BlackBerry to launch BBM on iOS and Android this summer

BlackBerry to launch BBM on iOS and Android this summer

Summary: At BlackBerry Live, CEO Thorsten Heins announced that BlackBerry will bring its popular BBM messaging software to iOS and Android devices as a free app this summer.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Mobility, BlackBerry
16
bbm-logo-05.2013

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), the popular messaging service that has long been a key feature of the BlackBerry operating system, will become a multiplatform service this summer when BBM launches as a free app on Android and iOS, CEO Thorsten Heins announced on Tuesday.

At the close of his BlackBerry Live 2013 keynote—echoing the famous "One More Thing" of Steve Jobs—Heins surprised the crowd and the press by announcing that BBM is ready to take its benefits to BlackBerry's fiercest competitors.

"We are confidnet that the time is right for BBM to become a multiplatform messaging solution," Heins said.

BBM originally set the standard for mobile messaging and collaboration by offering a secure messaging service that showed a status of each message to let you know if it was delivered (D) or read (R). It blew away standard SMS text messages and was envied by users of other mobile platforms.

When BlackBerry hit its rough patch over the past several years, BBM ws rightly pinpointed as one of the platform's bright spots. There were calls at the time to take it multiplatform to cash in on its prowess, but the decision was made to keep it BlackBerry-only and put it in the forefront of the product's marketing to help attract users to the platform. 

Since then, Apple has launched its own BBM competitor with iMessage and multiplatform competitors like WhatsApp and Viber have arrived and gained millions of users across iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and other platforms. 

A former BlackBerry lover responded to my Twitter post during the keynote about BBM coming to iOS and Android by saying, "Too late? WhatsApp has taken care of this need." He recently converted from BlackBerry to Android.

Nevertheless, the BlackBerry Live crowd continued buzzing about the announcement after the keynote ended, with several attendees asking each other if the iOS and Android BBM apps would be as good as the BlackBerry 10 app and whether BlackBerry might launch a desktop BBM app as well.

Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

16 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Bad Move

    BlackBerry is realizing that relational communication is key to their overhaul, and that's fine, but BBM is one of those products that they don't need to share with other OS'. Keep BBM as a BlackBerry product and let Microsoft push Skype around for relational communication.

    BBM on other OS' is bad for BlackBerry.
    techtools@...
    • Good move

      "BBM is one of those products that they don't need to share with other OS's".

      This a a claim. Where's the reasoning behind it? Doesn't make sense to me. BB need to make BBM available on every platform to stop the slide to the plethora of new instant messaging companies doing just that and with amazing success (eg. WhatsApp).

      "Keep BBM as a BlackBerry product and let Microsoft push Skype around for relational communication."

      Are you one of those paid third-world Microsoft shills recently flooding the comment sections of articles about Blackberry with negative and baseless claims?

      Windows 8 is a disaster. I bought a Surface RT tablet and a Windows 8 ultrabook had to give both away because the interface was so alien and unproductive. Furthermore Microsoft needs to fire that self-absorbed Gorilla of a CEO, Steve Balmer. Microsoft already has a long history arrogance and of anti-competitive behaviour, it doesn't need to re-inforce those qualities with Balmer.
      ascetica
      • Huh?

        If BBM is everywhere, that's one less reason to buy a blackberry device.

        As for your rant about Microsoft … you do realize that Skype was independent before Microsoft bought it, right? His support for Skype likely has nothing to do with Microsoft. All of that aside, please do try to be a little more subtle with your blind hatred. "Windows 8 is a disaster because I couldn't figure out how to use it".
        Michael Alan Goff
        • Think before you speak...unless you're a shill

          "...If BBM is everywhere, that's one less reason to buy a blackberry device..."

          If MS Office exists for the Mac then that's one more reason not to buy Windows. You're missing the bigger picture.

          1. BBM is not unique to start with. It's a software application that has easily been copied by its competitors. Perhaps BBM should have been released to the other platforms years ago so as to dominate the emerging market (eg. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).

          2. BBM is now a rather weak reason to buy a BB phone given the intense competition and BB's small marketshare. It can be argued that they would do better to diversify BBM to other platforms so customers can safely choose to buy a BB phone knowing they can communicate with those family & friends that don't.

          To continue to argue your claim in the face of this, you have to be either a shill for a competitor or a complete moron.

          "...you do realize that Skype was independent before Microsoft bought it, right? His support for Skype likely has nothing to do with Microsoft..."

          What has this to do with the price of eggs in China? Businesses are in the business of making a profit and not simply giving up because there is another competitor in the marketplace.

          "...please do try to be a little more subtle with your blind hatred..."

          My Microsoft and Windows 8 jibe was to hook and expose the Microsoft shills spamming the comment section of articles on Blackberry.

