BBM for Android

We may be impatient users, but it's clear BlackBerry still has some work to do with BBM on Android​

It's hard not to lead off this week without talking about BlackBerry Messenger. BBM was supposed to land on Android on Saturday. Obviously, that didn't happen, and on Saturday night BlackBerry finally publicly explained what was going on.

Servers were crunched under the weight of what the company says was "more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours." Not sure if that included the iPhone version — which did launch as planned on Saturday. But either way, that's doesn't bode well for how things might have gone even if the release had happened on schedule. If we're supposed to take BlackBerry seriously as a services company going forward and not for hardware — the company last week announced a nearly $1 billion loss and layoffs of 4,500 employees — the services will have to be bulletproof to even compete. 

Obviously, they were not.

BBM may be a great service on Android, but the app is pretty lacking.

Then there's the matter of the BBM app itself. Yes, I've seen it. Even used it a tad. I'm still going to need to be persuaded that I actually need BBM as a service, but the app itself just isn't good enough to be something I'd want to use on a daily basis. It just feels heavy and sluggish. And I'm no HOLOYOLO purist, but why reinvent the design and function wheel when you don't have to?

Also, as it stood over the weekend, there was no graceful way to log out of BBM. Now to be fair, there's no conspicuous "Log out" button in Google Hangouts either. (You have to go into the app settings, then the account, and then choose "Sign out.") But I simply don't have faith in the BBM application to want to leave it on all the time — and same goes for the service. 

A lot of folks have (rightfully) asked what the big deal is about BBM. Why we care so much. I still can't really answer the first question, having never been a real part of the CrackBerry Nation. As the publisher of this fine website, though, I can easily answer that there are millions and millions of BlackBerry users still out there — and millions more who have made the jump to Android. It'd be silly to dismiss it outright. In our straw poll last week, more than 63 percent of the nearly 7,900 votes cast said they'd be using BBM.

I'm not sure how to fix the issue of fake apps in Google Play — or if it *should* be fixed.

And then there's the matter of all the fake BBM apps that were in Google Play. This isn't BlackBerry's fault, of course. Anyone can submit just about anything to Google Play, and have it appear in just a couple hours. In fact, even after Saturday's fake app purge, there appeared to be a new crop in Google Play. Not sure if we have Google Play's minders to thank, or a caching thing on my end, but the new crop was gone within an hour of my having mentioned them on Google+.

We had an interesting discussion going on Saturday on Google+ about whether Google needs to actively prevent spam apps like that from even making it to public listing. On one hand, there's the desire for a more quality app store. On the other, there's the desire for an open app store, without the Draconian policies of, say, maybe, I dunno — Apple.

I like open. I like that a schmuck like me can make an app, submit it and see it appear in a public app store just hours later. And I like that all developers are, more or less, on equal footing when it comes to this. Quality apps can get some special treatment, sure, but that's the market at work. It encourages developers to make better apps. On the other hand, I like an app store that's not flooded by fake/spammy/scammy apps. 

There's got to be some middle ground to be had there. Hopefully we'll see Google improve on that.

And, finally — and this is something I tried to point out Saturday in our post on the fake BBM apps — you have to take a little responsibility for what you're downloading. If you got a chance to read any of the "reviews" on those fake BBM apps, well, they were as entertaining as they were sad. Same goes for the app descriptions, which were so packed full of unrelated keywords the search algorithms perhaps had no choice.

Read the app descriptions. Read the reviews. And above all, read the permissions. And if you still need help, just ask. We'll be more than happy to take a look for ya.

