BBM

App will be free and available for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and higher

BBM for Android (and iOS) is certainly one of the most popular ideas to come out of Waterloo in a while. There have been tons of rumors and speculation, but BlackBerry has finally set a date — September 21 for Android, September 22 for iOS.

The app, which will be free for folks running ICS (Android 4.x) or higher, has plenty of the same features that have made it a favorite among BlackBerry fans. Here are the highlights, in handy bullet-point form:

  • BBM Chat – Enjoy real, immediate conversations with friends on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. Not only does BBM let you know that your message has been delivered and read, it also shows you that your friend is responding to the message.
  • More than chat – With BBM you can share files on your phone such as photos and voice notes, all in an instant.
  • Keep your group in the loop – Multi-person chats are a great way to invite contacts to chat together. BBM Groups lets you invite up to 30 friends to chat together, and go a step further than multi-chat by sharing photos and schedules. And, with Broadcast Message, you can send a message out to all your BBM contacts at once.
  • Post Updates and stay in the know – BBM lets you post a personal message, profile picture and your current status, and lets your contacts know instantly in Updates.
  • Your unique PIN – Every BBM user has a unique PIN that maintains your privacy, so you don’t have to give out your phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.

In addition, BlackBerry says video and voice calling are planned for the Android version in the future.

The app is insanely popular across the globe. In fact, it's enough to have kept people on the BlackBerry platform while others have migrated away in droves to offerings from Google and Apple. Will the app have the same popularity on platforms where it has some serious competition is the question everyone is asking. We don't have that answer, but you can bet some of us here will be giving it the old college try.

Source: BlackBerry

 

Reader comments

It's official: BBM for Android coming September 21

110 Comments

Finally!!! This is the only thing I missed about my BB. Nothing else comes close, for me anyway, your mileage may vary.

I completely agree with you on that one I hate having to use 2-3 apps for my friends that refuse to come off of Blackberry due to BB Messenger. This to me spells DOOM! for blackberry I can't see the reason why anyone would stay with them now.

At last, and just one day before the Canadian Autumn so it is still before the end of summer. I've been waiting ages for this, a lot of friends still use blackberry's because of bbm, this might make them switch

Posted via Android central app on my LG Google Nexus 4

Apple shows up late to the party and acts like they were there all along and brought all the booze. BB shows up late after most of the party has moved on to another house.

Doesn't Autumn start @ 4:44pm EST on the 22nd - well at least here in Toronto. Thought this was being released @ 12:01am on the 22nd? According to Crackberry.

If they make a desktop app then that's a failure. It should be a web app that you can just go to a website and use. If you have to download a plugin or program, that's not going to fly.

Meh. BBM was ctting edge 3 years ago. Now, it's just another messaging app. There's no compelling reason to switch to it over another platform. For instance, everyone I know uses Hangouts. I can have a group hangout with video or just text and see how far everyone in that hangout has read and can access that hangout from any phone, tablet or computer. BBM doesn't offer any functionality that makes it stand out over what's already out there with the exception of nostalgia for a dying platform.

That's awesome! I wish I had more than 10 friends to use Hangouts with! Same with Google+. The masses I feel are still on Facebook, and other messaging apps (WhatsApp, Line, etc.) over Hangouts. They need to market it more. Just my thoughts.

Will my old account still work? How do I get my old pin or will I get a new one?

Posted via Android Central App

Good question! I wondered about that too. I still have my BB from back in the day. I'll just charge it for a little bit, power it, and look for my PIN, if that's allowed, that is.

depends on how old your phone is. BBM 7 & up used BBIDs
This means that no matter what device you use, you can just put in your BBID & it would load all your contacts ect.

depends on how old your phone is. BBM 7 & up used BBIDs
This means that no matter what device you use, you can just put in your BBID & it would load all your contacts ect.

What separates BBM from other chat apps? Serious question. I just have never used it. I always thought when people bragged about it they were more bragging because it basically said you had BB.

