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RIM Adds Glitz to BlackBerrys

Users Rejoice And It Departments Groan: Research In Motion's increasingly ubiquitous BlackBerry devices are getting more consumer-oriented features--including cameras, GPS, expansion slots and video/audio playback.

In addition to these hardware advances, RIM recently released a series of programming APIs that will let developers build a wider array of apps for BlackBerry devices. A Mobile Multimedia API lets developers embed audio and video into apps through the BlackBerry Media Player. APIs for GPS and BlackBerry Maps are designed to enable new types of location-based apps. BlackBerry Messenger APIs allow access to presence and contact information and permit peer-to-peer messages. New XML and Web services interfaces simplify integration with existing apps, and a new file system API improves file management.

So, IT beware: Your users will, no doubt, be clamoring for these new BlackBerrys. And you'll have to be more conscientious than ever before about locking down devices that have been among the most enterprise-security-friendly smartphones. --Sean Ginevan, [email protected]