BBM on Android BBM on Android BBM on Android

The rumored June 27 release window has long passed, but BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS is apparently still on track to hit before the end of the summer. Today the multi-platform version of the messaging app has inched closer to release, with the news that it's now in beta testing among a select group of users.

CrackBerry's Adam Zeis writes —

Invitations have gone out for BBM for Android but we're not sure what the status is with iOS. There were no real details provided with the invites aside from needed at least ICS to run the app ... We'll most likely see more on the actual app very soon now that it's out in the open so don't worry too much.

As such, a handful of images have leaked out online showing parts of the UI — the first from BGR showing a sign-in screen, the second from BlackBerryOS giving a closer look at the nuts and bolts once you're logged in. On the face of it, it looks a lot like BlackBerry Hub from BB10, complete with swipe-out gestures for menus on the left and right.

So it looks the multi-platform versions of BBM are hitting the late stages of testing. But it'll face strong competition from native messaging clients on both Android and iOS when it does eventually launch. Would you be tempted away from Hangouts, Skype and other messaging services by a cross-platform BBM? Hit the comments and let us know.

Source: BGR, BBOS; via: CrackBerry


Reader comments

BBM for Android now in beta testing, first images emerge


Is BBM still even needed. If you have a Gmail account you already have cross platform messaging. Why do I need to create yet another account just to use something of a dinosaur platform?

and not everyone has BBM. I still feel that the best way to reach out to someone is a standard text message. Everyone i know can send and receive texts, but not everyone has a certain messaging app on there phone.

If you're part of the international community you find traditional text messages cumbersome. Whatsapp... Now that's a nice app for internationals. Google Hangouts is great, but requires people to download it.... It's still too new.

hopefully bbm for android will make the whatsapp team release some proper updates, the UI is just boring and many features are still missing

Whatsapp has its limitations. The main issue I have with it is that you add people based off of phone numbers. Whereas with BBM, you give them a PIN, or your BBID (email you used to register for BB services.) Plus, when you block someone in Whatsapp, they can still see your status updates, and display pics. A BBM block is pretty clean and thorough.

Whatsapp is definitely popular, especially internationally. And it's a pretty quick, lightweight, and reliable client.

That said, anything that auto-creates "accounts" based on phone number is intrinsically *not* great IMO. This goes for Whatsapp, Tango, etc.

In a day and age where everything else is going ultra-portable (as in cross-platform), clients that use phone numbers in place of true accounts take a step backward by being entirely, 100% *un*-portable. In a time where everyone else is trying to promote security, they happily share all your contact info with anyone who happens to have your phone number -- e.g. if they had the number from a previous owner.

For Facebook messages, I can use my Android phone, my ancient backup iPhone (which generally serves as an iPod or messenger hub in another room), a temporary phone for international travel, my home PC, my office Mac, my Win8 tablet, or any device that can manage to conjure up a web browser -- all simultaneously. There are dedicated messenger apps for Android, iOS and Windows, and the messenger service is integrated into 3rd party messaging apps (Trillian, Adium, etc.) across multiple platforms. It's super-portable.

For Whatsapp, Tango, etc., I can use my primary Android phone... and that's it. There's no PC/Mac client. There's no web client. I can't use it on more than one mobile device simultaneously. If I travel using a different number (or pick up a SIM abroad), I have to go through the process of switching the number tied to the Whatsapp account. I can't use it on any mobile device that doesn't have an active phone plan, period. If my phone is out of commission -- dropped and broken, or battery died, or I'm flashing new ROMs -- then my Whatsapp access is out of commission too.

Line's the one client that gets it sort of right, by allowing idiot-proof signup by phone number, but also allowing you to create an ID/PW-based account after the fact for a degree of portability. It still doesn't like being installed on more than one mobile device, though.

I'm not sure how this turned into a dissertation... sorry!

Unless BBM gives them a compelling reason to switch then 99 percent of the population won't bother. Because BlackBerry is not a compelling reason FYI.

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I do not think that will get people to switch but I could be wrong. Only time will tell.

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Actually, I think most folks don't give a fizz. The only place I care about read receipts is at work, and if you're texting or IMing anything if any importance at work you're an unprofessional idiot.

