There have been rumors around for a long time that the infamous BlackBerry Messenger, better known as BBM, would be going cross platform and becoming available for iPhone and Android. While it was almost entirely certain, now we even have a date to look forward to. Dedicated BBM apps for iOS and Android would be making way to their respective app stores starting September 21, according the official BlackBerry blog.
The app, which will be available as a free download, will bring the BBM service to both the leading smartphone platforms in its full glory, and carry all the features like BBM Chat, which works similar to iMessage on iPhone. Akin to Apple’s offering, BBM not only lets you remains instantly connected to your contacts on the go, but also features delivered and read notifications, alongside the ability to see when your correspondent is typing a message. Then there’s sharing of content from one device to another, which basically includes pictures, voice notes etc.
BBM also features group chat, and another neat feature that is touted as “Broadcast Message”, which basically lets you send the same message to every contact on your BBM list. It’s neat, and better than what some other similar apps have to offer.
The one feature that truly sets BlackBerry Messenger apart from the competition is its PIN (personal identification number) system, which allows you to share your unique PIN with other users and connect with them rather than dishing out your phone number or email address. This adds to maintaining privacy when wanting to connect with casual acquaintances, and is really cool to have.
The app for Android will become available September 21 at 7 AM EDT, while the iOS counterpart will follow suit at 12:01 AM (weird timing, right?) on September 22.
While this would’ve been a great news maybe three years ago when BlackBerry was really in demand, it seems like a faltering attempt from a company that’s bordering on desperation to make its platform successful. With powerful cross-platform competitors like WhatsApp and Viber, and then Google Hangouts, I find it hard to have a reason for downloading yet-another-app for the same purpose. Sure, BBM PIN is nice to have and private, but beyond that, it’s really not that big a deal. Maybe future improvements will change my opinion, but for now, I would prefer to stay with WhatsApp.
(Source: Blackberry Blog)
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