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Blackberry Android Communications IOS

BBM Coming To iOS and Android 146

grub writes writes with news that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has announced that BBM (BlackBerry Messenger, one of the favorite features of BlackBerry device-owners) will soon be coming to rival mobile operating systems. Devices running iOS 6 and Android ICS or later will be supported, pending approval with the App Store and Google Play. "BBM uses carrier data networks to pass secure messages back and forth through its servers to other BlackBerry users. The service recently gained the ability to make phone calls, conduct video chats and even share screen tops with other BBM users (requires BlackBerry 10). Normal chat and group chats will be the first features to hit the Android and iOS BBM apps, followed by the others (including voice and video) during the course of the year. BBM for Android and iOS will be free." The company also unveiled a new smartphone today: the Q5. It's a budget device intended for emerging markets.
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BBM Coming To iOS and Android

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  • So? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by alen ( 225700 )

    is it supposed to make me buy a new blackberry?

    • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by coinreturn ( 617535 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @02:23PM (#43722701)
      No, it's supposed to make you say, "Thank goodness, now I don't have to buy a Blackberry, but I can still chat with the people stuck with them."
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't feel stuck with my BB10 device at all. It's far better than my last phone, an Android piece of junk that lagged with a horrible, clunky UI and needed to be put on the charger three times a day. It makes the iPhone look like a toy.

        Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

        • ^ This. Just switched to a BB. Not going to say it doesn't need improving, but I'm far happier with my phone than I was with my iPhone or Droid.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Who the hell cares? I have a BB10 device for work a Galaxy s3 as my personal phone. Either will do whatever I want, when I want. They are only toys if you use as them as toys.

          My wife has a work issued iPhone 4s. It also does anything and everything she wants.

      • I've been able to chat with people with BBs for years now. We all use something called XMPP. SMSs work fine as well.
        Honestly, only BB users loves BBM so much. Users of other OS's don't care much for it.

    • by MouseR ( 3264 )

      No, its suppose to secure the BES server market which makes them more money than their phone.

      • Which, if they were smart, they would have offered 3 years ago before competing devices started adding competitive features.
  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @02:23PM (#43722703)
    It was inevitable, BBM was too important to fade away with the handset business. I wonder if this had anything to do with approving iOS and Android for use by certain governmental agencies (DoD, etc).
    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @02:47PM (#43722967) Homepage

      It was inevitable, BBM was too important to fade away with the handset business

      So, I'll admit my ignorance up front before I ask ... why was it too important?

      It's basically a proprietary version of SMS isn't it? And as I recall they've bent over for the Indian government and probably others to allow a MITM-type interception, and have probably done it for others now that they've set the precedent.

      So, what benefit is there to me as someone with an Android phone to be able to use BBM? Does it actually get me something extra that I don't have now?

      This seems more like a desperate attempt to make one of their few distinguishing features available to others, but I'm just not sure of what the benefit of that feature is for most people.

      • It was inevitable, BBM was too important to fade away with the handset business

        So, I'll admit my ignorance up front before I ask ... why was it too important?

        Its important to its existing base of users, they want to continue using it.

      • They gave India what every other government gets: consumer messages when proper legal channels are followed. This isn't new or surprising, it's required by law. Every messaging platform provides it.

        They have not and cannot give access to business messages because they do not own the keys that businesses use to encrypt their data within BES. So if you're using bes for BBM, you're still safe.

        If you aren't, you were never safe from a subpoena. If there is no subpoena your data is not interceptable even

        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          Which is why i run my own XMPP server... Some trusted friends have accounts on my server, while others run their own individual servers.
          That way i only need to trust the person i'm talking to (which is implicit anyway), and not a third party.

      • by glop ( 181086 )

        BBM is a very widely used online service a bit like Google Talk, Twitter etc.
        Since Twitter is currently valued at around 20 billion and RIM/Blackberry at 7.7 billion dollars, salvaging the BBM service is probably smart.

        That said, they should have done this years ago as it was pretty obvious:
        - BBM was everywhere
        - it was desirable (reasonably easy and lets you reach many people easily, no per message charge)
        - iPhones and Androids were starting to be everywhere too and make BBM less desirable

        So this is most li

    • BBM was too important to fade away with the handset business.

