Why BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android is pointlessEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
For BlackBerry owners, there are usually one or two features that really stand out amongst all the others that make owning the device worthwhile. The keyboard is usually the case, as it’s still one of the best physical ‘boards out there, even with all of the different devices to choose from. But, on the software side of things, there’s BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM. It’s a messaging service that RIM built for its handsets that makes communication smooth and simple. It’s a feature that BlackBerry owners will praise to anyone who asks. And now rumor has it that the service is coming to iOS and Android, but will it be worth it?
There’s probably all sorts of factors that Research In Motion is considering when they think about bringing BBM to other platforms. It’s a great service, yes, and there’s people out there who want to use it even if they don’t have a BlackBerry in their pocket. One reason is becuase they might know someone with a BlackBerry who talks about BBM all the time. Or maybe they just want to try it out, see what all the fuss is about. Whatever the reason, it’s probably a safe assumption to think that a few non-BlackBerry owners out there wouldn’t mind using BBM.
And then there’s the competition. We’ve seen RIM get all up-in-arms over Kik Messenger, and considering the service is still available there’s probably some aspirations to get their messaging platform available to those who want it. And I imagine that RIM thinks their BBM is better anyway, so why not show it off, right?
The problem is the fact that, even if this is just a rumor right now, it’s already being talked about how BBM for iOS or Android won’t be the real deal. It won’t be a “full-fledged” service like those on a BlackBerry would get. Then I’ve got to ask: what’s the point? If you’re not going to give iOS and Android owners the platform to its fullest extent, why even waste your time and efforts? If you release it, and it’s not as good as those with an iPhone or Android-powered handset have heard it is, you’re just going to find people decrying BBM, instead of praising it.
I loved BBM when I’ve used a few BlackBerry devices in the past. When I was using it, there weren’t a lot of people I knew personally that were using the service, so I eventually just stopped. But, I’d use it again if it came to iOS or Android -- only if it’s the full-fledged application, though. If you’re going to give me some half-cocked service, please don’t. It won’t be worth it.
What do you think of BBM coming to Android and iOS? If you’ve used BlackBerry Messenger in the past, but you’ve switched to one of ther other mobile platforms since, would you be willing to use BBM on your new device? Or will you just skip it in general? Let me know in those comments below.