One of the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook's coolest features is it can pair with a BlackBerry smart phone for 3G connectivity, but what about linking Apple's iPad with one of RIM's handsets? That's the aim of a new app called Liberty from a company called Bayalink, which has made it available in beta.
The company describes Liberty for iPad as "a really simple, easy, safe and cost-effective way to read and reply to corporate emails on the iPad without the enterprise data ever being at rest". We think they may mean 'at risk' there, but aren't 100 per cent sure.
The software is based on Bayalink's existing Liberty tool (compellingly illustrated above), which lets laptop and PC users tap into their BlackBerry handsets on a bigger screen and keyboard. Stand by for a super-corporate quote on how the iPad fits into all this:
"The movement towards tablets and more specifically the iPad is a natural step in our endpoint independent strategy to support BlackBerry users on all end-user computing devices," reckons VP and co-founder Trevor Dietrich, who says support for Android tablets will follow in the near future, as they come out.
The idea is to make companies feel more confident about buying iPads for their staff, while keeping BlackBerry's famous ninja-grade security for corporate email. The announcement makes it sound like email is the focus, so it's unlikely -- for now at least -- that Liberty will be about tablet-sized BBM chat sessions. (Well, not unless RIM brings its messaging app to iOS, as was rumoured last week.)
Our first reaction to the news was to wonder whether lots of people rock the BlackBerry 'n' iPad combo, as opposed to an all-iOS pairing of iPhone and iPad. That said, many BlackBerry owners have been craving some tablet action for the last year, and the BlackBerry PlayBook will only make its debut in the coming weeks.
We're still not sure hardcore BlackBerry users will swap their physical keyboards for iPad's touchscreen, but if you disagree, Bayalink is taking beta applications now.