BBM Stories June 10, 2015

Former RIM CEO admits iPhone killed the BlackBerry

After passing “the baton to new leadership” three and a half years ago, ex-Research In Motion chief executive Jim Balsillie has publicly admitted in a new interview what everyone already knows: the iPhone was devastating to the company’s BlackBerry smartphone business. The Associated Press reports Balsillie’s comments came during a Q&A session with the authors of the recently released “Losing the Signal. The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry” book (Amazon/iBooks):

BBM Stories January 21, 2015

BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone (it's OK to laugh)

BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone (it’s OK to laugh)

If you can’t beat ’em, tell the government to force ’em to let you beat ’em. That’s the approach BlackBerry CEO John Chen wants to take to mobile software development. Today Chen wrote in a blog post on the BlackBerry website that he believes the issue of net neutrality requires the government to not only promote and protect neutrality not only among wireless and broadband carriers, but also among app and content providers.

Chen argues that it’s pointless to tell Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and other carriers that they can’t discriminate against certain data while still allowing applications and content providers to discriminate against certain platforms.

expand full story

BBM Stories December 12, 2014

BlackBerry rolling out redesigned BBM for iPhone 6/6 Plus

Previous BBM design (left) and refreshed BBM design (right)

Better late than never, BlackBerry showed off a redesigned version of its BBM app with native resolution support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which should be rolling out to users soon.

The update also includes some design adjustments, BlackBerry says, adding to the “fresh new look and feel” of the updated version for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. A preview screenshot of the new version of BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone (seen above on the right) shows the user interface refinements coming to the messaging app.

BBM for iPhone, which first hit iOS just over a year ago with regular updates, is available for free on the App Store. The updated version should be out for users shortly.

BBM Stories August 22, 2014

imessage-spam-inline3

Earlier this week a report from Wired noted security company Cloudmark’s claim that iMessage is host to nearly a third of all mobile spam messages due in part to email addresses being attached in many cases to accounts. In our coverage we noted that you can manually report such messages in addition to certain workarounds to avoid being bothered.

BlackBerry, however, is taking this report as an opportunity to remind you it still has a messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, which it says is a more secure alternative to iMessage. In a recent blog post (via BGR), the handset maker goes on to list five reasons why its messaging platform is better than iMessage: expand full story

BBM Stories May 29, 2014

BlackBerry announces upcoming BBM for iOS update with easier signup and friending

BlackBerry has announced an upcoming release of its BBM client for iOS devices that includes an easier signup flow and an improved process for adding new contacts.

The new simplified registration process will request only a name, password, and email address, as opposed to the current app which requires much more information. The update will also improve the process for adding new contacts. Currently users who get an invite need send their own PIN back to the other party so they can be mutual contacts. In the new version that step will be automated. Tapping the invitation link in the email will complete the entire process.

The update also adds new emoticons to the app’s existing selection. BlackBerry Messenger 2.2 will be available on the iOS App Store in the coming days.

BBM Stories February 14, 2014

BlackBerry Messenger for iOS adds voice calls, one-touch file-sharing and more

Version 2.0 of BBM for iOS app now allows free voice calls to BBM contacts, as well as a range of other new features that include one-touch file-sharing, Dropbox integration, location-sharing, 50-person BBM groups and interest channels.

Today, we’re excited to be adding those great new features and more to BBM that users on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry** can enjoy. When the update becomes available later today, these new features will give you more ways to chat and share than ever before on BBM.

Voice calling is supported on both wifi and mobile data. Note that while voice calls don’t incur any direct charges, as with other forms of VoIP calling you’ll eat into any data allowance you have.

Full details of the new features from the BlackBerry blog below … 

BBM Stories December 20, 2013

BlackBerry announces 40 million users registered on BBM for iOS/Android

From 9to5Google

Holy wowzers Batman as BlackBerry announces over 40 million “newly registered iOS/Android users in the last 60 days.” The BBM tidbit dropped during this morning’s BlackBerry Earnings Report and while we’ll ignore the economic crisis that is BlackBerry, the messaging numbers are pretty interesting.

BBM Stories October 21, 2013

BlackBerry announces 5 million downloads of BBM for iOS and Android only 8 hours after release

BlackBerry revealed via the official BBM Twitter account that in the first eight hours since launching BBM for iPhone and Android, the app has been downloaded over by over 5 million customers across both platforms. The app is also now the #1 free app on the iTunes App Store.

That number could actually be much higher, as the 5 million applies only to the number of users whose accounts have been activated for use. BlackBerry did not specify how many more users were still waiting to be activated, if any.

Update: The app is now live on the App Store.

After the BBM apps prematurely started rolling out for iPhone and Android and were abruptly pulled late last month, BlackBerry finally confirmed today that it’s officially kicking off the roll out of the apps. In a blog post, the company announced that the BBM apps will be available for both iPhone and Android within the next few hours through the App Store, Google Play, and Samsung’s App Store:

The demand for BBM on Android and BBM on iPhone continues to be amazing. About six million people signed up for information about BBM at BBM.com. As you know, in just seven hours, about one million Android users were using the unreleased version of BBM for Android. What you don’t know is that more than one million people have found creative ways to “side load” BBM on their iPhone. This is incredible.

