Phones Review

BBM app for Android and iOS could complicate things

Under: Android OS Apps, Apps, iOS Apps
By:Debbie Turner | August 26th, 2013

The well-documented wait for the BBM service for Android and iOS devices is creating a fair amount of attention at the moment. Many people are eager to start using BBM cross-platform, and we know from the many comments we’ve received that the release can’t come soon enough for some. However, is it the case that the BBM app for Android and iOS could simply complicate things?

BlackBerry has promised the BBM app for iOS and Android by the end of September, and there have been several false starts and fake apps leading people to think it has already arrived. Android and iOS BlackBerry Messenger beta user guides with features recently emerged that seemed to indicate we were a step closer to the launch of the apps on Google Play and the App Store.

While we wait though, it’s given us time to wonder if BBM for Android and iOS is simply too late. BlackBerry is going through struggling times, and some reports recently suggested that BBM is one of the only real assets the company has left. However, if the Android and iOS apps had been released much sooner, BBM on those platforms could already have established its place in the market. Instead, it will have to compete against alternative messaging apps such as WeChat and WhatsApp.

The other thing to consider is that BBM for Android or iOS could just confuse the picture further. Phone Dog makes a good point when discussing this matter, noting that when BBM was first launched it created a unique niche in communication tools. However, in 2011 Apple introduced iMessage for the iOS platform, and Android and Windows Phone platforms both have their own instant messaging software.

Not only do users have these services, but many app alternatives on different platforms also exist. Two of these are WeChat and WhatsApp as we mentioned earlier, but also Facebook Messenger, TextMe, Hangouts and more. If you have a large circle of friends and acquaintances all using different messaging services, rather than making communication easier it can simply become more complicated.

With many smartphone plans now including text messaging, BBM is not as pertinent as it once was, and we wonder if it will prove as popular as many people seem to think. BBM for Android and iOS is clearly not too much further away now, but we feel it may not be as relevant as it would have done if BlackBerry had introduced it far earlier.

It would be interesting to hear what you think though. Are you waiting for the Android and iOS BBM apps to arrive? Perhaps you feel BBM is long overdue for these platforms, and you prefer to use another service? Let us know by sending your comments.

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  • Anonymous

    BBM is a really good messaging app, in terms of features it stands out above the rest: unlike WhatsApp you don’t have to give out you phone number to communicate, or go through a thousand menus to change your profile or other settings (not to mention the insanely annoying “last seen” option that means if you want to ignore one person you have to ignore everyone) and WeChat is good but I find the layout slightly annoying. With BBM the status feed is great the emoticons are awesome and the layout (at least on Blackberry’s) is really simple and well thought out… I moved from BB to Android ages ago and since I did the only thing I’ve missed is BBM. Millions of people are going to use it, not because it’s the app that popularised easy Internet based mobile instant messaging and they feel some nostalgic obligation towards it, but because it’s the best one.

  • BeanTNT

    anybody who knew anything about BBM would know that whatsapp is lightyears behind and cannot compete. imessage is a joke aside from “free sms” And this is coming from an iOS user that once was a heavy BBM abuser. I cannot wait. Apple should have followed the BBM format and their would be no need for BBM today. Nobody filled that void and so BBM will become the #1 messenger app in short order. Mark my words.

    • Anthony Roberts

      Yup thank you!!!!

    • Dom

      I concur. Even though there is a multitude of messaging services available now, both native and third party, BBM is still the premier choice.

  • leone

    Blackberry is taking ages. It not the fake apps that is stopping blackberry from BBM to go live on play store and app store. Maybe they dont want to make BBM go on other devices cause then small amout of people will buy their phones. People only buy their phones cause of BBM. So i think they made a mistake and now they dont know what to since they told the world that BBM will go to other platforms .

  • Thomas

    I’m tired of waiting , u would think blackberry would learn to strike while it’s hot by now instead of allowing ppl to lose attention and move on !!! It’s no reason this app should have been announced way back when and STILL isn’t open !!! Blackberry get it together and that’s why your failing

    • Tim

      Yes, because they can develop software overnight. How is that Apple TV coming along, by the way?

