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Google's move to drop Gmail support for BlackBerry will kick off on Nov 22

Google will stop supporting Gmail applications for Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphones beginning Nov 22. However, it would not affect BlackBerry users who seek access to Gmail as they can still use RIM's native support.

Mail Today Bureau | November 11, 2011 | Updated 09:47 IST

Android software maker, Google will stop supporting and will no longer maintain the application for Gmail (applications) for rival Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry smartphones beginning November 22.

"Beginning November 22, 2011, we will end support for the Gmail App for BlackBerry (installed native app). Over this past year, we've focused efforts on building a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser and will continue investing in this area," Google said. However, users who have already downloaded the app may continue to use it.

Despite Google deciding to stop Gmail App, it would not affect BlackBerry users who seek access to Gmail. They can still use RIM's native support which would get synchronised with Gmail, said the RIM spokesperson in India.

The development comes in the wake of intense competition building up in the smartphones market, where Android-based mobiles have taken a lead. Reacting to the development RIM said, "RIM is known for providing an industry leading mobile communications experience.

Since 2009, RIM has incorporated native support for Gmail in BlackBerry OS 5.0 and above, which means that a separate Gmail app is not required. The large majority of users who access Gmail on their BlackBerry smartphones already rely on the native support (provided through BlackBerry Internet Service) rather than the separate Gmail app."

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RIM's native support for Gmail includes support for multiple Gmail accounts, calendar and contact syncing, and Gmail specific functions such as archive, star, label, conversation view and remote search, said the RIM spokesperson in India. "RIM will of course continue to work on enhancing this experience further over time. In addition to utilising this native support, BlackBerry users can also access Gmail through our industry leading Webkit browser with full support for HTML 5," the spokesperson added.

RIM late on Wednesday said that BlackBerry services are working normally after earlier announcing a probe into reports that users hit by a recent outage were still experiencing email woes.

BlackBerry services are currently operating normally in the EMEIA region, the company said in a statement, referring to Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.

A giant service outage last month affected millions of users worldwide and the Canadian company had said in a tweet on Wednesday that it was getting reports that some users are experiencing delays, and promised to update users.

Last month, a failure in RIM's unique server architecture, which compresses and encrypts mobile data, cut off email, Internet and messaging services for millions of BlackBerry users across five continents for up to four days.

RIM's network services for the popular smartphone were down intermittently for up to three days in October in western Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North and South America.

RIM blamed the failure of a core switch at a facility in Europe as well as a backup mechanism for the initial problem, knocking out emails and messaging for users in many parts of the world.

The problems cascaded as emails backed up at the company's server hubs. RIM has set out to make amends with customers by offering $100 worth of premium applications, such as games and hands-free operating programmes.

Courtesy: Mail Today 

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