Research In Motion (news, site) has broken out the old corporate credit card again. In a somewhat secret deal, Research In Motion (RIM), producers of the business mobile giant, BlackBerry, has acquired the Web 2.0 social calendar application Tungle.me -- a fellow Canadian company -- for an undisclosed sum. This follows acquisitions of Gist and Tiny Hippos in February and March.
Tungle.me is not a calendar, so exactly what is it? It is a freemium layer on top of your calendar.
Tungle.me is a three-year old social scheduling application that connects to commonly used calendaring applications like Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal, Blackerry, Plancast and Facebook to provide a unified view of your entire calendaring life. Tungle.me keeps user’s actual calendar details private, but shows availability, which Tungle.me automatically updates when you edit your connected calendars.
If you use multiple calendaring applications, Tungle.me can help you reduce the likelihood of the annoying double or triple booking across calendars. Other features include:
- Automatic time zone adjustments. When someone in a different time zone views the invite the time zone is updated to reflect the viewer’s time zone. This is a handy feature for virtual teams, which may include remote workers at multiple locations.
- Support for multiple mobile devices include iPhone, BlackBerry and Android is planned.
- Privacy control. Tungle.me keeps meeting details private and displays free/busy blocks. You can also configure the days and times shown as available and the final approval on any booked meetings.
RIM Gets a Little More Social
Tungle Founder and CEO, Marc Gingras, posted the announcement on the Tungle.me blog earlier today and the company’s website is updated to reflect Tungle is now a member of the RIM family. This is likely a strategic play for Canadian-based RIM. The company has been criticized for the somewhat anemic feature set of its Blackberry phones and new tablet device.
It is a little perplexing why RIM elected to ship PlayBook, which will likely make an enterprise play, without native email and calendaring. Despite these shortcomings, the company is still a very dominant player in enterprise mobile smart phone space; they do have more competition with Apple’s iPad making rapid progress inside of corporate environments.
This is exciting for you too as we expect the Tungle service to only get better. Our plan today is what it has always been – for Tungle to become integrated with your daily activities and be ubiquitous within the applications you’re already using. When you think scheduling, Tungle should be at your fingertips.”
That may be the plan, but it’s more likely that RIM is more concerned about making its smartphone and PlayBook tablet a cross-platform enterprise scheduling tool. RIM’s purchase price of Tungle.me has not been released, but the service has a been growing its user base consistently in the last three years.
Although Tungle.me currently has a freemium model, the purchase by RIM will likely expedite the company’s plans to release paid, premium features.