Technology and Gadgets
A blog looking at the world of technology and gadgets, including the latest computer hardware and smartphones
Blackberry Messenger Coming to Android and Applein Blackberry
One of the most appealing aspects of Blackberry (formerly RIM) phones has always been its messaging interface, Blackberry Messenger, or BBM for short. It’s still the number one draw for many people, especially the younger generation, when it comes to choosing Blackberry over an Android or Apple device.
BBM offers a secure messaging platform meaning total confidence that nobody can intercept and read your messages. In fact, that alone has brought criticism in the past. Remember the summer riots of 2011 in the UK? Blackberry received unfair criticism over the fact that it seemed some of these riots were organised using the BBM platform, with Police powerless to be able to intercept such messages.
But the BBM platform has always been a solid part of the Blackberry offering (oh, accept for that major outage on their network a few years back!). So with Blackberry trying to rebuild its fortunes following several years slowly losing their market share, it’s come as no surprise that they are now going to offer their BBM service as an app on Android and Apple iOS devices. Indeed, I predicted such a move in one of my blogs last year (More Tales of Woe for RIM and Blackberry)
The question is how will this stack up against other apps that have appeared such as WhatsApp, and Skype? Well, it will also be free, so that’s a good start. If they continue to offer the same level of encryption of the messages, then it could be a real winner for corporate customers who want to continue to use Android or Apple devices but want their data secure.
Realistically, what will Blackberry get out of allowing third party devices to use their platform then? I guess there will more than likely be adverts placed in the app to draw in revenue, and maybe further down the line a “paid for” version to remove these apps. It also means reaffirming the brand in the minds of users on other devices, who may consider investigating the Blackberry handsets when it comes to renewing their phone. And if they make a version which will run on tablets then that’s another bonus.
As for timescales, none as yet (although for Blackberry to make the announcement, you’d have to assume that the applications are well advanced in their development life-cycle for both Android and Apple devices). And on that, front, it’s good to see Blackberry isn't working solely on an Apple app with an Android one “to follow shortly”. We will all get the chance to use the app no matter what device we use.