It's 2013, the era of the cloud. But for whatever reason — it really doesn't matter why — BlackBerry's still stuck in a one-device frame of mind.

We live in a world of multiple screens. Some of us use more than one phone. More likely, however, is the combination of using a phone and a tablet. Being able to access your data anywhere is the crux of everything Google — and therefore Android — does. Apple's stumbled with iCloud, but damned if it's not trying. And for all its faults in the past, even Microsoft had this one figured out long ago with its "Three screens and the cloud" strategy

And then there's BlackBerry. BBM — BlackBerry Messenger — is finally available for iOS and Android. Sort of. You can download the app, then get on a waiting list, as BlackBerry's ramping things up slowly. But know this: You can only use one BBM ID on one device at a time. One ID, one phone. Or one tablet. 

And not at all (yet — it's coming) on a desktop or laptop computer.

Anyhoo. This isn't a surprise to anyone who's used BBM before. (Or the popular WhatsApp, for that matter.) But for those of us used to accessing our conversations on any connected device, it's a bit of a shock.

And it's really not how things work in 2013. 


Reader comments

A reminder: BBM only works on one device at a time


No cellular unless you have the LTE model

Posted via Android central app on my LG Google Nexus 4

depends the developer, they want to restrict devices without cellular or not, in this case they restrict on the google play store layer. but actually if you have the apk, you can install it despite your device's cellular capability, because every device has imei and you can use wi-fi to connect to the internet. but if your device below ICS, you cant use it, because of the API version.

The app isn't compatible with tablets yet. I hope they're working on it, along with multiple device sign-in.

copy dot c0m slash lms89 <--- this is my apk backup. try it, as far as i am concerned, it's working fine on my acer iconia a500, however, I'm on the waiting list for the email i provided. but hey, they put me on the waiting list!

Using it on my phone only then, won't matter since it doesn't work on non-cellular tablets

Posted via Android central app on my LG Google Nexus 4

When you first open the app, enter the e-mail address associated with your old Blackberry ID account. It should then send you directly to the login screen, without having to wait.

However, this only works if you used BBM after they switched to the permanent Blackberry ID method for managing contacts, which I think was sometime in 2011. If you stopped using BBM before that, you'll have to create a new account (and wait in the line before that).

Please, I would appreciate if you get back to me as soon as possible or if anybody can help. I am stuck on my bbm for my android. I logged in with my bbid for my blackberry, didn't knw it doesn't allow multiple sign in. So now my problem is, I need help changing my bbid for my android. I need help creating a new bbid for my android

Dear god... SERIOUSLY?!?
Crackberryheads get all hot and bothered over an app that can't be used on multiple devices and doesn't have a desktop client? I knew about the lack of DT support, but not multiple devices? Yeesh...

A lot of "CrackBerryheads" don't like the idea that someone could pick up their tablet & read the msg's on it. Blackberry’s way is a lot more secure.....that being said, I think they should have it as an option for those who want their devices synced.

Really? Then lock your tablet. That's basic device security right there. And what exactly are they worried that people will read?

Posted via Android Central App

And yet BB fanboys tell us this will kill Hangouts once we see how fluid and amazing BBM is....right.

It will kill nothing, not hangouts, not iMessage, certainly not What´s App or even Viber. BBM, though it will be installed on many devices is pretty much a non-issue IMHO.

I feel bad reading this article. It's sad when these companies try so hard and they barely make it to where the hockey puck was.

Posted via Android Central App

The client does not support non-BBM SMS messages like BBM on Blackberry did, not really into have two app's for SMS.

Not really much of a surprise to anyone. They're technology is considered obsolete for a reason. Going the way of Blockbuster, landlines, and soon to be Cable TV. If you're not adapting, you're dying.

Time Warner always tries to entice me with a TV bundle added to my high speed internet. I always say "Well I don't have a TV and I get all my shows on the internet..." and then they continue to try to convince me...

Haha, same here. I told the lady that I only use my cell phone for communication, and that I have ZERO interest in buying some obsolete, home phone bundle. Yet, she still proceeded to "clue me in" on the benefits of owning a home phone. Why the hell would I buy a home phone? I move every year!!

that sucker who just bought BB is probably getting the noose ready... without even waiting to get through the wait list...

I was really hoping that it would work on all my devices with a single account. It doesn't.

Posted from Galaxy S4 via Android Central App

I still haven't caught on to the purpose of these apps, including hangouts (other than video). If it requires the other people to have the app to use, why not just use SMS? Other than many some neat emojis or little media extras, what are some reasons you guys use these types of apps? Is it just because you have text limits on your mobile plans? Maybe I just don't have very tech smart friends because when In use these apps I usually only have less than 10 friends who are also using it, and I'm not going to send invites out.

Posted via Android Central App

People are always asking this. SMS has that lame 160 character limit and won't display special characters like õ,ä,ö, and ü. Also, many of us have international contacts, and international sms isn't free under most plans whereas BBM is. BlackBerry recently added free BBM voice and video calling over wifi. Not sure if that will be available on the cross-platform version, though.

