Always welcome news for me and the Enterprise BlackBerry faithful, late last week Google updated the Google Apps Connector for BES. It's great to see that this is a product Google plans to keep up-to-date and shows that BlackBerry and BES is critical to the business user.
In addition to supporting BES 5.0 service pack 3, version 4.0 of the Google Apps connector brings some of my favorite business features. Theses new features are Free/Busy look-up and support for read receipt.
The new support for read receipt is exactly what is sounds like. It allows for the tag to be added to an email messages that offers the sender to receive an acknowledgement that you did in fact receive the message.
The free/busy look-up is invaluable in a business environment. If you are looking to schedule a meeting or a conference call with several colleagues you can drive yourself crazy just sending out a meeting invite and having everyone propose new times because they have conflicts in their calendars. Free/Busy support allows you to view the availability of the attendees you're inviting, not their actual calendar details but just the times that they are free or busy.
Here's a screenshot of a calendar item I'm making for a CrackBerry meeting, after I add the attendees to the appointment I have the option to view the attendees availability.
Again these are welcome features for BES users in the Google Apps environment. Thanks Google keep 'em coming!