Feeds

back to article BlackBerry Messenger to launch on Android, iOS this weekend

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will be available for download on Android and iOS devices beginning this weekend, the struggling Canadian smartphone maker has announced. BlackBerry has been teasing the idea of separating its popular social messaging app from its smartphone platform since May, and it even made the app available on …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

Something for the kiddies

BBM is just another bloody txting/sms/chat app thing. The kids might like it.

BB Email on the other hand would really make my day, it's the "app" that the anyone/everyone in the corporate world would like to see on Android. Especially if it meant that there would no longer be any requirement for those damned expensive Corporate BB Subscriptions that are an extra on top of the mobile phone bill.......

I honestly don't care for any of the programs on my BB except for the Email....It's the one program in which BB excels.

PS : I hate the word "App", it's either an Application or a Program.. Why does anyone over the age of 13 feel the need to call it an "App".

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Something for the kiddies

By and large I'd agree about email; blackberry email is excellent on the whole, particularly when compared to the utterly diabolical implementations on other platforms, most of which are not even as good as the Eudora I had on my Handspring (Palm OS) 12 years ago. SMS has never done it for me since it came out; short, trivial and pointless if you have email anyway.

But that aside, I did find BBM worthwhile when I had the Blackberry. In combination with the excellent keyboard you can actually have decent, more or less realtime conversations with a group in situations where you a call isn't possible and the lack of decent threading in email makes it clumsy. I hadn't realised how good it actually was until I switched to the iphone and discovered the sheer dreadfulness of the alternatives; the hell of group conversations you can't escape in imessage, and Whatsapp's facebook like (no opt out until recently) insistence on telling everyone who has my number that I'm on Whatsapp - no bloody thanks; I don't do unsolicited 'social'.

If BBM for iOS is well implemented, it will be well worth having for the limited circumstances I find it useful, especially if it allows for cross platform group messaging without necessarily exposing the phone number.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

@Khaptain,

The reason why their email is so good is because of the corporate BB subscriptions and BlackBerry's Enterprise Server, worth paying the money for.

However, BB now offer an alternative. Point your BB at an Exchange server and the result is fantastic. And, if you've already got an Exchange server, it's free.

Me, I rent my own Exchange server online (well, a mail box on an Exchange server), a cloud I can call my own. Better than using Google's, Apple's, or Microsoft's. Costs only £3.99 a month which is a pretty good deal for privacy I reckon.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

Unfortunately, our company policy locks down our BBs and we can't add other email accounts after we have connected successfully to our BES server ( which connects to an Exchange server).

I have never even considered that it was even possible to connect directly to an Exchange server from a BB terminal..

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

PS : I hate the word "App", it's either an Application or a Program.. Why does anyone over the age of 13 feel the need to call it an "App".

Because words are like rocks in the sea: they crash together and get smoothed down. I've been informally talking about "apps" for years—four syllables is too long for an every day word—although I wouldn't have used it in a formal context until recently. And, yes, it's irritating the hip masses have taken this up so that I now sound like a brainless wannabe, and, yes, I now wince every time I say it, but the language will settle down.

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

BBM - Very limited for work use, in my experience. Just about good for the "Where are you?"/"Stuck in traffic" type function.

But brilliant for keeping in touch with the teenage kids at the weekend, Asking what else we need while I'm at Tesco,. That sort of stuff.

And I'll do an upvote just for hating the sill word "app", which is just an excuse to push small trivial bits of software that wouldn't have seen the light of day as "programmes".

1
2

Re: Something for the kiddies

@ bazza.

All that is very nice... but BlackBerry has failed to advertize and promote these advantages and features. They make great phones but don't know how to sell them.

Blackberry has managed to stay out of debt and hold on to it's cash ($3B)... but they should have gambled that 3 billion on a large scale marketing campaign (à la Apple) IMO... they chose to reassure investors by keeping the cash.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

@Seven Seas Jim,

"All that is very nice... but BlackBerry has failed to advertize and promote these advantages and features. They make great phones but don't know how to sell them."

Well, I think you're fairly right on that front, but I think no marketing campaign would ever be able to convey exactly what it is that might make a BB phone a good choice.

Part of Blackberry's problem (in my humble opinion) is that quite a lot of their really good technology is unmatched by everyone else. A BB phone is not a clone of anything else, it stands apart in quite a lot of important areas. So, when you show an iOS user a BB phone, there is not a lot in their previous experiences to tell them what a BB phone can do. You have to explain the Blackberryness to them from scratch.

For example, Apple have educated everyone to expect some sort of a home button. Android copied that idea. Blackberry didn't put one on, they did something different; a bezel swipe gesture that works no matter which way up you're holding the phone. It saves you having to hunt for the damned button, and also saves surface area (you don't need to find room for a physical button), and thus has quite a lot of benefits. It also stops the phone looking long and thin and means the screen can fill the whole frontage, unlike the iPhone 5 for example.

As for marketing, they have advertised things like Blackberry Balance, but you have to look at it all really hard to really understand exactly what Blackberry Balance is and why you might want it. That doesn't even begin to fit into a 30sec ad, never mind impart the true essence of that particular thing to someone who has never seen anything like it before.

