18
Sep
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The day is finally coming, ladies and gentlemen. After more than four months since the announcement that Blackberry would be bringing its incredibly popular messaging service to Android (and iOS), we finally have a launch date. In an official blog post today, the recently-renamed company announced that the app would hit the Play Store on Saturday, September 21st promptly at 7:00 AM Eastern Time. We've been seeing more and more leaks of the app as of late, so this announcement isn't much of a surprise. Still, it's nice to finally have something concrete.

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BBM for Android will pack most (if not all) the features that BBM loyalists have grown to love, including BBM Chat (naturally) with picture and voice note transfers, group chat, status updates, and privacy controls that support PINs.

But it's not all good news for Blackberry. Despite finally bringing its long-awaited messenger to Android on the 21st (and iOS on the 22nd at 12:01 AM in each time zone), the company is still reportedly going to let 40 percent of its workforce go by the end of the year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the layoffs will happen in waves across all departments. Ouch. Bad news for Blackberry employees.

But look at the bright side – at least we'll finally have Blackberry Messenger.

Blackberry blog

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • spacekobra

    Just in time to see all my friends move away from their Blackberries. I'll still try it out for the heck of it.

  • Ryan Stewart

    This might have been a nice feature a few years ago but now I dont know anyone with a Blackberry. 2-3 have ones issued to them from work but they only carry them when necessary, they have Android/IOS for their main phone.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Pretty big deal if you know folks Internationally especially in the Caribbean where there is heavy BlackBerry use.

      • Ryan Stewart

        I dont know any people living in the Caribbean (only those to relocated here) but the friends in Europe and Asia all have the other options now.

        In 2008-2009 I would have been killing this though, it seems every girl I met had a blackberry.

        • lew

          But it will be a new way on people having iphones amd android to message

          • Ryan Stewart

            Its a new option but its not really necessary in my part of the world anymore. Back when I had friends on BB it would have been cool but now nobody who doesn't have a friend on BB would download it. They will just use the built in Hangouts/Talk.

    • James Francis

      I'm still on a BB as a main phone, but that doesn't matter. As most people I know are on other platforms, I've switched to WhatsApp. So if I as a BB user don't use BBM anymore, no chance others on different phones will.

      • Leonardo Farage Freitas

        I agree with you.. so many other plataforms have all the features. I think BB lost it's chance when they had it.

    • maverick

      To all the idiots whining all over the the internet using the same cliche "This might have been a nice feature a few years ago", don't live in self denial and learn to accept things that are worthwhile. Or atleast try to come up with something new when desperately trying to hate something while lacking any points to defend worthless things.

      I give you this:
      http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bbm-on-android-ios-versus-whatsapp-why-bbm-has-the-advantage/423227-11.html

      • Ryan Stewart

        LOL, I counter whatever that link is (it wouldn't load) with BB market share. Yeah, Im sure its a great app but there are tons of other great apps and most users are probably just content with their built in messaging options. So its not going to help blackberry that much.

        • maverick

          Using a company's market share as a source of comparison representing a product line involving mobile devices with a piece of software(messenger) is just naive.

          • Ryan Stewart

            Not really. The market share speaks to the legacy installed base. If it was large then there would be more value for those who are not part of that installed base.

            With a shrinking (or, frankly, marginalized) installed base then people are going to be less likely to think, "I need to install yet another messaging app."

  • Mayoo

    I want to give that app a chance and I am sure the app is great. But this brings yet another chat app. Couldn't just everyone move to hangouts like right now?

    Yeah in my dreams!

    • mesmorino

      Hangouts is distinctly subpar. What you want is an app with Whatsapp's functionality, plus Viber's voice calling feature, plus Skype or Tango's videocalling feature. I know people who would (and do) rather use freaking ChatOn than Hangouts.

      • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

        I kinda like Hangouts.. :(

        And most of my friends are now using it.

        • mesmorino

          Absolutely none of my friends are using it, and they all have two reasons why: Google plus integration, which none of them use, and the fact that all of those apps I mention surpass Hangouts in sheer functionality.

          I use viber to make FREE international calls, can Hangouts do that? I can send locations, pictures, music, videos,and voice messages with Whatsapp, can Hangouts do that?

          I don't mind Hangouts, I just don't see any use for it at all. For me it's in the same category as this BBM for Android app- A cool app, but not something I'd use- Except, my Dad and most of his friends are still on bbm so even that would make it use it more than Hangouts

          • ari_free

            Viber doesn't do video calls to phone. So while it's great that i can use my pc to make a video call, the recipient won't get it.

        • ProductFRED

          Yeah, but Whatsapp has more customization and overall is capable of sending more file formats. Plus it got a huge headstart is available on pretty much every platform (Android, iOS, WP7/8, Symbian, Bada, etc). I like Hangouts a lot, but it feels too bare.

          I think what people like about Whatsapp is that it's detached from any particular service provider. It's the same reason why Facebook is more popular than Google+. Not everyone uses Google+. You need a Google Account to use Google+, but anyone can sign up for a Facebook account. It's not affiliated with any ecosystem.

          • mesmorino

            Precisely! Skype is another good example, it actually got there before all of those other apps but again you need an account to use skype. That alone puts people off

          • Imparus

            the ads is what puts me off skype, I would like to just pay and get rid of them :-/

          • andy_o

            ads in the phone client? You just need to add some money to your account, unfortunately I think the minimum is $10 but you can have it for a very long time, don't know if it's indefinitely.

          • Tony

            Difficult to imagine an IM app that didn't need an account of some sort, so I don't know what the beef is there. All the current ones do.

          • mesmorino

            On the contrary, most of the current ones don't. Whatsapp, Viber and Tango only need your phone number.

            The reluctance to open yet another account is due to the number of accounts the average user already has. I have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Evernote, Dropbox, Skype. Even my email address is not just an email address now, it's a full blown gmail *account*.

            A simple chat client that's asking me to open an account with them is just asking to get ignored, much like Samsung's ChatOn

          • ari_free

            ah but what about the PC? I'd like to chat with someone from my PC to his phone.

          • ProductFRED

            I'd like that too. There are alternatives like Viber that allow that, however I prefer Whatsapp. As far as I know, BBM doesn't allow you to message someone from your PC either.

          • ari_free

            Well, that's why Hangouts looks like the best idea. When I'm by my PC I don't want to have to get out a phone for a videochat

          • mesmorino

            You can use Viber for that, and you still don't need an account.

          • ari_free

            Viber seems to work with anything. So it looks like a winner

          • mesmorino

            I don't understand... why would Viber need a smartphone? It's a chat client. Skype Phones have never made any sort of significant impact on the phone or communications industry.

            We need a Viber phone like we need a Facebook phone

          • ari_free

            videochat

          • mesmorino

            Agreed, but hey it's still beta

          • ari_free

            Anyone can get a google account. You don't have to convince people to think about paying for it.

          • Tony

            Whatsapp doesn't work on tablets, on desktops.. It s tied to your phone number and then only if whatsapp like your phone provider (I can't register.. Whatsapp won't let me because my relatively small provider isn't known to them).

            Hangouts is huge here.. It's starting to overtake fb messenger even (lots of people leaving fb recently).

            I know no blackberry users so bbm is of little interest. Might download it and have a play, then probably delete it.

          • wubWUBwub

            But anyone can sign up for a Google account, as well. I don't think your argument works well.

  • The Friend One

    And nobody cares,too little way too late. Must have made impact a few years ago. No competition to WhatsApp

    • ari_free

      whatsapp isn't free. I could pay for it but I don't want to bug everyone I know to pay for it just because I think they really really need it

      • mesmorino

        It's free for the first year. If they try it for that first year, and they don't like it, they can uninstall it and no harm done. I don't know of any other program like that, where you have a YEAR to try something out.

        And the asking price after this first year? £1. Meaning if they do like it, they only have to shell out £1 for another year. If that's not value for money, I don't know what is.

        • cheap

          "If that's not value for money, I don't know what is."

          Free.

          • mesmorino

            Don't be a smartass. Free, by definition, is NOT value for money, because it is free. The phrase "value for money" only applies to things that you pay for, which are by definition NOT free.

    • Sabin Bajracharya

      WhatsApp doesn't even have voice call nor it has video call. On top of that theres no Stickers, Sketch, Video search, image search(through the app itself), there is no extra fun thing as creating a meme( which BTW KIK lets you do it)!

      And every people on my contact list prefer Viber over Whatsapp any day!

      On side note, my whatsapp expiration date extended by 1 year automatically, it should expire on September 14 2013 but now its Sept 14 2014? (o)_O

      • The Friend One

        it's all person choice what people in ur list choses. but whatsapp is better in all the way and even we all frnds use viber but only for calling

  • Captain Canada

    I've tried every messenger there is, they all pale in comparison to BBM. If you think Whatsapp is good then you're terribly confused and have never used BBM. Pins aren't stupid, they are a huge feature. Read receipts are amazing. I hope they take over and with Samsung's backing they just might.