While the app is available to download starting today, it will utilize a staggered rollout that will see users reserving a spot in line by entering their email address. BlackBerry says users that signed up previously through its website can start using the app immediately, but we’ll have to wait to see how many people sign up today in order to estimate how long the queue will be.  expand full story

BBM Stories September 21, 2013

Five years late, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) rolling out for iPhone

BlackBerry just announced another disaster quarter and is currently valued at under the value of its assets, yet despite public pleading, no one wants to buy them. They also just laid off 4,500 of their remaining employees and left the consumer market.

But we’re not here to talk about the horrific financials of an imploding company. We’re here to bring the news that Blackberry released BBM (a very capable IM client) for iOS and Android today. It is currently available in Eastern hemisphere countries and is making its way around the globe.

In 2008, this would have been bigger news. Now, you can use it to ask your remaining BlackBerry friends which color iPhone they will be getting.

Update: It looks like the app has disappeared from the stores it has already hit. 

Update 2: Here’s why:

Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.

Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM. We are pausing the global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone. Customers who have already downloaded BBM for iPhone will be able to continue to use BBM. The unreleased Android app will be disabled, and customers who downloaded it should visitwww.BBM.com to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability.

As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone. Please follow @BBM on Twitter for the latest updates and go to www.BBM.com to sign-up for updates about BBM for Android and iPhone. These issues have not impacted BBM service for BlackBerry.

BBM Stories September 18, 2013

BlackBerry announces BBM for iPhone arriving on September 22

After first announcing that its popular BBM messaging service would be arriving on iOS and Android sometime during the summer, BlackBerry finally confirmed in a blog post today that the app would be released on Sept. 21 for Android followed by a release on iOS on Sept. 22.

BBM will be available as a free download for Android smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean (Android 4.x) beginning at 7AM EDT on September 21. BBM for iPhones running iOS 6 and iOS 7 will become available for each market on the App Store schedule of 12:01 AM local time on September 22. For more information, or to download BBM for Android or iPhone, visit www.BBM.com.

BBM for iPhone and Android will initially include chat, photo and voice note sharing, multi-person chats with up to 30 people, and the ability to post status updates and personal messages. However, BlackBerry says the apps will get BBM Channels in a future updates:

BBM will continue to evolve quickly. Later this year, BBM Channels will provide a forum for active, real conversations between you and the people, brands, celebrities, artists, service providers, communities and more, that matter to you. By creating a Channel, individuals and brands can engage their friends and communities in conversations sparked by their thoughts, ideas and passions. Subscribing to a Channel will let you join conversations with people who share your interests. In addition, BBM Video calling and BBM Voice calling are planned for availability for Android and iPhone in a future version.

BBM Stories August 1, 2013

BlackBerry rolling out BBM for iOS and Android beta invites

A report from BlackBerryOS.com notes that invites to BlackBerry’s upcoming BBM service for iOS and Android have now started rolling out to users on the company’s Beta Zone website. Back in May, BlackBerry announced that its popular messaging platform would finally become cross-platform and arrive on both iOS and Android devices “later this summer,” and that deadline to launch is of course quickly approaching.

Not all Beta Zone members have received the invite email above, but it looks like BlackBerry is getting closer to finally launching the new apps.

We haven’t seen much of the iOS app, but BlackBerryOS also got its hands on the screenshots below of the latest Android beta:

If you have screenshots of the iOS app, you can send them to tips@9to5Mac.com.

BBM Stories June 6, 2013

BlackBerry’s BBM apps for iOS and Android arriving June 27?

Update: T-Mobile has now removed its original tweet.

According to a tweet from T-Mobile UK’s Twitter account, the previously announced BlackBerry Messenger service will be arriving on both Android and iOS later this month on June 27. A release date for the BBM service, which will arrive for the first time on iOS and Android as a free download, has not officially been announced by BlackBerry, but the tweet from T-Mobile is a pretty good indication on when we will see the service begin to roll out. However, a report from BusinessInsider later claimed that the date is incorrect based on a source close to the situation. We’ll have to wait for official confirmation from BlackBerry to find out for sure, but BlackBerry told us last night it hasn’t yet made an announcement:

BlackBerry first announced the service was coming to iOS and Android at its event last month. The company said that it would be bringing messaging and groups functionality to new platforms first, but also has plans to introduce voice features, screen sharing, and its just announced ”social engagement platform” dubbed ‘Channels’ in future releases.

BBM Stories May 14, 2013

BlackBerry-BBM-iOS

Although BlackBerry has been rumored to bring its BBM messaging platform to iOS and other devices before, today the company has made things official announcing at its event that support for both iOS and Android will be arriving in the coming months. The service, which BlackBerry says currently has about  60 million monthly active users, will come to devices running iOS 6 and Android 4.0 or above when it’s launched as a free app sometime this summer in the App Store and Google Play.

The company said that it would be bringing messaging and groups functionality to new platforms first but also has plans to introduce voice features, screen sharing, and its just announced “social engagement platform” dubbed ‘Channels’ in future releases. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said the company is “committed to making the BBM experience on other platforms as fully featured” as possible. expand full story

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