Blackberry Announces Summer Release Of BlackBerry Messenger For iPhone & Android [Updates]

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BlackBerry announced on Monday at its 2013 BlackBerry Live keynote address that it will finally be releasing it Blackberry Messenger (BBM) for iPhone and Android over the summer.

Up until now, the popular BBM service has been exclusively available only on BlackBerry-branded phones. The existing app allows users to bypass calling, text-message and data charges by communicating using text, photos, videos, and voice on WiFi, similar to other popular apps such as iMessage and WhatsApp. By offering this app as a cross-platform service, users of almost all types of smartphones will be able to seamlessly communicate with each other.

“We’re committed to making the BBM experience on other platforms as fully featured as we can,” said BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins. “We’ll start with messaging and groups, but we’ll add voice and screen share later on. … BB10 is such a strong platform that we are confident it can become an independent messaging solution.”

With that said, the app will only allow for messaging functions for iPhone and Android. Heins has obviously alluded to potential updates, but since the app is targeted at the current iOS 6 and Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), it’s possible that the company is going to wait for phone OS upgrades.

Some say that Blackberry is behind the curve when it comes to this release. Other WiFi-oriented messaging apps exist, and services like Viber already allow for VoIP calls. However, it’s possible that the name “Blackberry” alone will reel in users.

Will you use BlackBerry Messenger for your iPhone or Android smartphone? Do you think the company was late to the game?

Source: All Things D

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Comments (22)
  • Colin Wh

    I’m so stoked. Some of my friends used to have BBs and not have Android; we’re all gunna hop on this!

    • abhinav

      I have been using blackberry from more then two years now and the main reason is its functionality and even http://www.voiceable.org/best-blackberry-bbm-status.html are the best status which i normally use to get more conversation with peoples. one of my friend is using android and this release will gonna make a big push to me to switch over android ..

  • xsuperchick

    That would be amazing. I will be able to talk to my sister back in Peru without needing to email her all the time!

  • Rhiane

    ohh my gosh that is sooo amazing i can now get rid of my blackberry phone and access the same messaging service via my iphone!!

  • Vishal Srivastava

    Yes, the BBM service might be launched for Android and iPhone but the point is, do we need it? Up until now, only Blackberry phone users could use the BBM service. In India, the number of people owning a Blackberry device is very low as compared to those having an iPhone or an Android based phone. Since, till now, BBM wasn’t available on this platform, most of the Android/iPhone/Symbian users use Whatsapp (or Hike for a few). I know that of my entire Engineering college batch (360 students from 6 streams) use Whatsapp for communicating because it was free (at least for the 1st year). Now that BlackBerry has decided to come into this market, I can only say that it may be too little to late for them. The only way I can see them gain some impetus is if they provide their app and services for free (standard data charges only) unlike Whatsapp which may charge after a year.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury

      Wrong!!! We have more BB users than iPhone users in India. And believe me, BBM will be adopted very fast in India. Just wait and watch. it will be much more secure too than Whatapps.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury

      Yes, agreed Android users are the most smartphones users in India and now they will get the lovely BBM service on their phones too. Win win situation for them. Since I moved from my much loved age old BB8800 to android, the only service I really missed from BB was the BBM. :)

    • Vishal Srivastava

      Dude, stop speaking for India. Its too big for you to figure out what will happen and what will not. I picked up a sample (size of 60 students) from my college and asked them if they’ll install BBM on their phones (mix of Android and iPhone users), and none of them seemed interested other than 2.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury

      Vishal,

      Probably you can be a little less harsh with a person who been using computers since 1989, when you were probably not even born or maybe was a toddler, who has been using smartphones since RIM and Nokia smartphone heydays, sold a lot of solutions first in India which are common names, like Citrix, first Windows NT 3.5 server copy, etc., has product managed Google Cloud solutions, QOS bandwidth management solutions, thin client solutions, Computer Associates enterprise solution, and is thoroughly in touch with enterprise mobile platform and solutions. I understand that at the age you are, you are expected to be brash, I was too, but believe me I laugh at those anecdotes now at how foolish I was then, and probably you would also laugh at this incident twenty year hence, when you’ll if recollect. :D Now coming to me reputing your claims of BB share to iPhone, which probably may have got you antagonized, kindly refer http://www.dazeinfo.com/2013/02/12/almost-50-of-smartphone-users-in-india-are-under-25/ to the picture chart, where it clearly shows iOS share is 1% and BB is 3% in India of the smartphone users. 60 user isn’t too miniscule a sample size, besides when you do such sampling, the target data should be diverse in age, region, profession and not just a flat standard data of only students from a particular college. Basic basis of sampling methodology. :) Anyways, Cheers!!! I do not want to enter into further arguments with you. You be happy with your deductions, and let a oldie like me be happy with my predictive analysis. :D

    • Rajaa Chowdhury

      BTW I used to product manage the whole range of Apple products too for my ex-company. :D

  • Kevin

    I doubt that I will install BBM on my iPhone when it is available. WhatsApp is great. Wonder if BBM can use Groups like WhatsApp? The Groups feature alone makes WhatsApp stand head and shoulders above the rest.

    • toolfan86

      IDK if you’ve never seen BBM, but it has a great GROUPS feature.

    • Jon

      Whatsapp is a knock off version of BBM.

      1. instead of 2 check marks there is a (d) for delivered and (r) for when the message has been sent
      2. Groups are x10 better then whatsapp
      3. Call over BBM (online) so no long distance, just data (wifi recommended)
      4. Video chat (online) no long distance, just data (wifi recommended)
      5. Overall style and function is so much better then all other messaging apps. (Skype, Viber, Whatsapp all in one)

      you’re comment made me realize how apple followers dont even really give other companies that might be better companies a chance. You’re living in a bubble, stop paying premium for subpar software and hardware

    • Jon

      (r) for when the message has been read. (d) for when a message has been delivered (correction)

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For more details, please read our disclosure.