BlackBerry Connect

Blackberry Connect or Blackerry on non-RIM hardware FAQS

What is Blackberry Connect?

Blackberry Connect is the name given to RIM’s licensing scheme which allows other manufacturers to include ‘Blackberry Functionality’ on their devices. Connect is a stripped down implementation of the Blackberry stack, and so does not support all of the product features that are available in Blackberry.

Originally there were two separate licensing schemes, Connect and ‘Built-in’. Connect was the stripped down stack, and Built-in was the full version that ran almost as an application on the device. Built-in never really took-off, indeed in Europe it was only deployed on one device model the ill-fated Siemens SK-65.

Nowadays the Connect model is licensed for a wide range of manufacturers handsets (see devices) which includes Nokia, Sony Ericcsson, Windows Mobile etc.

How does it stack up compared to a full Blackberry

It depends really on the usage that you wish to put the device to and the nature of the handset itself. As the connect is an application that integrates with the device o/s if the device o/s is slow or doesn’t have enough memory then the Blackberry experience is equally crippled.

I’d recommend that you test it our prior to committing to purchase or at least take advantage of a 14-day return policy offered by your carrier to return it if you don’t like it.

How do I get the sofware / install it on my device?

This is often not quite a straightforward as it seems. Please see the device specific information links for more details on your device. Note however that your carrier may not officially support that device or Blackberry Connect on your device even if another carrier in other parts of the world does support it. For example, in the UK, anyone wanting to use the Sony Ericcson p910i client for a long time had to download the software from T-Mobile Austria and install that version.

Even if a handset is advertised as having BB Connect, then it’s not guaranteed that this has been pre-installed on the device. You may have to install from a memory card, or a website download.

It’s also become apparent that it can be a bit tempremental on s/w version levels. Sometimes you need to upgrade your brand-new handset to get it working, or occassionally the handset upgrade can break the connect client, until a later release of the client.

How do I activate my Blackberry Connect Device on a BES?

Assuming you’ve got hold of the client s/w for your device, then you should also be able to get hold of the desktop sofrware for that device from the same place. Note this is specific to the give device manufacturer – i.e you need “Blackberry Desktop Software for Nokia” and not another manufacturers s/w or the generic RIM product in order for this to work.

Then follow thses steps

  • Check your mobile plan with your carrier that you’re provisioned for BES not just internet mail (cures 50% of all known “I can’t activate” issues)
  • Install the software onto your PC – (note your IT department might not like this)
  • Install the s/w onto the device (if not preloaded)
  • Ensure you’re logged to the desktop PC as yourself (not admin mode) and with your email client open
  • Start the application on the device and then connect the cable to the USB port of the PC
  • Wait for the desktop software to recognise the PIN code of the device and then update with the new PIN code.
  • Manually generate the encryption key – wiggle the mouse a bit.
  • Voila you should be up and running…

If you are using the device on a company BES I strongly recommend talking to the IT department prior to trying to do this on your own – it might be against company policy.

What are the limitations of a Blackberry Connect Device on a BES?

As we mentioned above Blackberry Connect is a slimmed down feature set (similar to a 3.6 device)and the key limitations are: –

  • No Enterprise Activation – that’s why you need to cable activate as above
  • Only Supports Email and Calendar Syncs – no tasks, contacts or notes
  • Restricted set of IT policies – which vary from device to device – kill handheld won’t remove data sync’d locally to device (outside the BB client stack – e.g. Notes)
  • No wireless backup
  • No support for MDS browsing – this is a major issue if you want to web-browse/IM and BB Connect Email
  • Lookups against the Corporate Directory only returns the email address not all the contact info including phone numbers like the BB lookup. (This was introduced in BB Connect v2.1.2.31)
  • PIN to PIN messaging doesn’t work
  • Maximum attachment size of 32k (as of v2.1.2.31 on wm5)

When are these limitations going to be removed?

Like all supplier roadmaps, this is not clear/deliberately vague. Essentially some of this will come in when the Blackberry 4.0 build client software becomes standard. As to when this will happen, then sometime in 2007 is fair to say, but once released by RIM it will take some manufacturers a while to upgrade their s/w stack to support 4.0

How do I activate my Blackberry Connect for Internet Mail?

(to be added)

Device Specific Information

  • Sony Ericsson p910i
  • Sony Ericsson p990i
  • Sony Ericsson w600
  • HTC JasJar (& derivatives)
  • HTC Universal (& derivatives)
  • Nokia E61
  • Nokia 9500
  • Palm Treo 650

If you are having Trouble getting a Treo 650 connected due to no service books and you have already reinstalling BB Connect for Palm, then tryremoving the default Sync user name from the Palm and sync with new username.

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