I have to agree with Kevin here, especialy when he says "Most people I know don't love WhatsApp - they simply tolerate it, as it gets the job done well enough for the most part. The thing is, it really doesn't."

BBM has a functionality that is simply unmatched by other apps out there. That gap is closing, though. BBM a year ago was generations ahead of the competition. Now, it's a little bit in front.

I'll certainly jump on it when it's available. I miss it from my BlackBerry. But it won't be as useful as it once was.

Believe me BBM will not crush WhatsApp, I don't think it will come near crushing it. I understand WA is not as popular in the US, but internationally is a must have app. Blackberry was a huge thing in my country but it has been decreasing in time. Still, a lot of people have BB and even themselves talk to each other through WA. It's also a great way to just ask for your phone number and your WhatsApp account shows up. So you no longer need to ask a person you met for their phone number plus their BBM account.

Whatsapp is boring. I've been using it fo so long and so far still as borring as the first time.

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Yes, that's true here in the states. Android & iPhone rule here in the US, but there are some countries where BlackBerry is still doing quite well. Those here in the states that have ditched BlackBerry, yet have people they know in other countries using BlackBerry can once again messaging one other with ease using BBM. It costs if you plan on sending a bunch of text messages internationally.

Right. I completely forgot about sending messages outside of the us. For this I use whatsapp which is what a lot of people I know are using. I just don't see them switching to a new messaging app anytime soon unless its a HUGE hit.

where i live (trinidad and tobago) bbm is still HUGE so having bbm on an android device would mean i can finally get rid of my blackberry and many people are of like mind

I read some where that gmails can be sent and read to hotmail/yahoo/AOL emails. Its like this crazy hardware agnostic Chat protocol has been around since the beginning

BBM is about 4 years too late, they should of had this App when the world was use BBM and people could not do without.

WTF are you talking about??? BBM was around when blackberry and webOS were the only smartphone choices, it's just being released cross-platform now.

Isn't that the point? They should have released it for other platforms long before BlackBerry was relegated to the corner. Now that nobody is using it, just its existence on the iPhone and Android is not going to be enough to bring it back to the forefront.

You're agreeing with what he's saying. I think you misinterpreted. He's not saying the service is 4 years late, he's saying the cross-platform apps are.

I have a gmail account and I refuse to use any google messaging app. I do not like where Google is going with Google+ so everytime they integrate something further with it I mark it off my list (ie. Latitude). I will use BBM once it is out for cross-platform.

Well I manage just fine right now without Whatsapp, without BBM, without Google Messenger, without FB Messenger, etc so I'll think I'll be just fine. I use text messaging and I don't think that is going away anytime soon.

There is only one person I will use BBM with and I know they will download it. Other than that I will use text messaging.

I'm using Gibberbot as a Google Talk client with my relatives. If the other person aldo jady Gibberbot then all messages are encrypted an Google only see garbage.

As a client for regular SMS I use TextSecure. Again, when the other person aldo has TextSecure the messages arr completely encrypted.

I know that encryption makes me a target of that agency, but I don't care because I don't have anything to hide. :-D

My thoughts exactly. For those of you who do not use gmail, you are missing out. You need gmail to own an android device.

I think you have to have used BBM to fully appreciate the power of the tool.

Whatsapp is a great alternative but it doesnt give the full robust functionality that BBM gives..

of course this is saying that BBM on Android and iOS are at least what BBM was before bbm video/voice/screenshare..

the groups functionality is what i look forward to if the full feature list comes out for cross platform

groups in Whatsapp you can only talk to a group and send pics etc.

for BBM:
- calendar integration for that specific group.. so if you have a sports team group you can chat, share pictures, have your games and practices scheduled all within the group and your calendar gets update with a separate colour
- you can make task lists
- you can share notes
- and all live updates to your notification center

now with screen share, video and voice i think other platforms might have to pay for that, but using those features are a DREAM compared to tango, skype etc

so you obviously haven't used hangouts. it tells you till what point of conversation other user have read

No, don't know anyone that has ever owned a Blackberry or have used BBM nor do they plan to use it. What we are currently using works for us and we are not switching.

Hell yeah it is the only thing I miss from BlackBerry! I need that d and r back in my life!

Nothing better than BBM.

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I used BBM, whatsapp, line, kik, hangouts... Everything, nothing beats BBM.

