BlackBerry’s BBM coming to iOS and Android

This might have been a good idea in 2008.

  • As an Evil Sentient Insect with Blackberry using brothers in Saskatchewan, I am actually looking forward to this.

  • ZING!

  • Lukas

    Lots of people want a cross-platform SMS replacement. Outside of the Mac blogger circle Dalrymple probably mingles in, not everybody has an iPhone and can use iMessage. This might be a good choice, if it also ends up supporting Windows Phone.

    • I know a guy who uses a Blackberry!

      He and I use SMS to communicate.

      • The White Tiger

        Well of course you would. You’re not going to be able to use Message or BBM between ecosystems, and that’s the point he’s making. Now you’ll be able to with BBM, and it’s not like having the option is a bad thing. Heck, if you were paying for SMS just to talk to, say, a couple of Blackberry-sporting coworkers or friends, you could drop the texting plan and be able to toggle between Messages and BBM. Or, if you only spoke to a small group of friends made up of iPhone, Android and Blackberry users, you could all make the switch and have everyone’s messages be in the same place, in one app. One of the bigger issues with all these services is the need to toggle among them. In this scenario, you’ve eliminated the toggling altogether.

        There’s nothing wrong with having more choices, and this will fulfill the needs of a small subset of smartphone users. It’s just very late in the game for Blackberry, and it seems they’ve realize that BBM is no longer the killer exclusive app it once was. There’s no longer a reason to try to hoard it and prop it up as a major reason to own a Blackberry. Better to disseminate it and try to get people into any of your services.

        • Two problems with your theory/idea/comment.

          First, most carriers are now building SMS into the plan (or at least starting to), so there is no savings to be had because there is no option to drop it. You’re paying for it whether you use it or not.

          Second, though iMessage is an Apple device exclusive, it’s seamlessly integrated with standard texting. Since EVERY smartphone on the planet can use standard texting, there’s little reason to have yet another texting app installed. We could make the argument for some of these uber popular chat apps found on the app store, but I’m guessing that all those customers are teenagers or businesses—neither of which are likely to switch to BBM after years of using other apps that do the job.

          • The White Tiger

            Those points aren’t really valid because of how limited your scope is. Bundling SMS is still a recent and very localized feature. Not all networks in the US do this, and countless carriers internationally (developing nations in particular, which Blackberry seems to be attempting to cater to with the Q5) still charge for SMS.

            Your second argument is hinged on the fallacy of the first– again, not everyone wants to or can use SMS to send messages. After all, Apple gives you the option of deactivating SMS in the Messages settings for a reason that is stated in the disclaimer below it: “Carrier messaging rates may apply.” There is a reason messaging apps have become incredible popular in recent years– SMS is considered an inconvenient expense for some, or an entirely unacceptable cost to others.

        • Well, there are already options for communicating outside of SMS. For instance, we could use Viber to send messages. But we don’t, because SMS is built in and works well enough.

          Unless Apple adds support to Messages, I just don’t see using BBM for this one guy. If I was going to standardize on an app other than Messages, I’d be far more likely to standardize on Viber or Facebook.

          • The White Tiger

            Well, I just wrote a very long response that locked up and disappeared on me, so I will give the distilled version.

            BBM is an integrated app for Blackberries and, for the same reason you espouse Messages, it’s a convenient choice for people who want to talk to others without spending money on SMS.

            BBM also offers something most other messaging apps can’t– a big name company backing it, one whose image hinges on strong customer service and tight security. Combined with a non-childish UI (many messaging services look quite infantile), and it could be an appealing choice for people.

            I also linked to a Verge article about the standardization of messaging apps, but I think that might have been the source of my woes. So I’ll skip it this time. Good read, though.

          • My problem with BBM problem is RIM. RIM is not in their death throes quite yet, but they may perceive themselves to be in them at any time. And when that happens, who knows what they’ll do? Anything and everything would be back on the table.

    • I’ve often wished iMessage, FaceTime, Siri and Apple Maps would have open APIs.

      • my apps could interact with Siri
      • third party chat clients could hook into iMessage

      How cool would it be to use iMessage and FaceTime instead of SMS and Phone on Wifi?

  • So any reason Blackberry customers may have stayed with Blackberry is now gone, right? Seems like a very bad decision.

    • matthewmaurice

      Actually after so many really bad decisions, this one is actually not so bad. RIM has become pretty much irrelevant in the mobile hardware space. Clearly they’re hoping to remain relevant in the mobile software space. AA decent cross-platform BBM client could get them back into the stadium, if not the game.

  • Smells like… surrender.

  • I’ll applaud anything that takes SMS revenues away from carriers.

  • Personally, I like how Blackberry characterized it as ‘an emerging market’.