A few other things I think I think:

  • Glad to see Focal be released in Google Play. I still think the UI's a little busy — that's customizable, though — but it's great to see some sort of third-party Photosphere capability. I'll be keeping an eye on this one.
  • Can't mention Focal without at least acknowledging the drama with the whole Cyanogen Inc. thing. We're going to focus more on the end product and let others worry about how the sausage is made, I think. 
  • But what's open-source without a little drama, right?
  • I'll try to get down to the bottom of the Nexus 7 LTE/tethering thing this week, but it's another travel week, so we'll see. Check out our latest podcast for the lowdown.
  • (And I'm totally proud of the title on Episode 151, comprising those previous two bullet points.)
  • So we've been promoting the Android Central App via an ad on the Facebook app for a week now. Haven't really seen a spike in installs or anything, but it's been an interesting experiment, and it was relatively easy to do. Facebook's done well with that.
  • Not sure it's really increased installs, though. The banner we put on the sites did far more for that.
  • I'm trying to reconcile my non-work blogging habits. I love Google+, but I think I'm going to make better use of the site my wife and I set up, Better to control your own platform, right?
  • I'm back on the Moto X after a couple weeks away. I think I've decided to have hope in a software fix for the camera. Can't come soon enough.

That's it for this week. Another few days of travel, so it'll be a busy one. Let's get to work.


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Wither BlackBerry ...


Eh, i could live without BBM. Most of my friends have iPhones or android smartphones.

Posted by someone who is watching you...right now

So why would anyone need to use BBM in the first place then? Android, iOS and even WP7-8 users already have perfectly viable alternatives in the form of Whatsapp, KIK, Skype and others. The only possible use for this that I could imagine is people finally dumping ancient old BlackBerry hardware and finally stepping into this decade.

Well, Whatsapp is a giant invasion of privacy on Android (always showing your last seen time). BBM doesn't do that. Whatsapp also allows people to find you while you can't find them. BBM is pin based, which means that you give your pin or barcode or tap on NFC to the people who you want to have on your list. No more strange numbers messaging you or even people spying on when you're online or not.

I used BBM for many many years, and now that it came out for a few short hours, I found people with whom I used to chat and we chatted the good old fashioned way, BBM style! haha. It was cool :). I will download it again and give it another go, for sure. Especially since it's free, too. No one has anything to lose. And as is with ALL first verions, there will be bugs and issues.

There is google hangouts. To me that is good enough right there.

Posted by someone who is watching you...right now

+10 nada is seriously coming close to meeting my messaging needs like Hangouts

Posted via Nexii 4 (2012) using the Android Central App

No surprises here with BlackBerry on life support. I'm glad I'm not one of those who needs or want BBM.

From my Note 2 to you

I think the most frustrating thing for Android users that were waiting for BBM was that the BBM team gave absolutely no prior indications that it would be late, then took twelve hours to publicise a reason, and then continued the silence till ten minutes ago:
Tweet from "@BBM we will provide you an update on timing as soon as we can. Teams are working non-stop. Sign up for launch alerts at". So that's still: "not sure when, you're just gonna have to wait".
Pretty weak sauce, no matter how you look at it.

my thumbs, this HTC One, that Android Central app. Done.

I love that "SIGN UP" BS as well! I signed up when that page went live, and to date haven't heard SHIT about any updates, etc. NOTTA.

Could it be because the app has not yet launched? They're not going to SPAM people with emails every hour letting you know the status. If you want to know, just go on Twitter.

"If you want to know, just go on Twitter."

I'm sorry, but that's a cop-out. BlackBerry has effectively missed the launch deadline, for BBM. They SHOULD be proactive in providing updates, to those who signed up on their webpage. And yes, an email every hour or two is not tedious, to keep people in the know, so that potential downloaders don't feel shafted or lose interest.

Posted via Android Central App

@chuckz28 Free or not, it doesn't change the fact, BlackBerry missed their launch window for BBM. As a publicly-traded company, they OWE interested parties an explanation. Period.

That's my opinion: Whether you agree or not, it doesn't change the fact that no Android user officially has BBM.

Posted via Android Central App

Really. Have you seen the @BBM feed from the last 36 hours? Go look.

my thumbs, this HTC One, that Android Central app. Done.