Here is a list of their features:
Make video calls over Wi-Fi or the mobile network on the latest smartphones (Not unique)
Send and receive messages with unlimited length. (Definitely not unique, shouldn't even be listed as a feature)
Choose a personal BBM display picture and status. (Not unique)
Real-time confirmations when messages are delivered and read. (Not unique)
Share photos, videos and more with multiple contacts at once. (Not unique)
Add contacts by scanning QR Codes, using NFC technology or sharing PINs. (Not unique)
Send music files. (Not unique)
Create and join groups where you can share and discuss lists, photos etc. (Not unique)
Share location. (Not unique)
Free Call BBM contacts over Wi-Fi. (Not unique)

So, to answer your question, Nothing. Folks are just attached to BBM.

Most things on smartphones today are not unique. The difference comes in the UI and overall experience. The main functions any two cars perform are not unique, but there is certainly a difference between a BMW and a Datsun.

That in mind, I have seen comparisons of the video chat (coming later for Android and iOS) that showed BBM has the better quality in terms on video and audio (i.e no echoing, 2 can talk at the same time without problems, stereo sound). There is also screen sharing with its own set of unique features like hiding passwords.

So it is the overall layout and experience that makes it unique, not a list of static features.

Forgot to mention BBM Channels (also coming later for Android/iOS) which is like a built in Facebook/Twitter. So it looks to be a one stop shop for everything social.

Wondering if all those features are available on a single app as they'll be on BBM?

Posted via Android Central App

The only feature that matters is BBM with that going to all other platforms I can't see how they will be able to hold onto their customers? Sure they have more then BBM on there side but to a lot of let say customers that use BBM to keep in touch with friends and family I can't see why none of them will take this as the opportunity to jump ship.

I believe that monetizing BBM is part of the business plan. Whether it will work or not is another matter.

Unique features is not what matters. I love android, everyone here does, if they don't they shouldn't be reading this but most of android's features aren't unique, it's the experience, UI and other elements that really matter. In my country BBM is significantly popular, so that would be one reason I would install it since everyone uses it, secondly animated GIF profile pics is still not available on whatsapp and most I'm services, also the differentiation between personal message and status is very important, I want to show that I'm busy but not change my status constantly and editing it. Also, I love hangouts but the userbasre is really restricted, I have one friend who uses it, if no one uses it then it's useless. I can go on forever about reasons why I use BBM and would use it on an android phone...

If you know lots of folks who use BBM, great, more power to you. Here in the US though (and globally overall) that's not the norm, very few people use it.

As for user base being restricted, I think you mean something else. BBM has a restricted user base. It's restricted because it was confined to one line of small marketshare phones and has no web application. Hangouts is available ubiquitously. You may have a small user base among people you know, but that's very different from being restricted.

Blackberry's GLOBAL marketshare is ~3%, Android's is just a hair under 80%. BB may be popular in your very small corner of the world, but to say BB or BBM is VERY popular globally is simply wrong, wrong, wrong. Windows Phone has larger global adoption, BB will ee looking at Linux pretty soon as a near marketshare competitor.

Not really, BBM fans are a breed apart. I've seen more than one comment on the crackberry side that goes roughly (and i'm paraphrasing) "I won't text any of my friends in the future until they download and install BBM"...I mean *really*? You're so much of a fanboy that you HAVE to have all your contacts on BBM or you won't message them anymore? LOL

There are definitely fanboys of other messaging platforms, but BBM fanboys do seem to be a breed apart as mzanette said. I saw a similar comment on Crackberry, if I knew anyone technologically behind enough to own a BB or to have such an idiotic attitude, I wouldn't be too worried about losing touch with them.
BB fans are almost worse than WebOS fans... at least WebOS fans acknowledge their platform is dead.

I own a Z10 does that mean I'm technologically behind? just because I chose IMO the best phone on the market and the one thats best for me?
your post is quite ignorant, even though I do agree its idiotic to say you wont text a friend and only reply too BBM.

i refuse to install this because i don't want buggy software on my phone but more importantly i don't want the french canadian government spying on me.

Can't wait to download! I Love bbm there is nothing like it. For all the haters who can't understand why they would use it blah blah blah it's your loss. I've tried them all and nothing is better than BBM nothing.

