Critics of RIM's BlackBerry and PlayBook tablet say the devices are falling behind the technological curve. The Canadian firm's recent purchase of scheduling app Tungle may be an attempt at harnessing some serious cross-platform scheduling power.
Tungle announced on its blog today that its entire team was bought by RIM. Tungle noted that it's "really excited about this" because "there isn't an industry more exciting than the smartphone and tablet markets" in which "RIM is a dominant player." That's all believable, but more importantly, Tungle promises that while its service will only get better, it's sticking with its existing plan for "Tungle to become integrated with your daily activities and be ubiquitous within the applications you're already using. When you think scheduling, Tungle should be at your fingertips."
While Tungle will probably remain as a platform that you can use on many different sorts of devices, RIM will leverage it to the max to make its BlackBerrys and PlayBooks even more useful enterprise tools. In today's rapid-moving, net-connected world, it's hard to imagine what tool could be as useful to a businessperson as keeping abreast of her schedule, and sharing it with others on various platforms, too, without the need for complex permissions enabling or meeting invites (we're talking about you, Outlook).
That's actually Tungle's trick, and it's been offering its services for just about three years. The amount RIM paid wasn't revealed, but it's known that the firm was growing its user base by more than 30% per month, and probably reached over a million users sometime early this year. It runs a web interface, as well as an iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry app—as seen below.
It's hard to say whether Tungle's skills make up for the fact that PlayBook ships without a native email and calendar app, and requires a paired BlackBerry to really give it some enterprise organizational chops. But if this is merely one play in a clever acquisition strategy by RIM, with possibly more in the future to snap up smaller firms that'll give it powers to challenge Google, Microsoft, and Apple's cloud-based systems, then it could work.
Image: Flickr, joe lanman.