RIM’s BlackBerry basically comes in two flavors, one used by corporate users that works with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, and the other for consumers that works with carrier networks and sends and receive’s e-mail from popular mail services like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail or standard POP, IMAP, and SMTP mail servers. The consumer version of BlackBerry has not included some of the enterprise class features like remote wipe, but today RIM announced BlackBerry Protect that provides many of the enterprise class features.
BlackBerry Protect will be available later this year, and RIM has not stated how much the service will cost. BlackBerry Protect will include:
- Online, automatic backups. You can restore your information to a new phone
- A loud ring feature to help find a misplaced BlackBerry. You force the BlackBerry to ring by logging on the BlackBerry Protect web site
- Remote lock to lock up your phone preventing people from using it
- Send a message to display on a locked, lost phone to provide your contact information
- View current location of the phone using the phone’s GPS
- Remote wipe to remove all your information from the phone
The features in BlackBerry Protect are similar to Apple’s MobileMe service for iPhones and Microsoft’s My Phone service for Windows Mobile. An alternative to this service provided to BlackBerry users by RIM is Best Buy’s m:IQ service, though it too is won’t be available until later this year. As we put more of our important and confidential information on smartphones, backup and remote wipe services such as BlackBerry Protect will provide is critical. If you own a BlackBerry you will want to check out this service when it becomes available.