22
Oct
jj

For many moons, Android users were crying out for a unified messaging solution, and Blackberry Messenger seemed like a good solution. As Android was starting to take off in late 2009, BlackBerry (at the time RIM) was already feeling pressure from the iPhone, so why not branch out and get users hooked on BBM? Perhaps management was in denial as the co-CEOs actively dismissed the clear trends in mobile around that time. It's taken all these years for the company to let its precious messaging service out of its Canadian cage. BBM is on Android at long last, but is it too late to matter?

Getting Started

Once you get the Golden Ticket email saying your place in the BBM ecosystem is ready, you can log into the app with your email and create an account. The signup process for BBM is a little more extensive than other services. You need to enter a birthdate, country, agree to several terms and conditions, and choose a password recovery question. After all that, you are graced with your own BBM PIN.

2013-10-21 19.27.33 2013-10-21 19.30.58 2013-10-21 19.58.03

A BBM PIN is like a username or an email address on other services, but it's only for BBM. Veteran users of BBM will be familiar with how this works, but it might be confusing for others. It's a strange scenario because you don't just add people to your contact list – you send an invite and the other party accepts it. Only then are they on your contact list. It's counterintuitive in today's world, but I can see how this is a more secure way to do things. I'm not sure that's terribly important, though.

BBM has a myriad of ways to invite people to chat. You can send an email, an SMS, enter the other person's PIN, or tap phones with NFC. There is also a neat QR code system where one of you can scan the other's code to link up. It's neat, but still somewhat confusing. Contacts are supposed to show up as soon as they've accepted the invite, but I've been having some problems with that. Sometimes they appear correctly, but other times I've had to restart the app to get the contact list to update.

2013-10-22 05.10.52 2013-10-21 19.33.27

Once you have someone to message, you'll probably notice that there is a persistent notification icon in the status bar. That stays there all the time and it's kind of annoying. There is a toggle in the settings to disable it with the caveat that Android might close the app in the background if you do. If your device has 2GB of RAM and you're not playing a heavy game, it should be fine. Still, this shouldn't be something you need to worry about.

Using BBM

The app is laid out unlike most Android apps, which is maybe why it's confusing to get around in. There are tabs at the bottom for different areas of the app, but there is also a navigation panel that can be pulled up on the left. Oddly, several of the options in the nav panel are the same as the tabs. I'm not sure why I need two ways to open my current chats in the same general area, but there it is. On the opposite side of what amounts of a slightly blocky action bar, is a menu button. This will open a list of actions based on the part of the app you're in. Again, this duplicates some functions and feels awkward.

2013-10-22 05.29.04 2013-10-21 20.47.27 2013-10-22 01.01.24

Note that some of the messages are arriving out of order

That bulky action bar also appears above the keyboard when you're in a message thread. It includes the send button, group chat, attachments, and the back button. Yet again, there is a menu button that opens a slide out menu with several of these functions needlessly duplicated. I really do not understand this waste of pixels. The action bar itself also takes up a ton of vertical space – it can be hidden while the keyboard is up with a setting toggle, but that's not terribly convenient.

One thing that's irking me is that I cannot find a way to exit the app. It is possible I'm missing it, but that simply means it's buried in a ridiculous spot. If you're logged in, that's it. People can message you in spite of your away message and there's no easy way to mute notifications. You have to go into the settings and shut them off entirely, then remember to reactivate them later. You can force close the app, but that's a crazy workaround for a feature that should be included. The app also lacks landscape mode and is only compatible with phones.

Messaging reliability has been a hit or miss so far. A few messages are arriving late for me, and some of mine are simply disappearing into the aether, never to be heard from again. Ideally, you're supposed to see an icon when each message is delivered, and another when it's read. It's cool when it works, which it has been increasingly the longer I use it. I also really appreciate the use of expandable notifications on Android. 

2013-10-22 14.54.32 2013-10-22 01.03.05 2013-10-22 19.51.58

Note the duplicated functions in the action bar and menu for no reason

I know the service is just rolling out to Android and iOS, so I'm tempted to say it's just a bumpy launch. However, BlackBerry had months to get this figured out. Technically, BlackBerry had years to get ready for this, if only it hadn't been in denial about where things were headed.

