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BBM for Android is officially out. We reviewed it. And while it looks like there's a little bit of fishy business going on with ratings and reviews of the app in the Play Store, the number of downloads obviously isn't all fake - there's substantial interest in this app. But from who? BBM as a platform has been the exclusive privilege of BlackBerry owners since its public introduction in 2006, and it has never featured interoperability with any other IM service. Until last week, the audience for BBM was shrinking on a daily basis, as BlackBerry continues its rather lamentable death spiral into irrelevance with every quarterly earnings call.

So, are you using BBM? For what? With who? We're curious. Vote in the poll below, and expand on your answer in the comments.

BBM: are you using it?

View Results

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David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • firesoul453

    Took a fews days to get in but then I realized I have no friends using it.

  • John Smith

    no. i refuse to install buggy french canadian software on my phone.

    • Owen Finn

      Seeing as RIM/Blackberry is in mainly-English-speaking Waterloo, Ontario... you're the one that's buggy.

      • John Smith

        canucks don't have the smarts or the talent to compete with Silicon Valley.

        • ltredbeard

          you are an idiot

        • Fob Watch

          Exactly, and the fact that Blackberry dominated the global phone market for years is totally irrelevant.

          • John Smith

            BB was a glorified pager company that got lucky for a few years doing simple email. they never did anything good but email. when they finally had to compete in smartphones they failed. canucks are nice people but they are no match for the best and brightest at Google and Apple.

          • gmaninvan

            Your ignorance just keeps growing. The "best and brightest at Google and Apple" includes Canadians, Indians, Japanese, South Americans, Europeans etc.

            The big tech companies want the best of the best. They couldn't give a crap where you are from. For you to assume they are all American has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever read in these articles.

          • Joshua

            Dude, it's been pretty obvious from the get-go that this guy's just a troll. Generic name on a guest account while making obviously derogatory comments, but comments made with remarkably decent grammar and spelling (by Internet standards)? What else could he be?

            And if--by some miracle--he's not a troll, then he's an idiot and not worth the time to talk to. Don't continue your conversation--the original comment was just bait, and you fell for it completely.

          • gmaninvan

            Fair enough. I guess I can't for the life of me understand why someone would post derogatory comments just for the sake of attention. I tend to go on these blogs for the purpose of discussion.

          • Joshua

            I don't get it either, but then again, people are weird.

            Just think: someone actually went through the thought process of "I think it would be a good idea to make a fake name, go on a tech blog site, and post comments that make me look like a dumbass in order to try to get people to respond to me." It's oddly surreal to think that at least one human on this planet thinks that's a good way to spend time.

          • John Smith

            that's my point. Apple and Google and Silicon Valley attract the best and brightest from around the WORLD. the best and brightest in the world come to Silicon Valley - not waterloo.

          • gmaninvan

            I still think that is narrow minded to say. There are some very talented people working in Waterloo. You can knock blackberry for being late to the game and falling behind as a company but their designers and programmers are top notch. That is why Motorola and Apple, among others, are already preparing to poach RIM's talent if they break up the company.

            For all of Blackberry's faults, Blackberry 10 is actually a really nice OS. They just don't have the ecosystem. The Z10 is actually a nice device as well. It really is a shame because I think that BB10 would have done well if they didn't take so long with it.

          • John Smith

            BB is staffed by a bunch of 50-something inbred engineers from Southern Ontario. not exactly the cream of the crop from around the world.

            BB has a co-op program with the University of Waterloo, which is right next door. Engineering students basically do an internship there and then get hired right out of college. The problem is, they're getting all of their new engineering talent from one school. Not very diverse, is it? Combine that with stuffy old canadian engineers, and you wind up with one antiquated boring product line because nobody sees anything wrong. it's incestual.

          • Cerberus_tm

            Are a Canadian trying to reinforce people's stereotype of an American in order to make Canada look good?

        • gmaninvan

          You are a total moron and I don't say things like that often on these boards.

          You do realize that there are thousands of Canadians working in silicon valley right? Or how about that there are a ton of Americans working in Waterloo?

