their device for these features to be available in the BlackBerry Email Administration console.
- Users must have a BIS account