APP OF THE DAY: Funambol wireless sync (BlackBerry)

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Enterprise BlackBerry users may have the luxury of syncing information and contacts between a PC Outlook account and their smartphones, but regular users have to go through the painstaking task of manually inputting any new contact info if they’re looking to get a replicated address book on their handsets.

Or at least that used to be the case, as today Funambol have announced a new MobileMe-like service for BlackBerry users that will take away the stress of syncing Outlook details, as well as images and other files to the RIM smartphones.

Based on the award-winning myFUNAMBOL Portal, the Funambol BlackBerry service syncs calendars, contacts, tasks, notes, and pictures wirelessly between PCs and handsets. It also offers users the option of pulling in data from cloud stored web destinations like Flickr, Facebook and Picasa.

“Connected devices are flooding the market – handsets, tablets and cloud services are essential for people to wirelessly sync core data like contacts, calendars and pictures,” said Amit Chawla, Funambol CEO. “iPhone has MobileMe, Android has Google but until now, BlackBerry hasn’t had an equivalent service. Funambol is delivering the missing link by giving BlackBerry consumer users a simple way to sync pictures to the cloud and PCs, and prosumers a way to sync contacts, calendars and more with Outlook, without Exchange or cables.”

Funambol promise the service will be compatible with the forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook, as well as being already available to iPad and Android tablet users, should you want to push your data to those devices too. Mistakenly deleted data can also be restored, thanks to a “time machine” data back-up feature.

“The ability to wirelessly sync contacts, calendars and pictures between BlackBerry devices, Outlook and the cloud, without Exchange and BES, has truly been a missing link,” said J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., Principal Analyst at MobileTrax. “The Funambol mobile cloud service will be highly beneficial for BlackBerry users.”

The Funambol app can be downloaded directly from the BlackBerry AppWorld. While currently in the Beta stage, only 50MBs of data can be stored, though additional space will be made available once the app is finalised.

Gerald Lynch