Thursday, September 19, 2013

BlackBerry announces that iOS, Android versions of BBM to hit this weekend

For once, Android will feel the goodness of a release before iOS. It will, however, only get the app a day before iOS: On Wednesday, BlackBerry announced that its Messenger app will roll out to Android on Sept. 21, and to iOS on Sept. 22.

Previously exclusive to BlackBerry smartphones, BBM has been given as one of the reasons that BlackBerry users have chosen to stay rather than switch. Another reason that many have given, the company's iconic keyboard, didn't appear to make a difference when it came to BlackBerry Q10 sales.

The features of BBM for Android and iPhone include:

  • BBM Chat – Real, immediate conversations with your contacts on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. While other proprietary chat apps such as WhatsApps have reached stupendous user bases, the famed BB security is a selling point.
  • BBM allows the sharing of files between users, including photos and voice notes.
  • Multi-person chats are also possible, with BBM Groups allowing a user to invite up to 30 friends to a single chat. File sharing can take place among such a group chat.
  • Broadcast Message can send a message out to all your BBM contacts at once.
  • BBM also allows users to post a personal message, profile picture and current status, and lets contacts know instantly in Updates.
  • Every BBM user has a unique PIN to maintains their privacy, so they don't have to give out a phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.

To be honest, while the love or many end users for BlackBerry Messenger is well-known, whether or not BBM can attract users away from WhatsApp, Kik, or even multi-chat clients like IMO or Trillian remains to be seen.

The Android BBM app will launch at 7 a.m. EDT on Saturday, while its iOS counterpart will launch time zone by time zone, becoming available beginning at 12:01 a.m. local time on Sunday.

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