Celio RedFly to support BlackBerry by mid-October

CelioCorp1 Celio Corp, the company that produces the RedFly device announced last week that their current products will support BlackBerry smartphones by simply installing a new “BlackBerry aware” firmware. All products shipped after launch will already support connection to BlackBerry smartphones.

CelioCorp3 Their product line is based on extending the functionality of smartphones by adding a laptop-type-device that provides a keyboard, large screen, and a 5 or 8 hour battery (depending on the device). The device has no processor nor storage, thus allowing a lower price point than Netbooks.

The company had already announced a few months back that they would add support for BlackBerry smartphones, but it was unknown when or how they would support it. They already had support for Windows Mobile phones.

CelioCorp2

They posted on their website a series of questions and answers for people interested in their BlackBerry support:

We’ve been swamped with questions after our recent press release about supporting BlackBerry this fall so here are some answers to the most-asked questions:

Q: When can I start using a REDFLY with my BlackBerry?
A: Most likely sometime in October or November. We’ll know the exact release date soon and will announce it as soon as possible.

Q: Which BlackBerry smartphones will work with REDFLY?
A: Upon launch, REDFLY will support the BlackBerry Bold 9000, BlackBerry Curve 8900 and BlackBerry Tour 9630. We plan to support most of the new phones BlackBerry releases in the future. In order for the REDFLY driver to operate efficiently, you’ll need a BlackBerry phone with a 512 MHz or faster processor; 128MB or more memory; and a BlackBerry OS version of 4.6 or later.

Q: What other phones work with REDFLY?

A: Today REDFLY supports many Windows Mobile smartphones. We plan to support other mobile operating systems in the future. You can see an updated list of supported phones anytime at
http://www.celiocorp.com/smartphone

Q: Can I be notified when the BlackBerry driver is ready?
A: Absolutely. Sign up at http://www.celiocorp.com/subscribe for the latest news and info.

Q: If I buy a REDFLY today will it work with my BlackBerry once you finally release the BlackBerry driver?
A: Yes. However, you will need to install new firmware on the REDFLY to make it “BlackBerry aware” before connecting to a BlackBerry device. This special process may only be completed using a Windows Mobile phone so you’ll need to have access to a Windows Mobile phone in order to make your REDFLY BlackBerry aware. The firmware currently on REDFLY Mobile Companions shipping today only recognizes Windows Mobile phones.

The REDFLY Mobile Companion units that will ship to new customers this fall when the BlackBerry becomes officially supported will ship with BlackBerry aware firmware. REDFLYs purchased starting at that time will work out-of-the box with a BlackBerry phone without the need to set up the REDFLY using a Windows Mobile phone.

Q: Can I use the REDFLY I already own with a BlackBerry?
A: Most likely yes. The two currently available REDFLY models (the C7 and C8N) will be compatible with BlackBerry devices. However, you will need a Windows Mobile phone to update your REDFLY and make it BlackBerry aware before connecting to a BlackBerry for the first time. The original REDFLY Mobile Companion model C8 sold until November 2008 will not support a BlackBerry connection. If you are not sure which REDFLY model you have, please check the label on the bottom of your REDFLY device where the “Model No.” is listed.

Q: How much will the BlackBerry driver cost?
A: As with all REDFLY drivers, the BlackBerry driver will be offered free-of-charge to any existing or future REDFLY Mobile Companion owner.

Q: Can I use the same REDFLY to connect to both a BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phone?
A: Yes. The same REDFLY may be used to connect to any supported phone with the REDFLY driver installed. You can only connect REDFLY to one phone at a time so you’ll need to disconnect from a phone first before connecting to the other phone.

Q: Can I share one REDFLY between multiple users?
A: Yes. Since REDFLY stores no data, settings, or preferences, just connect it to any REDFLY aware smartphone without reconfiguring it in any way. See the video below for an example.

I guess that all BlackBerry users will just have to wait for about a month or so for the new firmware to be released. The original press release had announced support for other platforms on top of Windows Mobile and BlackBerry, but there were no specifics regarding the dates for release.

About Diego Samuilov

Editor in Chief/Founder Diego Samuilov is an executive, consultant, IT strategist and book, e-book and web published author. Diego has worked in Microsoft’s environments since 1990. Since then, he has successfully filled many positions related to the Software Development lifecycle. Having worked as a developer, analyst, technical lead, project lead, auditor and, since 1996 a project manager, manager, director and VP in the Software Development, Server, Desktop and Mobile environments. Diego is very passionate about the software development process, which has played a great part in his skills development. Since the introduction of the first ever PDA (the Apple Newton MessagePad) in 1994 and Windows CE in 1998 he has pioneered and pushed the envelope in the field of mobile software development. He has developed many solutions used in mobile markets, desktop and server environments. He participates in public and private developer community events. He actively collaborates with the community at support forums and blogs. Diego is the author of "Windows Phone for Everyone" available [HERE].