          How about the fact that Canadian education consistently ranks higher in global rankings than their american counterparts.

          Google, for example, employs coders and designers from all over the world. One of the biggest suppliers of that talent is India.

          Keep your ignorant comments to yourself.

          • fabulosospucas

            Please stop feeding it.

  • briankariu

    I have whatsapp, which pulls all my contacts from my contact list. Trying to tell someone that you have to send them a pin to use the same service together is.....tedious

  • Rohan J Singh

    Its more secure than WhatsApp in terms of who can message you, also more ppl r on bbm than hangout so even though hangout is better there aren't many people using it as a dailymessenger in india

    • John Smith

      thank you Mr. Singh. do you by chance know Mr. Patel and Mr. Gupta?

      • hammerhead23

        any reason why you felt the need to post that? do you think you're funny?

      • Crack Obama

        Wait, aren't you Joe Smiths younger brother John?

        • John Smith

          no but i do know Mr. Jones, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Johnson.

      • Nevi_me

        I wanted to downvote, but darn I can't stop laughing at that, no matter how "wrong" it might be.

        You must be South African, the Gupta name is quite the controversial one here :)

      • M1

        Racist people of your kind should be jailed. You think you're superior in any single way? I'm sure you're inferior, talking about brains.

      • Rohan J Singh

        i can only laugh at you lol

    • gmaninvan

      I actually have a fair amount of friends on hangouts now. I can't see why the return of BBM is blowing up my facebook page right now with everyone announcing their pins, it is tied to one device and not nearly as nice as hangouts.

      • Rohan J Singh

        its herd mentality i guess, people just want to use what is more cool lol

      • didibus

        I don't like the amount of information that Hangout shares to my contacts about me.

        • gmaninvan

          Hangouts actually only shares what you want it to. You just need to set up circle permissions on your profile page. You have full control over who sees what

          • didibus

            Not exactly, it shares my real name and profile picture to everyone.

          • gmaninvan

            Isn't that the idea? If I am chatting with someone, I generally want to know who I'm chatting with. It was never intended to be anonymous like disqus. Yes you have a BBM user name but I actually find that annoying as you can forget them then have to find people in your contacts list

          • didibus

            Well, maybe that's the idea of Hangouts, but that's the idea that makes me not like to use it. I do sometimes want to chat with people anonymously. People I meet online for example.

            With Hangouts and Google+, someone only needs my email to know my name, sometimes I don't want that.

          • gmaninvan

            I get that. I guess we are viewing different use cases

          • didibus

            Yea, I just wanted to point out that BBM does serve different use cases, which might be why it's blowing up on your facebook page, not everyone might be pleased with the way Hangouts deals with things.

    • Tyrone Thomas

      This pretty much my situation right now. I love Hangouts but already I have more people on BBM in less than a week then in 5-6 months of having Hangouts. I think huge amount of people downloading BBM can be attributed the mass exodus of former BlackBerry users who moved on to Android or iOS coming back to the one thing about BlackBerry they wished they could have took with them. Sure the app has it's faults concerning the UI & notifications and needs to be able to work on multiple devices per user but it works otherwise and in many ways is already more secure than whatsapp. Not everyone likes contacts being automatically added which is where the PIN comes in as well.

  • Blendi Krasniqi

    I have been waiting for it. Its very user friendly and smooth.

    • Jorden Nading

      Here's another comment that's very similar to most of the reviews on the Play Store.

      • Gabernasher

        The shills are out in full force with downvotes.

      • mgamerz


  • Bluewall

    Yes ! it's so user friendly and smooth !!! Thank you so much BlackBerry !

    • Jorden Nading

      A comment similar to the Play Store review.

      • mark


      • Andrew Wood


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      • http://www.AndroidHogger.com/ Ravi Shankar

        Right :P

    • Mehmet Fatih

      Nice one :P

    • Trent Callahan

      People always beat me to it.

    • Cerberus_tm

      *cough* That's *team Blackberry* to you.