This Is All?

Blackberry played up the previous Android leak when it finally announced the resumed rollout – the company said it was incredible so many people wanted to use BBM. It's the same way with the first day downloads, which were in the millions. Frankly, I think this is either an intentional misreading of the situation or another example of BlackBerry being out of touch. People aren't clamoring for BBM anymore – there is nothing new for most users here. All those millions of downloads were just about curiosity – maybe even morbid curiosity. Witnessing the last gasp of a once dominant empire.

2013-10-21 20.01.02 2013-10-22 14.57.07 2013-10-22 19.37.33

BBM's features like read receipts, group messaging, and file sharing have since been duplicated reasonably well by more modern services. Additionally, there is no longer a massive contingent of Blackberry users in most regions to justify using this app – most of us simply don't know people who use BBM anymore. I am aware there are places where BlackBerry is still widely used, but I don't live there and can't really speak to that.

Perhaps the only feature BBM can still hang its hat on is security. BlackBerry is serious about that, but how many folks are using that as their first and only criteria when choosing a messaging service? I don't know, but I probably don't want to communicate with that kind of person for a variety of reasons.

After all the years of waiting, BBM is just another messaging app. Once the kinks are worked out I have no doubt it will be reliable, but it doesn't do anything special. Figure in the awkward app design and I can't see myself using this going forward with products like Hangouts and WhatsApp out there.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • silver_arrow

    The thing that gets me is do NOT have a massive back button that takes up a decent amount of space, hell ALL Android devices have a back button.

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

      It's because they ported the BB10 UI and didn't bother to customize it.

      • http://ignaciozippy.com/ Ignacio Zippy

        I call it “BlackBerry OS 10 Demo for Android”. And it works: now I know I wouldn’t like BB10’s UI.

        • http://papped.webatu.com papped

          You weren't going to buy a BB10 device anyways, so doesn't really matter.

          • http://ignaciozippy.com/ Ignacio Zippy

            LOL, exactly.

    • ATherling5011

      мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт...­ ­ViewMore------------------------------------------&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

      it has absolutely

      • Guest

        Hmmm... why did you copycat a previous comment ?

    • GregKorman

      BBM’s continued success is truly stunning
      bgr.com/2013/10/24/bbm-download-analysis-global-success/

      BlackBerry’s big surprise: BBM beats major messaging rivals in engagement
      bgr.com/2013/11/08/bbm-user-engagement-study/

      "People aren't clamoring for BBM anymore"
      - Ryan Whitwam, 2013

      "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
      - Ken Olsen, 1977

      "Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput.
      - Sir Alan Sugar, 2005

  • RitishOemraw

    I think it has a nice niche spot. Business contacts might want to use this over whatsapp. The pin system, the security, it plays in to business users, but for a whatsapp/hangouts replacement? No way.

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

      If it wasn't for the nature of google services forcing people onto hangouts, I don't think anybody would be using hangouts... It's pretty sparse feature wise compared to most other chat clients.

      • Kevin Turabian

        Sparse how? I can use it on my desktop, tablet, and phone. It let's me send pictures and files, I can video chat and soon voice chat. So I think you haven't used it recently ;)

        • http://papped.webatu.com papped

          Yes I haven't used it recently even though it has an icon sitting on my android homescreen and I use it daily.... Too bad it's still crap compared to WhatsApp.

          • Kevin Turabian

            Crap compared to WhatsApp? WhatsApp can call me when I can use it on more devices than just my phone.

          • ercliou

            I really hope whatsapp will run on multiple devices or die really quickly.
            I hate people messaging me on whatsapp when I am on my tablet or computer. There's a full keyboard for God's sake!!

          • http://papped.webatu.com papped

            Good luck on it dying really quickly...

          • Darkbotic

            I know your pain...

  • Darrien Glasser

    Might I add, the amount of picture compression that's done is insane. I thought Hangouts was bad, but my God. Send a 1MB picture, and it's compressed to 10kb. It comes out nearly worthless.

