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RIM syncs Macs with BlackBerries

Dear Palm: that includes iTunes

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Beginning this Friday, BlackBerry-using Mac owners will be able to sync their contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes - plus iTunes music - to their Research In Motion smartphones.

RIM's announcement notes that the Mac-specific BlackBerry Desktop Manager software will sync with Apple iCal and Address Book, Microsoft Entourage, and as-yet-unspecified other Mac apps.

The Desktop Manager will also enable BlackBerrians to install and remove apps, schedule and encrypt backups, and install software updates. The software requires Mac OS 10.5.5 and higher and BlackBerry OS 4.2 and higher.

iTunes will sync by means of the Desktop Manager's BlackBerry Media Sync feature, which will sync not only tunes but also song info and album art. Older iTunes songs hobbled by Apple's FairPlay digital rights management scheme aren't supported. No surprise there.

RIM's iTunes syncing doesn't require the BlackBerry to pretend it's an iPhone, as the Palm Pre's media sync capability did, off and on - and currently off. Why Palm hasn't gone the RIM route and developed their own iTunes-syncing utility remains a mystery.

The free Mac version of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager will be available here beginning on October 2 at 1:00 pm New York time - that's 6:00 pm, London time. ®

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