People usually chat in under 160 characters anyway. VERY few people throw a paragraph together. Even if they do, it doesn't hurt anything to use SMS for long-form. It just gets split up, that's all (depending on the device).

The only concession I can make, other than video, is international contacts.

I'm one of those "very few" people who writes long form text messages, and it's a non issue. If you've been limiting your texts to 160 characters, you've only been putting limits on yourself. Any modern phone will break the message up into multiple messages and reassemble then on the other end.

Personally, the only use I can see for any of these network based messenger apps is international communication. That's just my opinion and personal use case.

Posted via Android Central App

As for the way modern phones handle sms, I'm aware of it, but I still limit my texts to under 160 characters for the most part unless I really don't care. I just think it delivers a bit of a sloppy appearance the way it's broken up when going over.

Another reason why I like IM clients in general more than straight sms is that I have contacts who are not on mobiles but are available at pc's all day. I love being in touch with them BlackBerry to pc. That's probably 60% of why I use Google Talk and YIM and the reason I would love to see a BBM desktop client, too.

I see. Thanks for all your replies. Although they didn't really convince me of there use other than a small niche market. I'm excited to see what Hangouts has in store for us.

I'm curious to know, if and when I can send SMS from Hangouts, will it only be picked up by the recipient's Hangouts client (app + desktop) if they have Hangouts set to their default SMS app? That seems logical, right?

I have a preference for IM because I think it is downright criminal to pay $30/month for data and then pay an addition fee for texting. Texting is data and very little at that. If everyone you know has a smartphone, there is no reason to give even more money to the carriers. So, since texting is data, I use my data plan.

I do appreciate that it is a hassle to get everyone on one messaging app but the effort pays off with a lower monthly bill. Also, if you think about it probably 80% (maybe more) of your texting is with the same people and that group is likely less than 10 folks. Get them on an IM app and you have saved yourself from giving a gift to your carrier and you have gained all the benefits that a feature rich IM app has over SMS/MMS.

In fact, it has been my experience that most of the folks who have smartphones and refuse to move on from SMS are not particularly tech savvy and rather give the monthly fee for unlimited texting to their carrier then try something different (or go through the hassle).

Just wondering then, if this only works with one device at a time, then why in the world would anybody use this over Hangouts on Android? Or iMessage on iOS?

You have to admit, though. There's way too much excitement for a messaging app. Every BBM article posted on Android Central turns into CrackBerrians vs fanDroids.

I'm not sure, why people feel the need to argue for hours, sometimes days, about why Android users are wrong about BBM. Yet, if I browse the CrackBerry forums, you guys are quick to bash Android, for no apparent reason.

Posted via Android Central App

Hangout has always been glitchy and unstable for me, not sure about you guys. iMessage is better but not perfect yet. BBM never failed me and it is so much faster than any other messaging service it is scary. Plus it is real business class voice and video conferencing ready at your fingertips whenever you need, integrated with everything. Nothing beats that as a productivity powerhouse. I know I'm dealing with a serious business man/woman who values efficiency and doesn't need a flashy phone to justify his/her status when we can conference over BBM.

Just set up a different BBM account on each device. Do you really want to BBM to yourself on different devices? Let me know if you have trouble finding a free email address.

Fvck you iphone and droid users are stupid.

So if I BBM message you on one account lets say on your phone....will the same BBM push on to another device with a different PIN? Enlighten us o wise one. Anyway we wont be debating much longer as BB is pretty much out of business.

Ok batman, let me know how your utility belt with your iphone, droid, and other devices are working out for you. Blackberry is not going out of business. That's a myth. Like WMD's, like Santa Clause, like the Easter Bunny. But keep believing that. You folks have been saying that Blackberry has been going out of business for the last 6 years. Its still here. Wake me up when its delisted and then I'll believe you.

Thanks for answering my question. Enjoy your sh!tty Blackberry and keep your head in the sand.

So, you signed up just to troll? You must really not have a life.

iPhone and Android users are stupid, yet they chose a platform that has grown and continues to do so. No one here is wishing that Blackberry dies; but, I'm not going to go out and buy a BB just to try and prevent them from doing so.

You can be angry and bitter all you want. Fact of the matter is this: Blackberry is more than likely exiting the consumer handset market. iOS, Android, and Windows Phone will still be around. Don't like it? Buy a feature phone.

But, having vitriol towards people, because they have tastes and opinions that differ from your own, is beyond childish and desperate.

You're like the Black Knight of Blackberry...lying on the ground with both legs and arms chopped off yelling at the technology that did it "oh, running away, come back and fight like a man".

This is the very reason why Blackberry has a foot in the grave and another on a banana peel.

A billion dollars in unsold inventory, bleeding users/cash and the company is up for fire sale. Are we really surprised?

I was willing to give it a try... But after seeing this I'm completely turned off. Hangouts will still be the go-to for me, especially after the update.