    • Jordan

      Long press the photo that you recieve and from the options pick request high resolution photo. It will request the sender to agree on sending a high resolution photo

      • Darrien Glasser

        Sweet, thanks.

    • makapav

      Hangouts compression is bad? It's 2MP, in very high quality.

    • Darkbotic

      That's one of the things I hate from BBM, Hangouts, WhatsApp and Viber...

  • George Av

    what are you talking about the past? i have more contacts on bbm now than i have on whatsapp! this app is designed for people like me and my age group (15-19) since 90% of my friends have a blackberry for BBM ONLY, i have ALOT of contacts now.

    • Big_Grams

      Where is this place? The blackberries I do see aren't with anyone close to being a teenager.

      • George Av

        UK, london, all my friends (15-16) HAVE A BLACKBERRY, it's the teens choice of phones.

        • makapav

          Send them a postcard to bring them into the future. Tweens still think the BB makes them look 'official'.

          • mesmorino

            Don't be snobbish, it's not like teens don't like good things or don't know their phones are out of date- The reality is that most of them simply cannot afford the newer devices, it has VERY little to do with looking or being official.

            The average teen would rather spend money on cinema tickets to impress a date than faff about with the latest and greatest phone, especially when their blackberry does everything they want

        • Big_Grams

          Really!? Over the the iPhone or Galaxy!? I tip my hat to you and your friends.

          • George Av

            actually i use an s3, i'm in the future, and my friends in the past, bbm is the bridge between them. whatsapp sucks balls btw.

          • mesmorino

            Even the low budget smartphones that Android enthusiasts turn their noses up at are often far out of reach of teenagers in general. The blackberries are affordable AND offer a communication system that is pretty decent- With this app, they can now communicate with android users using the same system.

        • Nick

          Lies.

        • ElfirBFG

          This isn't even the case in Waterloo. Most people have Galaxies and iPhones here.

    • Bluewall

      Shit are you the Doctor ? Not too affraid of the 2000 year's bug coming soon ? :p

      Kidding, where do you live ? it's like here, but 5 years ago.

    • tym0

      The only persons I know who have a blackberry is because they broke their phone and have to use their old phone.

  • Nitin Gaba

    I think if Blackberry can do it right and get the remainder of the updates they are promising (like BBM video and voice) out by the end of the year and they do a slight design overhaul to make it more in tune with other Android apps rather than it being the same as BB10 then it can put on a great fight against WhatsApp. Personally I like BBM better than WhatsApp because of the PIN and the fact that all my contacts cannot automatically message me. On a second note although they have hit over 10 million downloads I'm sure you are correct in saying many people only downloaded it out of curiosity (this is the same case for many of my friends) but many of my friends are now using it over WhatsApp while some are using both. If they can fix the sign up glitches they are having or now remove that pesky e-mail invite requirement which is still causing problems for many people I think the app will continue to strongly grow.

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

      Everything gets downloaded out of curiosity, but 10 million in a short window? It can't be only that... Most average users wouldn't even be looking for this app at all in the first place...

      • Matthew Fry

        Blackberry gets lots of coverage because the media likes to watch a car wreck just like everyone else.

  • didibus

    There are three kinds of communication apps right now. Those that are phone number based like whatsapp. Those that are PIN based like BBM. And those that are username based like Hangouts, Skype and Kik.

    I believe all three have pros and cons. In the world of the PIN's, I only know of BBM.

    What's awesome about PINs is that they are like a phone number. When you get a phone, you are assigned a phone number. A pin is the same concept, when you get BBM, you are assigned a PIN. This pin is in no way tied to your identity. You can give it to only the people you want to have it, and if it ever get's leaked, it has absolutely no info on you.

    What's the difference between username and pin?

    A username often infers some info about you. Generally, you have used it somewhere else. So someone might find you on facebook with it, or on androidpolice, or on reddit. You use it to login, so hackers already have half the info needed to get into your account. That's the advantage of a PIN to me.

    • makapav

      One correction, Hangouts is also pin-based should you chose to verify your cell number.