Posted From my HTC One running PlayBook 3.0 via Android Central App

BBM is worldwide. Allows family members to send messages easily to one another that live in another country.
Try sending a text message to someone in another country. Hope you have plenty of cash for your upcoming bill.

Hmmmm my txts to countries abroad have always cost me the same amount for as long as I can remember. Same when I am abroad and txting home.

It the main way I communicate back home when I'm on the move after email.

You just never use voice.

Most international rate chargers are Message Sent $.025 & Message Received $.020
Is that how much you were paying, or was it free on your plan?

Very rarely have I seen international texting included in texting bundles for free. Plus, if you text from overseas (you being a US customer,) you'd have to work out the roaming issue too. With BBM, you could just hop on a WiFi network and send messages.

Worldwide texts are rarely the same cost as domestic, and rarely included in standard texting plans. Unless you have a dedicated international text plan, chances are you're paying $0.20-$0.25 per text -- sent and received, both home and abroad.

BBM has evolved to more that an SMS/MMS equivalent. It has voice calling and video chat too, among other things (intra-BBM, of course.) Whether or not these features are rolled out to other platforms from the beginning, or at all, remains to be seen.

this is especially funny because the one person i knew who still used BB just got an LG Optimus G Pro.

I have never understood why this is such a big deal. What does BBM do other cross platform don't?

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When I dump blackberry 5 years ago, I dumped all my female contacts. Every women I know had blackberries. Sad day for me when I first activated my first Android phone. Phone went silent.

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It's not ur fault dem hoes was late. U shoulda texted dem hoes and told them BB is out and to get wit the program. Lol

Wondering what happened to it. They originally said June release. Patiently waiting

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Did you even read the article, or did you just skip it and jump straight to the comments??

"The rumored June 27 release window has long passed"

First line of the article!!

I didn't even read this article. I remember back in December that they said june was the release date

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They didn't officially announce BBM cross platform until Blackberry Live in May. At that point they said this 'summer' which no one knows if that means by the end of August or by the official end of summer which is September 21.

I've tried other messaging platforms, but some of them tend to drain my battery.
I miss BBM, because it had nearly zero battery drain because it used true push notification.
If it uses almost no battery drain like it did when I used BlackBerry, I'm excited.
If not, it probably won't last.

BBM has never counted as text. On older (pre-BB10) blackberries, you needed a data plan, but could use it on WiFi too (as long as there was an active data plan on your line. Hope that makes sense.) On BB10 phones, you don't need a data plan (i.e. you can BBM on WiFi without ever having a data plan.)

What the other reply meant is that BBM has been sort of a hub for BBMs and text messages. You could text from inside it. But IIRC, this feature is not available with BB10.

Very excited for this. Can't wait to have the quickness and stability of BBM cross platform

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Will use BBM just to say I did. Contact the 3-4 people I know that still use it and then come off. Hangouts is still my preferred just not a lot of people on that. They use a bunch of different things. Too many to follow. Its Hangouts or sms for me.

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i don't want anything from this dying amateurish canadian company on my phone. if it's anything like their OS it's probably ugly, buggy, non-intuitive, and clunky. no thanks.

Hit enter too soon...
BB is a one-dimensional company that doesn't do that one dimension particularly well.

Here in Jamaica BBM is still the majority and I've been a Blackberry user for 3 years upon till I switched to Android and loving it however, I still miss BBM I like hangouts but not many of my friends have android phones or even use hangouts. Most of my handily use hangouts because I force them to but that's a limited amount. I MISS BBM. Having BBM on my Nexus 4 would just make this phone even better.. Best of both world for me.

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Hangouts is awesome. I don't use anything else unless I have too because no one else knows how to use hangouts, doesn't know they already have it (android) and don't realize how powerful it is and they keep using KIK or something else. I would only probably try BBM but hangouts is good for me!

BBM had threaded texting which regular text messaging didn't have at the time. To me, that was the only advantage. What does it have over standard texting now?

The fact that it does MORE than standard texting, for starters.

-voice chat
-video chat/calling*
-delivered/read receipts (which you're probably familiar with)
-screen sharing*
-Not an extra service you have to pay for, like you may have to for texting. You can BBM on WiFi*

*=Available on BB10 only.

No one I know uses BBM. We use Kik Messenger, Google Hangouts/Google Plus Messenger, or Facebook Messenger.

Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App

We just use texting now.
I only know a couple of people with BlackBerries. I text them now.

BBM, too little, too late.

I just switched from BB to Android & love my HTC One. BB messenger on a BB puts all other messenger apps to shame, I hope for BBs sake they do it right for other platforms & market it right

I go back to the question I had when this was first announced:

- How are they monetizing this?

Because, at this stage, this move sure as hell isn't encouraging people to switch to BB hardware.

4 years ago it might have done, especially while Android was still trying to gain traction. But now all this achieves is to give away BB's one killer app for free to other platforms. I fail to see how this helps them whatsoever. All they're doing is bolstering the competition.

It seems like an attempt to try & popularize the brand again & if it's done right it could work. If it's as good on Android & ios people who try it will forget all about Whatsapp & all the other half baked apps

Don't tell that to the BB addicts on Crackberry. They tend to think this is a Trojan horse that will make Android & iPhone users fall in love and want to give up there devices for a BB 10 to get the full BB experience. This how they will regain market share and their former It will backfire.

For 90% of my messaging, SMS works fine. And, I've got older and younger friends from all walks of life that use it. In the US at least, it's almost always unlimited for everyone, works with or without a data connection, takes almost no battery and just plain works.

I've got a son in Italy, and use WhatsApp with him all the time. When I travel, I use WhatsApp to communicate with friends back in the US. The funny thing is... when I'm here, they still tend to use SMS!

It might be a little late for BBM to drop. To stay relevant Blackberry should have pushed this out around 2 years ago. Having said all that, it's a familiar and reliable messaging tool that I'll use and I think others will too.

BB is close to being dead and cross platform BBM is their last chance at creating some kind of business model. Lets all be real Blackberrys are less common now a days than ever before. I work in a corporate enviroment and I rarely if ever see a BB. Along with the news that Windows Phone has claimed 3rd place I just dont see BB coming back to being relevant. There are a number of contributing factors to their demise which include being late to launching bb10, not enough phones being released into the market, bad roll outs of updates, US carriers shunning the phone, and marketing. BBm going cross platform is not going to save this company. BBM has its lowest total of active users ever and if no one is using it then I dont see why anyone would want it other than a few niche situations.

I really think they missed the boat about 2 year ago when the easy decision would of been to go with android and make a play for the most secure android phone. They wouldnt of had to spend time developing an ecosystem and could of worked harder on their services but now bb must suffer with their choices.

I can't wait! I wonder if one can link a single BBM account across multiple devices

Posted from my "CrackDroid" Nexus 4 via the Android Central App

While I did enjoy BBM when I had a Blackberry, I really do not see the point of it going to other platforms when there are so many other options out there that are well established. So why would I download BBM to add yet another messaging app to my phone. Standard test messaging, Facebook Messenger, and Google Hangouts are more than enough for me.

Had they released this 4 or 5 years ago when everyone started jumping from the sinking SS Blackberry, it might have been a success, but now with so much well established competition out there I do not see this as being a great success.

There is still some use for BBM in my business, so I've had to keep a BlackBerry phone as a 2nd, and it has to be a 2nd because it cannot do everything I need it to. Now with this I can go to one phone, my GNote 2. Anyone wanna buy a Z10 in relatively unused condition?

what cant your Z10 do? Mine does pretty much everything anyone else's phone around me can do and then some. 10.2 is an AMAZING update and I am really excited to see where things progress. If I can't find an app on BB world, then I sideload the android version. 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on the Z10 runs things buttery smooth and very snappy.

I will have BBM on my S4 but not on my BLACKBERRY Playbook tablet.
Maybe I can convert it. ROTFLMAO

An APK of a long awaited program, hosted by a website I've never heard of, that requires paid offers to download? How can I lose?!

When it was first announced I could care less but since Google took a huge crap on Talk with it's poor Google + contact merger, I couldn't be happier to see this news.

Now i can't wait to see how many people will migrate from blackberry phones to Android. The BBM has been the major reason many people are still using Blackberry phones.

I've said this once and I'll say it again. BBM may not be the best but whatsapp is 100% pure crap!

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Once LTE handsets are mainstream amd RCS launchs you can say goodbye to all ims n video calls apps. For now just go along with all the funny apps.