The point is, there has been no info sent out even for the first release using that form on the site. And I GUARANTEE when it does launch they won't send out anything either. I am sure there are millions that signed up there. And the last thing they are going to do is start sending out emails. They know they have our attention, whether it's negative or positive, they also have a million new followers on BBM than they had yesterday at 7am.
Like I said before it's really sad when I don't even own a BB device anymore, and Blackberry STILL keeps disappointing me!

I have been using Gnu-Linux on the desktop for over 15 years and have never gotten a bad application from any distribution's official repository. Yet, when I attempt to download a heavily promoted program from Google Play on the day when it was advertised to be available, I end up with a fake piece of crap. Why can I not expect from Google the same quality I get from even the most obscure Gnu-Linux distribution? It is not as if Google is some fly-by-night operation run by some Eastern European gang. I should be able to trust what I get from Google. It should not be up to individual users to figure out whether a program from Google's official repository is actually what it claims to be. As much as I dislike Apple, I am sure that they would never allow this kind of bullshit to damage their brand. This incident reflects badly on Google. Blackberry also doesn't need this kind of bad publicity, given what they have been weathering the last while.

That is my issue as well, why can't a company like BlackBerry communicate issues better. Take a few minutes and just say this is going to take a few days, or weeks our hours. People are waiting and the company should have a better idea than "as soon as we can"

..Lazagna ...Posted via Android Central App

Because if they say it will be ready on "X day" and it's not, they get screwed. If they say "as soon as we can," they also get screwed.

"Why can I not expect from Google the same quality I get from even the most obscure Gnu-Linux distribution?" The keyword there is "obscure". Who's going to take the time to write viruses/malware/exploits/crap software for a product that is so "obscure" because so few people use it?

Servers were crunched under the weight of what the company says was "more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours."

Really??? 1 million users is all it takes to bring down the servers?

actually the article is incorrect. It was 1.1 million unreleased beta versions of the Android BBM that brought the service down.

If you think about it, that's impressive that was 1.1 million people installing a beta .apk of BBM.

Still a bogus excuse, they should have had a clue of the demand and been partially ready, 1.1m is not the many considering how many Android devices there are out there

They took one of the positive things they had going for them and turned it into poop. They better fix this pronto without waiting on months (like us BB users usually do). BBM was pretty big in Canada and I was happy it would be on my NOTE 2 but after this fail, might as well just leave it on my Z10.

... still not posted on play....

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

The fake apps isn't really an issue for Blackberry, they could have put it out in play store and all would have been fine.

The real issue the Blackberry's complete failure in this launch. They weren't ready, even if the leaked app was a problem they allowed Android connections from the leaked app which they didn't have to do if there was truly a problem with it...

I am one of the former Blackberry users that migrated to Android and the only thing I've missed is BBM. That said it was complete failures like this that forced me to Android in the first place.

Certainly frustrated but unfortunately not surprised...


I like BBM and would love to use it again but I don't think most if any of my friends would use it.

After being with Verizon for a number of years, I'm used to having my hopes up for something and my balloon popped when it doesn't release on time. Lol.

In any event, I'd rather BlackBerry get the issues resolved now than later - I was a BlackBerry user for many years and have since moved on to Android, but I still think BBM was an awesome messaging app. It appears many are bashing the app (and maybe never used it?) because of the BlackBerry name tied to it. But I guaran-damn-tee if BB was the only device around, people would use it and smile about it.

Wash the sand out of your hoo hoo and put your big girl panties on. After all, it's just an app and no one is forcing you to use it.

What you just said is if we had no choice but to use BBM, we'd be happy with it. Well, sure, given a choice between BBM and nothing few of us will choose 'nothing'. That's not exactly a compliment though.
But that's not the choice, it's between BBM and SMS, Hangouts, Kik, Whatsapp, AIM, Yahoo and a host of other app selections.
Many of us who have used BBM in the past look at what's available and we think BBM doesn't cut it.
Personally, I'm kind of annoyed at the amount of time spent talking about it here. How many articles do we need on AndroidCentral for an app that gives us nothing liver its competition and is owned by a company that will probably be out of business in two years?

