RIM Furthers Consumer Appeal With Free BlackBerry Protect Service

In an attempt to further appeal to consumers and downplay its business-only image, RIM is now offering free BlackBerry Protect service for all BlackBerry users. The service, previously only available to enterprise users, allows users to locate, back up and remotely wipe their handsets. BlackBerry Protect is now in open beta, and can be downloaded from the BlackBerry App World.

The company no doubt is trying to match Apple's MobileMe for iPhone and iPad. The service of course isn't the same as what is offered for companies running their own BlackBerry Enterprise Server, but it does offer convenient features, such as only backing up when Wi-Fi is available, an extra loud ring for when your handset has vanished to parts unknown in your house or car, and GPS for a mapped location of your phone. If the handset is lost in earnest, you can lock it, display return information on the screen, and remotely wipe data.

The app has been in closed beta since December, and now is available from BlackBerry App World, under the name "BlackBerry Protect". RIM hasn't said whether the app will remain free, though keeping it so would most likely benefit them. The app will also fit well with the RIM's PlayBook tablet.

[via The Register]