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RIM Working with Ford to Integrate BlackBerry Devices and Ford Sync

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Ford Sync is a factory-installed, in-car communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft. It is based on the Microsoft Auto platform. The technology is currently being updated with some features that directly involve Research in Motion. Ford Sync has a text message readback feature that allows customers to hear text messages without having to take their eyes off the road. In addition to this service, Ford is has integrated the latest Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP) into SYNC for all MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles. The MAP standard outlines a set of features and procedures used to exchange email, SMS, and MMS messages between devices. With MAP technology, even more phones will work with SYNC to read aloud incoming texts.

In addition, Research In Motion is already working with Ford to implement MAP on BlackBerry smartphones and enable SYNC audible text messaging capability across their product line, in an effort to foster industry-wide adoption.

Recently, we reported about the Ford Fiesta’s ability to read tweets in-car and this seems to be part of a wider initiative to integrate cars and BlackBerrys.

Google Maps Updated to 4.2.0 with Biking Directions and Sharing

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Google Maps for BlackBerry has been updated to version 4.2.0 and now includes biking direction, a navigation shortcut and sharing. The biking directions provides you lanes and trails, just in time for summer. The bike navigation layer gives you bike-only trails, roads with bike lanes, or roads that are good for biking but lack a dedicated lane. You can turn on this layer form the Layers menu and pick your own route. You can also add the Terrain layer and decide either to climb or avoid any large hills on the way home.

Google maps also includes a new search result page and the ability to share places by email, SMS, Facebook and more. From the search results page, you can choose to “Share this place” and send that place’s info such as address and phone number, to whomever you choose. If you want to meet a friend, this is an easy way to send them details of your current location and meet up fast.

These new improvements to Google maps are pretty awesome and it makes you wonder how other mapping companies are going to survive in the market. How is a company such as TeleNav going to compete when Google collects such a vast amount of data and makes it all entirely free?

Thanks for the tip, Tim!

Schedule Email, SMS and PIN Messages with Message Scheduler 2.0

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Message Scheduler 2.0 allows you to schedule email, SMS, and PIN messages and share them with friends using an auto SMS forwarding system. The app is also useful for creating groups of contacts which you can message at once easily. Message Scheduler also allows you to use attachments, and has many of the useful features of a mail client such as an outbox for unsent messages and message storage.

Other features include:

View Message history by using Drafts, Sent and Canceled Folder.
Access to Phone Book and Call Logs for fetching Contact.
Add new, delete old and edit old message and save and use.
Message forwarding allow you to share messages to friends.
Once scheduled SMS delivered, It can be viewed in Send Folder.
User can Cancel message, which sends to Cancel Folder, where user can send it again.
Work with both GSM and CDMA Phones.

More information about Message Scheduler available here.

MO-Call Launch Cheap International Calling App for BlackBerry

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MO-Call have launched a BlackBerry app which offers cheap international calling and SMS rates. The app seems to work much like a calling card, in that when you launch the app, it will re-route calls through a different number and use credits that you purchase at their site. The rates seem pretty competitive, and it lists the following for the US:

Fixed: $0.020/min
Mobile: $0.020/min
SMS: $0.124/msg

You can find out more about their rates from their site.

To download MO-Call, point your browser to mo-call.mobi or visit their site for more information.

Kik Offers Free Messaging with Music Sharing App to Come

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Kik Chat is a great service for anyone that uses a lot of SMS, as Kik allows for free Kik-to-Kik messaging, much like Skype does for calling. The company have some great projects on the way, including a music app which lets you share DRM-free music with your friends. I think it’s safe to assume that Kik Chat and the music app will be fully integrated, making it a cheap and easy way to communicate with your friends.
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