Posted via Android Central App

BBM is now live on my SGN2 (because I preregistered on their wait list a month ago). Despite my decades long relationship with BB, you may want to try for cross platform and devices. It simply works with everything but screen sharing - including voice and video. All of your newly joined contacts pop up via phone number. No PIN required. But for us that want even more, try Google Hangouts...

Back in the olden days when I owned Blackberry's I never found a use for BBM. I surely don't see a need for it now.

And risk bringing down the entire bbm infrastructure with a rogue app!! Surely not!!!

Posted via Android Central App

Not yet. The feature set is dumbed down for the initial release. Once the kinks are worked out they'll slowly bring in full functionality. Right now it does messaging and group chats.

Another reason I love BBM is because as an instant messaging client it's always connected. On a BlackBerry, there's no signing in or signing out and you don't get logged off. With the other instant messengers I use (Google Talk and YIM) I often find out that I've been logged out or disconnected from the server. Of course, I have to actually look at the messenger to know this; if I don't look, I don't know. This isn't the case with BBM on a BlackBerry. It's always signed in and connected.

Yea, that sounds like a limitation of your Blackberry and not the apps. Every messaging app I have used on Android will stay logged in unless I tell it to log out.

There is very little about BBM that will lure Android users over. Which makes me wonder why there are 4 BBM articles up on AC or why I am commenting in every one of them...damn you AC.

Scotty I disagree. I've tried every single messaging app out there on my Android, iDevices, and Blackberries. All of them have a delay in getting new messages when the devices have been idle for a while. My BBM gets the messages almost instantaneously. The difference is huge.

Thought about trying BBM, but since it's only one device at a time, I'll stick to Hangouts. Welcome to 2005 BlackBerry!

You almost seem shocked. As many of us have been saying for years now... BB is out of touch with their competitors & consumers. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Why would I want BBM on my LG G2 or my Nexus 7??? I do not know one single person with a blackberry or anyone who uses BBM.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm ashamed to say that my work phone is still a Curve... But they're even waking up and I'll probably receive an HTC One within the month. God I hope so. The Curve on an enterprise email solution is painfully inadequate. And I'm just talking about how the stupid things handles notifications and email.

It may never hit your circle of friends. Some people don't understand why you'd need Photo Circle or Vine or Whatsapp. Like any messenger or social media app, it's only as good as its contacts.

What I can speculate is BBM will have more users than Whatsapp within a week. From a pure number of users stand point, it will make more sense to have than any other 3rd party messenger.

As for me, I had a BB for 4 years ago and at the time had 66 BBM contacts. I talk to those same friends today and they're down to about 3. But, at this news, people are firing their pins to each other like the good old days. BBM is where my friends will be and like it or lump it, I'll be abandoning Whatsapp and ChatOn to communicate with them.

No login with Facebook option? Seriously? So I guess I'm supposed to track down the two people I know with BBs and ask them for their BB pin... That or ask my friends if they downloaded BBM to which they will reply with... What the hell is that?

Posted via Android Central App

BBRY can go straight to hell with this one device BS! Really? In 2013? That's a non-starter. DELETE!

Posted via Android Central App

Frustrated about not being able to send documents via BBM. Only photos and voice notes. Hope they add this feature.

Posted via Android Central App

Okay, so can't find contacts, can't use on more than one device, no sync to sms and notifications don't work if the app isn't always active (not using Google Cloud Messaging) ... so it's one more way to talk to a couple people (if you find out they have it) that you probably already have many other ways to talk to. I feel like I'm missing something.

That's precisely why it's secure. I'm converting all my business contacts to BBM. So Google doesn't know every single good idea we come up with. :)

I prefer it one device at a time why? coz sometimes i forget to turn off imessage on my other devices and when the kids or wife borrow that device the also see messages thats only for me.

I'm in that "pause, stand by, waiting" line since 6pm yesterday. And people with iPhone that "I" recomand after to download it are already using their. :( its faster with iphone.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, it would be REALLY NICE if I could use WhatsApp on my WiFi-only Nexus 7. Can't the dev tie it to an account instead of the IMEI?

Posted from my HTC EVO 4G LTE via Android Central App

I have BBM running on my Nexus 7, the next trick is to have one BB id on 2 devices. I'd be happy if it was one at a time. Can you log out of BBM on a Blackberry?

I need some help please :( i downloaded bbm for my iphone 5c and received the email but when i enter my email and then hit "i got the email" nothing happens , i tried deleting the app restarting everything, over and over but still nothing :( does anyone know how i can fix this please . Email or reply thank youu anyone

I pre-registered at the BBM website a month ago and got the email before the app went live telling me RIM has reserved a seat for me so I don't have to wait inline to start using the new BBM. That's what they mean by "I got the email".

Please, I would appreciate if you get back to me as soon as possible or if anybody can help. I am stuck on my bbm for my android. I logged in with my bbid for my blackberry, didn't knw it doesn't allow multiple sign in. So now my problem is, I need help changing my bbid for my android. I need help creating a new bbid for my android