I agree - so many people saying "I don't like them, never have", etc, etc. Good gawd - I guess it makes people feel better to moan and groan about an app. If BBM isn't for you - great. Why complain like little school girls?

I have the leaked release installed, the one that is supposedly causing problems. I might never use this app, but I'll patiently await the actual release and go from there.

So it was you!!! It was a well executed plan, 1.1 million users in a coordinated attack. Were you the mastermind? Name your co-conspirators now!

Whats app will do for me BlackBerry can keep there BBM never liked them anyway.

Posted via Android Central App

Also anxiously waiting for the camera fix on the Moto X, Phil. I've been taking lots of pics with it on my trip and it has been very inconsistent. No doubt the camera hardware is capable of taking great pictures. So I'm confident they will fix the software in the next update.

Posted via Android Central App

Also anxiously waiting for the camera fix on the Moto X, Phil. I've been taking lots of pics with it on my trip and it has been very inconsistent. No doubt the camera hardware is capable of taking great pictures. So I'm confident they will fix the software in the next update.

Posted via Android Central App

Definitely agree with you on hoping for a Moto X camera update.

When I went to get my photos and videos for the iPhone launch Friday, I brought along an HTC One Mini I've got here to take the shots with even though I'm currently using the Moto X as a daily driver for a few weeks.

As far as BBM, I am very curious to see how it will be adopted by average users that never used BlackBerry devices.

Safe travels this week Phil!

Not going to waste time with this unreliable BBM, whatsapp has many more users and is also available on all the platforms including Android, ios, WP7, WP8, BB7, BB10, Symbian and even Nokia Asha S40. So, no need of going through this bullshit from Blackberry.

1.1 million? That's a lot of BlackBerry users dumping their platform all at the same time and moving to iOS or Android. I jest of course but I would definitely wager that is the case in a very large number of cases.

I haven't seen your ad in the Facebook app. I downloaded it because of one of your articles making mention of it, so perhaps you should write some more about it

Posted via Android Central App

Phil, could we please go back to the previous mobile Android Central website? The new one is very heavy. The old one let us see headlines in a compact and concise manner. The new site is a bunch of scrolling, and then we have to click on the link to finish the article anyway. Thanks for considering my suggestion, if you do consider it.

I am a huge BB fan.... but I had to switch and I chose Android.... with that being said... is was a huge fail for BB.... even if it wasn't all their fault... they will get all the blame....

bbm I believe is the best messenger app especially if they bring bbm voice and video share.... which I believe they need to bring all at once.... with this failure...just bring everything....

Posted via Android Central App

Is AndroiCentral(Mobile Nations) getting financial incentives from Blackberry
to continuously write about BBM? It sure seems like it.

Blackberry is a sinking ship as far as the consumer market is concerned.

This latest incident with the delay involving BBM app for Android/iOS makes
it clear that the company can no longer be trusted.

How productive will the remaining Blackberry employees be after 4000+
of their fellow co-workers were fired?

Bbm should hurry up pls anyone update me on wen there are new updates by replying ma comment I'm so desperate
Thank you android central community

Posted via Android Central App

Don't count on bbm being released today or tomorrow even. I know BLACKBERY well and this issue has nothing to do with the leaked apk. If it did they would have re-released it by now. There's a bigger issue at hand and it won't be solved over night.

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

Why dont u follow on twitter? I wouldn't be surprised if they released it 1-2 weeks from now.

Posted via Android Central App

Hmmm I wonder if Samsung is regretting the agreement to make BBM a stock app on their devices?!

A couple of things.

1. It seems like all great apps start as a thread on XDA. Maybe they should have started there.

2. There should never be a general warning about downloading apps when you don't know where they came from when the play store is just as dangerous. Someone at Google should be at least installing the app before posting it if it comes from a new developer. Or something between what it is now and what Apple does. The play store is where the tech challenged go to get their stuff. It should be safer.