      You say that like BB is still relevant. The sales figures are questionable [theregister.co.uk] and hinge largely on Blackberry's word which, by means of a flailing company, is basically hearsay. It would be interesting to submit a slashdot poll about BB's Z10 and who actually bought one..

  • Excellent! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Radagast ( 2416 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @02:27PM (#43722745) Homepage

    Now I can use this supremely user-friendly chat system that assigns me a random 8-digit hex string as an ID on my iPhone!

  • It was only inevitable, now that the company has come to its senses "Whatsapp" and Apple's "Messages" might hit hard, can't say in terms of sales for respective brand's devices though.
  • The service recently gained the ability to make phone calls, conduct video chats and even share screen tops with other BBM users

    So this new service will allow me to make phone calls. With my phone.

    So what does this do that I can't already do with Android or iPhone? I mean other than share screen tops. I don't I can do that with my current phone, as I have no idea what that is.

    But send messages, send pictures, make phone calls. Things I already do, and I've never owned a Blackberry or used BBM.

    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      You can message your friends who have Blackberries.

      Just as WhatsApp enabled (free, non-SMS) cross communication between iOS and Android, now RIM has realised that they need to get in on that if they have any hope of keeping their existing users, let alone tempt any new users to BB devices.

      • Just as WhatsApp enabled (free, non-SMS) cross communication between iOS and Android

        And by free, you mean "with huge [cnet.com] privacy [www.cbc.ca] implications [wired.co.uk]", right?

      • by mcmonkey ( 96054 )

        You can message your friends who have Blackberries.

        Please be patient with me. I'm old (over 40) and there are kids on my lawn.

        Could I not send text (SMS) messages to Blackberry users previously? I read the wikipedia entry on BBM, and I'm honestly stuggling with what this gives me (from the viewpoint of an Android, iOS, OR Blackberry user).

        Text messages (to a person or group); send pictures; make phone calls. Voicenotes? Is that different than voice mail?

        Send music files. That's the only thing on the feature list that jumps out at me as something I can't

        • It'll send text messages, voice, video chat, etc. over your data plan to any other BBM user. That way it burns through your data allotment rather than your voice/text allotment.

          It'll be particularly handy if you have, say, a 3G tablet that doesn't do voice, or if you have access to a cheap data plan but your voice calls and texts are relatively expensive.

        • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

          If you're charged for SMS messages rather than having a monthly allotment, services like iOS Messages/WhatsApp/BBM really help since they use your data allowance rather than being specific things the telco can bill you for.

          For me, iOS Messages allows me to send text messages, pictures, videos etc to my friends in the USA (I;m in the UK) for free - all it is is data, which I have a ton of (infinite if I'm on wifi), whereas my carrier charges 10-25p for international SMS and picture messages.

          RIM's BBM service

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          Close your eyes and imagine its around 13 years ago. There are no smart phones and no SMS services. You have a magic device called a Blackberry that sends and recieves email.

          You keep using this device for a while and it develops the ability to send short messages to other Blackberry users. You keep using this service, even as others get SMS and smartphones and the capability of BBM is essentially duplicated.

          The only "advantage" this provides is a touchstone to long-time Blackberry users who don't unde

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Doesn't email qualify as (free, non-SMS) cross communication between iOS and Android (and virtually any other device)?

        • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

          Yes, but it's never really taken off as a substitute for SMS like these apps have. They're structured much more like instant messaging clients rather than email programs, even if the result is ultimately the same, it's all about the interface.

    • Well, I imagine it allows you to do it with anyone using BBM, which would now include all Blackberry, iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch, and Android. That's at least more than iMessages on iOS does. I'm not tied into the Android ecosystem enough to know if there is an equivalent there, and if it is cross-platform or not.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    According to the article this phone will not be available in North America. That's a shame, the Q5 looks to match my preferences. It's got a physical keyboard, it has the new BB10 operating system and it's less expensive than the Q10. Sounds perfect for me.... shame it won't be offered where I live.

    • "Emerging markets" is a codeword for "poor countries that can't afford our current devices."

      If you live in the US they want you to buy the Q10, as it is more profitable for them. In other countries where very few to no one can afford the Q10, at least they'll make some money with the Q5.

