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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 Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed A moment of introspection, please: What do you do more often - call people using your phone, or text them? I would bet it's the latter. For many people, texting is more convenient than calling.... Read More . 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 Viber: Call & Text Other Users For Free [iPhone] Viber: Call & Text Other Users For Free [iPhone] Free calling and texting for your iPhone. Yep. It's real. With Viber, that's exactly what you get since it works through whatever WiFi connection you happen to be using. This gives you one more reason... Read More 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

  1. Colin Wh
    May 27, 2013 at 2:36 am

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

    • abhinav
      July 20, 2013 at 7:14 am

      I have been using blackberry from more then two years now and the main reason is its functionality and even 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 ..

  2. xsuperchick
    May 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm

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

  3. Rhiane
    May 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    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!!

  4. Vishal Srivastava
    May 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    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
      May 16, 2013 at 3:46 am

      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
      May 16, 2013 at 3:47 am

      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
        May 16, 2013 at 4:31 am

        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
          May 16, 2013 at 9:58 am


          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 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
          May 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

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

  5. Kevin
    May 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    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
      May 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

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

    • Jon
      May 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      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
      May 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

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

  6. BiG eViL.......
    May 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

    That is a good thing finally BBM is coming to Android and the cool thing is i have Ice Cream Sandwich. I am already using whatsapp and viber but my contact base will now greatly expand. After a long time something really good is coming from RIM.

    • Kevin
      May 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      "I am already using whatsapp and viber but my contact base will now greatly expand."

      Strange argument as BB users I know have already moved from BBM for this same reason. They realised that they were not able to talk to NON BBM users and I doubt that many of them will be won back from WhatsApp.

  7. Dean Alberts
    May 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Yeaah when is it coming ??

  8. Nevzat A
    May 15, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Although I don't use any of such utilities other than GTalk, I'm glad that competition grows on that area, I might finally consider using another messaging app after a long time :)

  9. Faizaan varteji
    May 15, 2013 at 5:49 am

    This news is great for non blackberry users but i fail to understand how RIM is gonna profit from this.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      May 20, 2013 at 4:58 am

      Perhaps the release of paid BlackBerry-developed apps in the future?

  10. Brandon Ragoo
    May 15, 2013 at 3:25 am

    OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brilliant strategy my BlackBerry. I will definitely be willing to install this app . I jus can't wait, I'm so anxious. I know we Android users have been using alternatives available such as Whats app etc but somehow this just as me so anxious !!!

  11. Rajaa Chowdhury
    May 15, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Gr8!!! Awesome news!!! BBM is still the best mobile messaging platform on any mobile OS. Now I can use it in my Android smartphone. Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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