    • Wayne Tempel


  • jramirezw

    I'll admit, I was duped into downloading it. But then last week...
    Me: Robin, my fiancee: Batman.
    All is right in the universe again.

    • philnolan3d

      Who's this "we"?

      • ScratchC

        WE ... until hangouts gets sms added in

      • Hanoraga

        Android's diehard fan boys ;-) i think..

        • Cerberus_tm

          There aren't "100,000,000 - 500,000,000" Android fanbois (that's the number of Whatsapp downloads in the Play Store): those are regular Android users. And all my friends on Iphone also use Whatsapp. I don't know anyone who uses anything else except SMS. Perhaps this is different in others regions of the world (Europe here), but I don't think anything comes remotely close to Whatsapp. Not saying it is specifically good or anything, just ubiquitous.

        • http://www.AndroidHogger.com/ Ravi Shankar

          Exactly!! :)

      • Gabernasher

        Me: Robin, my fiancee: Batman.

        Reading comprehension is hard. In the picture there's 2 people, so we is at least Batman and Robin. Or just humanity in general.

        • Nreeldeep

          Grammar is apparently hard also.
          'There's' 2 people is incorrect as 2 connotates plural, so you'd either apply the seldom used 'there' re' or use 'there are.'

    • Maher Salti

      I totally agree with your fiancee :P

    • cooldoods

      I use WhatsApp personally and for group messaging at work. I think in the absence of BBM, WhatsApp was a great alternative. Now millions of people use it on iOS and Android. So that was a lost opportunity for BlackBerry, they should have made BBM cross-platform years ago.

      Personally, though, I think both WhatsApp and BBM are inferior to some other IM platforms for these reasons: (1) they don't have a web version, (2) you can't get your messages on more than one device, (3) you can't (easily) transfer your messages from one device to another.

      In terms of usage, I think FB Messenger is the best available right now. It is available on web and as an app on different platforms and you can even receive and reply to messages sent to you via your Facebook e-mail address. Group messaging is also possible and you can send any file, not just pictures. All it lacks is the easy sending of video and audio messages. The problem with FB Messenger is you have to add people to your social network to talk to them. If you're not online, you can only see your most recent messages on the app.

      Google Hangouts is also available on the web on top of Gmail, Google+, and Google Drive and is also cross-platform. You can talk to a group and also transition immediately to a video conferencing mode. However, you can only send pictures. You can start messaging immediately to anyone who has a Google account.

      Yahoo! Messenger is also available on the web on top of Yahoo! Mail and as an app and also provides video and audio calls aside from IM. You can send any file and also do stuff such as watch YouTube videos together in sync. You have to add people to your contacts and they have to confirm before you can talk to them. You can't view your previous messages if you aren't online.

      • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

        Agree pretty much, apart from the FB Messenger part. That app just outright SUCKS. Bad UI, super-iffy notifications, high memory usage, laggy POS. And I've used it on almost every high end device worth its salt. Facebook just cannot/will not make a good mobile app. Period. Its just one of those mysteries of life..

      • cooldoods

        I forgot to mention Viber, which now has a desktop app for Windows and Mac. I'd prefer it have a web version though, but a desktop app will probably let you browse through your archived messages even without a connection.

      • Rafael Eduardo Gomez Barrios

        I was using a lot WhatsApp, but then I moved to Viber because of the Voice communication and later the PC Client. To me, it's the best

      • Smoking&readingcommentsonAP,ah

        Well, whatsapp will stay on top because it uses phone numbers as it main medium. You don't have to sign up for an account like fb or Google. It's hard to believe but lot of people don't have a Google or Facebook account. But everybody's got a phone number since it's a necessity. So..

    • Joss7088


  • adi19956

    All of my friends on Facebook are setting their statuses to their new BBM PINs. I don't really talk to many people on it, but I have it nonetheless and use it sometimes.
    Southern England, UK and in college if geography and age make any difference here.

    • Cerberus_tm

      Haven't seen or heard anything at all here about BB, Continent/college. Neither or Facebook nor anywhere else.

