BlackBerry users now have a wireless data syncing cloud service to compete with Apple's MobileMe and Android's Google. The Funambol BlackBerry service syncs up your photos, Outlook data, contacts, calendars, notes, and pictures to the cloud. It can automatically update Outlook with that data or push it to a service like Facebook, Flickr or Picassa.
Funambol already supports Android tablets and the iPad, and will support the PlayBook as soon as it launches. This cloud service also features an emergency data back-up service that you can use to recover deleted data.
This service is basically an extension of the neglected BlackBerry Protect. It's interesting that Funambol has chosen to compare themselves to MobileMe instead. That's not exactly a big thumbs-up for RIM. You can find the beta today in the App World.
Bit by bit, the BlackBerry line is lurching back towards relevancy. The PlayBook is proof that someone at RIM can design a modern mobile device, and Funambol's service provides BlackBerry users with something crucial (and easily available to everyone else) that they've lacked for a while.
Chaos at Nokia could mean big gains in RIM's market share in the near future. Their next crop of BlackBerries was more of the same, but QNX devices (which may support Android apps) are expected to dominate future generations.
The Storm 3 may end up being RIM's first QNX smartphone. Android and Apple have cut away a great deal of their US market share over the last two years, but a touchscreen BlackBerry smartphone that people actually want to use could go a long way towards reversing those losses.