The International
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What’s up With BBM for Android and iPhone?

At first, the new BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for Android and iPhone was supposed to launch at the start of summer… then it moved to mid-summer… and then it is promised to be here by “the end of summer”. Now it is pinkie-promised for the end of September at the very latest. Or so we hope.

Why is this app so important? SmartPhone users have been waiting for something like this for years - after all, the main reason for buying a BlackBerry device was because of BBM, but not iPhone and Android fans were left out in the cold. Having BBM for iPhone or Android would greatly enhance their experience, giving them the freedom to use their favored device and still take advantage of one of the slickest messaging systems out there.

What will the new BBM for iPhone and Android cost?

No-one is quite certain how BlackBerry will make money. They could have alow purchase price, in-app advertising or even premium services within the app. Most expect a “token fee” - something ridiculously cheap, but still a price to pay.

Something to consider is how much BlackBerry sales will fall if their biggest selling point is suddenly available on Android and iPhone. This may be a reason for the app to cost more than just a token fee, if the company decides it needs to recoup their losses.

A fake BBM app fooled over 100,000 consumers

A fake “BBM for Android” app showed up on Google Play in early June, and was downloaded by over a hundred thousand users before it was pulled. The app simply showed a screen claiming the app would start to work on June 27th (the original date that BlackBerry had promised the launch) and of course never delivered.

The fake app was only successful because BlackBerry fell down on delivering their official app on time. With further delays continuing to pop up, we may see another fake app - so make sure you don’t download anything without verification that it is the real BBM app!

Alternatives to BBM for iPhone and Android

In May, Google launched a unified messaging service called Hangouts.  Not to be confused with the social feature on Google+, which only involved video chat,   Hangouts is a messaging app like Facebook Messenger but with way more features.  Hangouts was designed to replace Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and the original Google+ Hangout service; it’s a full service messenger comparable to BBM. It’s available for download on Android phones and iPhones.

PingMe Messenger is another BBM style app that works for Android and iPhones, and another option is the text friendly What’sApp. The long awaited BBM may be losing traction with delay after delay, and it’s going to have to be spectacular to win over the majority of iPhone and Android users who have been managing without it for years. 

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