      • adi19956

        I was merely saying that like with many things, the location of a party and their age might make a difference to usage. I further suggested that being across the pond from my American fellows and being in a younger age bracket than many might also make a difference to BBM's usage especially because BB died off slower here than in the US and even slower in my age bracket

  • Youri

    Use it to talk to my friends back in haiti, none of my freinds in the US have it though

  • Daniel A. Williams

    Installed it on my GNex, phone started running like garbage, uninstalled it, phone started acting right again. Well there's your answer.

    • John Smith

      yup. buggy french canadian software.

      • Matthew Merrick

        those wacky canadians.

    • Acill

      This was also my experience on my GE HTC One. I removed it and gained a lot of performance back. I also dont have anyone using it any longer so didnt have a reason to use it.

  • Colin Kealty

    I've been using it and have more people using it than hangouts, didn't even push it to anyone they just all decided to try it. I'll definitely be using it at least until hangouts gets SMS integration and pulls more people in

  • GhS88

    I find BBM to be faster, more secure and its Group feature is awesome, it won't surpass WhatsApp anytime soon, but it is an excellent alternative

  • fsdgasdg

    cba to ask my friends for their pins..

  • Dushyant_C


  • Jarl

    needs a 4th answer, "downloaded it, tried it and didn't like it, deleted it"

  • Christian T

    no ;)

  • GeeKLoRD

    Where is the " Why are people still stuck in '07? " option? :P

  • Jadephyre

    Nope, there are several better alternatives, and at least one of them also with encryption.
    Don't know if BBM offers that, but I would need everyone in my Phonebook who currently uses the alternatives to switch to BBM before I would even consider installing it. Which is highly unlikely to happen ;)

  • Agung Rizani

    only use it because in my country blackberry is still popular (not for long though)

  • Rudolph

    After installation I couldn't connect with anyone knew they had long transitioned to Whatsapp. I also found that it was killing my battery. I have now uninstalled the app.

  • Joshua

    I've been using Hangouts. I convinced many of my friends and family to switch to it, so I've already taken care of the people who account for 95% or so of my messaging. I don't think it's worth the effort of switching to another communication platform for no obvious advantage.

    • Cerberus_tm

      But can you message people who aren't on Android that way? Whatsapp is so popular because it works on all platforms...

      • Joshua

        Yeah, that's actually the point of Hangouts: that it isn't unique to Android. Google is trying to unify chat across all OSes and form factors. It's to be available on Android, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and on computers, phones, and tablets thereof. At least, that's how they announced it back at I/O.

        • Cerberus_tm

          Ah OK, I had no idea (I've never used it).

          • Joshua

            It works well. Personally, I recommend it. There are a lot of people who refuse to use it because they dislike the changes that occurred between Talk and Hangouts. I don't really care all that much, so that didn't affect me. My friends didn't care about the difference; just that this is a free thing that sends messages and that their techiest friend was recommending it, so it must be worth a look, lol. Mission accomplished.

          • Cerberus_tm

            Haha, I'm sure Hangouts works fine. It's just that everybody is already using Whatsapp, so neither I nor people I know have a reason to switch away from the universal platform. Besides, giving even more of your private data to Google...not that I expect Whatsapp to be any more ethical, but at least it's a different bogeyman.

          • Joshua

            Meh, if you have an Android device, Google already has access to anything it could get from Hangouts. Not really giving any more information so much as you are repeating any info you've already provided.

          • Cerberus_tm

            I wouldn't say that. Android is open source and separate from Google's applications. And you can block what they have access to through applications like Xprivacy. So Google has my e-mails and contacts (because I use Gmail), but not my text messages or call log or photos. I guess you could say e-mail is so comprehensive that adding text messages won't matter much any more...

  • GraveUypo

    why would i ever use it?

  • William Pickering

    Bulletin Board Messaging? I'm on xda almost every day!

