BlackBerry to support Google's mapping and instant-messaging programs

Thursday, January 12th 2006, 9:46 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ BlackBerry handheld devices will soon support the Google Talk instant-messaging and Google Local mapping programs, the maker of the devices said Thursday, as the Internet titan continues its push to put its services on mobile devices.

Financial details for the deal between Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion Ltd. and search-engine leader Google Inc. were not disclosed.

Google Talk for BlackBerry will allow users to send and receive instant text messages with other Google Talk members while Google Local will let users view maps and satellite images, find local businesses and get driving directions on their handsets.

The instant-messaging service is expected to be available in the spring, and requires a Gmail e-mail account, but Google Local is available now. Both applications will be free, subject to any data-service rates.

Last week, Motorola Inc. said it will soon begin selling Web-enabled cell phones that feature easy access to Google's search engine by clicking on a button on the phone's keypad. Google is also the default search engine on Palm Inc.'s new Treo 700w smartphone.