RIM BlackBerry Desktop Manager v. PocketMac: Macs and BlackBerrys, Part I

RIM currently builds its BlackBerry Desktop Manager software only for Windows machines, often leaving Mac users out in the cold. Here we list a number of important features available to PC users in desktop manager, as well as those lacking in PocketMac, a BlackBerry desktop software alternative.

It doesn't take any considerable amount of insight into the world of smartphones to understand that many Mac users with Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry devices feel overlooked by RIM. Just visit any major BlackBerry forum on the Web, and you'll find specific sections dedicated to BlackBerry/Mac related issues.

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That's because RIM's official desktop software, the BlackBerry Desktop Manager, which lets PC users perform data backup and restore processes, update handheld operating systems (OS), configure BlackBerry corporate settings and more, only runs on Microsoft Windows machines. RIM hasn't exactly ignored its Mac-using customer base--it offers an alternative, Mac-friendly software called PocketMac for free download--but there are still a number of valuable features that are unavailable to BlackBerry users with Apple Macintosh computers. (Note: Mac machines running Parallels or other such software that enables Apple computers to run Windows and other operating systems, and that meet the necessary system requirements, can run RIM's Desktop Manager.)

The following is a list, from RIM, that details the features available in the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software, along with the functionality afforded to Mac users via PocketMac. System requirements for both BlackBerry Desktop Manager and Pocket Mac are also listed beneath the chart.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager v. PocketMac

BlackBerry Desktop Manager PocketMac
Backup and restore Yes No
Load Third-Party Apps Yes Yes
Update Handheld Software Yes No
Configure BES E-Mail Settings Yes No
Tethered Modem Yes No
Automated Device Switch Yes No
Bookmark Synch No Yes
Media Mgmt. for the Handheld Yes No
Media Sync Yes Limited

RIM BlackBerry Desktop Manager v4.5 System Requirements:

  • An Internet/email-enabled computer

  • One available USB or serial port

  • The Microsoft Windows OS in one of these versions, with a USB port: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista including x64 bit support

  • With a serial port: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista

PocketMac System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"/OS X 10.5 "Leopard" (except SecureNotes Synching)

  • 14MB free disk space on your Mac

  • One available USB port

  • Entourage 10.1.6 or higher (For Entourage synching options)

More information on each product, including supported devices is available on RIM's website and PocketMac.com.

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