03
Oct
AndroidBlackberry1

Update: It looks like someone has way too much time on their hands. As reader benjymous pointed out in the comments, the second image is clearly ripped directly from a demo java app from the BBM SDK, giving us solid reason to believe that this is indeed fake. Boo!

As an ardent Android fan I spent the better part of the last few months trying to convince my girlfriend to switch over to the green robot after she lost her beloved BlackBerry and required a replacement phone. However, nothing I said would convince her to give up the corporate mainstay, I even suggested that an iPhone (*gasp*) was a superior device to the BlackBerry. It turned out that the only reason she wanted a BlackBerry was because of its built-in Messaging service: BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). Hence, it seems that the only reason BlackBerry still retains some of its market share is because of this incredibly popular IM client. Although there are numerous free alternative IM clients, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and the soon to be launched Apple iMessage and Samsung ChatON, BBM appears to have a very prominent and loyal fan-base despite being limited to only BlackBerry devices.

This could all change if BBM suddenly became platform agnostic and was available to all smartphone users. Although rumored in the past, TechRadar has obtained what appears to be concrete evidence, in the form of a couple of leaked blurrycam photos, that BBM is indeed coming to Android in the near future.

The first photo shows the BBM icon on the Android app screen. This is hardly proof of anything, especially since the quality of the icon is not very high.

BBMforAndroidhome-420-90

The second screenshot adds a little more meat to the matter as it shows the potential BBM contact profile page.

BBMforAndroid2-420-90

What's the deal with the ridiculous amount of scratches on this screen?

At this point naysayers could very well argue that these are fakes and judging by the poor quality of the pictures I would tend to agree. However, BBM for Android rumors have been circulating for some time now and with RIM's declining market share this could be exactly the boost they need. Still it is rather surprising that RIM would be willing to share this exclusive service with other platforms considering it is the only reason people are still buying BlackBerries.

According to TechRadar's inside man, the BBM app for Android is in the final stages of testing and will support Android's push notification service.

Source: TechRadar

Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.

  • brendon

    Looks like someone took a knife to that screen

  • http://twitter.com/mikeGsays GarciaM25

    Wouldn't you if you had an Android with that garbage BBM on it? haha

    But seriously, it looks like BBM is going to go the way of AOL IM - a free service that you will be able to use with other providers, and something you will eventually forget all about.... this coming from someone who has had at least one AIM screen name since it first dropped back in the late 90's and hardly looks at it anymore with everyone I need to talk to being on Facebook Messenger and soon G+ Messenger!

  • benjymous

    The second image is a screengrab of a demo java application from the BBM SDK - see here:

    http://devblog.blackberry.com/2011/08/bbm-social-platform-profile-box/

    So I'm pretty sure this is fake - they've just cobbled together a (crap) icon, and then displayed that image.

    • Big Turk

      Nice investigative work!

    • http://www.abhiroopbasu.com Abhiroop Basu

      Cheers for pointing this out. Having said that though there is a possibility they decided to keep the same UI. Ok, I might just be praying it comes out. There's essentially no other way to communicate with my gf :P.

  • http://paralap.blogspot.com Dero

    Totally Fake! Why People with an Android Device wants a RIM's app, i think this is Fool!

    • http://www.abhiroopbasu.com Abhiroop Basu

      Unfortunately, it does look fake. But, like I said there's a pretty big market for BBM users and it would be great if it came out for Android.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

    Bearing in mind this is likely fake, and as much as I would like to see it, I think that BBM is one of the last threads holding BB users to their failing brand (other than business contracts, which they are losing too). Open that up and they just become a content provider. I just don't see RIM giving this one up unless (until) they fail at the handset business and end up becoming just a service for any device.

    • http://www.abhiroopbasu.com Abhiroop Basu

      Great points, spot on!

  • http://www.unwiredmedic.com Christopher Matthews

    I wouldn't say it's the "only" reason people still buy Blackberries. The government and security-minded enterprise businesses like them because the security of the OS is stronger than the iDon't and Android. However, RIM will have to cave eventually since they are losing so much market share. I think we'll have it on all platforms inside of two years. I have a insider rumor that Blackberry will be discontinued for some regional state and fed agencies in my area, which cuts another couple hundred devices out of the market. If they don't release their BBM soon, they'll have to either release a radical reinvention of themselves or fold up and fade away.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      Currently BB is betting big on the new platform based on QNX coming next year. I think by the time it hits the market it may be too late though and RIM may wind up transitioning to a service and content provider, rather than a device manufacturer. Think AOL.

      There will always be platform faithful that will stick with RIM, but the government and business contracts are dropping at a high rate. No need for BES and cost to deploy being the biggest reasons businesses are moving from BB now that other platforms are offering acceptable security and encryption.. If you took all the government and business contracts away, they would likely already be gone.

  • Owen Finn

    Doesn't anyone just plain TEXT message anymore? Sheesh.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      Oh you mean that 160 character limited archaic form of communication that may or may not show if delivered? Yeah I hear it is still around.

  • Pat

    How about if BBM gets launched officially with Google's blessing alongwith ICS on Oct. 11?

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      As nice as it would be to be able to ping my bbm friends, I find that about as likely as Google purchasing Apple. lol

  • guss

    Seems like a fake!.

  • tenderanger

    Added the guy using his pin... He said that it was photoshopped image and ' wanted friends' on bbm..the android device was basically showing us pics , not its menu... And the guy doesn't know English , only Persian .. Had to use google translate and the chat was excruciatingly slow... Please , mark this as fake..

  • BlackBerry 9810

    it is from blackberry ndk converted to the android apps using eclipse IDE. look for his pin 2000001a, and look below its status there is a sdk write on it, this seems legit bbm for installed in android but it cant be use for cominnication, sorry for my bad english