  • Belizean Charms

    why bother.....i'm already using whatsapp, viber & facebook

  • CeluGeek

    BBM was the first app I uninstalled back when I was a BlackBerry user, so the choice is obvious. I haven't downloaded it nor I plan to. Hangouts handles my very limited instant messaging needs, since I'm not a big fan of IM in the first place.

  • a

    No interest whatsoever.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    So many votes on "Nope, I didn't even bother checking it out." yet there are so many downloads.

    • FrillArtist

      While there is an element of truth in the last part of your sentence, the AP sample size is very, very small in comparison the Android user population. Add the fact that the typical AP reader is usually up to date on tech trends and what not as opposed to the typical phone user who wants to use BBM because he has some friends on it.

    • Christopher Bement

      99% of people who downloaded it don't read or know about Android Police. Not every user is an enthusiast.

  • Idan Yael

    no one cares

  • Hanoraga

    Can't video call,huhh..?!!
    This app like old school im xaxaxaxa...

  • Gabernasher

    I feel like I should download it just to give it the 1star it deserves for buying 5 star reviews.

    • FrillArtist

      You'll just add to the download numbers.

  • Usman Nagi

    it's a bit shagged up for a release and should be put up as being Alpha... first there's the battery drain (phones goes down from 90 to 50 in under 4 hours IDLE!!) and then there's the buggy BBM connected notification area service...and finally the biggest problem! My friends don't use it. :S

  • PrDawg

    Next up. Pager 2.0. lol

  • Wibbinz

    I was waiting for BBM to finally arrive on Android. Glad it's finally here!

  • Martial Clausse

    I tried it.
    Then I remembered that none of my friends or colleagues actually have a BlackBerry or a BBM account.
    Uninstalled it.
    BlackBerry never had much market share here...

  • Ivan Shogi

    I'm using BBM now.
    As long as it's free, I'm planning to keep using it.

    Lot of my friends still using Blackberry here, so this is useful.
    also using Google Hangout, YM, Whatsapp, Kakao, and Wechat. Most my
    friends still use Whatsapp and Wechat on Nokia featurephone. Others use
    YM as backup when BBM failed.

    Personally, I like Hangout more because it has large selection of free
    emoticons. Sadly it only available on android & ios phone to date.

    strange thing I got when installing BBM was, I have to uninstall Google
    Hangout first, or else I will stuck in "Setting up BBM" screen. No

    So here's the story: I installed BBM last weekend, wait
    in line, and 4 hours later I got confirmation email. But after
    registration success, I stuck on that "Setting up BBM" screen. Reboot
    phone, install & reinstall BBM again, no effect, still stuck.

    But I see my Hangout notification always give error whenever those BBM
    group sync installed. So I thought maybe this BBM didn't like other
    messenger installed (LOL yeah). I uninstall Hangout first, reinstall BBM
    again, and it works! No longer stuck in "Setting up BBM" screen.

    After that I reinstall Google Hangout again and no issue with BBM. I
    don't know what happened but at least BBM working fine now on my phone.

  • Jose Marie Maquinay

    Being an IT and still having a lot of BBs in our company, it enables me to support my users using my Android device. I don't need to keep on switching devices.

  • Irinel Loghin

    Yes, I have downloaded it to travel back in time.

  • tintin.92

    I use BBM for literally one friend who has a Blackberry, so can't yse Hangouts and doesn't like whatsapp.

  • Zaatour36

    I like it, but it sucks battery badly on my note 2

  • FrillArtist

    Well, I used to have one friend who used BBM but she switched to iPhone over the summer and I can't be bothered to download it anyway.

  • mgamerz

    What happened to appbrain widget?

  • KONG!

    actualy there is no round YES in the answer. LOL.

    it was cool when it exclusive to BB user. but I'm using it now and starting to realize that the feature is so 2000 early..

    picture compression?!? this era? ohh please...

  • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

    I did download it and and I have been using it. But I'll admit, a major reason was to get back in touch with my uni mates who were on my BBM list a few years ago. I've lost touch with many after finishing in 2008. Got a few of them back (like 5 out of some 50), but, its largely a ghost town now. Almost everyone has moved to Whatsapp primarily.