So I think that BB are sort of in a Betamax vs VHS situation; in many ways they're arguably far superior to everyone else, but most people don't understand why so don't bother looking. Instead BB have to rely on users who have a pressing need for something different and are thus motivated to thoroughly explore what BB actually have on offer. Most of the 'deficiencies' of a BB phone (a lack of apps is the most common observation) would be easily fixed if they had mass market appeal; software devs would eagerly write the apps for the thing.

I think that BB themselves recognised this problem some time ago, which is why they said then that they'd be focusing primarily on the corporate market hoping that they at least could be bothered to read the literature properly. Instead it seems that the corporate market is itself largely committing data-security suicide by being happy with staff using their own phones.

It's a pity, because BB's Balance is the ideal solution to that problem. I'm pretty sure that most companies have no idea that Balance allows company data security to be assured whilst letting the user do whatever the hell they like with their own messaging, games, etc.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

@Khaptain,

"I have never even considered that it was even possible to connect directly to an Exchange server from a BB terminal.."

Yes it is, and a whole load of other email server types too. Mine's bolted onto Hotmail (or whatever it's called these days) too.

Plus, BB Balance allows you to do a neat trick. The phone implements a Multi-Level Security System, and I've had to do a lot of reading to glean what follows from that. [Alas I've not got a company phone, nor my own BES, so I've not been able to try it out myself]

So, as I understand it, one level is "personal", and can be joined to your own email, Exchange, Facebook, Twitter, and can have it's own apps, calendars, contacts, the lot.

The other level is "company", and is joined to your company's BES server, has its own email, apps, calendars, contacts, the lot. The company has full control of that level, they can install apps, setup email, wipe data remotely.

The clever bit is that nothing in the company level can be interact with the personal level, nor can anything from the personal level interact with the company level. Personal apps can't nick company data. Company apps can't see personal data. That provides assurance to the company that their data is safe, but you can still do your own personal thing knowing that your boss can't see. The company can even remote wipe their level in the phone, but they can't touch the personal level at all.

And the really clever bit is that apps like the Calendar and Contacts sit above both levels and can see down into them. For example, that means that you can see both your company and personal calendar when arranging a meeting, but your company can't see your personal calendar at all.

What's more, all that's got some pretty good approvals from various bits of the US and UK governments. That probably means that it's quite strong (though of course recent events might have dented that inference somewhat...).

You need Z10, Q10 and so on to be able to do all this; older Blackberries won't, and I think that the company needs to upgrade to the latest BES too. There might be money involved in doing all that, which might put off a company from upgrading.

It'd be interesting to know if your company has heard of BB Balance.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Trying to out face Facebook?

There will be tears, but good luck I wish them well.

0
0
Bronze badge

Observable omission

Windows Phone 7/8

Maybe this tells us something!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Observable omission

I think most of us already knew. I imagine Ballmer's more "Anguished Howl" than "Rebel Yell" these days.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Way too late

They needed to port BBM and their email client to Android and IOS about 4 years ago. Now nobody cares anymore - what incentive is there for someone on android to move from hangouts (which they can access both from the phone, and from any system that has the chrome browser) to BBM? The western world has already moved on, and the places that haven't will eventually embrace one of the other options.

2
0
Silver badge

I know it's been tried before, but why do the vendors continue to try and keep their messaging and only theirs. Customers do not go for one platform purely because of the messaging client (well, the vast majority don't, maybe a few teenage kids).

Make an interoperability standard so that iMessage can talk to BBM can talk to WhatsApp can talk to Windows Messenger and then an fall back to SMS.

4
1
Bronze badge

I stopped trying to use any kind of IM years ago because there there were so many different ones among the people I knew. It seemed like everybody had a different one and few of us could find anybody else to message.

At one time the whole family had BBM and for a while that was a bit useful.

1
0
Bronze badge

I'd also like the same from social networks, so I can talk to facebook people without actually having to have a facebook account.

0
0

I don't get it.

It's free on the client, it costs BB money to host the service and it means people no longer have to buy a BB handset. Am I missing something blindingly obvious but it sounds like the only loser here is BB themselves. What the hell is the business case for this? Seems bonkers to me...

5
0

Re: I don't get it.

Think of it coming out of their advertising budget.

Next time someone not clued up on the various different offerings in carphone warehouse (other mob pushers are available) and see a blackberry phone and think 'ah yes I use that for my messaging' that must be the phone I need. sold.

Well I think that's the plan anyway.

1
0

Too much, too late

So BBM will be available on Android as of Saturday, with iOS available soon after that.

One less reason to stick with BlackBerry for people that still have the phones.

Completely irrelevant to everyone else.

0
0

Might try it

But most people I know are on Skype, FaceTime (now FaceTime Audio as well), iMessage or text.

Actually - make that everyone! I have a Blackberry and only ever used messenger the once - but that person tends to email, text or -gasp- call me!

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Is it better than the Skype junk that MS replaced messenger with?

Does it support offline messaging as opposed to maybe-later-when-everyone-is-online?

Will there be a desktop client?

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.