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

Bunch of caca! Who cares? 3yrs and there's like 50 other SMS/MMS Android apps out there they do everything this does? LMAO.. lame-O losers

Honest question, not trolling: What can this do that Hangouts cant?

I seriously would like a platform where ALL smartphone users can enjoy group convo's smoothly cross-platform. Hangouts is good and already works on like 90% of smartphones. I'm perfectly fine with going BBM if it makes everything easier for all parties involved and will definitely give it a shot.

Well considering they're not launching BBM for Android/iOS with video calling, Hangouts actually does more at the moment. Blackberry has said that video calling will be added "at a later date"

You can see who has read a message in hangouts as well. Heck you can see which members of a large group conversation have read which messages.

Not sure about group hangouts but in a one-to-one hangout you can't tell if the other person has read the message. Just gives you a date and time it was sent.

Finally someone makes this point! For an Android community in surprised at how few people seem to use Hangouts!

Posted via Android Central App

BBM is an awesome feature for BlackBerry. I'm gonna give it a whirl with my S4 and see if it's worth the switch. I use WhatsApp now but always looking for better. For those that haven't tried it in the past, give it a try and see what you think.

Posted via Android Central App

Everyone I know is on Android(couple iOS users) and they and I use hangouts. Have no need or desire to switch messaging apps and I'm not about to start acting like a tool and asking people to switch. I'll download BBM for Android, have a look around and then delete it.

And BB will crow about all the downloads they get, and ignore how few people end up actually using the service.

BBM being released is the perfect way to alert everyone that
the end of Blackberry is coming.

I predict that "Blackberry" will be removed from the top
of Mobile Nations(top of the page) by August 2015.

Yup, all it will do is shrink their revenue stream as it's one less reason to buy a BB.
Considering BB sponsors Talk Mobile (which I think is a factor in the overwhelming amount of coverage this app has gotten here) I would take the over on your 8/2015 prediction.

My finace was a blackberry loyalist up until she decided she wanted candy crush on her phone instead of her ipad (not the best reason but hey). got a gs4. arent a lot more people going to make the switch now that the number one reason most uses kept their bb

I'm trying to figure out what this app gets RIM. No, seriously. For the die-hard BlackBerry fans, what kept them from jumping ship to another platform was BBM. Now that it's going to be available on Android and iOS, they'll have no reason to buy actual BlackBerries anymore.

Also, I understand that the app will be free. What about the service? If it's free, how will RIM pay for it? Ads? Continuing licensing contracts for servers to big companies? Are these things going to be enough to keep enough revenue coming in to keep RIM afloat? And if it's going to be a pay service, then my guess is that the only folks willing to pay will be those die-hard BBM fans and those who absolutely must communicate with those folks and have no other way. And I'm not sure that's enough to keep RIM going.

Couldn't agree more. I still haven't seen an explanation on how this makes sense financially for BB. I think it's yet another in a long line of big mistakes by BB.

My only thoughts (guess):

1) they think they can get people hooked, then charge for the app

2) advertising.

They may think they have a headstart to get people hooked because of the original blackberry users.

Posted via Android Central App

BBM is not what kept anyone from jumping ship. The ones who stayed actually like Blackberry products despite their short-comings (which every platform has). Those that didn't like their products or found some that fit them better..left. BBM or not. It's a free world and some folks own a device from more than one phone maker.

What cross-platform BBM does is create mindshare. Those that left see that Blackberry (no longer RIM) has put out a quality product that becomes popular, and thus makes consumers want to look at their hardware again (normal consumers, not the mindless fanboys that frequent sites like these). It stops consumers from having such a negative/antiquated outlook from the jump.

The mistake they are making IMO is not releasing this fully featured from the beginning. They are going to rely simply on consumers loving the UI and UX until the other features arrive. That is a mistake.

I might have cared about this three years ago when I still knew people who had blackberries. There are too many other messaging apps out there now for this to get used by me. Even using Facebook's messenger is more compelling.

I know no one who has used or considered buying a Blackberry in 4-5+ years. I highly doubt anyone I know will go out of their way to create an account even if I asked (which I won't).