Posted via Android Central App

Never mind installing it, just reading the key words alone would be enough to realize it's a false app. Sickening. They had all the fake ones removed last night and this morning there were 8 more all from the same developer.

I'd say a spam filter in the play store would be great. Label the fake apps as spam but allow you to access them if you so desire. Most Android users would love spam apps filtered out but there are the open purists who want EVERYTHING allowed. So, just filter out the spam unless we disable the filter in the settings. Problem Solved. I'm still wondering why I would want BBM but I plan on trying it myself to see if I can find a reason to use it.

BlackBerry had a chance to really push something in the positive direction and epically failed. That doesn't boid a lot of confidence in downloading it now.

Posted via Android Central App

Yea the failure was of epic proportions *eyeroll*

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

Epic, certainly not.
But this may be disastrous. BlackBerry is in such deep trouble as a company, that they essentially have to do EVERYTHING right. They especially needed this launch to go well to balance out the loss, layoffs and OS share drops that came out late last week.
Instead, analysts will be talking about a BlackBerry double whammy of screwups. This company simply cannot afford such mistakes. At this point, I can't imagine anything this company can do to fix the situation that they're in. A week ago I said they were dying, but not dead. With this failure to launch a single, simple app... I'd say that now they're dead, they just haven't stopped thrashing around yet.

I agree. And, as a consumer hardware manufacturer, they actually are dead. With their new focus on the "prosumer," the software will be less focused on the average person, so I'm not sure if the app situation will improve or not. BlackBerry should have announced and released BBM for both iOS and Android, before they announced the layoffs, in my opinion.

It sucks: I won't sit here and pretend that I'm the biggest supporter of BlackBerry, but I don't want the mobile space to be a two-horse race. The burden, of becoming the solid third player in this industry, falls solely on Microsoft, at the moment. I hope they step up to the plate.

Considering what you say about BB's current status, this thread's title, which includes the word "wither", is descriptive. I think that BB still has some life left, even if it is going to wither.

Otoh, was that a misspelling of the time-honored word "whither"? Imho, this is curiously ambiguous, because either option seems believable.

Regards, nb

Posted via Android Central App

As a developer, you may want your app to appear within a few hours but I'd say a developer account should take longer to gain and certainly shouldn't be called BBM or similar. On serious abuse the developer account frozen and apps disabled, unless they justify the mistake or prove they are legit their account is deleted or frozen for a month. No developer would want that.

Google Play guidelines already state that a developer cannot falsely represent themselves to be another company or party (I didn't look up the *exact* language, but it's something to that effect). And Google has been pretty good lately (as far as I've seen) about killing these "fake" developers.

The problem with trying to filter apps based solely on app name is that it's a method fraught with "false positives" and would likely just get people mad at them from the opposite end of the spectrum.

All that said, all those "fake" BBM apps in the play store is *not* what BB is even claiming caused this problem. They're saying it was a "leak" of *their* own version of the app, that 1.1 million people installed, that caused the problem.

Not really sure I buy that, personally, but it is what it is.

IMHO the most annoying thing that Blackberry has done is sponsor Talk Mobile. Since they did that, now I have to sift through a ridiculous amount of front page articles about this silly little app. This thing gets more attention than any flagship phone ever has, let alone any app. But since they foot the bill, I guess that's what's gonna get written about.

Why do you come here? All you do is bitch about it and make stupid comments. You must be a lessor website troll

Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone

Why do you care? And you're the king of stupid comments. So, Mr Pot, you might want to stop calling Mr Kettle names.

Of course the huge interest from people on every story we write about it means nothing. You found the REAL TRUTH™.

Please tackle the 9-11 commission next, cause we're all dying for the answers.

I just checked, and "Real Truth" isn't trademarked anywhere. What are you trying to hide by saying that?