      • didibus

        That would not be pin based, that would be phone number based, like whatsapp. But you have a point, nothing is stopping one app from using all three types.

        • makapav

          Thanks for correcting my mistake. I intended to write phone number based not pin.

    • mesmorino

      The ideologies behind the apps also tend to be different. Whatsapp is really an IM app, but it manages to double as a messaging app because it uses your phone number, so you get the messages anyway.

      Viber also does more or less the same thing.

      Hangouts is a funny little app that can't decide if it wants to be an IM app (like BBM) or a messaging app (like Whatsapp/Viber), and manages to not do either particularly well.

      • someguy

        hopefully that will change when the new version comes out with the 4.4 update...if that ever happens

      • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

        Agreed with hangouts ... it kinda failed on both ... and the most important, no one using it (at least here). I kinda hope it will be the mainstream messaging / IM client on Android like BBM on Blackberry. No one

    • BaconEater

      BBM reminds me of ICQ.

    • pubmania

      "Messageme" app is Pin based too and has a very nice interface as well.

    • Frekko

      Its free on Android and iOS but meanwhile BlackBerry users still have to pay extra per month to get BBM on thier devices. Now thats funny

      • Daniel Rivers

        Not true since BB10, and 90% of the time this cost is swallowed up by carrier

        • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

          And how many percent of all BB users using BB10

          • http://booksforevangelism.org/ Net D.

            IKR?! My family uses BB phones and none of us have BB10.

    • Jimson

      Don't forget Facebook Messenger. Cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, WP8). And best of all, almost everyone has it.

      And no persistent notification in Android.

  • Keno Levers

    I wonder how much some company in India got paid to spam the review section with the same exact user review over and over and over and over. It's crazy sad.

    • RyanWhitwam

      I too am noticing that.

      • Andrés

        BTW I don't think any one security wise would use BBM since it's well known they have cooperated with governments for a long time.

        There actually was a scandal in France a couple of years ago because BB was banned from certain government positions exactly because of that.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      They probably used Mechanical Turk. This is a pretty blatant violation of the Play Store dev distribution agreement. Maybe someone should report them.

      • someguy

        I did and so should everybody else, this is pathetic

      • Andrés

        Just because of that I'm giving them a 1 star rating.

    • mesmorino

      Alright I'll bite: Why's it got to be a company in India?

      • Tarun Pemmaraju

        Names of the reviewers.

        • mesmorino

          That is circumstantial and thus inconclusive. Being called John Smith does not make you English or American, and similarly the names of the reviewers does not indicate a country of origin.

          • Averix

            When the entirety of the names are of a particular ethnic/regional variety and their number is greater than 60K, I think you can make an educated guess that either 1) the posts originate from that region or 2) someone is making it seem like they're originating from that region.

          • Tarun Pemmaraju

            Well, judging from the pictures of most of the reviewers and their names all being Indian in origin, we can either assume that it is a country in India that is paying these people, or a company that is deliberately using Indian names. I think it is not out of the ordinary to assume the former.

    • Ammy

      Hey, Its not always India you can blame on hideous spams....
      Just Indians work for less money doesnt means they are always spammers.

    • RMC

      There's only one country famous for these low-cost spamming services. I'm not naming it, but we all know. If BB believes they can fool us with these unoriginal reviews then God help it.

  • Yash Raj Chhabra

    bbm is just REDUNDANT , we already have so many better alternatives which don't require for us to go through so much hassle to get an account.

  • Michael Pahl

    Fake n gay.

    • ElJay

      I can see why it's fake, but can someone please tell me why this is gay? I obviously don't see it...

      • A

        It seems that the poster is either homophobic or labouring under the misapprehension that 'gay' is a derogatory term.

        • http://papped.webatu.com papped

          Even better is how many people on this site support using that derogatory crap....

          • stevegavrilles

            Perhaps he meant that the app likes other apps of the same sex.

          • RitishOemraw

            Seeing as apps don't have different/opposing genders, if the app is having some kind of intercourse with other apps it will likely be of the same 'gender' and thus validate his use of the term.