  • z0phi3l

    Didn't use BBM the short time I had a BlackBerry, have even less reason to use it now, completely replaced by Hangouts in my house

  • Arpit

    WhatsApps is the best, and nothing else is needed. Even I dont know when was the last time i used hangout :)

  • jlninja

    Dumbest thing I've ever seen. Not the app, the people uusingit like its something new.

  • Tower72

    Well I wanted to give it a shot, but its so hard to get my contacts to go thru the whole process of setting this up, and moving away from SMS. Hell I even use Whatsapp with some of my contacts, but still. As great as it would be to ditch my SMS plan with AT&T (extra $20.00 a month for unlimited), I just cant seem to get enough people interested

  • Shel Sto

    Learn how to set and find cool BBM Animated Avatars at http://bbmanimated.blogspot.ca

  • Alex Gourenko

    You're missing "It's still incompatible with my devices/not available in your country" option...

  • Mike S.

    I want to try it out but I don't know anyone who wants to install it.

  • Bretton Key

    BBM is definitely a good IM contender that will mostly like get significant improvement as it grows more...what else they have to work on...sure as hell isn't phones!?

  • DaveDeutsch

    I am pretty sure that the waiting list was orchestrated to cause hype and to get people's email addresses. I have a hard time believing that their servers would really be overwhelmed by the release of this app.

    After signing up for the waiting list I started receiving irrelevant emails from Blackberry. The unsubscribe link took me to page that asked if I'm sure I wanted to unsubscribe from "marketing emails".

  • someone755

    What the heck am I supposed to do with a messenger by BlackBerry? Don't care what it does, or how it does it. I got good ol' SMS, MMS and for further sharing, Facebook and Twitter.

  • Robert

    Downloaded, installed, begged a friend to test it with me. After 5 minutes we both removed it from our devices.

    a) Too complicated to add someone
    b) To see emoticons one needs superman eyes. Never ever seen so small icons. Ever.
    c) Text size is insane tiny
    d) no options, no way to set up custom ring tones, etc.
    e: only images can be transfered, not even video nor other files.
    f) SLOW
    g) No end to end encryption

    Seriously, AIM in 1999 was way better then this crappy messenger.

  • Stalemate

    Being in a shop where BlackBerry still has a large footprint while BYOD slowly takes shape, having access to BBM is definitely a boon for users of any platform now.

  • Jaymoon

    Giving credit where credit is due... Once the ongoing notification is disabled, the app stays out of the way and doesn't suck up battery!

    ...Of course because I know absolutely nobody who uses it, I forgot it's been installed for a good week now.

  • Muffy

    I'm willing to give it a try, but it takes two to BBM. I posted a status on Facebook on Monday, asking anyone who had it and wanted to exchange messages to send me his/her PIN. Here it is, Friday, 4 days later and no one has indicated the slightest desire to experiment with it.

    • Jon Bon Jovi

      It's not worth to even try it, unfortunately. If you know the real BBM, do not even try the "clone".

  • Kelly Anderson

    oops... wrong app.

  • DiamondAvatar

    None of my family or friends own a BlackBerry or use the BBM app.

  • http://adumont.serveblog.net/ Alexandre Dumont

    Maybe BBM was ahead of it's time in 2006. It's definitely late in 2013. Yet another IM... Really who needs it? I didn't even bother to download and install it. Anyway who even owns a BB these days?

  • Brandon Williams

    I downloaded it and really want to use it but I dont know ANYONE that uses it!!.. :( I use to have BBM on my old 9700 and want to use it on my HTC Onw but like I said, NOTHING! smh.

  • patrickprudentt

    Recently I was REALLY low on cash 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! - fod4

  • http://www.AndroidHogger.com/ Ravi Shankar

    I didn't even bother installing it, facebook messenger, hangouts and whatsapp take too much of time :P

  • Michael Pahl

    This poll is so old it sat next to Jesus in 3rd Grade.