Sorry, but I have to agree with whats-his-name. How many articles did we see this week on AC about the launch of iOS7 and the iPhone 5s/c? Now how many have we seen on BBM? BBM is going to be far less influential than iOS7. Will other handset makers start including fingerprint scanners? Will the graphics change by Apple, who ARE the best graphic designers in the industry, trickle down to Android? How will they affect the web in general?
As for readership, articles talking about Bimbo Cyrus tweaking would undoubtedly attract readers, but BB is a dead platform, what Apple his doing is far more relevant to Android users than what BB is doing.

Just did a little poking around ont he other Android news sites and they all seem to have posted the same stuff this past week as Android Central... except that the only articles they had about BBM was reporting BB's delayed announcement that the non-launch was because of the leaked beta APK.
AC on the other hand has had several articles on BBM, which one has to wonder if it is rooted in BB's sponsorship of Talk Mobile.

Isn't it Blackberry's fault that the beta Android version got leaked in the first place? Blackberry is 100% to blame.

I dont get it... really.

Why to bother in try a new message service?
Whatsapp is the most used messahe app, and if you dont like it for any reason, use hangouts, avaible on any plataform (in some aspects better than wahstsapp).

Why all the noise and speculation with BBM? BBM is dead, let them rest in peace.

What the F have all of BB's employees been doing? Lol. You can't tell me that every other app publisher has 10,000 software engineers on staff. The entire command staff needs to be fired, immediately.

Posted via Android Central App

How long does it take Blackberry to fix the issue? It's more than 36 hours since the original launch time, they obviously weren't ready.

Posted via Android Central App

Phil, I've decided that I love your views on things, as I do everyone here on AndroidCentral. All very different views, but thought out and well put together, thank you.

Posted via Android Central App

A middle ground for the app store could probably be solved by filters. Everything can be uploaded and will show with the filter off. More or less just like it is now. Viruses and Trojans gets deleted bit by bit.

The standard filter has an automated process that adds a delay of a few hours and stops around 90℅ of the crap. Then a strong filter that has a manual control and a delay of a few days. Guarantees that nothing harmful gets through. Shouldn't be too hard for Google to fix :-)

Posted via Android Central App

I was for a brief brief time a Blackberry user but the whole experience not to mention the phone was lacking and buggy. Since then I've sworn off anything Blackberry and I see no reason to even bother with BBM. Android for life!

I have an ipad and an android phone. I use Hangouts.....and imessage & facetime for those who are too lazy to get hangouts. There is no need for BBM. Die blackberry already. You don't innovate anymore, you are behind. We need competition that innovates to make all our platforms better.

i prefer the BBM over the Whatsapp just for the point that not anyone who have my number stored on his contact list will be able to see my profile and send me messages and broadcasts. on the other hand BBM i have a PIN and i control who to add and who to block. i believe that the BBM will gain a good base in the iPhone and Android user.

Rumors over at crackberry are the whole launch has been canned indefinitely.... And it's all Android's fault *eyeroll*

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

I'll say again. Everything is not about American smartphone users. I'm still waiting on BBM because I have friends in Brazil and BBM is the method of choice to relay messages over SMS. I know people dog Blackberry all the time and I was frustrated myself but at the end of the day it's all about me personally having that app on my phone. To the people that's a said blackberry sucks or they're dumb company or whatever the case may be please do us all a favor and create a company and make a perfect smartphone product Because you seem to know it all. Everyone have a great day in tech and don't forget FIFA 14 drops tomorrow.

Posted via Android Central App

There's a rumour bbm will be released in November or at the Christmas period and if its not released then they're waiting till may next year until they start working on it again

Posted via Android Central App

RIM has bigger problems than being late with BBM. According to CNN RIM suspended trading of its stock at noon today and is supposedly in final negotiations at this very moment to sell the whole company for 4.7 billion dollars to an as yet unnamed takeover company.

Thanks for the links. I merely caught CNN's lame as usual headline about it on the way back to work from lunch. I'd still wonder about how long BBM would remain "free" under a new management umbrella. Financial consortiums aren't in the business of making BBM users happy or saving RIM as an act of kindness. They are in the business of making a return on their investment and absolutely nothing else.