  • They'll make their money off the back end servers.

  • They still have to finish BB10 for playbooks, they still have many bugs to solve on the Z10 and Q5, so why are they planning a new software project, get the old stuff finished, then start a new project. Blackberry takes all the ideals of Agile development and talks a big game but never delivers.
  • To have all my activity, my searches for sideboob, my stops at the paraphernalia shop, all automatically reported to all the contacts on my phone [bbc.co.uk]. It will be better than Facebook!
  • They should of done this ages ago, now they are on a burning platform and they can't escape.
  • Therefore: lololol BB fail!
  • Finally, I'll be able to even share screen tops, so all those screen bottoms won't be lonely anymore!
    Maybe the next version of BBM will let us share screen lefts, rights, fronts, and/or backs!
    They're really creating a whole new market here. Most understated tech development of 2013, mark my words!
    Wait, what?
    • Tech companies are terrible at naming things, see FaceBook's "Chat Heads". I'm sure a "screen top" is an equivalent to sharing your desktop, except that you don't have a desktop on a tablet / phone, so they had to come up with something relevant, yet familiar.

      They failed.

  • I think RIM is seeing the success of WhatsApp and wants a piece of that pie.

    They already have the infrastructure in place and only need to code client software. In the future they could charge users on non-Blackberry platforms a small subscription fee.

    WhatsApp charges $1 a year. It's negligible, but when multiplied by hundreds of millions of users? Not so negligible anymore!

    • In the future they could charge users on non-Blackberry platforms a small subscription fee.

      And they could watch their user base disappear. The only appeal that this has for me is cross-platform support for read receipts of MMS. I already get that with 85% of the messaging I do through iMessage, this would add the people I know that have Android.

      I don't care enough to pay for that though.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert@slashdot.fi ... NBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @04:52PM (#43724575) Homepage

    There are far too many proprietary im services out there...

    Email was great, there are many different email services, and they all interoperate...
    The telephone is great too, there are many different telcos and they all interoperate.

    But since then...
    First we had IRC, all these disparate unconnected networks but at least you could still use a client of your choice.

    Then we got instant messaging... ICQ, AIM, Yahoo etc, all unconnected and each with its own client. Multi protocol IM clients made this slightly less intolerable but still, you need a bunch of accounts to talk to different people and you end up having to sign up new accounts because one friend of yours happens to use a service you haven't used before.

    And today it just gets worse and worse, services are increasingly proprietary and there are more and more of them every week. It's absolute madness!

    • by loconet ( 415875 )

      Thank you. I thought I was alone in thinking that the world had gone absolutely crazy with the amount of messaging services out there.

    • Email was great, there are many different email services, and they all interoperate...

      Yeah, tell that to AOL, Delphi, CompuServe, etc. Don't you remember when they had Internet *gateways* to interchange their proprietary with the Internet (mail standard)? It wasn't there instantly, and certainly wasn't pretty.

      The telephone is great too, there are many different telcos and they all interoperate.

      There initially were different phone companies, with multiple lines running down the streets.

    • Ever heard of XMPP? It's an IEEE standard, and Google Talk is just another federated XMPP server.
      It descentalized just like email.
      Set up your own xmpp server, tell your friends to use it, add you gtalk friends so you don't loose contact, and contribute to making propietary IM dissapear now! ;)

  • As Rene Ritchie points out, [imore.com] "every single one of Apple's major mobile competitors now makes apps for iOS."

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      I'm not really sure that's interesting or new. All it confirms is what we already knew- that all other companies believe in cross platform interop to some degree is better whereas Apple still believes only in platform lock-in.

      Google, Microsoft, Blackberry et. al. have simply decided there's more value in letting people use their products and services whatever platform they choose, whilst Apple has simply decided to keep all it's products and services Apple only in the hope that that will keep customers loya

  • 1) I wonder why RIM would take one of the things people like about their platform and give it away free to competing platforms? It's not like BBM is a wasteland with no existing users.

    2) If only Apple would open up iMessage, then this would be a real story. I can only dream of the day when I can iMessage from a PC using Pidgin.
  • I bet that once the MDM code for the BES10 Secure Work Spaces got done to talk to the SRP infrastructure, 90pc of the work to make BBM work on those platforms was done too.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers