If you have friends or family members who still use a BlackBerry phone, you’ll be happy to know that BlackBerry Messenger — earlier exclusive to BlackBerry phones — is now available for iOS and Android.
Note: BlackBerry has pulled the BBM app from the App Store. Read the Update below for more details.
Back in May, BlackBerry had announced plans to release BBM to other platforms such as iOS and Android in an attempt to make the service an “an independent messaging solution.”
After sending out beta invites last month, it appears that BBM is finally ready for public consumption, as the app rolls out throughout the world, starting with the Asia-Pacific region. We’ve confirmed that it is available in Australia (iTunes Link), New Zealand (iTunes link), Japan (iTunes link), Singapore (iTunes link) App Stores. Here’s the description for the app:
BBM™ is now here for iPhone. The best way to connect with anyone, anywhere for free. Download it now.
• Immediately know when your messages have been delivered (D’s) and read (R’s)
• Know when contacts are responding to your message
• Say it with a variety of emoticons for every mood and emotion.
Chat and Share with many at once:
• Groups – Create or join a group and chat, share pictures lists, and appointments with the whole group. You can even be in a group with people who aren’t part of your BBM contact list.
• Multi-chat – Invite multiple contacts to participate in a chat together.
• Broadcast – Send a message to multiple BBM contacts at one time.
There’s more to share with BBM:
• Share voice notes
• Share photos
• Share URLs
Personalize your Profile and keep it fresh:
• Choose a different profile picture and update your personal status whenever you want, in an instant – so your profile will always reflect the way that you feel.
• Profile pictures (avatars) can be updated using images, pictures or even animated pictures (GIFs).
Stay in control:
• With 2-way opt-in, you have control over who messages you.
• Invites via PIN/QR mean that there is no need to share e-mail or phone number if you prefer not to, which provides control over how you are contacted.
With so many third-party messaging apps out there, as well as Apple’s own iMessage baked right into iOS, we’re not sure how many of you would want to use this as your main messaging app, but this will be great for folks who have BlackBerry users amongst their family and friend circle.
BlackBerry has just announced that it has pulled the BBM app from the App Store. This is apparently the Android version of the app leaked, which apparently caused issues, which the company is working hard to address. The company says that the unofficial Android version was used by over 1.1 million people.
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 visit www.BBM.com to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability.
The company hasn’t provided any ETA, but says they will start the staggered rollout as soon as possible. Strangely, BlackBerry was supposed to release the Android version today, and the iPhone version tomorrow. We’re not sure if there was an error in BlackBerry’s previous announcement, or a last minute change of plans to release the iPhone version earlier.
Update 2 (September 23):
BlackBerry has announced that the release of BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone will be delayed by at least one week.
If you’ve downloaded the app then you will be able to continue to use it. Let us know what you think of it in the comments.