I assume the whole release of bbm is up in the air now that blkberry has been bought out?

Posted via Android Central App

I assume the whole release of bbm is up in the air now that blkberry has been bought out?

Posted via Android Central App

From AC's sister site:

Hi Android and iPhone users,

This is Andrew Bocking, head of BBM at BlackBerry. As a follow up to our first blog post on Saturday, I want to take a moment to provide you with an update on the rollout of BBM on Android and iPhone.

Last week, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was posted on numerous file sharing sites. We were aware of an issue with this unreleased version of the BBM for Android app. This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways. The version we were planning to release on Saturday addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch.

We attempted to address the problems caused by the unreleased version throughout the day on Saturday, but as active users of the unreleased app neared a million – and accelerated – it became clear that the only way to address the issue was to pause the rollout for both Android and iPhone.

The team is now focused on adjusting the system to completely block this unreleased version of the Android app when we go live with the official BBM for Android app. We are also making sure that the system is reinforced to handle this kind of scenario in the future. While this may sound like a simple task – it’s not. This will take some time and I do not anticipate launching this week.

Thank you for your patience while we take the time needed to deliver the experience you expect from BBM. We will continue to provide you with updates here on and through @BBM on Twitter. We will notify everyone who has pre-registered on when BBM is available on Android and iPhone.

Andrew Bocking

Take this at face value, but in

Last week, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was posted on numerous file sharing sites. We were aware of an issue with this unreleased version of the BBM for Android app. This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways. The version we were planning to release on Saturday addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch.

They halted it because they claim that for some subset of 1.1M downloads of this unrelease app, it generates too much traffic than expected. And the version intended to be release should not have this issue.

If we believe that, then it would be incorrect to simply say that they are not ready for the traffic. They were aware of the issue of the bad beta app, which they had no intention of releasing, yet someone did release it and made the problem worse.

I really don't take that at face value. The timing of financials, the private sale (which doesn't firm sufficiently for public release overnight), and the utter bungling of BB's best hope of crossing over all platforms (BBM), happened in too quick a succession. Further, it is inconceivable that Blackberry did not vet the next to last release of its app (which had reportedly been ready for MONTHS before "leaking" it (Blackberry leaks everything--we used to joke that it was purposeful to use early adopters as guinea pigs with no recourse), and it is even more inconceivable that Blackberry can't cope with a million new accounts in a day.

I think that is more an acknowledgement of bungling joined with a "Hey! Look at us! A million people want our stuff!" sprinkled with some aspiration, revision, and prevaracation. A better release would have been "We F'd up; we are working on it. All of those apps on the Google Play Store are fake. Don't blame us if you download them. We will report back on our twitter feed when we have news about the second release."

I switched from Blackberry to Android a long time ago, but I always have a spare blackberry on a spare line (currently using a Note 2 and Blackberry 9900).

Reading above, users ask why BBM over Whatsapp. In my experience, BBM is international, secure, and (with few exceptions) reliable. I have no idea whether its integration in Android will be as tight as in the Blackberry OS's, and suspect it won't, but it was a very nice feature when I was using blackberries for years. The addition of screen sharing, voice and video chat made it all the nicer, though, again, I don't think Android will get those features. Blackberry doesn't market to you, download your contacts, show you ads, keep your messages, etc., and the Blackberry PIN is basically impossible to replicate without setting off alarm bells, so when you message someone on BBM you can be sure that is the person you intend to address.

I have used whatsapp, Hangout/Chat, KIK, Threema, Viber, and several other IM clients, and BBM is probably the best for my use (using Threema now). While I am a Google Apps (Business) customer, my personal revelation that Google is literally indexing everything I send or receive just doesn't sit well. But given Blackberry's terrible showing since, basically, the original iPhone appeared, I was disappointed but not surprised that Blackberry bungled the BBM for Android release (and that IS what happened).


Charlie V