    • mesmorino

      The main reason everybody's saying Whatsapp is better is because it wasn't restricted to one stupid platform. Nobody gives a shit if your superduper ultramegacool chatting app is THE app to use, if it's not only stuck on one platform, but a dying platform that people are abandoning left and right. I've never used BBM. I would have been interested a year or two ago when Blackberry was something. However, all of those users have now come to my side of the fence.

      #Winning

      • Captain Canada

        Oh for sure, cross platform is probably the best feature a messaging app should have. I'm saying now that its going cross platform it should do well with or without USA penetration. It would just be cool if finally I could have all my friends on one platform in Canada and other countries thats a strong possibility. People can hate on Blackberry all they want but I know from talking to a lot of people that BBM is their fondest memory of the platform. I'm an android user but I don't know a single person that uses Hangouts but I do like iMessage for its seamless integration. I don't like that Whatsapp has access to my contacts and phone number.

        • mesmorino

          I completely agree. Except, I don't think simply being cross platform now is going to help much, it's a lot more nuanced than that. All of those users who left Blackberry are most likely in the middle of two year phone contracts. I myself upgrade next May. That means if I was interested in Blackberry, I'd have to wait 7 months before being able to switch.

          The diehard BB fans that switched for better hardware but still love Blackberry and BBM, well now they have no reason to switch, since BBM is now going cross platform. In short, the people who would want to switch are either locked into contracts for at least two years (assuming they started a contract this year), or have no reason to go back- They've had time to get to know and love their current platform, and now Blackberry just gave them icing on the cake.

          If anything, it might actually make people *leave* Blackberry, if BBM was the only thing keeping them there

          • Captain Canada

            I never talked about their hardware business I'm just talking about the app. I couldn't care less if people leave their phones for iOS or Android

  • spydie

    what's the point, really? with texting today, WHY? And who wants to be locked into having to make your family and friends get the same app so you can all use it? Texting works for everyone! It might have been cool 5 years or more ago, but today? Nobody gives a shit about BBM and most people with a phone today have never heard of it.

    • mesmorino

      Texting doesn't work if you travel, or if you're out of range of your home network. Or rather, it can get, does get, and is quite expensive, compared to hiking to the local Starbucks and using Whatsapp with their wifi signal.

      And you are sadly mistaken if you think most people with a phone today have never heard of BBM. What, do you think all those millions of users over the last decade just up and vanished into thin air? They may be older, they may be on different phones or different networks, but you better believe they are still there AND they still remember.

      Next you're going to say something stupid like "nobody's ever heard of the Nokia 3310"

  • NSCommon

    This is the epitome of "too little too late". I USED to have a relatively large number of friends and colleagues that were (at a personal or organizational level) late adopters of IOS and Android and still used BlackBerry devices. Even the earlier adopters had experience with (and missed) this tool on their new platforms. ALL of them have since moved on and BBM, which once set the standard for messaging, is now the ICQ of old.

  • César Augusto Ramírez Franco

    Why do I want this when there's Hangouts?

    • mesmorino

      Because Hangouts is a piece of shit loser app made by a company that's trying to get its fingers in too many pies at the same time, for no good reason.

      • Leonardo Farage Freitas

        I don't see why people hate Hangouts so much, I like the fact that I can talk with my friends, be it on the PC or the mobile. There is also Facebook Messenger, everybody hates it as well?

        • mesmorino

          The only people who like Facebook messenger are people who use Facebook to chat, for them it's pretty useful

          Me, I detest Hangouts, because it's just so ludicrous. First, I can't send ANY files. In 2013. Okay fine, lots of apps can't do that either.Second,i can hardly tell who's online. Like Wtf? Is it so hard to have a clear system of who's available to talk? Third, it is not clear on who has the service and who doesn't. Why?

          To make it worse, the app it replaced, Google talk, was actually pretty decent. Now we have this half assed app whose only saving grace is that it does video chat

          • Leonardo Farage Freitas

            Ok, have to agree with all of these points.. The missing feature of sending files is really bad indeed.. and the "see who is online" feature, never paid attention, but now that you mentioned it, sure is hard to check who is online..