  • Steve Works

    I can’t wait to be able to use BBM on my Samsung, Blackberry devices are the worst! They freeze all the time. Millions will ditch their Blackberries and switch to other platforms. Blackberry should just turn itself into a software company, may be they have better luck.

    • Anthony Roberts

      Clearly you talking about their old legacy devices I have the new Z10 and zero problems so far and I love my phone.

    • pp

      10 ranks much higher than iphone and galaxy on consumer review site. only tech bloggers or peopole who have never used bb10 trash the phone.

      • Steve Works

        No, I do not have bb10. Yes, consumer reviews praise bb10. But, no, the market doesn’t like bb10 for whatever reasons, as shown by lackluster sales.

    • Stephen

      My son and all his school friends are waiting for BBM, so they can ditch their Blackberries and get iPhones. Maybe the Z10 is cool, better, whatever, but it’s not what they want. They want lots of free (or nearly free) games…

  • Er Nest O

    Bbm is already in beta testing with other devices… It has been said, certain features will be disabled for obvious reasons. Regardless, the way bbm operates and its popularity… It will be downloaded by the masses. Samsung have been advertising bbm for some time… So there is some desire for blackberry. I think they have no choice to do this, if they want the blackberry name to live… I think blackberry will get back up..but will take some time…this new “aristo” phone looks promising, hopefully the advertising and confidence of bbm will win back some customers.

  • m7sn

    I have held on my Blackberry Curve 8900 for 5 years already just because of the BBM, I didnt wanna lose this app because of the many contacts I had. But since i heard its coming on Andriod & iOS I turned to the S4. But still have the Curve! I love u buddy.

  • Tim4563

    Why are blackberry doing this at all? It’s not that i dont want it to happen (as i do), but i have friends that own blackberrys just for bbm, if blackberry release this for other phones people will turn away from blackberry devices and go to androids or iphones thus impacting on their phone sales.

    • Tim

      Because they want to use BBM Channels to make more money. The more people using BBM the more money they will receive in fees from corporations.

  • Zed

    Bbm is a lot better than what’s app and other messaging apps and this is not just my opinion! Personnaly I think that bbm will put what’s app and other messaging apps at the bottom and this will be he most popular! I can’t wait!!!!! Also end of September? It is the en of September

  • Zed

    BBM WERE GETTING BORED OF WAITING HURRY UPP!!! ALSO I CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER

  • Guest

    love my iPhone, but I belong to a group of friends where i am the only one without a blackberry and I am missing out on lots of conversations because they chat with bbm so for me bbm will allow me to communicate better with this group of friends.

  • Hi

    Blackberry needs to hurry the f**k up!!!!!

    • someone who’s waiting

      True

  • Hi

    Making people wait is just making everyone bored. What are they waiting for??

    • Novay Jose

      Writing and testing software takes time, you know?

      • MC Wong

        They also need to test and gear up their servers & infrastructure as the IOS and Android user-base will probably increase data surge 20 folds or more. Their servers only support BB devices currently. There are probably 20x more iphones and android devices (off the cuff guesstimate). Will crash all their servers if not planned correctly.

  • Tshepo Hooper

    My BBM Friends are waiting for me to get the app on my iPhone, whats the hold up huh? am losing my patience and interest in this, i have been waiting far too long, if anyone remembers properly, the damn! rumors started in 2011!!!!!!!! Deliver already Blackberry

    • mike

      tell your bbm friends to get WA, what’s their (or your ?) problem ?

    • Tim

      Rumours and speculation do not count.

  • Frutelupe

    Honestly I’m pretty exited. Here in South Africa most people have BlackBerry’s and all though I wouldn’t mind getting one I have an iOS and Android device. Pretty exited :D

  • Noel

    imessage faces outages real often and the security of third party apps is nothing compared to bbm…and before people start switching devices because bbm is going cross platform, they should try out the new bb10 platform and phones

  • Tim

    Why do you always fall back to the “is it too late” question? No one will know until it is released and the uptake is determined in a couple years.

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