            That being said, he still has to prove that any rumble in the jungle is going on between BBM and other apps.

      • Michael Pahl

        its an expression often used on the internet. ever been to youtube?

        wow.

        • Matthew Fry

          Times, they are a changing.

          • Michael Pahl

            Lesson learned I suppose. lol

  • fredphoesh

    Whats the advantage over Hangouts? Hangouts can do video conferencing, and also can be used on any desktop computer... not limited to phones! IMO Hangouts is by far the best in it's class.

    • mesmorino

      Hangouts is far outclassed by Whatsapp, Viber, Skype and Tango, in that order.

      Even this BBM app manages to give Hangouts a decent run for its money, right out of the gate

      • http://papped.webatu.com papped

        Yep, pretty much everything outclasses hangouts. If it wasn't for the google services putting everyone on TalkHangouts, people wouldn't even be using it.

        • someguy

          I have high hopes for the update, but I'm not gonna hold my breath

        • Ray

          Opinions vary. Hangouts for me personally makes BBM look outdated and overall, just horrible.

          Pain in the rear end to sign up. Persistent notification icon. Can only be used on one device. Ridiculously large nav-bar at the bottom.

          There is nothing at all about this app that I actually like - except the colour scheme.

          I really don't see any point to this app at all. I installed, I saw, I uninstalled.

          • http://papped.webatu.com papped

            You can turn the notification off just like other apps (if you simply look in the settings). Only thing is the android system can potentially kill the app if you get low on memory, just like other apps.

          • andy_o

            But those other apps (whatsapp, Viber, Line, Kakao, etc.) use GCM to assure prompt delivery.

          • malikus

            huh? BBM didn't use GCM? what a shame

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        Seriously... let me state the fails for each^^

        Whatsapp... let me see stuff on my tablet/laptop please
        Skype... learn to deal with large group chats and syncing between my phone and laptop/tablet, seriously. MS has a huge chance to win the messaging war just by making the skype mobile clients so much better.

        Don't use the others though, but hangouts does a great job at those 2 things I stated^^

        • mesmorino

          So... Your main gripe with a *mobile* messaging app is that it's not available on pcs and tablets?

          And what you like most about a less fully featured app is that it is?

          Well, to each his own I guess. Hee, ask yourself: if whatsapp was available on pcs and tablets, would you still use Hangouts? That's the ONLY thing it's got going for it, and it's not a selling point for me as I typically do not send messages from my computer. And should I need to send a message while using my computer, my phone is always within reach.

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            yes, a messaging app should be available everywhere, because typing on a phone is a real pain compared to an actual keyboard.

            also, what's more "featured" about whatsapp? I obviously have overseen these features because I don't use them but still I'm intrigued.

          • mesmorino

            The biggest draw for me is being able to send map locations and audio files, as in actual songs. I also much prefer the actual messaging system, and you can send audio messages too.

            To contrast, in Hangouts just finding out which of my contacts is even using Hangouts is a pain in the ass, because it shows me people from Google+, people from gtalk, AND people in my phone contacts list. In addition, photo messaging is awkward and complicated, due to the integration with Google plus and Picasa, and already rubbish system that they still haven't sorted out.

            I open whatsapp, I create a group, I start chatting. I open Hangouts, first I have to find which contact actually uses it, then I have to figure out if someone is online, then I have to create a "hangout".

            Nothing about Hangouts is straightforward, at all

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            I'll agree on the map and audio files, I just remembered that they aren't in hangouts, /me waits for update

            On the point of finding out who uses hangouts, you can send it to all of them and they get the message in their respective place, if they use hangouts or not (assuming they have g+, gtalk, hangouts installed on their phone, or else I think an email gets sent).

            But I agree that hangouts needs work, a lot of it actually. But it's reliable which is something that whatsapp has only seemed to get the grip of in the last couple of months, before it was delaying messages left and right.

          • mesmorino

            See that's the thing, I don't want a Hangouts message to end up anywhere else except the recipient's phone- Either deliver it, or don't deliver it, and let me know if you can't reach the person: I can then go and convince them to download this superduper app (or not, as the case may be).

