Earlier this week RIM released Blackberry Desktop Manager 6.0 for Windows users. The screenshots of it actually made it look kinda cool so I decided to try it out. Plus I have never used the Desktop Manager before so that was another reason to try this out. You can download it for yourself from this link. DesktopManager
First glance you will notice the massive download size of this thing, we are talking Apple download size here. Second thing you notice is that if you are a enterprise using BB customer like myself you are treated to a nice little warning about do not download this without talking to your Admin. After reading the associated KB article, I feel they should just remove that warning as it is just fluff. All you are doing RIM is scaring your enterprise users away from this. This actually may be the point as you will read further down that is definitely aimed at the normal consumer and not the enterprise user.
Install does take what seems like forever for what seems to me just a syncing software package. Once the install is done you will be asked to connect your Blackberry. Here you go through a couple of option on when you want to do your backups, what to name your device, if you want to be notified on updates, etc.. Once those are set then you are brought to the main screen.
From here you have a couple of options.
- Back up your device
- View Applications (Remove if necessary)
- Organize (Set up Syncing for email, calendar, address book, tasks)
- Media Sync with your computer
Since I have never backed up my Blackberry in my 3 years of using I decided to back it up which was actually pretty painless. The next option I used was to look at all the 3rd party apps I had installed on my device and decide what to do with them. This feature turned out to be nicer than I thought as you are able to select more than one app at once and remove them all at the same time. I removed the apps I no longed needed and did the customary reboot of my device.
The organizer section did not apply to me as being an enterprise user all of my syncing is done through my enterprise server. For the consumer out there it gives you the options to set up syncing for your email, calendar, address book and tasks. This is where the small business users setup their syncing.
Media sync is where Blackberry 6.0 shows major improvement for current generation Blackberry users. The interface is intuitive to use and uses what I believe to be your Windows Media Player playlists and settings. There is no way to select individual songs so it is recommended to create a special playlist for your Blackberry if you want select songs synced. Current generation Blackberry users will be using this feature quite a bit more than older ones as speed and memory space will be better. Video and pictures give you the ability to sync both ways which again is a nice feature. Again older generation Blackberry users more than likely will not be using this. Another major update to Blackberry Desktop Manager in this area is the ability to use Wi-Fi sync over your home network. When connected to your home network you can select which items you want to automatically sync without using the Manager program. This is only available to Blackberry users of OS 6.0.
Going through some other options under the Tools Menu was a option called Start Mobile Internet. This is where users who have tethering setup can setup their tethering settings and not use a secondary program to use. Nice feature as now I personally do not have to start up Sprint SmartView if I want to connect via tethering.
Overall this program will be perfect for the consumer as it truly is an all in one desktop utility for your Blackberry. For most users (enterprise) though it will be a tough sell as I believe a majority of them will be scared away from the initial warning of do not install this. Along with the general idea that most of us either have Curves or Bolds and these devices really aren’t media darlings. For the new Torch users this will be a great program to keep your Blackberry filled with your media. This will also be great for the small business owner who cannot afford the Enterprise aspect but now can easily get their syncing set up via the wireless sync functionality.
I will definitely recommend this for the small business user or the general consumer but for the enterprise consumer it mainly depends if you actually use your device for media consumption.