BlackBerry mobile email devices will be equipped for instant messaging, local search and maps from Google (GOOG), Google and BlackBerry producer Research In Motion (RIMM) said on Thursday.

Google Talk allows users to send and receive instant text messages with other Google Talk members. The service will be available for download onto a BlackBerry device this spring.

Immediately available is a software download of Google Local for mobile, which enables BlackBerry users to view maps and satellite imagery, find local businesses and get driving directions on their BlackBerry handsets.

Both applications will be free to download, RIM said.

"As mobile technology continues to converge, consumers are becoming increasingly more connected and require access to information at home, at work, and on the road," Deep Nishar, Google's product management director, said in a statement.

BlackBerry is the world's leading brand for mobile corporate e-mail and is diversifying its offering in response to emerging strong competition from companies such as Nokia (NOK) and Microsoft (MSFT), which have just launched much cheaper mobile email services of their own.

Google, in turn, is the world's leading Internet search company but a latecomer in instant messaging, where it lags Time Warner's (TWX) AOL, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo (YHOO).