            But, Hangouts will send it to your google + profile/email address/computer (if you have the app installed). Now if it's someone that doesn't use Hangouts at all and in fact only has a google account so they can use the Play Store, that person gets a message like "Mesmorino sent you a message on Hangouts, log in now to see it", which reads exactly like those unsolicited email invitations you used to get when people would sign you up to their new fangled social networks (hi5, tagged, bossip, etc).

            If they're like me, they delete this email and never see the message. If they're not like me and they log in to see this message, they then have to create a whole new google + profile and suddenly receiving a simple message has turned into something else entirely.

            I don't think Hangouts is particularly bad, it's just that I think it's competition is doing much better in multiple categories: Even with something as simple as sending pictures, Hangouts manages to overcomplicate it- The picture goes to a whole album, which I then have to manage and set privacy options for and etc etc. With Whatsapp, I send a picture... Whatsapp server gets the picture... Whatsapp server forwards the picture to the recipient. Job done. Same with everything else it sends. With hangouts I don't know if this person's on a computer, on their phone, or if they're gonna get an email to what I think is a realtime chat

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            the photos thing is a bad example :P, of course it has to go to some sort of album because it is linked to the web and I want to manage the pictures from my pc aswell...

            I guess it's a matter of preference but I really want something that I can use across all my devices without a)looking terrible (fb-messenger on tablet) b) being reliable and not a "hacky" workaround (mightytext, I say hacky because I guess sms wasn't really made for this so there's wasted resources). c) not laggy (skype on mobile)

    • http://ignaciozippy.com/ Ignacio Zippy

      Phones, desktop PCs and tablets too. It seems to be the only one with tablet (Android and iPad) support, along with Facebook of course.

  • varunkb

    I was really excited for BBM's entry into Android..But, i have to say this - this app looks ancient, with its strangely gigantic boxes, and double bordered assets, and and non-coherent and downright confusing screens. not cool.
    There are apps out there that look and feel good & intuitive for a far lesser apk size. This one's 14mb!. And that persistent message is bad for the battery. I understand that they're not using gcm, but...what can i say. It sucks.
    I've grown tired of looking at whatsapp and its greenish action bar. Sure, it gets the job done, and the voice message feature is tremendously useful, but they've done very little to beautify the app in all these months and years. If they decide to do something worthwhile on that front, i have no qualms about using it. Hell, i don't even have to send anyone an invite fresh

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

      Most of what you are talking about is the BB10 UI and not specific to BBM (if you hate the BB10 UI that's fine, but a lot of people like it). You could just as easily make the same complaints about the WP homescreen...

      Also if you don't like the giant contact grid just change it to list.

      • AkhilSood

        Bb10 UI on android! Hell shall burst open! Duplicate function buttoms plague the app!
        I was excited about bbm, mainly coz i was an enthusiast in heydays of blackberry! But looking at this app, i am really starting to wonder who is doing the thinking for this company!

      • varunkb

        A whole lot of people are liking the BB10 UI on android?..I really don't think so.. having had a poll or two on that. Blackberry is trying to push the feel of the BB10 on to Android or iPhone, with its swipe out layouts and the sort and BBM is the the Trojan horse for that.

        Changing to grid is not what i'm cribbing about..at all. The look and feel of the app is fugly. In a day and age when seeing clean and smooth UI elements are the 'in' thing, BBM for android is jarring to look at. In any app ecosystem, you would expect to see apps that behave, perform and look as something native to that ecosystem. BBM is not doing that. That's all i'm sayin'. Perhaps some day they'll get to that, but the amount of time, hype and hoopla created around this thing, i think they should have done that now..as in, today.

        ..And, i have no idea why you are comparing this with the WP home screen. Microsoft made a conscientious decision in putting it there (and faced flak for it too). But, at the end of the day, its a change made within the confines of Windows by the makers of windows. It wasn't a third party application that gave Windows its home screen.

        On the other hand, if the windows marketplace (or whatever its called) has an app that takes UI elements from Android, instead of the tiles layout of windows,..there's a semantic i'm willing to accept

  • Gitanshu Sardana

    The app is a stupid html5 app running inside a webview.