It'll probably be the most secure and reliable instant messaging service in the world. That's what sets it apart from the rest (anyone remember when What's App got done for sending everything in plain text)?!?

Posted via Android Central App

Reliable I don't buy. Secure, maybe. But nobody will care because few people work on anything that matters for it and nobody who wants to keep their job texts secret/secure information, even people who do work on secret and secure projects wouldn't do that.
What people care about is what is everyone they know using and what are the fetures. BBM just doesn't stand out anymore.

you dont get reliable? im sorry but have you even used BBM? its much much more reliable than Whatsapp, Kik et an my experience, and in the last 2 weeks Hangouts has unfortunatly been less than stellar for me, and in the 5+ years i had a BB and BBM, i never had One failed message unless it was user error on my part

"i never had One failed message unless it was user error on my part"

You sound like the guys I knew in grad school who swore their Macs NEVER crashed, but spent more time cursing at their computers than anyone else in the program.
Considering one of you have ever used BM on Android or iOS either, I think it's pretty funny to hear you extol how reliable it will be when it's working with OSes and hardware that it hasn't been built into organically. It's a lot harder making apps and services that work outside your little gated community.

It wasn't reliable. Don't you remember all those outages that basically killed the entire phone? You know what still worked? Text and calls. Yep, those old basics.

I really like GroupMe. It's gonna take a lot to convert my circle (who are all former Blackberry users)

Yay! Never used it before so I'm really looking forward to trying it out.

Posted via Android Central App

I guess I'm part of the few crazy people who are looking forward to BBM on Android.

Posted via Android Central App

Well I particularly loved BBM as well as most of the people I knew. Since then I could never get all my friends and the people I associated with in one app like BBM. A lot of people I know don't even deal with Hangouts mostly because they don't feel like taking the time to learn Google+. Which we all can admit can be a bit confusing at first sight. All these apps that came after BBM are cool but none just have that it factor like BBM seems to have. Maybe because I'm in late 20's early 30's demographic BBM coming to Android and IPHONE just seems way more exciting then some of y'all are making it out to be.

seriously??? at this point?? no one really gives a crap about bbm anymore. blackberry is done and over with. most people nowadays have unlimited text or have that stupid imessage. this will flop hard. itll gain back most of the ex-blackberry users for about a month and once they see its just another app to go into and text people when, theyll be over it.

and i know this because blackberry was my first smartphone and i loved that thing, esp w bbm. but at this point, theyre done.

Does anyone know if I can install and use simultaneously on more than one device? My problem with Whatsapp and Line is that I can use them only on one device. I know that Hangouts can do it, but not many people use Hangouts.

Hangouts would be perfect if it didn't suck. How I wish they'd fix it... That would be the only reason for me to leave What's App.

Posted via Android Central App

I use What's App as my primary messaging app.. So do many others I know.. I don't see why anyone using something they like would switch to something that does exactly the same thing.. But adds a PIN that now I have to share.. F'that

Posted via Android Central App

This is great news. Although I have no real use for it as most people I speak with don't use bbm, I would love to see Google hangouts extend beyond and finally be the link between messaging and text services. Maybe this will push Google to move forward already.

Posted via Android Central App

Now that this is out can we please light a fire under Google to get hangouts GV and SMS integration. As much as hangouts could be great right now it's meh at Best. I just hope that kitkat sees this coming.

At least now I can get BBM and talk to some of my friends who just are mad about this app.

Posted via Android Central App

I was thinking that intergration would come in Kit Kat also. Here's hoping.

Editor in chief of Futureproff.com

I think this app reminds everyone of their youth hence people will flock to it for a while. It got nostalgia on its side for those who used it and even those who didn't. There a rumors of BB trying to get their OS out to other handsets e.g. Samsung and HTC and leave their hardware side of the business. This is definitely a start

Posted via Android Central App

Would it be available on google play, or where else can it be downloaded from plz?

Posted via Android Central App

It's the 21st and BBM is nowhere in sight... Typical BlackBerry stuff...

Posted via Android Central App from my rooted Verizon S3

i had install the BBM but could not able to start it as showing connection error using my wifi to connect it...can you solve it??