BlackBerry users can now sync their handset with Google Calendar using a free Google download that was released last week.
Users can go to m.google.com/sync via their BlackBerry's web browser to download and install the software. Or they can install it on their PC running the BlackBerry desktop software first, and then install it to the BlackBerry via a USB connection.
In May, Google created a mobile version of Google Calendar, which allowed any mobile phone users to access their schedules via the phone's web browser.
Syncing the Google Calendar to the BlackBerry, however, lets users view their schedule even when the wireless reception is poor or unavailable, such as when they're riding a subway or airplane.
For calendaring, the new sync software can replace the use of Microsoft Outlook and Exchange along with BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).
However the sync may not be as real-time as the 'push' technology used in BES - updating occurs once every two hours, unless a calendar change is entered on the BlackBerry (causing an immediate sync).
Other third-party sync tools, some of which are free, include GooSync, SyncMyCal, and others.
In a blog post, the search engine giant did not say if or when it plans to let users sync Gmail or the contact list in Gmail to their BlackBerry. It also did not say if/when it would allow users of other smartphones, such as Apple Inc.'s new iPhone, to sync with Google Calendar or Gmail.