          And yes I suppose spending $2,800 on a Windows 8 ultrabook and $1,000 on a Surface RT tablet (including accessories) and then using them for a month before deciding to move back to Windows 7 really qualifies as "blind". Are you saying that I should have done a 2-year PhD on my use of Windows 8 before forming an opinion that it is a disaster? Do a Google search on the keywords "Windows 8 disaster". What do you see?
          ascetica
          • Errrr

            $2800 for an Ultrabook? Highest is an over-priced Lenovo at $2500 at Best Buy. All others are roughly $2000 or below.
            As I mentioned below, unlike the competition, BBM is king in security. Canadian & US governments use way more Blackberries than any other brand [the US is in a trial test for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy to see if they can be secured] because of the security features. So the copying comment isn't complete.
            Gisabun
          • A false sense of security for the consumer...

            Fully optioned (maxed out) Thinkpad Carbon X1.
            USB hub for external periperals
            USB drive with security keypad
            Slim travel power-adaptor
            Cable lock
            bla bla

            The point I am trying to make is that I went into Windows 8 fully committed.

            I agree that BBM is king with regards to security, but ***ONLY*** if you run your own BES server.

            You are certainly not secure if you are using Blackberry's public BBM servers. A simple court order is all it takes to get access to your message history on Blackberry's servers. And in some countries like Saudi Arabia and India the government probably doesn't need a court order.
            ascetica
          • BWAHAHAHA

            So you're saying that you expect Blackberry to release a gimped version of BBM for every other platform like Microsoft released a gimped version of Office for the Mac?

            The rest of your rant about how you spent almost 4k on computers with Windows 8 is about as believable as if you'd said that you rode to the Microsoft store with a unicorn.

            You bought a laptop -and- a Surface Pro? Yeeeeeah, I believe you. >_>;
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Who said anything about 'Surface Pro'?

            Again you have put no thought into your argument and you completely miss the point.

            I am saying that there are many examples where companies realise the conditions in the market are such that they must expand their availability to the detriment of exclusivity. You concede this point right?

            Furthermore I never said 'Surface Pro'. I said 'Surface RT'. Look up the difference you ignoramus. How embarassing - your stupidity is on display for the whole world to see.

            Michael, are you actually capable of opening your mouth without putting your foot in it?

            Do you think I should scan the receipt and post a link to it here?
            ascetica
          • You said 1k

            know you said RT tablet, but there is no such thing as a 1k$ RT tablet.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • An edit, just checked

            499$ and tax for the 32-GB
            599$ and tax for the 64-GB

            If you're going to lie, lie better.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Michael opens mouth and puts foot in it AGAIN

            Did you actually read what I wrote???

            "...(including accessories)..."

            1. Yes the 64G version.
            2. The pricey MS keyboard (with key travel) because I didn't like the free touch version when they demo'd it for me in the store.
            3. Extended 2 year warranty (on top of standard 1 year).
            4. Tablet to HDMI cable.
            5. Padded case.

            Again your stupidity on display for the whole world to see. And this is made worse because you choose to use your real name. O-M-G!
            ascetica
          • Wow

            My apologies, good sir.

            Why did you need the tablet to HDMI? Wouldn't a normal HDMI work? I'm not entirely sure about that one, so correct me if I'm wrong.

            Padded case? You do know this is magnesium, it is… extremely sturdy.
            Michael Alan Goff
  • BBM is "king"

    One of the reasons why BBM is popular is that it has private secure communicatio between users. Why do you think some dictatorships and paranoid governments in the Middle East and Asia wanted the "keys" to unlock the encryption between users.
    Gisabun
  • Dead

    Other than Skype, How many people even use a messenger service anymore. It is a lot faster, easier just to text them. I can see where the security of BBM would come in nice for company's and Governments, But in general everyday use if someone wants to know how really boring of a life a have, go for it.
    tocool37
    • Price & features

      Price: Telco's charge an arm and a leg for SMS, and alot more for MMS where I live. It could only be worse in developing countries.

      Features: Being able to send text, music, photos, and all sorts of files instantly to others anywhere in the world. Being able to have group chats. Being able to know when the receipient has opened and read the message. Being able to see exactly where your friends/family are whilst trying to meet up in a busy city for lunch. Being able to initiate free voice and video calls over the messenger app. All great stuff assuming you have a reasonable data plan.
      ascetica
  • BBM is simply the best there is!

    BBM is simply the best there is and there is nothing out there that comes remotely close to it. You get secure text messaging (you can't say WhatsApp offers that), VoIP, video messaging (ala Skype), totally kickass screen sharing (does anyone else even offer this?), plus a whole host of other standard features that make it the "class act" of the messaging apps. On top of all this, BlackBerry is adding BBM Channels to give BBM the Social Networking capabilities of a FaceBook, or a Twitter. Can you tell me of an App that offers anything close to what BBM will? I didn't think so. In short, BBM is about to become the one App that does it all, allowing users to get rid of all those other single function Apps.

    I think this is an excellent move by BlackBerry and I don't doubt that BBM will make it's way on to other platforms in time - maybe even the desktop. As a BlackBerry Z10 user, I look forward to the prospect of seeing BBM on other platforms and it only makes me appreciate my BlackBerry devices that much more.
    xenrobia