          • mesmorino

            The thing is Hangouts could have been so much better, and everybody did expect it to be so much better. Something to rival WhatsApp, *at least*

            And after all the hype they created with that stupid babel name, this is what they came up with: a completely pointless mess.

          • kv

            Setting >> Application Manager >> hangout >> unistall updates.

            downgrade (or upgrade ?) to Google Talk ;)

  • elzafir

    All of you who say BBM for Android and iOS is "too little too late" are talking out your asses. WhatsApp, while good, is as bare as text messaging. It doesn't have ID (no username, no pin), which makes switching SIM cards difficult (people who travel abroad do this often). Also, there's no calendar sharing, no read receipt. For me, I rather use an app developed by an established company focused on messaging (BBM), rather than an app made an obscure Asian company (LINE and WeChat), or by a third party developer prone to be bought by a big company (WhatsApp), or an app owned by a company who can't even release the app on one of their phone (Skype on Lumia 610), or an afterthought of an app (Hangouts/GTalk/G+ Messenger/whatever. hell they can't even decide on the name).

    If BlackBerry could deliver a quality app with full functionality, then a lot of people would flock to download BBM. Which means corporations could finally have an alternative to company-issued BlackBerries for secure messaging and collaboration. And this will save companies A LOT of money, because they don't need to buy BlackBerries and could reinforce BYOD culture. For BlackBerry, a new wave of corporate users would mean revenue from licensing their BlackBerry Enterprise Services. This is also an exit scenario: sure, BlackBerry as a company may be worthless profit-wise, but now they have a USERBASE which they CAN SELL. Skype's userbase is the sole reason it worth $8bn Microsoft paid for it.

    • mesmorino

      I don't know what countries you've travelled to or what phones you've used, but whenever I travel and swap sim cards I can still use whatsapp and viber on my phone, using either wifi or the new sim card's data connection.

      Plus, your phone number IS your ID, and Whatsapp IS an established company focused on messaging. Obscurity has nothing to do with how good an an app (or even any product) is- Orkut is huge in Brazil and almost nowhere else. In fact the only reason I know about it is because I have a Brazilian friend. And this is a social network made by GOOGLE. But I digress. What i'm saying is, if Line, WeChat and whatever else was demonstrably better than whatever I'm using, I would switch. As for being bought... Well, Skype was bought and not much has changed there; being bought is not necessarily a bad or good thing. Sometimes it's just a thing.

      The reasoning behind people saying BBM is too little too late is because it IS, *if* the idea behind it is to rescue their hardware platform. If as you say the idea is to get a userbase then yeah sure they've got a chance or two

      • Leonardo Farage Freitas

        off: just updating, Orkut was huge in Brazil, 5~6 years ago..

      • elzafir

        Outside the US, where prepaid SIM card is huge deal, people often change phone numbers to get better deals. There's where using phone numbers as ID could be troublesome. That's why in Indonesia, where I'm from, people use BlackBerry due to their static ID, i.e. BB pin. This allows them to change SIM without having to announce their new
        number every time.

        I think BlackBerry's hardware business is doomed. They tried with BB OS 7 ans BB 10 to fight Android and iOS but it didnt work. BBM is the last thing they have going for them and releasing BBM for Android and iOS is the right thing to do to gain userbase and mindshare for the BlackBerry brand. They can generate revenue from licensing their BBM Exchange servers to companies.

        BBM is way, way better than any competing messanging app out there. Who ever said otherwise never used a BlackBerry before. This is coming from me, an avid Nexus 4 user.

        • elzafir

          I'm an oracle. WhatsApp was snapped by Facebook (although I didn't expect a social media website buying a messaging app).

          All in all, it strengthen my point. I foresee BlackBerry, or at least the BBM platform, being bought by Microsoft. Although, I might be pushing my clairvoyancy a bit here.

  • Ray

    Good on BB for giving it a shot but I really don't know anyone who is going to add yet another IM app to their phone.

    Between SMS, Hangouts, WhatsApp, KiK and then Facebook Messenger (shudders) - not to mention all the other ones, I really don't see BBM standing a chance.

  • ilker

    I can't find it on play store :/

  • dsaria

    It was fake news ithink, as its already up by 20 mins n still no official bbm on playstore or bb site

  • TylerChappell

    Wait, does anyone really even care about this? LOL

  • GAURAV PANDAV

    I just installed it and it worked and then i uninstalled it but when i reinstalled it it stucks on setting up BB account reply fast plz