Fast Company

Blackberry Goes 'Lifestyle'

Today Blackberry maker RIM [NSDQ:RIMM] announced a handful of new smartphone applications for the Blackberry platform aimed at making the devices more palatable to non-business customers. Partering with Internet giants like Microsoft [NSDQ:MSFT] and Google [NSDQ:GOOG], RIM will now offer Windows Live Search and Google search on its devices, as well as applications from MySpace [NYSE:NWS.A], Ticketmaster [NSDQ:TKTM], Slacker and TiVo [NSDQ:TIVO]. The goal: provide better search and social networking integration into Blackberry's lifestyle devices like the Pearl, Curve, Bold and new Pearl Flip.

Microsoft's functionality should be available soon, but Google's Mobile App is downloadable immediately, giving Blackberry users access to Google Apps, Calendar, and Alerts. It can be downloaded at Google's mobile site, m.google.com.

One impetus for the deeper application integration is the success of the Facebook for Blackberry application, which has inspired MySpace's competing app. That sotware will provide real-time status updates and photo integration when it launches worldwide in October.

The Slacker app, expected to debut also in October, will allow Blackberry users to stream music from over 10,000 artists.

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