    • Darkbotic

      Yeah! I knew it!
      Someone finally confirmed it!

    • Nosey

      Why is that stupid? Isn't that how most of the best apps are written these days?

      • Gitanshu Sardana

        Okay this is just my view. But html5 apps can no where match the performance of native apps. The html based facebook app was highly ridiculed by the community as it was sluggish. Also such apps show errors like html pages, would you really like to see a 404 page on your phone? This spoils user experience. I understand that this is a reasonable way to support all platforms at once, but at the cost of user experience.

  • Primalxconvoy

    "... there is a persistent notification icon in the status bar. That stays there all the time and it's kind of annoying...I cannot find a way to exit the app...The app also lacks landscape mode and is only compatible with phones... A few messages are arriving late...and some...are simply disappearing into the aether, never to be heard from again...The app is laid out unlike most Android apps, which is maybe why it's confusing to get around in..."

    This all reminds me of Skype (and to a lesser extent, Tango) on Android, which is why I've never used them as a messaging service.

    • mesmorino

      To be fair, in Skype's case you have to sign in- For you to stay signed in (and thus receive messages and calls), the app has to stay running. Not ideal, but it does explain why it's that way. It's a direct result of Skype's PC origins, and you'd think they would have switched call methods by now.

      • Primalxconvoy

        I understand and agree but due to negative reviews of battery drain and the notification hogging icon, I don't feel Skype is an everyday communication app but rather a "turn on to use occasionally on a Wifi connection and then turn off when finished" app. In other words, it's not really a mobile friendly application.

        That's why I use Line instead.

  • bikermunda

    I installed the app but now i am about to uninstall it because i am not using the BB10 OS and do not want to use the app that is made for it :)

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    Unfortunately my fears are not unfounded - because they want full control over the data - they aren't using GCM (Google's push notifications) and are instead using their own TCP connection back to their servers, this means the phone has to maintain yet another TCP stream and re-establish it every time the phone drops and re-connects the mobile signal. GCM exists so that the phone only has to look after one TCP connection direct to Google and all Push Notifications for every app comes down this single TCP stream. The arguments about privacy and security are crap - as RIM displayed during the London Riots when the police didn't even need to get a court order to gain (almost) realtime access the live conversations happening across the BBM network.

  • elchuby

    Thank you AndroidPolice team. Thank you so much. I was waiting for this review. Really great user friendly and well written. It's great!

  • Matthew Fry

    Thank you so much Android Police team. I was waiting this review. Its really great user friendly and smooth.

    • Jose Arce

      I see what you did there, Indonesia? lol

  • Vlad

    managed its strategy and fell behind the times.

    Having said that, most of the reviews take the easy way out and kick the company while it's down. This article is no different.

    The author bashes blackberry for effectively managing the role of the messaging app to avoid system crashes. This is not much different then how most companies like Google, HTC, Samsung and others progressively roll out updates.He also diminishes the importance of security But I will stop there.

    There is nothing spectacular about this bbm app but judging by the downloads, obviously meets a need .

    BBM is still very big outside the USA and for people who know people using Blackberry phones, this BBM app is the only app that allows you to communicate across platforms without requiring both users to have the same app installed.

    Also BBM is the top free app on IOS.

    • xBURK

      Well said. I just found it amazing to chat with friends and family around the world today on their Androids through BBM. Yes, the experience is trimmed down from bb10 version, but things are in the works for BBM cross platform. BBM Channels will something to watch for. That is the reason BlackBerry decided to go cross platform to begin with.

  • xBURK

    I'm visiting here from Crackberry. I understand that BBM looks a bit different and for obvious reasons performs differently on Apple and Android. I think some of you have to remember that this is the very basic version. I'm hoping that as updates become available and kinks are worked out, it will impress. Video and Voice calls on BlackBerry 10 are simply amazing. Even though it's Nice to visit this Android site, I think the review should have been done after fully learning how to use the app. It's not fair to android users.

  • Rizki S.

