A messaging service is only useful so long as a certain amount of your contacts use it along with you. So we'll refrain from making jokes at BlackBerry's expense (not a small effort, mind you) or pointing you towards alternatives like Hangouts or WhatsApp. If you use BlackBerry Messenger, and your friends and/or associates do too, pointing out other options isn't going to do much for you. But here's something that will: BBM is getting Android Wear support!
Not now. Sometime in the near future. Exactly when we can't say, and neither can BlackBerry, because their CES press release on the topic only mentions a vague "early 2015" date. That could be any time between right now and the end of April, so prepare to wait a bit. And what will your patience win you? According to said PR, the Wear-enabling update will allow message notifications in full, which you can then dismiss or reply to via a voice input or a canned response. You'll even be able to accept or decline BBM invitations from your watch.
That covers pretty much all of the major points for Wear-enabled messaging, so well done BlackBerry. Now it's all done bar the waiting. While you're waiting, why not consider what a BlackBerry-branded Android Wear device (a BlackWeary, if you will) would look like in an alternate universe?
Or not. Damn, I almost made it through the entire post, too.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA--(Marketwired - Jan. 7, 2015) - 2015 International CES - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced at the 2015 International CES that BBM™ will be available on wearable technologies for a wide range of Android Wear™ smartwatches to enable BBM users to communicate faster and more discreetly on-the-go.
According to research firm Canalys1, annual smartwatch shipments are estimated to grow to more than 28 million units by 2015 and more than 60 million by 2017. BBM's large and engaged user base spends more than nine hours a week within the BBM application. Through Android smartwatches, this active BBM community will be able to access their BBM messages directly on their smartwatch without the need to reach for their smartphone.
"BlackBerry is committed to listening to our customers and integrating new features and partners to improve the BBM Chat experience," said Herman Li, Senior Vice President, BBM Engineering and Product Management, BlackBerry. "The integration of BBM to support wearable technology is just one way we're expanding the capabilities of our portfolio and delivering exciting options for customers to easily access BlackBerry's cross-platform technologies."
BBM for Android Wear will enable BBM users to seamlessly:
- Receive alerts on the watch when new BBM messages come in, see the sender and discreetly preview messages.
- Read BBM messages in their entirety, navigate among messages and dismiss notifications with a simple swipe.
- Respond to messages hands-free with Google Now or choose from pre-defined messages to quickly send a response.
- Accept BBM invites from the watch without the need to access their smartphone.
BBM for Android Wear will be supported by a wide variety of watches that support Android Wear, available from a range of manufacturers. With BBM installed on an Android smartphone, BBM for Android Wear features will become available on the watch automatically. Visitg.co/WearCheck on your Android smartphone to see if your phone is compatible for Android Wear.
BBM support for Google Android Wear Platform will be available in early 2015.