    Well the interface was pretty unexpected to me, I hoped BBm team made improvements...not. So I'll trapped with this app for eternal, because Indonesian (well most of us) stills use BBM, and I really need this.

    • warp

      I have used BBM over the last 2 days on my Nexus 4 and its push notifications are miles ahead of Google. The message is delivered with predictability. With Google's push notifications, there is total inconsistency. Sometimes I do not receive my Gmail for hours, at other times, its almost instantaneously, it varies if I am on wifi or cellular, so I think Blackberry's decision to rely on its own servers for BBM is a smart move.

  • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

    Yeah, it's a bit disappointing. And so far, I just have 3 contacts--all of whom also have WhatsApp. Additionally, it keeps turning off some of the settings (e.g., time and location keeps getting reverted to off even though I've turned it on numerous times).

    Well, maybe someone will buy BlackBerry for the patents and BBM integration...

  • Lexster

    My problem is these apps aren't universal. There's nothing that lets you combine these together, like Trillian does for Instant Messaging systems. I don't want to have to have a whole bunch of different messaging apps all at the same time and have to remember which of my friends use which messaging app.

  • minnie

    I can't see my pictures on bbm and no one can see my picture either... help?

  • Jonas

    HI, "One thing that's irking me is that I cannot find a way to exit the app. It is possible I'm missing it, but that simply means it's buried in a ridiculous spot. " Any one knows?

  • Wirginia

    why i cant change my display picture? anyone can help me?

  • Greg

    Is there a way of turning off read and delivered notification, when i had a blackberry i was able to do it but i cant find it in my settings on my S4

  • PauL

    What no one said is that BBM messages are encrypted while no other IM app do that. :)

  • Amanda Jane McGuire-Jones

    I will be honest l did download BBM to see if it had improved any. Last time l used it was just over a year ago. I got to behonest here.. I still prefer what's app & Viber more than BBM - all me friends and family are on What's app & Viber. I added a friend from Facebook - with 10 minutes - I wanted to delete BBM. What's annoying is these stupid pointless chain & Broadcasting messages. Also you get people asking to add their mates.. Even tho u don't have a clue who they are... Also if you don't reply or you are busy people keep pinging u.. It's annoying. I have asked so many times for people not to bother coz l just delete them. Nothing's improved with BBM it's the same old crap. People have moved on. BBM is like that fond little fad that was once the big hype. Most iPhone & Android users never wanted BBM. Most of us ex - blackberry users BBM was a big part to why we all ditched our blackberry phones in the 1st place . The only redeeming feature is we get to keep our numbers private.. But BBM - Viber - What's App - kik - we chat are not the only messaging apps. But BBM isn't the only Messaging app that uses pins - there's : Live Profile, PeeeM , ping chat, Etc. There's that Many on the market. Being honest always thought BBM was overrated for what it is and still is.

    I admit l am no blackberry fan - why coz l nothing but problems & issues with them & had so much bad luck over the years. BBM was one of the reasons l left them in the 1st place. It's great if you like blackberry and all you're friends are on BBM - fair play - each to their own.

    It's very clear blackberry are desperate their close to joining the titanic. Why now ?? - it's just seen as a desperate cry for help. Yet it wasn't long ago BlackBerry's CEO - Heins was slagging Apple & Android of to the Media. If BlackBerry was doing well l doubt BBM would Of crossed over to iOS & Android. BlackBerry the company knows it's game over... But being honest -

    Was reading bout apples former CEO wants to save BlackBerry all he can.

    Both me & my husband think that apple will buy blackberry coz apple have always admired blackberry and that's why most of blackberrys apps are crossing over to iOS & Android. I would not be supprized if we hear Apple have saved blackberry.

    I think Apple & BlackBerry should team up like Nokia and windows

  • joline90

    Recently I was extremely low on money and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet! I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I've been far more able to pay my bills!! I'm so glad, I did this! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. - jb3x

  • michael fernandis

    Bluestacks amazing tool with help of that andriod app can run on computer .
    blustacks have all leading app such as whats app& many game such as temple run ,clash of clans , deer hunter .